Makeup and Me
When I was younger I was never particularly interested in makeup and that apathy towards it probably lasted well into my late teens. Makeup can be a pretty difficult and divisive topic to talk about. So many people have opinions about women and makeup and you seem to be stuck, or judged, whichever choice you make. Some people say women are 'letting themselves go' if they don't make the effort to wear makeup while others argue that women wear too much and consequently are liars... You can't win. The media plays such a huge role in furthering this judgement regarding makeup. You only have to walk past the magazine counter in a shop to see the headlines, 'Famous person A goes makeup free and looks like a model', 'Famous person B looking haggard without makeup, oh and did you notice all that weight she's put on too?' ...Ok so they're not real headlines, but I refuse to do a search and give these sites clicks for real ones, and you get the gist!
I mentioned in this post that when I was younger I used to do a lot of dancing. I competed in festivals and performed in pantomimes and other theatre shows every year from the age of about 6 until 18. If you've ever seen anyone who has to wear stage makeup you'll know how ridiculous it looks up close. Think bright blue eyeshadow, foundation two shades darker than your skin tone so the lights don't wash it out, bright red lipstick, thick eyeliner and mascara, blusher and once I even had big red dots painted in the corners of my eyes to exaggerate the usual red corner. I think because I had to wear such heavy makeup from an early age it meant I was never particularly bothered about it in a general day to day way. I think I only started wearing mascara and a bit of eyeliner when I went to college and then explored it a little more at uni with foundation etc. I generally wear some form of makeup to work but there are often days (especially when the Museum is closed) that I don't wear any at all. I've been experimenting more recently with lipsticks, although I never think it particularly suits me. I enjoy trying new colours, swatching them all on my arm and hand in the shop, working out whether I can really pull that shade of red off. Makeup helps me become that little bit more confident and feel a little more professional. I have the problem that I'm very short and I look quite young so people sometimes don't always take me seriously so makeup can help a little in those instances.
I dislike and disagree with the idea that to enjoy makeup and wear it means that you must be vapid or vain. Makeup can be an art form and the use of it, by both men and women, has been around in almost every civilisation. For me makeup is a very personal thing. From the choice of products to use to the time spent (however briefly and bleary eyed in the morning) solely on yourself. An act of self-love to prepare you for the day ahead.