Friday, July 21, 2006

Makeup Part I

Starlet writes:

1) Since we so often hear the ideology: "Natural is beautiful", why do people use makeup?

First of all, I want to clear up a few misconceptions about makeup. I've heard lots of people knock on makeup in my time. One girl I know even went as far to say that girls who wore too much makeup were insecure! I'm here to toss out those sorts of opinions like last week's moldy sushi.

Ready? Let's go.

1. Makeup is complimentary. This is to say that makeup is designed to take the great assets that God gave you and highlight or showcase them. Similarly, makeup can be a great way to minimize, mask, hide anything you don't want noticed--those puffy undereye circles (get yourself some concealer), barely-there lashes (mascara is great for that), shapeless eyebrows (God bless brow shaper).

2. Makeup is NOT meant to make you look like a different person. You will not look like a drag queen if you wear makeup. Wearing makeup also does not mean selling out to the patriarchal system and its supposed idea of what beauty really is. Makeup is not a mask. It masks flaws, but it is not in and of itself a mask. Natural IS beautiful, and makeup both accentuates the natural and helps to preserve the natural (I'll get into this more in a minute).

3. It takes a lot of makeup to make you look like a different person, and I do mean the kind of makeup you shovel on with a trowel. Fear not, you makeup-shy gals! A little swipe of this and that is NOT going to turn you into a hussy.

So why wear makeup?

First of all, it's a great way to accessorize your look. Going out for the evening? A little sparkly eyeshadow and a killer gloss can turn an ordinary look into something special.

Makeup protects your face from the elements-sun, pollution, and the dirt that you encounter every day. You encounter these negative forces without even realizing it. They either go directly onto your skin, contributing to fine lines and clogged pores, or they can rest on the makeup, which you'll wash off at night anyway. Most good foundations now include SPF, so you're getting protection from the aging effects of the sun. Bottom line? You're actually doing your skin a favor by covering it.

As I've already said, makeup enhances the beauty that God gave you. It can do everything from highlight cheekbones to make pale eyes pop. In college I often gave my friends makeovers. There was nothing more rewarding to me than seeing my friends feel pretty-and have their best features front and center. Actually, that's part of why I started this website-because I love empowering real women (and men) to find and accentuate their own unique style.

It takes awhile to put on makeup correctly, but looking in the mirror and feeling good about what you see is well worth the effort. If you were to meet me, you might think that I spent a significant amount of time getting myself ready in the morning, and you'd be right! However, I view this time as my little gift to myself. I feel better about myself when I'm all made up. If you're having trouble justifying the time and effort it takes to put on makeup, just remember: no one will make this investment in YOU if you don't do it. It's an acknowledgement of your unique beauty!

Last, makeup is FUN! It's exciting to try out new products and see what works best for you. It's fun to find new ways of doing your makeup, or matching your favorite red blazer to that perfect shade of red lipstick.

Next time, I'll offer some tips for makeup newbies, as well as offer some advice on how to care for your skin if you're wearing makeup regularly.