Thursday, January 2, 2014

Naked face

Makeup.  What purpose does it serve?  Is it to accentuate, to draw out your natural beauty?  Or is it to deceive and conceal?  How does it make you feel?  Can you go without it?  Is it a luxury or necessity?
Sometimes it's fun to wear interesting colors or go all-out crazy with the makeup just for kicks.  That's cool, I have no problem with that.  I don't even have a problem with makeup in general, I just don't think it's for everyone.  I also don't think anyone should feel compelled to wear it if they don't want to.

I have personally decided to go mostly without makeup.  I will still probably wear it occasionally like if I get professional photos taken or go out on a nice date.  But even then, why should I?  I don't think makeup is evil, but the truth is this.  I don't want to feel like even if I'm running late I haveto put makeup on to be presentable out in public.

A year ago, I was at home in my grubbies on a Saturday.  I had an unexpected visitor show up from my church to just check and see how I was doing since I just recently moved in.  We had a good conversation for a few minutes.  When he left, I said out loud, "how embarrassing, I didn't even have my makeup on."  My 8-year-old boy turned to me and said, "what do you need makeup for?  You look fine!"

Well he sure told me...haha.  I began to realize how silly it really is.  I also began to notice how many women there are that go without makeup, and did that mean I thought they were ugly?  No.  I was never really into using makeup growing up.  I thought it was stupid and never wore any all through High School.  I thought girls who spent an hour getting ready every day were really dumb.  Then I met a guy who convinced me I needed it and I became indoctrinated with the idea that I had to "take care of myself" in order to be a functional member of society, ward off depression, and be acceptable.

Speaking of "functional member of society", here's just a little proof that women are taught they can't be acceptable without being adequately "made up", particularly as we start to get older.  This is a graphic made by Beauty Redefined:
Click for an Anti-Aging blog by Beauty Redefined, the source of this graphic

Brad is considered handsome and distinguished with his naked face, and Linda is still supposed to look like she's 20- or 30-something, with a face so painted it looks fake.

I have never felt comfortable with that level of makeup.  I tried out a lot of stuff, at one time (when I was with that guy I mentioned) using the full twice-daily regimen of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing.  My makeup routine included using foundation, powder, blush, bronzer, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, eyebrow liner, and tweezers to pluck stray eyebrow hairs (OUCH).  I found it cumbersome and ridiculous to spend so much time and money.  My skin isn't so bad anyway, so why cover it up with a bunch of junk that gets mostly rubbed off by mid-day?  I don't think anyone's skin is that bad in fact.  I HATE when women with freckles use makeup to make them disappear.  That's a shame.

So, after that nonsense, I pared my routine down dramatically.  I used only concealer for the bags under my eyes, eye liner, eye shadow only because it kept the eyeliner from running into my eye crease, and mascara.  Since I already felt good about not being a "sell out" to a full-blown makeup routine, I convinced myself that the 4 products I used daily were just what was required to be presentable.  Bare minimum.

Well guess what?  BARE is actually the bare minimum.  And it's actually an all new kind of freedom.  I no longer have to worry about rubbing an itch on my eye and if that's going to smear makeup all over.  If I cry I can just cry and not obsess about having black tears.  I don't have to stash makeup in my car and purse for hectic days.  I don't spend $9 on one freaking tube of drug store mascara.

So there it is.  I'm not saying everyone should do the same.  Makeup isn't evil, it can be fun.  But all I'm saying is don't let yourself be a slave to it.  Decide how much of your makeup regimen is actually what YOU want and makes you YOU.  What are your reasons for doing it, and how much of it is to quiet anxieties the beauty industry has gifted you and others with?  How much do you really want and need?  Take an inventory of yourself and these questions, then have the courage to do what is right for you.  Good luck and God bless.

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