When I was younger I was not allowed to wear make-up.
Well, that’s not really fair. My parents never said I was not allowed, but my father always frowned upon it. Making some kind of comment every time I applied it. And according to my (somewhat sketchy) memory, my mom’s make-up regime included compressed face powder, eye shadow and lip stick. IF she did her make-up. I never remember Mom spending much time on make-up, but DO remember no pictures/filming on Christmas morning until her hair was done!
Make-up never became a major player in my daily routine. But for more reasons than just my lack of teenage exposure.
I’m an artist. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that somewhere on here before… Anyways, I’m an artist and I ignorantly assumed that meant I would be able to easily paint my face. Well, in short: NOPE! I suck.
Not Pinterest-Fail-meme-creating-suck but enough that it detered me from regularly puting make-up on or ever trying anything terribly exciting. Like cat eyes, for example. The tears I have shed trying to accomplish that feat is enough to make a girl run screaming at the mere mention of the words eye liner pen. So many tutorials watched. Not one successful result. EVER.
I worked with a young gal who could flawlessly apply make-up. Sometimes it was a little too much for our daytime retail job, but it was still red carpet worthy. She would show up with her eyes and face done, ready for an artistic magazine shoot. I would sneak off to the corner and subtly sniff my arm pits to double-check I remembered deodorant.
Two years ago I purchased false eye lashes. I was doing a photo shoot and wanted my lashes to look lush, so I wouldn’t have to pile on the make-up. I spent about an hour trying to figure them out, while also working up the nerve to put them on.
They are currently still in their package. Packed away. Likely to never see my eye lids or the light of day!
I even moved away from the pharmacy make-up options, and purchased some higher-end products from a friend. I thought, if the product is better it will make me better at it…
And so, it all sat. In a bag. In a drawer. In the bathroom.
Except the mascara. I pulled that sucker out every once in a while.
Until I didn’t.
The last time I actually put anything on my face was about 4-5 months ago. It was mascara. So I didn’t “look as tired,” I’m sure. And it was probably expired. Because I didn’t buy any make-up in 2017.
The other day I was tidying up in the bathroom. We moved about 5 months ago and are still settling in to our new home. The customary organizational shifts are still happening pretty regularly, so I was once again opening drawers, cupboards, and closets and going through stuff. And then I found the bag.
In the drawer. In the bathroom.
I pulled it out. For as big as it was, it was light. The contents minimal. I riffled through it all:
One Expired Drug-store Mascara
One Eyebrow Pencil
One Black Eye Liner
One Bamboo Blush Brush
One High-end Pressed Powder
Five High-end Mineral Powder Eye Shadows
and found myself contemplating whether I should keep it or not! REALLY! I shook it off, reminding myself that not only had I not worn any of it in months BUT it was all likely expired. And with that, it ALL went in the garbage can.
Oddly enough I wondered if I should snap a picture or not. I also wondered if that moment would (eventually) prompt me to blog…
Breaking up with make-up wasn’t hard for me. Our relationship was a falsehood, making non-existent ties easily severed, and so, there was nothing to lament.
I hardly ever wore it so there was no social adjustment for me. I was used to people seeing my face. With no filter. In all its glory: acne from Diabetes and other hormonal fun, dark circles from exhaustion and genetics, Vitiligo, wrinkles from all the memories I’ve created, moles, freckles…
Though now – now that all my make-up was in the garbage far, far away – it felt different. There was something freeing about it.
Perhaps, there is a freedom to be gained when we consciously decide for ourselves. To do something. To make a change. To evolve.
Make-up isn’t my thing. But it might be yours. And I think it can be a wonderful, beautiful expression of self. It can be art. Letting go of it was important for me because it wasn’t important to me. Not because there is something wrong with wearing it.
Brother One can be a man of few words, however, he gives good advice. And the best advice he has given is: you do you. Simple enough. Yet so, SO hard to follow sometimes.
It means so much more than be yourself.
It means you should not allow yourself to feel guilty for accomodating your life. So many times we put ourselves in situations to appease others, and in some ass-backwards way ourselves, because the fear of guilt makes human beings do strange things.
The only person living your life is you. And that freaks a lot of people out, makes them avoid the responsibility of a self-piloted life.
Filling your life with things that are not of true importance to you will only prevent you from finding the things that are.
It’s like eating junk food. It leaves you feeling both full and hungry, because all you have done is physically filled a void. Without proper nourishment you will continue to feel starved. The things we personally find frivolous, no matter their quantity, will never fill us like the things from which we draw inspiration and passion.
Yet people fear those things more than most. Because in those things is a rawness and vulnerability most of us try to stay away from…we are intimidating and complex (sometimes unnecessarily so). And that makes it a little prickly when getting to know us, ourselves.
The things that are and what they represent do not always line up in a way that makes sense. And we can’t allow that to stop us from seeing that they are in fact connected. Because they are.
I will never own make-up again.
But I still have those falsies in an unpacked box. 😉