Why I Rarely Wear Makeup

I’d love to say I have a clear objective for what I’m writing today but I don’t want to lie to you. My mind is a little preoccupied with the lip-gloss (of ‘lacquer’ as it says on the tube) that I put on a few minutes ago. It looked pretty then, all… Well, glossy. Now it makes my lips feel heavy; as if I’ve smothered them in jam while demolishing a slice of toast. If I liked toast. I’ve brushed some of it off with the back of my hand and now there’s a blush pink stain there.
Some days messing with my makeup gives me space to dream. I’m not stuck on my own, in pyjamas, in my room. No, I’m at a friend’s house, we’re getting ready to go out… Lies. The good feeling takes a little while to wear off then it’s like -rather than giving me ‘new’ energy- the disgusting chemicals I’ve slapped all over my face are only capable of bringing me down. I don’t have the energy to worry about whether it’s not just my lips being stained purple or pink but my teeth too, I can’t spare the effort it takes to resist collapsing back to bed and marking my pillow with a rainbow of cosmetic colour. I guess for ‘normal’ girls this thought process of ‘must check makeup, has eyeshadow migrated south in the heat? Are teeth beige? Is mascara rubbing off on my glasses?’ is almost unnoticeable. A part of everyday life that floats effortlessly alongside the events unfolding throughout the day.
Doesn’t work like that to me. Even the smallest decision, action or movement can drain me of energy and highlight total exhaustion. No effort can go unnoticed when it has such a big impact and to me making myself up involves unnecessary effort. Sure, I make my hair look pretty any way I can without giving myself a banging headache but I don’t own any hairspray or even wash-out conditioner because it would cause me pain.
Others prioritise makeup when they can because it makes them feel good in one way or another- maybe it reminds them of who they ‘were’ before they got sick or makes them feel like they’re the ‘real’ version of themselves again, I don’t know -but it doesn’t do that for me. My favourite shade of lipstick or eyeliner will never feel like a part of who I am. I’m just me; the girl who’s never seen the need to pluck her eyebrows or cover up that -admittedly annoying- pink blemish on her cheek. I don’t see a perfectly beautiful face when I look in the mirror but neither do I try and make any improvements. There’s some kind of balance to my features that is mucked up by the slapping on of one type of makeup or another. Add the perfect smoky eye and suddenly the freckles don’t look so at home. I know if I was prone to massive spot outbreaks or had acne then I wouldn’t be so confident in ‘not bothering’ with makeup which is sad in a way. My personal feelings are that if it makes you feel more like you- wear it. If you only want to put it on so other people see you as acceptable- don’t wear it.
I won’t lie and say ‘I hate makeup!’ ‘I don’t need it!’ or ‘I never wear it.’ because that would be far too extreme. I love feeling free to use my skin like a canvas and paint all over my face but that’s how I’ll always see it; as paint, art or a bit of fun to lift my spirits. Not as a daily essential or a true part of who I am.

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