This is me. (No not her. I’m over on the right. Yup. Hi!)
I’m sitting at my desk at work – makeup-less, unfiltered, unedited, just me. To be honest, I always feel a bit disingenuous when I post a lot of photos or videos with makeup on as the cold hard truth is I only wear it when I’m going to be shooting.
99% of my life, I’m bare-faced for everything: work, dates events etc. And often in videos I’m only wearing lipstick. I never developed the “habit” of makeup. And I’m honestly torn on if that has helped my self confidence or if I’m missing out on an empowering aspect of being a woman.
My mom died before style became a real part of my life and most of my high school and college friends didn’t make a big deal of whether they did or not. (They rock.)
I have been lucky to have been surrounded by women in my career who have only been complimentary to any fashion or style choices or lack thereof, and have never been put down or made to feel unprofessional for not painting my face daily.
But part of me feels like I might be missing out. Is makeup an armor or a tool that could help me feel more powerful and productive? Or could it be a waste of time, energy and money that I would end up feeling trapped by? (All the empathy in the world to every girl who has ever skipped makeup one day and then told she looked sick — BIG fear of mine)
Is spending time putting fancy dirt on your face self care or narcissism? Feminist or hubris? Silly to even think about when there are so many problems in the world? Probably that last, yes.
Could I be taken more seriously at work or possibly advance faster if I spent more time on my appearance? Or should I fight against that by doing good work and not prescribing to conventional female beauty standards? Is that a battle that even exists anymore? Is there anything to fight?
There are also some ethical problems with many makeup brands and elements. Mica, a type of shiny dirt used in nearly all powder products, is mined primarily by children in horrible conditions. It is almost impossible to be sure that your products were made by people earning a fair wage, and brands that promise that are often priced out of a normal person’s budget.
I have friends who put on makeup daily and consider it “me time” – 10 minutes that helps them feel prepared and confident going into their days. Others, like me, generally sleep in until the last minute and blow out of the door like a hurricane.
With the existence of YouTube, (and being 31) I can no longer hide behind the excuse that no one taught me to do makeup – anyone with an internet connection and the interest can figure the basics out. Also now that I’m debt free, I can’t use the cost excuse – I can easily afford a little makeup (drugstore brands, calm down 🙂 )
But I still fight myself. I do fine at work and in life without makeup. I’m not ashamed of my face. I don’t feel like I need to hide. But what if investing that time and energy into the ritual of makeup could make me a better version of myself?
What do you think? And how do you feel about makeup? Does it empower you or are you more you without it? I’d honestly love your thoughts and to hear your experiences.