I love make-up. Like, really love make-up. I love everything about it. The way it can transform a hungover sleepy face into a that of a dewy Goddess, the way that a new shade of lipstick can take an outfit from day to night, and even the time consuming process of drawing my eyebrows on. I love the process of getting ready, the ritual I have and the tips and tricks that I pick up from beauty vloggers online.
However, as much as I adore make-up, it isn’t all about empowerment. It’s about the fact that I don’t feel able to converse, flirt, and feel confident in my appearance without it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m a minger, but if you’d have told me a month ago that I could ever feel confident leaving the house without my trademark gel eyeliner and bright lipstick, I’d have laughed in your face.
It wasn’t until two weeks ago, whilst getting ready for a fancy dress party, that I was given some food for thought. I was running late and decided to go minimal, with just foundation and mascara. I felt horrific, and was fully intending to apply more make-up as my friends and I enjoyed our pre-night out drinks, but before I could, a girl we were with said something I’ve never heard before.
‘Your make-up looks nice, you look much better with less on.’
At first I was a bit offended – was she implying that I usually look ugly?!
– but I decided to take her compliment the way that it was intended (as a compliment) and decided to brave the nightclub in the nude (so to speak). And it went okay. I didn’t die. Nobody pointed and screamed, or asked why my eyes suddenly looked a fraction of the size as they usually do.
So then, the next day, I did it again! I met some friends in town for drinks, and within five minutes of me arriving, my friends’ boyfriend had told me that I looked great, and kept repeating that my look was ‘healthy’ and ‘fresh.’ His girlfriend (my best friend) then told me the same thing.
And so I ran with it! I went au naturel (ish) to a job interview, to the first day of work on receiving said job, out to a house party, and even to a restaurant. I got compliment after compliment, and, much to my surprise, nobody told me that I looked rough, tired, or ill.
That said though, I still don’t think that I’ll be ditching my box of girlie paraphernalia just yet. Whereas my make-up before acted as a mask to hide the features that I deemed not good enough, it now acts as an agent to accentuate those that now I believe are just fine. I no longer feel as though my skin looks terrible if I skip the thick foundation in favour of a light powder, nor do I feel as though my eyes are small and piggy without my eyeliner and smokey eyeshadow. However, as liberating as it can be to have an extra ten minutes in bed in favour of religiously applying liquid eyeliner, I remain a make-up girl through and through.
I ENJOY learning new tactics and copying the looks that beauty Vloggers create. I love my pre-night out ritual of applying my make-up with Shakira blasting from my speakers and wearing nothing but a silk dressing gown. I may feel comfortable sitting in the office, or popping to the shop wearing minimal make-up, but as for everything else, the war paint stays.
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