I wear it about twice a month.
I used to wear it everyday. Full face makeup. I had my routine down to just under 15 minutes.
In high school, I never left my house WITHOUT makeup on. In college, I was a bit more lax, but only in summer months or when headed to the gym. After college, I worked for The Body Shop, and sold makeup on the daily; makeup was a part of the wardrobe requirement.
After JBird was born, I stopped wearing makeup regularly (like most busy moms), but I still put it on whenever I left the house (which wasn’t all that often).
Then somewhere along the way in the past 3 years, I’ve kind of stopped wearing makeup all together. I wear it when I go to work, but that’s only 2 times a month. I put it on when I go on dates with my husband, but that’s only once a year.
Right now, all of my makeup is expired or empty. I plan on buying new stuff, but it’s not a priority right now. Actually, makeup is my postpartum gift to myself. For the days when I still don’t feel quite like myself, and need a bit of a confidence boost. This is on my list. Plus, makeup is fun to play with when I want to take self portraits and family photos.
Onward, to my dilemma. I have a daughter. She watches me as I put on makeup, probably because it happens so rarely. She is a very keen observer.
Last week, as I was trying to coax the very last of the mascara out of its tube, I had a panicky realization:
Oh Dear God, what would I say if she asked me why I wear makeup? I feel like my knee-jerk reaction is to say “because it makes me feel pretty”; which I feel is what we’ve all been brainwashed into saying by various companies and commercials. But, that’s not really why I wear it. I feel pretty everyday. I honestly cannot think of a reason why I wear makeup that doesn’t come out vain, or stupid, or would give the wrong message to her.
Maybe makeup makes me look prettier to other people, or at the very least I stand out more when I wear it. But I’m not sure that’s true either.
Maybe makeup makes me more approachable. I’ve noticed that strangers come up to me regularly when I wear makeup.
Maybe it’s because I just want to feel jazzy every once in awhile. This is probably more the reason than anything.
I like makeup. It’s fun. But at the same time it doesn’t define me.
Makeup makes me look on the outside how I see myself on the inside. These are the words I’ve been looking for.
If your young daughter, who already sees you as the most beautiful person she knows, asked you “Why do you wear makeup?”, what would you say? What does your response say to her about how you see yourself? What does it say to her about the way she sees herself?
Here’s what I’m getting at: If you wear makeup because it makes you feel pretty (as your main reason), you are planting the seed in your daughter’s brain that she too isn’t pretty enough. So, when you respond “because it makes me feel pretty”, you are destroying a tiny part of her reality (the one where YOU are prettier than any princess in any movie or book). If YOU, the fairest in the land, does not see how beautiful you are, does that mean that she’s not as pretty as she sees herself too? Heavy stuff, right? Be mindful with your response.
There’s nothing wrong with being pretty or wanting to feel pretty. I like to feel pretty. It makes me feel good. However, being “pretty” doesn’t come from a jar or a tube, it comes from inside. It comes from your soul. It comes from being happy; happy with who you are, and happy with where you are. It comes from being kind. It comes from being strong. It comes from liking who you are.
Liking who you are, without makeup on, is a powerful thing. It gives you more confidence than any powder, concealer, or gloss will. Try it.
I’m not pretty because of makeup, I’m pretty because I’m me.
Words are important. They are shaping young minds. Be thoughtful with yours. (This applies to everything in life).
**Once I stopped wearing makeup everyday, my face stopped breaking out. I actually only wash my face on days that I wear makeup now. Removing oils from your face everyday causes more breakouts. When I do have breakouts, I use apple cider vinegar (diluted with 1 part water) as a toner, and frankincense oil to moisturize. The smell takes some time to get used to, but the results are kind of amazing**
**Isn’t it funny when people get accustomed to seeing you with makeup on, then when you decide to not wear it one day, everyone thinks you’re sick or upset. Doesn’t that make you feel wonderful? What does that say about the way “we” (as a culture, society, gender) view women who don’t wear makeup? “Oh, she must be sick. Poor thing.” **