A Beginner’s Guide to Makeup and Self Love

By Lily

For some, makeup is a sign of self expression, for some it’s an art, for some it’s just fun. Some people think makeup is necessary, it’s a way of concealing themselves, it’s something they feel pressured to wear. Because of a stigma around makeup many people (mostly people who don’t wear makeup) think makeup is a bad thing or something people shouldn’t wear/have to wear. In this article I wanted to talk about this idea and societal pressure I feel as a makeup wearer and hopefully inspire others to be more confident in themselves, with a full face or bare face. 

Photo by Jameson Mallari Atenta on Pexels.com

Why we wear makeup

Self expression

Similar to the clothes you wear, makeup is a form of self expression. Many people do fun colors, extravagant eye looks, a thick eyeliner, a bold lip, wear more blush, even completely change the shape of their face to express themselves.

Wearing makeup can make people feel more confident and happier, and if that’s what makes people happy we should be condoning it, not shutting it down. 

Self expression is also an important part of wearing makeup for many men or non gender conforming people who wear makeup. While it doesn’t have to be, and they can be just covering up a pimple (wearing makeup doesn’t make you any less of a man) for a lot of people who wear makeup and aren’t the traditional female, it can be a way to express who they are even further. 

Self image

In society, there’s a stigma that wearing makeup means you don’t love yourself, and often that’s far from the truth, but we’ll get to that later. 

In reality, not everyone loves themselves 24/7. We’ve all had a breakout that made us want to hide our face, we all have a flaw that discourages us, that bothers us. If you don’t love yourself right now, for whatever reason, makeup can help boost your confidence (for other tips on boosting your confidence, check out this post). It can make you feel better and more confident. We can’t force ourselves to love ourselves everyday of our lives, and that’s normal, and that’s ok.

If we can just slap on some concealer, put on some blush or some eyeliner and let ourselves be confident and forget about that one blemish on our face we’ve been bothering over, we should be able to do that and go on with our days without stressing every minute that someones judging us for it. 

Art

We don’t only wear makeup to wear it. A lot of people do makeup because it’s fun! Most makeup wearers know the excitement of getting a new product and trying it for the first time. Whether you really like doing an extravagant eye look, have fun experimenting with lip sticks, or many draw the night sky on your face, makeup is a form of art. 

Some days it takes everything in me not to put on a whole face of makeup at 7p.m. with nowhere to go just to have some fun. I love playing with makeup, and quite frankly, sometimes my experiments turn out really ugly. But that’s the point of the experiment to try something new and have fun doing it. 

Similar to how an artist draws a painting to express their emotions for the day, or a song writer writes a song about a feeling they get, makeup can be a way to express your emotions and change up your look for how you’re feeling and where you’re going.

In this case, it isn’t a form of covering up, it’s not done to be beautiful, it’s done to have fun and create art. 

Societal pressure

We don’t all wear make up for the fun, to express ourselves, to make ourselves feel better. Especially as women, we have a lot of pressure from society to act and look a certain way.

In many cultures, it is expected for a woman to wear makeup to make herself look presentable for others. Even in cultures where this expectation isn’t as prevalent, we are told blemishes make you ugly and should be covered up. We are shoved information about how our noses should look, what the shape of our eyes and face should be, we are judged by the size of our forehead or lips. 

It’s unreasonable to shove this information in peoples faces and expect them to not try to conform by changing themselves, makeup is a way many people can do that and hide their “flaws”. 

Natural Beauty

Despite many people feeling pressured to wear makeup, society also applies a pressure that we shouldn’t wear makeup.

Self love

As I mentioned before, makeup can be a way to cover up a “flaw” you have and make yourself feel better. And this can be a great thing, we don’t have to love ourselves. 

However, society, mainly non makeup wearers, have the idea that this is the only reason people wear makeup. And they think confident people would never wear makeup, they treat us like we’re hiding instead of expressing ourselves and tell us wearing makeup is a bad thing.

They tell us by wearing makeup we must hate ourselves, and we have to stop wearing it to be brave and be ourselves. When this is so far from the truth. Yet especially heavy makeup wearers are scrutinized for their choices. 

For some more information on self love, check out this article here.

“You don’t need makeup”

Phrases like this and many others are a problem. This is a common phrase many people use to do what they think would make someone blush. 

However, this sentence is implying that we only wear makeup to cover up and we think we’re ugly without it, while this is far from the truth. 

If you’ve said this before, you should check your words. Makeup isn’t always a form of hiding but a form of self expression and art, chances are many makeup wearers that we don’t “need” makeup, we actually love ourselves a lot. But we’re doing this to have fun. 

Feminists 

As we all know by now, there are a lot of different types of “feminism” out there. Many women promote wearing a bear face again as a sign of confidence and resistance against what we are expected to do.

This reinforced the same idea that wearing makeup is an expression of self hatred and not love. It reinforces the idea that we shouldn’t wear makeup and if we do we’re just conforming instead of being “brave” or being an “inspiration” as many women are called for not wearing makeup all the time, especially celebrities. 

Whilst I would never say this is a bad thing, all people should chose to wear makeup or not wear makeup, and it is by no doubts a brave thing to be a celebrity in the spotlights and not wear makeup, but isn’t it just as brave of a thing to wear a crazy makeup look out as well.

Many women who don’t wear makeup out 24/7 in the spotlight aren’t even trying to make a movement to tell us to stop wearing makeup, but society takes their form of expression by just living their lives the way they want to and tells us all that we are wrong for wearing makeup.

If you’re confused about what feminism is, check out this article.

What’s the problem

As you can see, society is sending a very contradictory message to young people. We are told that we must wear makeup to be beautiful, and we are also told that if we wear makeup we must hate ourselves.

These ideas have become more and more prevalent with the rise of social media, bringing out a lot of outlets for people to share their makeup and a lot more attention on people who inspirationally don’t wear makeup.

At the end of the day there’s one easy solution that so few people seem to want to allow. 

People like me, want to wear makeup up to express themselves, have fun, and be happier. And that’s great! If that’s you, do it!

A lot of people don’t wanna wear makeup, they feel like it’s a task, it’s unnecessary. And if that’s you, great! Just don’t wear makeup.

But don’t let society tell you whether wearing makeup is wrong or right, and if you’re not sure, try it and see how you feel. Express you in the ways you want to, that’s all that’s important

We need to break the stigma around makeup to let everyone, of every gender, be free to look and feel the way they want.

Thanks so much for reading this article! If you want to hear more about my journey with makeup or found this article educational, helpful, inspiring, or entertaining please leave a like and a comment below! If you enjoy our content, follow our blog and subscribe to our rss feed. If you’d like more content from us, check out our patreon and social media which will be linked down below. As always, stay safe and keep on overachieving!

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