Beauty Chat // What Make-up Means To Me

After observing a recent Twitter chat about why girls wear make-up and the age-old (completely ridiculous) stereotypical claim that it’s to allure the opposite sex, it got me thinking. Akin to personality, the special people in our lives and our taste in music, I believe make-up also shapes us in some way, a way more valuable than impressing some smelly boy. Some it may be for similar reasons, others something totally different, but whatever it is, it adds to our individuality. As Diane Von Furstenberg once said, ‘Attitude is everything’, and for me, make-up positively alters my attitude – however strong or subtle.

Group Make-up Shot
I can’t recall the exact age my interest in make-up began, nonetheless I do remember foraging through my mum’s rather modest collection and drawing out a scarlet red lipstick and – favourite of many – Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation; both of which I still use to this day. Not the same ones, obviously, as that would be incongruous, but comparable items all the same. It was probably at that very point in my life that I grasped that make-up was this wonderful thing that had the power to affect you in many ways. My Mum always has been somebody that won’t leave the house without a slick of make-up, even it’s just her base and she is only going to the supermarket, but it was pretty apparent early on that make-up affected her attitude. When each feature was suitably dressed in make-up, she was ready to face the day; it was her war paint, and this has been engrained in my mind ever since.

I’ve never worn make-up with the intent to impress someone; whether that’s a guy or friends, I’ve just never thought of make-up in that way. Generally speaking, it’s one of those basic instincts for me to make me feel confident enough to grace society - to present the best possible version of myself. I’ve always been self conscious, incredibly so in fact, but I understood make-up to be my war paint; the only thing that could help me feel less paranoid, less ugly. And no, this isn’t an act of self-pity; it’s just the truth. I never was a very pretty girl growing up; I was the overweight girl with bushy eyebrows (who knew they'd make a comeback?), overgrown side burns and tomato-hued cheeks, and I hated myself. Make-up acted as a plaster for my feelings, and I was also rather creative, so I saw make-up as an art form (which I still believe). I celebrated the 90’s trends of Dream Matte Mousse, Barry M Dazzle Dusts and green and blue mascaras; it was a way I could express my personality without people assuming what I was like from my grotesque exterior.

What Makeup means to me post

Make-up started affecting my attitude, towards myself more than anybody else, and as I have gotten older I have worn less and less - I now feel more ‘pretty’ with a dewy, fresh complexion as opposed to layers of caked foundation and heavy eyeliner. My admiration for make-up has grown tremendously though, but now I purely see it as an act of expressive, fun creativity - exactly what it should be. That’s not to say I still don’t rely on make-up to make me feel suitably sassy and confident, because I would be lying if I said I didn’t, but I suppose I now prefer to enhance my features rather than relying on it as a mask. It also means I can have more fun with it without the pressure. Make-up still remains a very positive thing for me, and a topic that still excites me, maybe even more so than edible goods – and that’s saying something!

 Make-up doesn’t consume me, it’s not all of who I am, but I like to embrace make-up where I can. 

What does make-up mean to you?

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