Katherine McNamara
June 13, 2015 7:00 am

Most of us love to play with makeup on occasion, right? It feels like, no matter who we are or what we do, there’s a little girl inside of almost all of us who loves to pull out the red lipstick and fake lashes and make a mess in front of the mirror. I don’t know about you, but to me, there’s something great about experimenting with the different shadow colors, eyeliner shapes, and lip options to create infinite looks and express all the different sides of my personality. Makeup allows you to express your mood, your personality, and yes, your opinion of yourself.

I find a certain artistry in makeup. A good eyeshadow application can be reminiscent of a painting, if done right, all while complementing the wearer’s features beautifully. A gorgeous lip color can make a smile shine whiter and brighter. Mascara can open your eyes and brighten even the most tired of gazes. There are countless makeup tutorials on social media detailing how to recreate some of even the most complicated of makeup looks.

What I love most about makeup is that it’s an art that is personal. You can take these tools and techniques and use them to express whatever you are feeling to the world. You can create your own personal styles and signatures that highlight different features and facets of your own beauty. No matter what you are feeling, there are times when a swipe of mascara, a hint of blush, or a sweep of concealer can really help to lighten your mood.

Herein lies the issue with makeup: It’s not all peachy blushes and rose-colored lipstick, ladies. Some women use makeup as a shield, a mask, even, to hide themselves from the world. They feel as though they have to wear makeup to be presentable. They reject their natural beauty and forget to embrace part of what makes them unique and special. To me, this is unbelievably sad. It takes something that was created to help women enhance their natural beauty and turns it into a wall built between their inner light and the world around them. They see the images of makeup advertisements and editorial spreads, in which women are made up and photoshopped far beyond recognition, and they forget to view it as art. They believe that is how women are supposed to look in daily life. Ladies, let’s be real — that is an impossible standard to which to hold yourself.

I am of the mind that many women rely too much on their outward appearance for their inner confidence. They feel as though they have to look perfect in order to have worth. Women can completely change the appearance of even their bone structure to create a look that they believe is more appealing or attractive. This is such a problem and makeup, when used the wrong way, can immensely contribute to self-esteem issues many women face. I don’t know where the notion ever came from that makeup is necessary in the first place. Most people look better without makeup. You look fresher, lighter, and more alive with a bit of natural color to your cheeks and, yes, even the circles under your eyes can add dimension.

You will always look and feel your best when you are showing your true colors. Let your weird and wonderful out and find what truly makes you, you. Then, find a way to express that through your makeup. Or, if you prefer,  ditch the makeup all together! It’s all about what makes you the most comfortable and how you feel most like YOU. Don’t let anyone make you feel as though you have to wear more or less makeup. As long as you feel good about how you look on a day to day basis, go for it. Show the world the fabulous confident woman you are!

Basically loves, the moral of this story is that makeup is an enhancement tool only, not a transformative one. Don’t feel pressured to look flawless all the time. Even the word “flawless” contains a “flaw.” Guess what? We’re not perfect. No one is. We’re human. Just always remember:  That is what makes life beautiful. Never forget the sparkle in that little girl’s eye when she tries mascara for the first time. Just remember that sparkle is what makes the mascara look beautiful, not the other way around.

(Image via here.)

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