I’m your typical make up junkie. I get a kick out of hearing the sound of a new silky mascara slicking out of its tube, I’m that loser who engages in embarrassingly, unnecessary conversations with Mac staff about pigments in lipsticks and I strongly do believe that a good primer is in fact, the best thing since 90s fashion made a comeback.
“You look better without makeup.”
Oh shucks. A sweet five word compliment, particularly used by boyfriends. Something I believe they say to win some sort of brownie points, that being said, it works like a charm on me. Every time I hear that compliment (or line, whichever you want to take it) admittedly, I coyly smile to myself, but something to seriously consider? I wear makeup for myself and because it brings me great joy- it’s as simple as that. So as for this idealistic notion of not wearing any make up at all? No thanks pal. I like my lips unnaturally red, my lashes super fluttery and my cheeks flushed with pink.
So this was my thinking, until one little morning. During breakfast, my boyfriend nonchalantly said he didn’t like my lipstick and smugly said I looked better without any make-up. Nothing unusual said there, apart from the obvious disappointment that he didn’t find my trademark lipstick endearing (I’d work so hard on my ‘look’ since my teens). The impulsive 16 year old in me, wanted to march into the nearest makeup counter, buy another dozen lippys for my collection in some kind of, ‘Well I bloody like it, I’m an independent woman and I don’t care what you think’ stance, but instead of that dramatic, slightly weird, behaviour, it got me thinking. Like, really thinking about it. Could I go without makeup on a daily basis and feel ‘good’ enough for life? The reality is, of course I could go without wearing makeup, but the more I explored the actuality of not applying my favourite beauty products everyday, the more ridiculous I discovered my mindset to be. Slightly insane questions popped up into my head. If I didn’t wear make up, would I be taken seriously by my work colleagues? Would I be able to meet new people and still make a good impression? Would boys still want to engage in a cheeky flirt with me? What if girls didn’t like the way I presented myself? What if I bumped into my ex or my ex high school rival? I’m serious. These are highly awkwardly superficial confessions, but nevertheless these were genuine thoughts.
When the no makeup selfie campaigns hit our social media, generating an impressive £8 million for Cancer Research. I scrolled up and down my newsfeed seeing truly gorgeous girls. Sure, there were the odd few who had put their photos through the ever flattering Mayfair Instagram filter and had made sure the room lighting was Tyra Banks approved, but really, ladies, why didn’t we do this more often? Perhaps the idea that posting no makeup photos of ourselves generated so much attention and money, is rather strange in itself, incredible no doubt, but when did not wearing makeup become such a huge deal? This week, journalist, Jemima Khan kicked off the latest charity social media campaign and said she hopes it will make as much money as the Ice Bucket Challenge and the No Make Up Selfie crazes. The #wakeupcall campaign involves posting an early-morning photo and donating to Unicef’s Wake Up Call campaign. Again, another campaign which involves our fresh faces being on show.
Now I’m not about to go and burn all my make-up bags and say goodbye to my so-called former trademark lipstick look, for centuries makeup has been a pretty special thing. It’s an expression of personality, individuality, creativity and playing around with it can be heaps of fun, especially when it makes your eyelashes look like Bambi. However, one thing that I do want changing and I feel to some extent, is vital and healthy to be changed at the age of 22, is that I want to shake my mind-set that has been regretfully encouraged by various media messages, that you must wear makeup and the notion that you can’t go on a night out without makeup, because a naked face is purely saved for Saturday X Factor, pyjama private time only. We live in a time where it seems appearances have never before, been deemed so fundamental and central to all things successful. But I am going to skip the makeup routine more often and embrace the no make up look, because let’s face it, we shouldn’t feel ‘Not ourselves’ or ‘Not ready for the world’ without it, make-up should be celebrated (I wholeheartedly love it) but what should also be celebrated, is a face without it, which isn’t strictly kept for morning time and novelty campaign selfies.