I was 13 years old when my mom let me wear makeup for the first time. I remember her taking me to the MAC Cosmetics counter in the mall and having the artist do my makeup. I walked away from that experience with six eyeshadows, one mascara, and a brush or two, but, more importantly, I walked away with a newfound love of makeup. I spent the next two or so years living off of the basic makeup kit my mom bought me, all the while reading magazines and watching videos about how to wear makeup and how to look great in it.
Fast-forward five years, and makeup has now become a daily process. Before I go out, I put on a myriad of products, such as foundation, concealer, eyeliner, and eyebrow gel, to name a few. I set aside anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to dedicate my time solely to putting these products on my face. Makeup has always made me feel beautiful and put-together, but that’s not the reason I wear it. I wear makeup because I love the process of putting it on. I live to spend hours in a beauty store just to walk away with three new products. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my free-time other than watching beauty tutorials online and practicing my application. For me, makeup is an endless pursuit of creative expression, yet some people still feel the need to police my makeup use and tell me that it’s unnecessary.
It’s incredible to me that in 2015 there are still people who view makeup as a mask, rather than an art-form. I’ve always looked at those who wear makeup as artists, because they take the time to use their medium to create something extraordinary. Now, I’m not talking necessarily about those who wear minimal makeup, although those people get insulted as well. I’m talking about those who use a wide array of eyeshadows; those who contour their faces. I’m talking about the people who wake up longing to try a new foundation, and who know how to bake their face. Those people are the ones who face massive criticism for doing what they love, for taking time to paint beauty on their faces. Those are the ones who get the flack they simply don’t deserve.
I think that it’s time for people to realize that makeup is a form of self-expression, not a way to hide yourself away. I wear makeup, and I know that I’m beautiful with it on, but also without it. I’m confident wearing no makeup at all, but I put it on because I love it. Makeup isn’t a way to bury yourself away from everyone else; it’s a way to help your features shine. I will continue to wear makeup for years to come, despite people telling me that I’m “beautiful without it.” I know I am, but I love makeup anyway. I hope people realize that it’s time to stop shaming others for wearing makeup, and, instead, let them do what they want. It’s time to stop making them feel bad for putting on foundation, and instead telling them that they look great with it on. Let the people who wear makeup, wear makeup. Let them show the world the art that they can create with gels and liquids and powders. Stop telling people they look beautiful without makeup, and start just simply telling them that they look beautiful.
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