Hello, 6th grade. The year was 2000 and I turned 12 years old. As most women know, middle school brought a whole new level of self-awareness. The act of comparing myself to other women commenced. Girls in my grade returned from summer break wearing bras, lip gloss, and eye shadow.
I had no need for a bra, but when I asked my mom if she could buy me one- she did. In the 7th grade, she even let me wear one with a little padding. 16 years later, I’m 5’7″ and a 32A (in all likelihood the same size I wore in 6th grade). I never achieved that B cup I wanted at 12.
I wanted to look like the other girls.
Step 1: I had my bra now (even though I forgot to wear it sometimes)- Check.
Now I needed the eye shadow. I NEEDED BLUE EYE SHADOW.
My mom said no to the blue.
“But everyone is wearing blue!” (and that statement was true- it was 2000 after all). Instead, she bought me a light brown eyeshadow. “If you wear blue eyeshadow you are going to look back at photos of yourself and wonder why you ever thought that looked good.”
Before the end of the school year, I had convinced her to buy the blue eye shadow. And now I look back at pictures and wonder why I ever thought it looked good.
My Relationship with Makeup Begins
Why did my mother buy me makeup in the 6th grade? Now that I’m a mother myself, I can imagine it was because I came to her. I asked her permission instead of sneaking eye shadow in my backpack and putting it on at school.
I don’t know her reasons, but I know mine.
My reason for wearing makeup was to fit in.
By the 8th grade, I had developed acne. I have very light skin that scars very easily. My reason for wearing makeup shifted from wanting to fit in, to wanting to cover my acne and scars. I needed makeup to feel confident and to cover up my imperfections and that hasn’t changed much since the 8th grade.Makeup is not a tool to mask insecurities, but a tool to promote self-love. Click To Tweet
A New Relationship Why do Women Wear Makeup
These friends wear makeup for the RIGHT reasons. I wore make up for the wrong reasons.
Makeup does not bring me joy.
I wrote about how physical possessions can influence our emotions. Like the coffee table in that article, makeup easily controlled my feelings of self-worth and confidence. I was ready to take back that control. Other women have decided to not wear makeup for other intentional reasons.
The 4 Reasons I Stopped Wearing Makeup
- Foundation was a band-aid to bad skin instead of taking care of myself.
- Makeup did not bring me joy.
- I spent a lot of money on makeup- yet the “feel good” of a new product would only last a couple of weeks.
- The lack of self-confidence I felt without makeup on- I did not want makeup to have that control over me.
An Intentional Makeup Routine
I’ve arrived at the destination now. I’m where I want to be with self-esteem and self-confidence. I am taking care of my skin instead of covering up the problems, and it has never looked better. Today, I wear moisturizer, sunscreen, and a little mascara. I’m ready to start a new relationship with makeup- an intentional relationship built on self-love.
The 4 Reasons I’m Starting A New Makeup Routine
- I love my blue eyes and how using a brown eyeliner makes them pop.
- I love my smile and how a subtle plum lip color makes it even brighter.
- I love my skin- the acne scars have almost vanished, and mineral foundation adds a little more glow to skin that is already well cared for.
- When my daughter asks to start wearing makeup, we can talk how makeup is not a tool to mask insecurities, but a tool to promote self-love.
5 Women Share Their Favorite Attribute
- Terryn || writer at Just a Simple Home– “My favorite part of my face is my eyes because my family always says my eyes tell them what I’m thinking. My girls like to help me pick out what color eye makeup to wear too!”
- Samantha|| writer at Carter’s Cozy Nest– “I love my green eyes and fair Irish complexion, and playing up both of them – light on the foundation so a few freckles peek through, and playing with shades of plum on my eyes – is a ton of fun! My absolute favorite part of my face, though, comes from my Cherokee blood. I have the Irish skin and eyes, even my nose is distinctly Irish, but my cheekbones are Cherokee through and through! I love to play with contouring to really make them stand out, and I always feel uniquely beautiful because of how this cool combination feature sets me apart.”
- Kristen || writer at Shifting Roots– “I love my hair and nails. They are the two things that I do almost nothing with because they’re perfect just the way they are. My hair is naturally just-spent-a-day-at-the-ocean wavy and my nails look like I got a french manicure. I’ve been asked by strangers if both are real.”
- Hilary || writer at Writings and Worship– “I love my eyes, especially my lashes. My eye color is unique and my lashes are fairly long and thick. It’s definitely my favorite part of my face. Sometimes I love adding mascara because it just accentuates what I already have!”
- Casey || writer at Casey the College Celiac– “I love my cleft chin. Compared to my dad’s and sister’s, my cleft is more gentle and not as obvious. However, I love knowing that I’ll always carry a part of my dad with me – and perhaps pass it down to my children.”
What feature do you love the most about your face? How do you use makeup as a tool to develop self-love versus insecurities? Share your story in the comments!