F**k Makeup

Don't take that title as me making a solemn declaration to never wear makeup again, I still love it for what it is, and considering how I blog about it so much and the collection of it that is currently growing in my bathroom, I'm certainly not about to turn away from it. What I want this piece to do is instead bring up a different perspective from which to look at this face-changing goo (I really know how to make things sound appealing). So yes, that title was made to be a little bit of an attention grabber (no shame) but now that you're here and reading, I think you may as well continue on.

In these pictures I only have my eyebrows filled in and my hair has only been brushed since waking up. I took them expecting to sit down at the computer and hate the way I looked when I wasn't completely made up and declare them unusable, but here we are, they're on the Internet so I obviously didn't hate them. In fact, I actually really liked them, and that is a true testament to how far I've come on my journey of self acceptance and my relationship and understanding of makeup. Trust me, I still have so much farther to go, but every step is a success.

When I was younger (early high school) I would never in a million years have been able to put photos like this, so bare faced, on the Internet, in fact I couldn't even leave the house looking like this. 

I didn't have the best skin. I've always been quite oily, and in my younger teenager years this played havoc with my complexion. I didn't have serious acne, but I always had multiple pimples and breakouts on my face, and I've never been able to stop myself from picking at them, so they were usually a bit red and not in the best shape. At this time, I didn't wear makeup, had no interest in it, and while I wasn't a fan of my breakouts, because I had no intention of using makeup to cover them, I didn't care that much about walking around bare faced, I didn't want to be any other way.


At some point, I honestly don't really remember when or how, but I started to use makeup. No doubt it was influenced by the fact that numerous girls around me were using it and I just couldn't not be curious about it any longer. I don't really remember my progression, which products I used first and all that, but the next thing I remember is hitting that awkward teenage makeup phase where you're wearing to much of everything and nothing matches your skin tone. I remember packing on the mascara and the black eyeliner, wearing foundation that was a bit to orange and never filling in my brows (what I must have looked like). Something I also remember as I reflect on that time, is how my relationship with makeup had changed. By this time my skin still wasn't great, but it was certainly better than it had been a few years previous (mostly thanks to jumping on the pill), and really I should have been happy to show off my clearing up skin; but my mindset had changed.

I suddenly could not go anywhere without makeup on, and I'm not talking just a little bit of mascara and maybe a light BB cream, I'm talking the full face wherever I went. I couldn't fathom going out without it anymore, even if I was just popping down the shops or going for a walk where I wasn't likely to run into anyone I knew or be looked at by anyone for more than a second. I thought my skin and my face looked horrible without makeup, and I needed to wear it otherwise everyone else would see and think this to. I really wasn't doing my skin any favours; it was trying to clear itself up and here I was packing on the product and at this stage, while I had always used face cleansers and skincare due to having breakout-prone skin, I wasn't taking the proper time and care to complete my skin regime because I just didn't know all that much about it yet.

My self esteem and self confidence really took a dip down during this time and I didn't see makeup as this fun and expressive tool, I saw it as a necessity, a chore almost because it needed to be done before I could do anything else. It was like that pretty much all of high school (though I think by my last year I had gotten a shade of foundation that was much closer to my actual skin tone and calmed down on the eyeliner), and for the first year of University. 


Again, I don't really remember what it was or when it was that I started to turn my mindset around, I think I just simply got fed up with taking so much time to put a face on everyday (I lived 40 minutes away from my Uni, more with morning commuter traffic, during my first few years and I had 8/9am classes, I'm not particularly a morning person and I hate being rushed and stressed, and the amount of time it would take to get ready in the morning doing a full face just wasn't compatible at this point). I also had gotten out of my high school bubble.  We had an extremely small year group of 20 something in school, and most of the girls were preoccupied with makeup, so it was hard not be influenced. Now I was surrounded by hundreds of people and it wasn't long before we were all falling into the student mentality of not caring if we wore track pants and ugg boats to early morning classes, and I think that actually really helped  me in hindsight.

I started by dramatically decreasing the amount of foundation I was wearing, learning to lightly fill in my brows so I didn't look so mismatched, and not applying so many layers of mascara. I still would put it all on most days, but the amount had at least decreased.

Now, in the last year or two, my viewpoint of makeup has really taken a positive turn, and I think I finally see and value it for what it really is, particularly in the last few months. These days I generally don't put on any foundation unless I'm heading out for the night, going to an event, or just going somewhere I want to put a little bit more of an effort into my appearance for. I generally just fill in my brows, and depending on what I'm doing, I might put on a light coat of mascara. I do still really struggle when it hits that time of the month, and my skin decides to take me back to my teenager years and start breaking out all over the place - it literally happens over night, I go to bed with nice skin and I watch up with five breakouts forming. I've become a lot more conscious of my skincare and make much more of an effort with it, which I've noticed has really made a difference in my skin, and has helped a lot in not feeling the need to suffocate it all the time with product.


The reason I'm choosing to tell this little story is because I hope maybe I can save others from taking so long to go through these motions before coming out the other side and realising it was all so unnecessary. I know that as teenagers and young adults it's almost impossible to get rid of some of the self confidence and self esteem issues we may deal with, it's all a part of growing up and becoming more self aware, and it's never a process or journey I'd want to take away from me or anyone because it makes you who you are later in life. What I don't want is for it to become such a burden, such a constant thought and struggle that it takes away your precious time.

You're going to look back on photos one day, see your young, wrinkle-free skin and wonder how you could have ever thought that covering it all up with makeup and ruining your complexion by doing so was a good idea. I understand that some people unfortunately get dealt a tough card and deal with acne and breakouts much worse than I've ever experienced, but as someone who certainly has temperamental skin and who does need to make sure I regularly clean it and pamper it to keep it from falling to shit, I know that packing on makeup won't solve your problem. It might hide it for a a few hours, but it will actually make the problem worse in the long run. The best thing you can do is put time and some money dollars into your skincare and make sure you're on top of it everyday, and if you're really in need, head to a skin specialist for more advice and tips.

I still love makeup as much as the next girl, I love getting ready for a night out and doing my face up, I love opening mail and seeing new products for me to try and glam myself up with and I don't think I'll ever not feel that way. But makeup should not take over your life, it shouldn't become something that damages your self esteem when you're without it.

You my friend are downright, 100% gorgeous; if you can't see it now I promise you that you will, and so does everyone around you.


(similar) 90S Mom Jean

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