Reasons I Wear Makeup

by Ginger on July 2, 2014

in Makeup and Beauty

You guys know I’m into makeup, yes? Yes (everyone rolls their eyes at this DUH statement). It’s been something that has become a fun little hobby that I happen to take with me wherever my face goes, and it makes me happy. I kind of wish more people would get over whatever that THING is that makes what a woman does or doesn’t put on her face any of their business (I hope if you like makeup, you wear it because you like it. If you don’t like makeup, I hope you don’t feel like you have to wear it. Who ever (whom ever?) is the owner of the face should be the one who decides what, if anything, they put on it.), but at 34, I’m confident enough to know that my feelings on what I put on my face are all that really matter.

That doesn’t mean it’s not nice occasionally when other people, especially people with a platform, re-jig their previously held opinions on makeup. Enter–John Green:

I love this for a lot of reasons, from the fact that he’s a man saying he likes wearing makeup to the fact that he admits he used to have sort of bullshit reactions to makeup. I *don’t* really love a lot of the comments, which get into soooo many of the same comments about makeup wearers and non-makeup wearers that just irk me, but as long as I don’t read the comments, I think this is pretty great.

It has, however, had me thinking about why I DO like to wear makeup. Not that I’m trying to justify, but just to analyze for myself what it is that makes makeup such a “thing” for me. There’s no one answer, and frankly it can vary from day to day, but here are a few of the reasons I wear makeup:

  • To make me smile when I look in the mirror. When I really like my makeup, or even just a part of it, it makes me happy every time I see myself. Whether it’s shiny or glittery eyeshadow, an awesome lipstick color, a blush that I applied perfectly, or a really good eyeshadow blending job, it makes me smile to see my face.
  • To express my creativity. Every day I wear makeup. Unless I’m running late/sick, I rarely wear the same exact thing day to day, especially in eye makeup. I play with colors, I play with placement. I try new techniques to try and bring out different features. Sometimes, I’ll come home after work and do a completely different face of makeup, just because I like to play. It’s a creative outlet that I happen to wear on my face.
  • To remind me of my own awesomeness. I sometimes use makeup as a way to reinforce my confidence, particularly at work. For example, I’ve been known to wear a power red lipstick when I have a meeting with our division president, because I feel powerful and badass when I wear red lipstick. It doesn’t GIVE me confidence, but it helps remind me of the confidence I already have.
  • To perk me up. I’ve been known to wear sparkly eyeshadow when I’m feeling beaten down at work/life, because I know sparkly eyeshadow gives me a little jolt of “life is awesome” regardless of what else is going on.
  • To make me feel pretty/put together/stylish. Much the same way I wear clothes that make me feel pretty/put together/stylish, or do my hair to feel pretty/put together/stylish, makeup helps me feel polished. Occasionally, I even wear makeup because I want to feel pretty for my husband, the guy who gets to look at me no matter what I’m wearing. (though it should be noted, on a day to day basis I’m pleased if he likes my makeup, but if he doesn’t, I generally still wear whatever I’m wearing if it makes ME feel awesome).
  • To get better at something. Makeup techniques are a skill that take work. I like makeup, and it has turned into a hobby, so I like getting better at it. I feel accomplished when I figure out a new makeup technique, because I have to work at it.
  • To match my personality/events/celebrations that day. If I’m feeling feisty, but I have to go to work, I can throw on some purple blush as my own subtle little FU to the corporate world. If I’m feeling bossy, I can put on a bold lipstick because who’s not going to listen to someone wearing bold lipstick? If I’m feeling a little sad, I can wear a grey eyeshadow (but maybe with some sparkles to make me feel better). Makeup can be an expression of my mood, the holidays (pink lipstick for Valentines day), things I’m celebrating (rainbow sparkles for a birthday), heck, even shows I’m watching (yes, I own Game of Thrones themed makeup).
  • To make me look on the outside how I see myself on the inside. Sometimes, I use makeup to cover up imperfections, be they dark circles or blemishes, age spots or scars. That’s usually because when I think of how I look, I don’t see imperfections. Frankly, I don’t care if people think that’s “deceptive,” I like having my image in the mirror match the image in my head. It makes me feel like me.
  • To have fun. I have fun with makeup. It’s fun, for me, to wear purple lipstick, or green eyeliner, or silver sparkly eyeshadow. It’s fun, for me, to know I’m wearing an eyeshadow called “Jareth’s Tight Pants” or eyeshadow that smells like chocolate, or lipgloss named after Nicholas Cage. It’s fun, for me, all of it. If it stops being fun, I’ll probably stop wearing it.

Notice, none of the reasons are because: society thinks I should, I look ugly without it, a man/men want me to, it’s what women should do, I want to hide the real me, I want attention. Screw all that noise. I wear makeup because I like to wear makeup, for me. For a lot of reasons, but all of them for me.

Julie July 2, 2014 at 11:17 am

You certainly don’t need a long list of reasons, but I definitely enjoyed reading it. I’m in awe of your talent and creativity with makeup, and I love the motivations behind it. You’re lovely.

Carmen July 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I enjoyed reading your list of reasons, I thank you. I wore makeup every day in senior high and for most of my undergrad degree. I did it because I felt I “had” to, because that’s what girls did in order to be attractive to others; so, when my boyfriend (now husband) told me that he preferred no makeup, I stopped. I enjoyed not arsing around with it every day, I enjoyed feeling like I was pretty enough to him that I didn’t have to deal with makeup anymore, I enjoying not having to deal with removing it at the end of the day, or having it flake into my eyes while I was wearing contacts. It feel freeing.

Fast forward 19 years…I started wearing it very sporadically after we came back from our sabbatical in Europe – I was promoted at work to Finance & Administration Manager and I felt like I needed a new look to go with the new job. But since Feb, I’ve been wearing it again every day (mostly spurred by attending PJs at TJs this year, to be honest). I like how it makes me feel and I don’t really care if Leo would prefer that I not wear it. I feel prettier. I wish I knew what the hell I was doing when it came to application, and I wish I knew what I should buy in terms of moisturizers, etc. but I am happier now that I’m taking the extra 10-15 minutes every morning to put on makeup. It feels freeing, once again.

Christa July 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

“To make me look on the outside how I see myself on the inside.”

Yes. Sometimes I am a little surprised by what I see in the mirror – and not in a happy fun way. Makeup helps negate that.

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