One morning, as I was applying make-up to my face in my usual fashion, my partner looked at me through the reflection and said something that, at the time, I brushed off as something “guys just don’t get.” However, as I have continued my daily ritual of applying make-up, I have thought more about his observation. “It’s crazy to me” he said, “how girls will just stand in front of the mirror and look at themselves and think ‘I need to cover, improve, or enhance this about my face’ and then they will apply this foreign substance to their faces. It is only after they are finished applying mascara, foundation, and lipstick, etc. they look at their appearance with approval.” (I am rephrases for purposes of impact, but this is the gist of his observation).
Like most women, every day since my teenage years, I have looked at my self in the mirror, scanned my image and found every thing I did not like about my appearance. Then, I changed it. So, essentially, I have stared at my self and decided that I am not good enough as I am for as long as I can remember. Now, I know I am not the first to have this realization of how insane it is to spend 10-30 minutes each day criticizing and then altering your appearance to become more acceptable, but I decided to take action to correct the nearly 15 years of telling my self that I am not beautiful enough as I am.
As much as I’d like to, I don’t sleep-in for an extra 20 minutes because now I am not applying my make-up. Instead, during the time that I would normally spend with my face planted in the mirror, telling myself that my eyes are not dramatic enough, that my pores are too big, that my eyebrows are not perfectly symmetrical, or some other make-up advertisement problem area, I stand in front of the mirror and tell myself that I am beautiful. I look at each feature and tell myself how much I appreciate my appearance as it is and that each feature is a part of what makes me unique and special. Like, I literally compliment myself out loud. (in the vein of: “damn girl, you fine. Look at those luscious lips and stunning green eyes. Yeah, you got it!”)
I know this sounds a little crazy, but is it as crazy as standing in front of the mirror willingly subjecting my self to criticism for 20 minutes? I would much rather stand in front of someone who tells me how beautiful I am for that same 20 minutes. It’s my daily self-love ritual.
I’m not saying I will never wear make-up again. It can be fun to change your appearance sometimes, just as you wear certain clothes for certain occasions. But, I want to start from the base-line that I am beautiful as I am and the products that I am putting on my face don’t make me more beautiful, they simply give me the opportunity to change from one beautiful face to another.
@animasubridens, For me it’s been the opposite revelation a few weeks ago. I’m becoming a circus artist so I’ve started wearing make up since last year for shows. Now I totally understand why girls (and whoever else) like wearing make-up. I do feel like I look better with some make-up on, I can hide imperfections with foundation, then if you’re really good you can totally cheat what your face looks like.
At the same time, I would never do that everyday, but on special occasions I will definitely wear make-up so I look the best I can.
I don’t think make-up is bad or good, I think it’s a matter of how you use it and why. If you’re using it while being totally comfortable with your body, to me it’s all good. If you’re just covering stuff you wish that would be different or are not comfortable with, then it’s a different story.
Anyway, good write up, it’s nice to see you made this realization. You should try looking at yourself in the mirror for 20-30 minutes no-stop. Just stare at yourself, you will probably see stuff :) This is totally unrelated to make-up though but it’s a fun experience ;p
Rock on! I don’t wear as much makeup as I used to, usually just mascara because I’m in a hurry. But I do still spend 10 minutes in the mirror each morning internally criticizing my appearance. Tomorrow morning I’ll do the mirror exercise.
Makeup is not the enemy it’s how much or how good or bad the application of it..my guy likes me with but mostly without because i’m fresh faced, i do how ever think the more you stare at your face in the mirror the more flaws you will pick up on, but i like makeup it’s pretty enhances my best features, and is suitable for work and professional situations just to give a finished well put together look everything that is worth it takes time and effort.
Most people can appreciate the radiance of both a makeup enhanced face and a bare natural face. There is beauty in the elimination of flaws and in showing them. Whatever mood we’re in though, we should look in the mirror with adoration.
@animasubridens, That’s great! It’s sad that most of the population of women and girls feel they need to cover their face. I wear a bit of eyeliner for my personal satisfaction, but I think the key to beauty is to do it for yourself. Wear whatever satisfies your idea of beauty, not someone elses. Make-up can be our friend as long as we don’t let it alter our own preference of beautiful.
this is wonderful!! i’ve recently began making my morning routine more about uplifting and inspiring my spirit, which started with wearing less make-up too. waking up just a little earlier than usual, i provide myself the time to make a nice healthy breakfast, and savor it. usually i’ll have a great record playing, and dance around, do some yoga, and water all the plants. i have little inspiring quotes, pictures, and other mementos surrounding my mirror, so when i look at it, i see so much more than just my face. often i’ll just apply a little blush and mascara and head out the door, feeling awake, alive, beautiful, and ready to conquer the day!!
What a great topic. I just use mascara and eye liner. Some days I don’t wear any. I am not that particular, but I do feel better with some makeup on. I think you are right that it is really social conditioning. In some countries, they don’t wear makeup or they wear it very differently like stripes on their cheeks or other types of things. It is cultural and conditioned and we are free to do otherwise.
Thank you for making me think about this today. Good stuff.
If you start wearing less makeup you’ll eventually get used to how you look and feel better without it. It’s just a matter of training yourself into being used to it, just like we’ve all trained ourselves into thinking we need it!