Today’s post isn’t a review or a haul. It’s more a reflection on why I wear makeup and brief comments on the pervasive topic of makeup as false advertising. It’s also tied in with the assignment for day 4 of blogging 101 in which I have to write for my desired audience.
I know it’s a bit of a long one, but please bear with me. I love writing too much and really wanted to share a bit more of myself with all of you that isn’t in direct relation to my makeup likes as we’re all a bit more than makeup loving people.
A lot of people seem to think that they know why women wear makeup. Some of them are usually along the lines of:
- She’s insecure about her skin/appearance.
- She’s trying to impress men.
- She wants to look like someone else.
Yes, some women do wear makeup for one of the aforementioned reasons, but it isn’t representative of all women. I definitely know it isn’t why I wear it.
Let me start with my makeup story, sort of how I fell into this addiction.
I was about sixteen when I snuck into my mum’s toiletry bag and used her intensely white face powder to cover what I thought was a gigantic pimple somewhere on my usually flawless face. Matched with eyeliner so heavy I might have passed as a raccoon and red lip balm, I looked like a mess.
Did I care that I looked like a mess? No. I felt empowered and confident. These two things are what some women feel when they ‘cake on their makeup’, as critics would say. I still feel empowered and confident when I wear makeup, just as much when I don’t wear it.
I really got into makeup when I was about nineteen and had just gotten my first job as a perfume sales rep. Note: yes, my parents were the type that forbade my siblings and I getting jobs as they thought it would interfere with our studies.
I bought so much stuff at Clinique in the bustling city Myer and felt excited that I had proper high end makeup to wear to work. It was a few weeks after this epic haul that I googled the best way to apply foundation.
My gateway into makeup was actually brushes, not a lipstick or foundation!
So I went on eBay and bought the ELF flat top brush every beauty blogger was raving about and fell in love with it until the ferrule detached itself from the handle. That was probably my fault since I hadn’t quite investigated proper brush cleansing techniques and completely submerged the brush head and ferrule in water + soap. Excuse me while I facepalm for an hour. Surprisingly, I still have that brush though it’s taped up quite poorly. I don’t use it, I keep it purely for sentimental reasons. From here I jumped onto the Sigma bandwagon and then the Real Techniques one, the latter of which I am still a devoted fan.
Anyway, cue the release of the first Naked palette and I can say with pinpoint accuracy that this was when I went absolutely crazy for eyeshadows. I guess from there my addiction kind of spiralled out of control before it leapt onto the lipstick and blush obsession.
It’s been almost five years and I find myself falling back in love with brushes and kind of neglecting eyeshadow. I’m talking Japanese, handcrafted, uncut, uncoloured, natural bristled brushes. The ones that feel like pillowy clouds gently caressing your face. The ones that are like a gentle breeze on a warm summer’s day. The ones that savagely rip your money from your bank account and make you weep with joy and sadness at the same time.
Ah, makeup, how I love you.
In regards to the claim that wearing makeup is ‘false advertising’, I scoff at it. In fact, I laugh at the accuser’s face. It’s shallow to base your opinions of a person on their appearance when people have so much to offer you and the world.
Why do we wear the clothes we wear? Why cut our hair and shave? Why is it socially acceptable to judge a woman’s merit on how she looks yet complain when she wears ‘too much’ makeup.
There are so many other things to worry about, yet here we are, bashing people for how they look and criticising people for not fitting into our standardised idea of beauty. It’s taken me years to finally be comfortable in my own skin and I don’t want to share images of myself only to be brutally critiqued by others for not adhering to their ideals.
When a woman bares her face to the world, people exclaim that she looks ill, yet when she wears makeup they curse her for trying to hide who she truly is and that she’s wearing it to impress men.
How deluded can a mind be that they believe women wear makeup only for men? How ridiculous.
I don’t wear red lipstick to seduce a man. I wear it to make my teeth look whiter. And also if I’m too lazy to wear eyeshadow.
So, why do I wear makeup?
I suppose the easy answer is because I’m a grown woman that simply likes it. The process of makeup application is relaxing for me and allows me to channel my creativity in a temporary way.
At first I wore makeup to hide my imperfections– acne, redness, you name it, I probably had it. However, as time went by and my confidence grew, I realised that makeup was a tool to help me express myself. It was something that I could spend hours on and laugh at how silly I’d done my eyeliner or how that one shade of red actually made my teeth look yellower than it is.
I’ve learnt that at the end of the day you can wipe of all your makeup, but it takes years to change one’s mindset and self-righteous attitude.
What was the first makeup item you bought? What do you think about the whole makeup is false advertising topic?
Let’s chat in the comments!
PS. I have a hair product review coming up in the next few days. Yay.