Monday, June 15, 2015

Of makeup and confidence

My goal is not to judge nor to criticize anyone who enjoy makeup. I love it too. I just wanted to share my thoughts and concerns about makeup and its influence on my image and my confidence.

I started using makeup every day when I started working every day. Somehow, it’s seemed a lot more important than when I was in class. I implemented a morning routine that included makeup. When I discovered YouTube make up tutorials, I felt the need to start using foundation when I didn’t really need it. Even the makeup artist at MAC told me so. Then it was filling my brows that became a necessity.

Little by little, my routine got longer, more complicated and less natural. I’d wear makeup every day and wouldn’t feel good going out without it. I felt slightly envious of the women who didn’t care and skipped most of the steps I forced myself to follow.

One Sunday, I went to my best friend’s and realized in the car you could clearly see I was wearing (lots of) foundation to a summer BBQ. It was not natural and seemed foolish when I knew it was a casual event. I started wear less makeup from that day on.

I took advantage of my coming holidays to stop wearing makeup altogether for a few weeks. Back to the office, I started to apply less foundation, layer less, fill my brows less and skip smoky eyes… I was back to natural, lighter makeup that suits me a lot more. Moving abroad also helped this process as most of my makeup stash spent almost two months travelling.

Today, I skip makeup altogether during weekends (or do my eyes only).  Same goes during holidays: if I’m not doing anything fancy and/or if I’m not feeling it, I’ll let my face bare. I traveled with my colleagues not so long ago and sported a bare face (which I wouldn’t have dared a few years ago).

Those breaks help me remember what my face looks like “au naturel” and to limit the amounts of makeup I apply on week days. They also let my skin breathe, which reduces my need for foundation. I discovered in this process that my “bad” skin was actually due to a bad foundation (a high end one, mind you). But most of all, it boosts my confidence. I’m not less beautiful without makeup, not less feminine. I still get compliments from my husband. My skin tone is even enough, my dark circles only reflect my energy level, my cheekbones are defined enough, and so are my brows.

I am worried for young girls when I see more and more people using drag queen techniques as their daily makeup (mostly heavy contouring). Not because I have anything against drag queens (because I don’t, I believe in freedom and happiness), but because those techniques are not used to be natural but to change the shape of your face. They are on purpose over the board. They are made for partying and having fun, not for every day.

How can you love your face when you’re distorting it every day by applying layer after layer of contouring bronzer and highlighter? How can you like your eyes when your changing their shape with liner and false lashes? How can you have healthy self-esteem when every ad, every magazine is modified to reflect a so called perfection?

Don't let the media, the fashion and makeup industries dictate how you should look. Just love yourself as you are, strengths and flaws.

Edit: I just watched a powerful TED Talk on image, self confidence and makeup. You should take a few minutes to watch it too: