I stumbled upon this video and couldn’t stop laughing, smiling, and admiring everything about it.
It inspired me to tell you about my makeup adventures throughout the years. Let’s start out with middle school.
I eased my way into wearing makeup starting with lip gloss. When I was in eighth grade, I ventured into my mother’s makeup box. I found a stick of blue mascara, and was intrigued. It was an old tube of mascara, of course I had no idea what that meant when I found it. I used it anyway, and might I add, I applied it poorly. I thought it went well with my go-to shades of eyeshadow. I’d usually go with baby pink or baby blue. Why? Lord, I have no idea. Soon, I began to experiment with other eyeshadow shades based on what I was wearing that day. An orange shadow to go with my orange graphic tee, or an olive green shadow to match my over-sized camouflage shorts. (I had a horrible fashion sense back then.)
I just wanted my pale face to have more color, which is how I got into bronzer. I’m sure eighth graders now may already know how to use bronzer well, but I didn’t at this stage in my life. I didn’t realize it then, but later on, I could see that I had no method whatsoever with applying bronzer. I just put it onto my face, and instead of using it as a contour (I don’t think I knew what that meant at the time,) I just looked like I had dirt smeared all over my face.
I think I must’ve done a bit of “finding myself” during my freshman year of high school. At this point, I was in love with coral-brown shades of lipstick. I also had a thing for black eyeliner and black mascara. This was when I wished my makeup skills were as up to par as the rest of the girls my age. I longed to trade my short, sparse lashes for long, thick ones. It was also during freshman year that I figured out I probably needed to wear waterproof mascara. My yearlong allergies affected how makeup looked on me. My eyes were always super watery, making my makeup run. At one point, I remember looking in the mirror and seeing one eye looking perfect, with the usual black mascara and thick black eyeliner and eye shadow, and seeing the other eye barely having any makeup on the lashes and lid whatsoever! I shudder thinking back at how uneven everything must’ve looked when this happened.
After investing in waterproof mascara, my days were wonderfully changed. I also discovered colored eyebrow gel. My eyebrows are naturally bleach blonde and that looked quite odd when I wore the usual dark eye makeup. It’s safe to say that the blonde eyebrow gel helped in framing my face more.
When sophomore year came around, I distinctly remember having my eyebrows dyed dark brown whenever I went to get a haircut. Now my brows were super defined in color, just not shape. I don’t think I plucked at this point, but I did a little dabble in eyebrow threading. I loved it! I would do it more often, but I don’t dye my brows enough to do so. I’m afraid if I show up in an eyebrow threading chair with my normal bleach blonde eyebrows, everything will go poorly. Also during this year, I wore a lot of heavy liquid foundation. I brought back the bronzer, but with a bit more skill this time. I also introduced myself to blush. I don’t know how my face didn’t just break out all the time with so many heavy, cheap products on my skin. I discovered the eyelash curler, and it totally works wonders! My lashes thank the creator.
Junior year was full of brown eyeshadow. Oh, my goodness. I don’t know how many eyeshadow palettes I used up, but I used mainly the brown shades. When senior year came around, I finally figured out how to perfect my eyeliner on my upper lids. I rarely wore eyeliner up there because I had no idea how to do it myself. It took a while, but I finally perfected it. I ditched the heavy bronzer and started wearing brightly colored lipstick such as fire engine red and Barbie pink.
As my high school years came to an end, freshman year of college brought a new set of makeup rules to my attention. I started doing my eyebrows with pencils instead of that brow gel. I tested out so many eyebrow pencil products. I’m still doing that now. My go-to makeup routine consisted of black, waterproof mascara and this silver-purple/white-purple (shadow) smoky eye.
Sophomore year of college was an interesting one. I spent so many days without makeup on. I think I was already tired of going to school and going to work, haha. The boring routine really just got to me. I stopped using liquid foundation. I either didn’t wear any at all or just stuck with powder. Everything just felt so liberating.
Junior and senior years of college were just a blur makeup-wise. My daily makeup routine consisted of waterproof mascara, black eyeliner, powder foundation, powder concealer, and either bright lipstick or a colorless lip balm. I took pride in my brows, though. 🙂 I almost always penciled them in daily.
Now, we’re in present day. Where have I come? I now play around with different looks. I still do very simple makeup as describe above during my junior and senior years of college. I also do a lot of experimenting. I try new products and new ways of doing makeup from time to time. I wear what’s comfortable and what I feel like enhances my features.
Why did I tell you that long story of how I’ve worn makeup my whole life? Because after watching this video below by Anna Akana, I couldn’t help but wonder about the reasons for me wearing makeup.
At first, I wore it to fit in and “make myself look pretty.” Now, I wear it to enhance my features. I like that I can make my cheekbones stand one day, or make my eye color really pop, or make my eyebrows look really cool. I also love the feeling of not wearing any makeup at all.
I’ve had experiences in the past where people have asked me, “Oh, are you feeling OK? You look sick/tired!” every time I didn’t wear makeup. I’ve come to a conclusion that people have said this because all they’ve ever seen was me wearing makeup. That’s all they know me by. The makeup on my face does not define me. Sure, I may look a little tired without makeup on, or like none of the features on my face stand out, but that’s just ME.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that I need to wear less makeup and wear makeup less often. I’m absolutely fine walking out of the house with no makeup on. It just bugs me that my friends and co-workers who see me all the time would point out something so obvious. “Oh, you look different.” “Oh, you look tired!” “Whoa, someone partied hard last night, huh?” It’s JUST because I’m not wearing makeup. I’m the same person! But I shouldn’t get mad at them. Not really. I should just show them my makeup-free face more often.
When I started going to the gym on a regular basis again a couple months back, I realized something about makeup. I’ve never worn makeup to the gym these past couple of months. The people there like me just the same. The truth is, most of them have never seen me with makeup on before. If these strangers who are now my friends thought I was beautiful without makeup, others can think so too. Plus, it feels liberating not wearing makeup all the time. Now I only wear makeup about 3 days a week instead of the usual 7 for so many years.
In the end, I’ll use makeup to enhance my features, not to mask anything. Thank you, Anna, for your spunky attitude and thoughtful words.