The Face I Face

Look at me, always back at it with the word play that usually makes no sense outside of my own head. I will never learn.

Today I wanted to have a relaxing Friday chat because let’s be honest, I get to a point in the week where full-on ranting is just too much.

We’ve all been there: we looked at our face in the mirror and just wanted to turn away or cringe or both. Luckily makeup is there to fix things up, right?

I used to despise makeup, probably because I was forced to wear bright blush and lipstick for dance recitals starting in kindergarten. Not exactly a way to convince me to wear the stuff every day. But once I discovered YouTube, Sephora, and the power of practice, I realized how relaxing and enjoyable wearing makeup could be. I don’t know why I feel so zenned and calmed by lining my eyes or filling in my brows, but at times, it’s magical.

I’m glad I didn’t start that transition toward beauty until my high school years. I know I would have easily misused makeup any earlier, when my self-esteem was rock bottom. I really did not enjoy how I looked. Not saying high school was a complete 180, but it was certainly better. And in that time, I have had my fair share of Sephora visits and online orders. When my favorite brands come out with “the next new thing,” I’m intrigued.

Over the past month or so, I’ve noticed a change in my normal makeup routine. Although my face looks natural even when wearing about 11 products on a typical day, I’ve started wearing makeup less often. I either don’t wear it at all, or I don’t feel obligated to do the whole shebang. I still have days where I’m definitely using all of my usual products, but my attitude toward the routine has changed. Before, I would feel almost naked or incomplete without wearing everything. Or I even felt like I didn’t look right. In high school, I was so consistent with my makeup to the point that when I saw myself without it, I thought a stranger was looking back at me in the mirror.

I make the situation sound very dramatic, as usual. But I think reevaluating my habits and readjusting as I see fit has been an essential part in my overall well-being. As I have become more comfortable with myself, I have begun to appreciate my bare face more. Instead of covering up my flaws, the random breakouts, redness and dark circles, I accept them. Chances are other people don’t care and aren’t analyzing those details that you think stand out like sore thumbs.

This also brings about the question of choosing whether or not to wear makeup. Is it inappropriate to go bare faced to certain places? Possibly, but I believe it’s a personal choice. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to fit into a mold of what’s expected of you to feel normal and accepted. It’s your face. Do what you want with it, whatever makes you feel comfortable. Never want to touch a makeup product any day of your life? No problem. Want to save it for special occasions? Cool beans. Or if you can do a killer cat eye and want to show off your skills every day, kudos to you (also, teach me your ways).

No matter how you want to use makeup, it should be uplifting, not masking. Makeup is only as beautiful as the person wearing it. And trust me, you’re beautiful, especially when you radiate confidence and positivity. Makeup is a great creative outlet and an interesting industry. And I know I will love it for the unforeseeable future. But I’m happy knowing that I’m still whole and complete without it. I don’t force myself to go through the motions if I’m not in the mood. I allow days for my skin to breathe, or just want a quick swipe of mascara or concealer, and that’s okay. It’s my perfectionist’s way of letting go of some of that strict control and taking each day at a time. Not only is it easier if I want a few more minutes of sleep, but it’s healthier for my mindset. I’d like to think I’m getting closer toward greater self-acceptance.

But if you ever want a makeup recommendation or need someone to spend over an hour in a Sephora store with, holla.

TGIF. Take a break and relax. You deserve it.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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