I've been a huge fan of makeup since I was old enough to know what it was. Wearing a full face of makeup every day gives me confidence, happiness, and even peace within myself. I'm not so crazy about it that I wouldn't run to the shop without my makeup mask on, but I definitely won't leave the house for the day without feeling like I've been painted on by the gods.
My makeup isn't just about looking as flawless as I possibly can, though. Rather, it's about allowing me to feel like I can go about my day knowing I look my absolute best. It facilitates personal time I can gift myself on the daily, allowing me to look at and appreciate not only how I look, but the makeup skills that I've accumulated in the past decade. When doing my makeup, I can put on my favorite album of the minute and apply confidence with each stroke of my eyeshadow brush. I don't rush or repeat myself. I just take the time to appreciate my beauty and the different things I can do to enhance it.
To me, makeup is an art form that I can practice daily. It might not be liked or even understood by other people, but that's fine. I wear makeup entirely for me. But even so, there are some comments from outsiders I've gotten pretty sick of hearing on a regular basis. Here are just a few.
1. "You don't have to wear so much makeup!"
You're right, I don't have to. There's no monster in my makeup bag forcing me to apply makeup unless I want my favorite teddy to suffer. I'm wearing a full face of makeup because I want to.
2. "You look better without it..."
I've had so many exes bestow this opinion onto me like it's the best compliment I could ever receive. I know damn well I wouldn't look this good without such a beautiful natural face to work with in the first place. My makeup may help me feel and look better according to my eyes, but trying to look better isn't the only reason I'm wearing it.
3. "What about your skin?"
Considering I put in half an hour (at least) into doing my makeup each morning, don't you think that I would also have an impeccable makeup removal routine? I take off my makeup every night, cleanse, wash my face every morning, exfoliate three times a week, use a moisturizing face mask at least twice a week, and moisturize regularly. I'm talking Patrick Bateman levels of skin routine. And you know what? My skin routine is just as important to me as my makeup one.
4. "You're fake."
Those memes that gross guys share like "always take your girl swimming on a first date" drive me crazy. Firstly, between my primer, concealer, foundation, and fixing spray, I'm pretty sure I could swim and still get out needing only a few touch-ups. Secondly, if you're honestly fooled into believing that my lips are naturally burgundy and my cheekbones shimmer on their own, you're not worth my time or energy.
5. "How do you look different for special occasions?"
My special occasions and party looks are next level. I'll wear two eyeshadows on a regular day, but for a party? Six different gold eyeshadows up to my brows. If I'm talented enough for flawless everyday makeup, I'm talented enough to step it up for big events.
6. "How are you a feminist?"
How am I not? Makeup is an art form that is belittled by a patriarchal society, likely because men aren't involved in it to the same degree as women are. Since men aren't the focus of this practice, society has decided to deem it vapid. Although it's easily arguable that women "needing" makeup to "impress men" is sexist, most people I know who wear makeup don't need it and definitely aren't out to impress dudes with their lipstick. Feminism should support all kinds of women, including those who passionately partake in fashion and beauty.
7. "You must be insecure."
You know, I was incredibly insecure as a teenager when I was applying a full face of makeup, and I'm barely insecure as an adult who applies a full face of makeup. My insecurities, anxieties, and depression have only ever been helped by makeup.
8. "Men don't like it."
And who cares what men think? Next!
9. "Well, I don't need to do it."
Hold on! I need enough time to organize the necessary parade for people who don't wear makeup. It's your choice not to, and it's my choice to do so. How are these decisions at all related?
10. "It must be really expensive."
You know what? It is. But it's part of my hobby, part of my lifestyle, and going out and purchasing makeup gives me just as much of a thrill as getting ahold of a book I've wanted to read for a long time. Makeup doesn't have to be expensive, of course. There are plenty of dupes and quality cheap brands to keep me going when I haven't been paid. But when I have? I love investing in a new kind of glittery eyeshadow.
11. "So how are you still body positive?"
Putting on makeup is me celebrating my body, my face, and myself. It's a part of my self expression to the world; not me hiding who I am from everyone. Makeup is an act of self love and self expression through which I can present myself as a work of art and allow people to appreciate my beauty. My full face of makeup gives me just as much confidence as a bodycon dress might, but the latter would likely never lead to questions regarding my self worth.
12. "How do you have the time?"
As with anything you love, you make time for it. I've mastered doing my makeup on a full, moving bus so even if I wake up late, I can still manage to get it looking on point.
13. "Who are you trying to impress?"
Your mom! Seriously, I don't think anybody in the world has picked up their eyeshadow and thought, "I'm going to put on blue eyeshadow because that's my crush's favorite color." Makeup is personal. Makeup is for myself and maybe for the hope of other girls' compliments. But TBH, I impress myself daily with how amazing I can make myself look.
14. "You must be really vain."
Why is vanity a bad thing? Why is loving yourself and being confident in your looks a negative? I've never been able to understand why checking myself out in every available reflective surface is taken so badly. I'm happy, confident, and conscious of all my positive traits and that's so much better than when I was a deeply depressed, self loathing, and self harming teen.
15. "So you don't really look like that."
If a few layers of makeup changed the way I looked that drastically, I wouldn't be recognizable without it. I'd wake up after a one night stand with the guy shaking in the corner and wondering how the hell this other girl got into his bedroom and asking what she did with the gal from the night out. If you're so easily confused by a bit of blush and an eyebrow pencil, you should probably reevaluate some things in your life.
At the end of the day, the people who comment on those wearing a full face of makeup are the people who don't really understand makeup aficionados. We're not vain or vapid or insecure. We don't hate ourselves — and loving ourselves definitely isn't a bad thing. A passion for makeup should never be mistaken for a negative. It's an act of self expression at its core.
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Images: Georgina Jones