My love of makeup has evolved over the years to say the very least. In middle school, I was really into matching my eye shadow to whatever earrings I was wearing that day (yes, I was very cool). In high school I finally learned how to master my now-signature cat eye liner. In college, I started experimenting with smokey eye shadow and bold lip colors. Slowly, but surely, makeup became a fun and ever-changing part of my daily routine. Shower. Makeup. Hair. Outfit. Boom. Instant confidence. However, despite how fun makeup can be, there's part of loving makeup that is always just a little bit tricky. See, here's the thing: As a woman, I am hyperaware of the fact that the beauty industry can be a very big, very nasty monster. And a potentially dangerous one, too.
The way beauty advertisements and products work is to make you believe you have flaws that you simply weren't aware of before. Recently, one day I just woke up and felt extremely self-conscious about my barely-there eyebrows. Suddenly perfect, arched brows seemed like a necessity when they hadn't even crossed my mind a week before. See how things can get a little bit confusing? You can one love makeup and still be very aware of the evils of the beauty industry. It's a hard balance to find, but it's certainly possible when you start by realizing a few important things about the love of makeup itself. The first thing to know? Loving makeup does not make you insecure. Here's why.
1. Makeup Is For Highlighting, NOT Hiding
Have you ever looked at someone in a super body-flattering dress and thought, "Wow, she must be super insecure to have woken up and taken the time to find/put that dress on!" No, I didn't think so. Makeup is about highlighting your best qualities, not hiding your worst. Sure, it's great to conceal a pimple here or there, but makeup isn't about putting on a mask; it's about learning how to emphasize your favorite things about yourself.
2. Makeup Is Art
Oh, don't think makeup is art? OK. Clearly you haven't seen what this guy can do to transform himself in to American Horror Story characters. Granted, I don't do my eye shadow and transform into a different character, but it's a way to experiment with color and shading in a totally different and new way.
3. Bright Lipstick Is INSTANT Confidence
The thing about bright lipstick is that putting it on really doesn't change how your face looks. There's no concealing anything or altering the shape of your face. It's just a bright color that looks gorgeous. It's like throwing on a completely useless, but totally fabulous, accessory. No one looks at a girl in killer 4-inch heels that and thinks, "Wow, is she feeling bad about herself today?" Of course not. They think, "Wow, she looks confident and WHERE did she get her shoes?" Exactly.
4. Taking OFF Your Makeup Feels Good Too
I LOVE makeup, but I love taking it all off just as much. I love wearing cozy leggings and sweatpants to go run errands or head to a class and not wearing a single drop of makeup on my face. You can love makeup and love not wearing makeup at the same time. As much as I enjoy wearing a full face of makeup, I spend most of my days sitting at a computer from 9 to 6 a.m. at my house, writing. Am I wearing makeup then? Of course not. Do I still feel confident and secure? Absolutely.
5. It's Fashion
Try putting on a head-to-toe glamorous, fabulous outfit and not experimenting with even a tiny bit of makeup. It's a little hard, right? You can look gorgeous with or without makeup, but often putting on a great eyeshadow or killer lip gloss can make an outfit. It's an instant set of accessories, and it can really complete a look.
6. It's FUN
There's a reason that many of us go through our moms' makeup bags when we're younger and put makeup all over our faces for no reason. It's because it's just plain fun. Life can be pretty boring sometimes, so what's so wrong with experimenting with a bold lip color or interesting technique? Who said that having fun = being insecure?
7. I Wear Makeup For ME
I don't wear makeup for my boyfriend or my friends or strangers I'll see at the grocery store. If I put on some bright red lipstick, it's because I really want to. If I decide to spend an hour crafting a perfect smokey eye, it's because I ENJOY it. If I don't wear one single ounce of makeup on my whole face for a week straight, it's because I don't feel like I have to. Makeup is not, contrary to popular belief, about impressing other people. For those that truly love the art of applying makeup, it's just plain fun. I can confidently say I like how I look with makeup and without makeup and honestly, either way — it's no one else's business but my own.
Images: @oliviamuenter/Instagram; Giphy (7)