It’s Wednesday afternoon. I am sitting in my living room, chair reclined, hair up in a messy bun I actually worked very hard on, and a face of makeup on my otherwise dull and blotchy face. It is only a matter of time before my mom, dad, and brother come home from work and ask me the dreaded question: why are you wearing a face full of makeup just to sit at home and watch TV?
I realize this sounds slightly pathetic as I write. Fortunately, it’s probable that a lot of people cannot relate because unlike me: a lot of people are employed. However, I do know from past experiences that this very question gets asked in the workplace as well as outside of it. Why are you wearing so much makeup to go to work? Why did you beat your face down just to stare at a computer? Who are you trying to impress here in the office? Etc. I’m sure you know what I mean. The best reaction to this, I found, is to roll your perfectly winged and shadowed eyes and walk away. Because no matter how many times we try to explain, most people continue to view us as shallow or try-hards.
Us makeup lovers seriously get so much shade. If we are not getting reamed for wearing too much or wearing too little, we are getting butchered for how much we spend on it (and yes even I can agree that sometimes $60 for foundation is outrageous) but there is no harm in indulging on something you are passionate about.
I see the face as a canvas and my foundations and concealers and highlighters are the tools I use to make art. I enjoy sitting at my vanity, tying my hair back, applying lotion, and going IN. I look forward to that every morning even if I am not going anywhere. Even if I am just sitting on the couch watching TV all day, I look forward to creating art on my face and experimenting and improving. I enjoy trying out crazy colored eyeliners and discovering which eye shadows bring out my brown eyes. I enjoy trying different blending techniques. It’s like everyday is a new creation.
Take an artist for example. Not a makeup artist, but tools on canvas (or what have you) kind of artist. This artist can experiment with pastels, watercolors, spray paint, anything. All of these different mediums and tools are very expensive, and still, I don’t think it’s as looked down upon. I am in no way implying that artists have it easy (I know very well it’s difficult and can get discouraging) but I do know that when people find out my eyeliner is $20, I always get the same reaction: why spend $20 on eyeliner when you can get it for $5 at Wal-Mart? Well, the same reason the artist wants to spend hundreds on legitimate supplies. The same reason that car lover spends thousands supping up his truck.
But the hardest part isn’t even the judgment we get for spending. It’s the constant assumption that because we wear a lot of make up it means we are insecure.
I have had girlfriends of mine tell me I “don’t need to try too hard” and put me down for how much I wear. I have had douche bag guys ask me what I’m hiding behind all of that “fake,” and of course I have had the classic boyfriend pep talk: “why do you wear so much makeup? You look so much better natural.” And it’s seriously simple: because I want to. Because applying it makes me happy, and yes, I admit, a little more confident. Because when my wings are sharp and my contour is fierce I feel like I can literally do anything. No, I don’t need it to feel that way but it definitely helps.
So, I am going to contour and highlight the heck out of my face before that doctor’s appointment and before that baseball game and especially before that job interview. I am going to spend that $60 on that foundation because it’s probably going to make me glow like the heavens and make my skin as soft as a puppies furry little head. I am going to beat my face down and wear it loud and proud and not because I’m insecure. Not because I have to. Because I want to.