My issue today, is make-up.
(Oh, and all the images in this blog-post were photographed by yours truly. :D )
I lie, though. Because this issue is not just an issue today. It's an issue every day, and it actually has boggled my mind for so long that I feel incomplete without having concluded what I actually think of the entire phenomenon. My dilemma started many years ago, when I hadn't even hit my teens yet (though I did have an interest in boys, as that had started when I was two - don't ask!).
I was raised by a mother who believed only in natural beauty, and so I often heard belittling comments from her about women "hiding behind" their make-up. I thought the exact same for many years, and felt very happy to walk around looking like I just woke up (okay, I washed my face etc, but basically wore no make-up). I'm now at a very different stage, and my opinion changes like the weather on this topic. I realised that there is nothing wrong with make-up, as women have been wearing it for centuries. Some women who I respect and admire greatly will never be out without their standard eye paint, and they don't exactly seem to be the types that are "hiding" (ie women without confidence). Sure, the stereotype of the horridly hot "popular girl" with 10 layers of make-up, who secretly is very insecure, does exist, but where do *I* (or "eye", as my good friend Alexis often types for emphasis) stand on this?
Sometimes I want to be an artist in every way, and express myself in fashion, jewellery, and make-up. Let's go WILD with those colours! The next day, I consider that to be a mask, and so I go "naked" with casual clothing (but less confidence when I see other well made-up women), as I cringe about the day before where I was probably considered an attention-seeker. Then there are nights when I want to look my best, so I put the full treatment: foundation, contouring, heavy black eyeliner etc. I'll then look in the mirror and wonder why make-up actually makes me feel uglier.
Then I decide the next day that I want to accentuate only, so I do natural-looking make-up. I will put a very thin line on my top lid to accentuate my big round eyes (which I usually wish were pointy and small aka SEXY), put natural-looking mascara (LUSH or Chanel!), and potentially contour a tiny bit with some darker colours (a soft line on the dip under one's cheekbone, and another in the crease of my lid). I also cover the veins under my eyes that are a major reason for my lack of confidence in how I look. I end up looking like I'm barely wearing any make-up, which feels great for my self-esteem.
Then I get home, take off my make-up, and feel like I just lied to the world. That's not "me", that's not what I see in the mirror when I wake up. That's a pretentious lie, leading people to believe I look gorgeous when I don't. My conscience is unlocked when I return to my home, appearing from its room where I kept it hostage while I pretended to be someone I was not. And yet, without make-up I end up feeling like a shadow when I see other beautifully (classily!) made-up women. I want to hide, and never leave the house again. I feel like something not worth the ground I walk on at that moment, and a huge feeling of regret wells up in me; "I wish I had bothered to make myself look nice today".
This might all sound over the top, but it's how I feel, and I've learned to embrace my feelings instead of considering them to be wrong or right. I know very well that a lot of this has to do with me being raised by an individual who, quite simply, wasn't healthy, as well as self-esteem/confidence issues. But even then, I still don't know where that would make me stand if I eventually did "fix" my confidence issues! What is "right", and what is "wrong"? Which decision will make me look back and say "Yes. This was right for me."? What is the ideal balance for me, that I can fit in my routine? I don't want to look like a child of 12 (I have a baby-face), but I also don't want to get so dependent on make-up that I end up feeling like I am nothing without it.
Don't get me wrong. This isn't an issue that plagues me, but simply a constant issue that pops up more than I like. I hate not know where I stand with something as important as how I represent myself. My "look" is the cover to the story inside me, and I want to accurately represent who I am without feeling like I betrayed my identity. I want to be sure about this issue, but for now I realise I'll just have to make do with being impulsive every day (aka just saying "who cares" and not wearing any make-up). Hopefully one day I'll be able to say with certainty that I know where I stand on this.
Again, I know a lot of this has to do with self-esteem issues, but I am curious as to what my female readers think of this topic. What is your make-up "routine"? How do you feel when removing it? How do you feel when you see other women with lots of or no make-up? How did your own mother teach you about make-up (or how did you learn about it)? Do you also compare, what is the reason you do/don't? How does your SO (or your exes) feel about you with it? I'm lucky that my SO finds me beautiful with and without, but sometimes I get afraid that if I were to wear make-up every day, that he would see what I will end up seeing: a woman who can no longer be without a mask.