How My Job Contributed to My Makeup Habit

by Ginger on May 14, 2013

in Becoming Myself, Makeup and Beauty, The 9-5

So, it’s clear around here that I’ve gotten a little into makeup and nail polish and beauty boxes and the like. Which is fun and interesting (and terrible for my bank account). But given that prior to the last few months, my makeup routine took all of 5 minutes in the morning and could, very easily, be done with 4 products, it IS, I think, a little odd, this new habit/hobby.

Or I did, until this morning.

One of my friends on Twitter said something about the crazy amount of lip stuff from my last post and how she was impressed with my ability to gussy up. And my answer dawned on me:

“I think it’s something I’ve started doing more to get me through crappy days at work.”

I can match some of my growing interest in getting gussied up to the timeline of work going absolutely bananas. Sure, some of it has to do with me coming out of the funky cloud of depression and anxiety. And sure, there’s an element in there of becoming friends with more people who are into makeup and beauty stuff and talk/write about it a fair amount (Laura and TJ in particular have helped fuel my newfoundish makeup obsessions), and once I started getting into it, I realized, HEY, it’s fun to talk about this stuff with other people who like to talk about this stuff. And sure, there is an element of “this is a fun hobby, it’s fun to collect pretty things!” that’s there as well.

But it’s also a hobby that makes me feel good about myself, during the day, out in the world where people see me. And if I’m totally honest, I need that perk at work a LOT these days. I…don’t always feel great about myself at work lately. I feel overworked and undervalued and talked over and ignored. I have more work than one person can manage, and I never can do it all enough to please everyone. And there are days when I seriously feel like the only thing people do is complain about what I’m NOT doing, while completely ignoring everything I AM doing.

So maybe it’s no surprise that, around the same time that work started going bonkers, I found something that makes me feel pretty and special and noticeable in good ways. If I need to be a power player at work, it’s amazing what wearing a bold read lipstick will do to help me feel like I’m capable of kicking ass and taking names. If I’m feeling completely overwhelmed, it’s nice to feel like I at least LOOK put together. And on days when I’m stuck doing absolutely no creative work at all because I’m buried under sales reports and technical issues and management and budgets and and and and….it’ s nice to have this one little creative thing with me, that makes me feel good about myself.

Look, I realize this might sound completely bonkers. I’m not trying to say that makeup makes me good at my job–I’m damn good at my job, makeup or no. And I’m not trying to say that makeup LETS me deal with other people, or gets me to do things I’m scared/nervous to do. No, I deal with people because it’s my job, and I rarely, if ever, get scared/nervous at work. But what makeup has been giving me is something to smile about on the all to frequent days when my job beats me into the ground. It’s giving me a little…oomph. That’s all.

AND it’s a fun hobby. That too.


Erica May 15, 2013 at 7:27 am

My mom has always been really into makeup and accessorizing. It’s something she does for herself. I get it. I say do what you need to do. When I was working I was much more into my clothes… It does help.

Tragic Sandwich May 15, 2013 at 7:45 am

Oh, same here! I have a whole makeup history that will probably become a blog post of its own, but for quite a while I gave it up completely. Mr. Sandwich is not a fan of makeup (I know I’ve gotten it right when he says, “I can’t tell you’re wearing any”), and I’m not that into it anyhow. But I started wearing it again recently, and that’s definitely tied to coming out of a funk (mostly) at work.

I’ve stopped for the past week, but that’s mostly due to bad morning planning and a time crunch.

Melinda May 16, 2013 at 8:50 am

My increase in makeup obsession started nearly the same way. I’ve been stressed and not feeling well, and putting on pretty things make me feel a little better. I might not control things that happen at work or other stressors, but I can control the pretty eye shadow and nail polish that I use. Enjoy it because there are way worse things to do to handle stress.

Charleen May 19, 2013 at 6:33 am

I’ve started getting more into it for a lot of the same reason. Through high school, college, and most of my twenties, I never put much effort into hair or makeup… I always thought people did all that mostly for other people, and I just didn’t find it worth the effort. And yet, I’ve recently discovered that I do feel better about myself if I put in the effort… so, if I’m doing it for me and no one else… maybe it is worth it. I’m closer to discovering a hair style I like (well, I HAVE discovered it, I just can’t always achieve it) and I’ve probably tripled my makeup collection in the past six months or so (and yet it still pales in comparison to yours or TJ’s).

Turning 30 next month probably has a little to do with it as well.

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