I went through a year or two in my adult life where I quit wearing make up. It may have started out during one of those “you’re beautiful without makeup/love your face” movements…I don’t remember exactly, but it morphed into, “I don’t give a rip how my face looks and I’m just too lazy to spend any time on it.” Don’t mistake me: if you’re not wearing makeup out of some feeling of self-empowerment or feminism, or as some social statement, I’m not telling you to do it anyway or implying that you’re lazy; I think you’ll get the underlying point and can apply it in some other way.
The problem with what happened to me was that I quit caring altogether. I mean, it’s hard not to; when you gain a bunch of weight and spend 11 hours (including your commute) at a place and doing something that doesn’t exactly thrill you, it’s easy to start feeling like you don’t matter. And sometimes, that manifests itself in a physical way. For me, it was to quit everything that had to do with taking care of my skin and face. I quit washing my face before bed, quit using moisturizer, and quit wearing makeup except on Sundays (because I still cared just enough to not want to look slovenly on local public-access television). I don’t think I even plucked my eyebrows for months (hellooooooo Frida Kahlo).
Here’s the thing, though: it wasn’t about the makeup. It was about feeling like I wasn’t worth enough to spend a little time taking care of myself. Over the course of just a few years, I’d put on 80 pounds, and I found myself in a job/industry far from what I’d studied to do, and my life not looking at all like I’d hoped led me to decide that it wasn’t worth it to “waste” the time to do a few little things to make me feel a little prettier…a little better about myself.
So I started putting on a little makeup. Not a ton. Just the below few items (although I do add a little sparkly eyeshadow, mascara, and tinted lip balm on Sundays).
Just Bare Minerals Foundation (in Fairly Light because I’m basically Casper), Bare Minerals “Warmth” as blush and eyeshadow, and a little eyeliner. It literally takes me three minutes. I even take it with me and put it on as soon as I get to the office so I don’t waste any time at home that I would otherwise spend drinking coffee before I leave for work.
I’m not telling you to spend hours on yourself…that’s why I included the caveat, “but not too much.” It can be easy to get too caught up in appearances, or to become so insecure that you feel that spending lots of time trying to perfectly craft your appearance/persona is necessary (this is true with more than just makeup, too…social media jealousy, anyone?). It’s not. What’s necessary is to find a sense of worth outside of what you look like or what you do. For me, it was realizing that I have a husband who loves me, family who loves me, and I serve a God who doesn’t care what I look like, but also doesn’t want me to not take care of myself. And that, in light of those things, I should take a little time and do a few things to remind myself that I’m worth it.
I encourage you to remember that, and to carve out a little time for yourself and to find a way to treat yourself well.
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