When we put on makeup, think about what we’re actually doing. We’re picking ourselves apart and finding ‘imperfections’ to cover up with concealer. We point out the things we don’t like about our skin and hide them beneath a layer of foundation or a swipe of mascara. We’re only looking at the negatives of our reflection that we want to change.
Don’t get me wrong, I love makeup. I love how you can enhance your features and create art in any way you want through your makeup. I admit that I spend way too much money buying new products (especially eyeshadow palettes) and I probably wear it more than I should because it’s got to the point where I don’t feel as comfortable without it.
Putting on makeup makes us feel more confident which I always thought was a good thing. But does that mean that makeup has actually destroyed our self-esteem since some people no longer feel as good when they’re not wearing it?
A lot of us wear makeup so regularly that when we’re not, we feel strange and not as comfortable in our own skin. Most of us started wearing makeup at school and it became something we did every morning. It gets so ingrained into our everyday routine that we just don’t think to not do it.
It’s so easy to get into the habit of wearing it every day and we don’t realise how much it affects us until we are in a position where we go out without any makeup on. It starts to feel strange when you’re not wearing makeup and we find ourselves making less eye contact with people because we just don’t feel as comfortable or like ourselves.
It got to the stage where I didn’t go out of the house without makeup on because I’d feel like people were looking at my skin. If I ever did go out without makeup, I’d feel so self-conscious and aware that there was nothing enhancing my face or hiding my ‘imperfections’.
For me, my face can go really red when I’m too warm, embarrassed, feel like I’m put on the spot or even from just thinking about the fact that I don’t want to go red. This is one of the reasons I became so dependent on foundation because it meant that I didn’t have to worry about the part of my skin that I didn’t like.
Along with the dark circles under my eyes, a few spots here and there and oily skin that only powder can tame, I suddenly felt like I needed makeup all the time. It was a comfort blanket for me and a lot of other people, a sort of mask to make myself look the way I wanted to.
Not everyone, but a lot of people and myself included can feel insecure without makeup because we’re so attached to it.
I spoke about insecurities in my 8 Steps to Overcome Your Insecurities blog post, and it’s a similar situation here. We look into a mirror and stare at our reflection but only see the bad things that we want to change with makeup. I’m not saying that makeup is a bad thing at all because I enjoy doing it and I love trying new things and experimenting, but it has damaged my self-esteem in a way.
I’m trying to remind myself to not wear makeup all the time, like if I’m just going to the supermarket or to the library, but I look at the people that go to lectures and out with their friends with no makeup on and are completely confident and I’m still not at that point.