I can remember when I first started wearing makeup. My mom, aunt and grandma were always very nicely put together with flattering makeup and accessories, and I remember that giddy feeling in my stomach when I looked in the mirror and felt like I was starting to look like them when I added a little mascara. My friends were starting to wear it too, and I was very pleased to know I would be included in this new stage of womanhood. It can all seem very harmless, and it felt that way to me at the time. But the problem is that this was the stage in my young life that my entire body was changing. Everything about the way I looked and how much I cared about the perceptions of my peers was changing. This is where the problem originally begins with makeup. It isn’t about a style preference or even whether or not you chose to wear makeup; it’s about the deceptive notion that we need makeup to be complete. We establish a love for ourselves at a young age based upon an appearance that isn’t truly who we are.

I was the extreme example of this problem. I couldn’t stand to see myself without makeup until I was almost 20 years old. I used to reapply makeup at sleepovers. I would wear it to field hockey camp in spite of the sweat that would force it to burn my eyes. I would edit my photos for hours to fit my expectation of blur on my skin and contrast on my eyes and lips. I would sneak away in the mornings of vacations before my high school boyfriend would wake up so that I could put makeup on before he had a chance to see what I truly looked like in the morning. I never saw any problem with this at the time. Now, it inspires an instant lump in my throat. I learned to love an image in the mirror with more defined eyes and even toned skin. That was the only me I wanted to see. I never learned to love what I really look like. Even now, when I close my eyes and imagine how I look and how other people see me, I imagine myself with makeup on. Many of you reading this probably do as well. It’s a problem, and one that begins when we are girls. We start wearing makeup before we even have a chance to know who we are without it, let alone love who we are without it.

Most girls didn’t grow up with quite the dependence that I once had, but many are guilty of thinking that a clean face is an empty one. However, the most severe of our crimes are passing those feelings on to young girls when they are trying to establish self-love. Many reading this would be embarrassed to be seen at the store by someone they know without their makeup on. Many reading this have felt the need to cover up their wrinkles, blemishes and anything deemed an imperfection. Many reading this have seen a person who normally wears makeup without it and felt they looked wrong. The truth is that being without makeup isn’t backwards and wrong, our mindsets are. It isn’t about whether or not you choose to wear makeup; it’s about the reasons that you do so.

Understand the grave importance of establishing a love for yourself. If you are a mother or a female role model of any kind, the moment that you start allowing a young girl to wear makeup is not a fun little milestone, it’s a responsibility. If you give that kind of influence to someone trying to build their confidence amongst all of the other changes with their body and peers, there can be powerful effects. Start with yourself. I’ve learned that with every passing day I can make little changes to love who I am more. I now intentionally decide not to wear make-up on some days. When I first started dating my boyfriend, I decided to go make-up less right away instead of be ashamed like I was when I was younger. I’ve started wearing less of it and introducing my true face to the people around me because make-up needs to be a choice and not a necessity. I do this because I know in my heart I deserve that confidence, and because I never want my own insecurities to effect women of any age that are in my life, including my future daughters. I want to keep changing for the better and inspire all strong and beautiful women to do the same. Let people love you for who you are underneath. You don’t have to cut makeup out of your life completely; you just have to live with the mindset that it is addition to your beauty, not something that is necessary to complete it. Pass that confidence on to your daughters and nieces. Pass it on to your friends. Keep it in your soul and let it shine through your true beauty.

More About the Author

Lexi Herrick
Lexi Herrick
Lexi is the founder of HerTrack.com. She is also a digital marketer and writer currently working for Seer Interactive in Philadelphia, PA as an SEO Associate. Lexi contributes to a number of global online publications and is always trying to get involved in the conversation. She's an advocate for equality, knowledge, healthy relationships, compassion, self-confidence, integrity and above all, love. She's addicted to caffeinated beverages and people who make her smile.
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10 comments

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I found myself nodding while reading this because I used to be the same. I only used eyeliner but I was incredibly obsessed with it, I didn’t let a single person see me without it, even when I was in my house and someone came to visit, I had to wear it. I felt so ugly and insecure without it. But because I’ve been in my house for months without having to wear it, I learned to accept me and get used to seeing my face like that. Now, when I like me the most is when I remove all my makeup and my face is fresh. I still wear it but not like before. It’s amazing when you get used to your nude face without feeling ugly.

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As someone who doesn’t wear make-up I feel like I’m also affected by this. Girls ask why I never wear make-up or if I need a makeover. Girls act like you have to wear make-up to look professional, but I hate make-up. My face will always be bare :p

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This is so well-written and very inspiring. Thank you.

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I love this post, and I am so grateful my mother taught me to only use makeup “to define, not cover your face.” Recently I’ve been too busy to wear foundation every day and I got a lump in my throat when my grandma said “I don’t know what makeup you’re using but your skin looks great!” Great article πŸ™‚

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Love it! This is something I am getting better about, although I will admit that I continue to struggle. Concealer, foundation, primer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, etc used to be my routine. Now I find myself only applying a touch of concealer, eyeshadow, and mascara. It’s a day to day battle but I’m learning to love myself.

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I have struggled with this since I was a teen. I still combat severe acne problems. I have been to many dermatologist and understand that my acne is hereditary and can use products to lessen the severity of it but chances of every having a “clear” blemish free face is not going to happen. I am left with many scars, blemishes and now wrinkles. My children and husband are the only people who ever see me without makeup. So I support you all who go without make up. Maybe some day I could too.

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I love what you have put up here! I know a lot of girls who need to read this.

Honestly, I have been brought up by a mother who started using a lipstick occasionally in her 30’s! Not because she is flawlessly beautiful but because she was never too inclined towards it. I grew up with the same mind set. Today I am in my early 20’s and the only make up I find comfort in is the Kohl. That too rarely. Lipsticks make me feel awkward like those aren’t my lips which are so red or pink or the other pop hues available. I detest the fairness creams and thankfully none of my loved ones feel I need to lighten my skin tone from the normal Indian dusky tones.

I am glad make up is no longer a necessity but a choice to you πŸ™‚

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I love what you have put up here! I know a lot of girls who need to read this.

Honestly, I have been brought up by a mother who started using a lipstick occasionally in her 30’s! Not because she is flawlessly beautiful but because she was never too inclined towards it. I grew up with the same mind set. Today I am in my early 20’s and the only make up I find comfort in is the Kohl. That too rarely. Lipsticks make me feel awkward like those aren’t my lips which are so red or pink or the other pop hues available. I detest the fairness creams and thankfully none of my loved ones feel I need to lighten my skin tone from the normal Indian dusky tones.

I am glad make up is no longer a necessity but a choice to you πŸ™‚

Lexi Herrick
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Thank you so much for sharing your own experiences! You sound like you a woman with your head on straight and I’m really glad to hear you’re reading my posts!

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