Having become obsessed with YouTube for natural hair videos, I’ve obviously come across a lot of makeup videos. Everyone is a beauty vlogger.
I am incredibly low maintenance. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve worn a full face of makeup in my life. I do wear eyeliner regularly (not daily) and eyeshadow when I’m feeling excited. But I’ve never put foundation on myself. I don’t think I know how. Thankfully my husband doesn’t like a lot of makeup, so it works out for both of us.
Every now and then though, I come across a beauty vlogger who I think looks “naturally” gorgeous. I watch her video and am always shocked at what she does to her face. I feel like I’m apart of an estranged group of girls who don’t color their eyebrows or wear falsies (false eyelashes).
A few weeks ago, I was considering starting a YouTube channel. But my first concern wasn’t what I should say, it was that I needed to start wearing makeup. So I spent a week looking at makeup tutorials. I couldn’t believe the long list of items that people were piling on to their face. And contouring?! It’s amazing to see how someone can change the shape of their face but also very very creepy! Not to mention how insanely expensive these products are!
Growing up, I was not allowed to wear make up. I wasn’t even allowed to shave my very hairy legs or remove my very apparent upper lip hair.
I have come to understand that most girls don’t ask their mothers before they start beautifying themselves. I’m not sure if I was denied before I asked (very plausible) or if I asked for her help because I’m a visual learner and reading instructions overwhelms me. Either way, the answer was no.
Because of that, the most awkward years of my life were spent looking really really bad.
I’m thankful for the extra hours of sleep I got in high school though. I remember at sleepovers hearing my friends alarms go off way too early so that they would have enough time to put their “face” on. Some of them looked gorgeous after and others looked exactly the same. It changed nothing for me. I had come to accept my face as it was.
I do like special occasions to be very exceptional. I’ve always made a big deal of birthdays and holidays. I want them to feel different than all other days. The first time I covered my face in makeup must’ve been my high school graduation. Unfortunately, the makeup artist made me look like a clown and I have hid all the pictures from that day. I decided that maybe makeup just wasn’t for me.
But everything changed on the day of my older brother’s wedding. I didn’t feel special. I was just me — same face and same hair as though I was just going to school in a weird dress. To make matters worse, my little brother’s girlfriend showed up looking stunning. She was testing makeup for her graduation and made a very logical decision to have one on the day of the wedding. I cried. I’m pretty sure she apologized to me again 7 years after the fact.
When my uncle got married the next year, I was determined to feel special. The second time I wore makeup all over my face was when MAC told me what to buy so that my best friend could put it on me the morning of the wedding. We reached the point in our relationship where I trusted her enough to make sure I didn’t look like Bozo the clown.
It was then when I learned to appreciate makeup. It was the equivalent of putting on a sparkly dress or stiletto heels. It’s not about being beautiful to everyone, it’s just about you commemorating the day. It’s about letting yourself know that today is unlike every other day.
My wedding was definitely a day I wanted to highlight. And finding a makeup artist was a big deal for me. It was really important to feel different without looking like a cake myself. I was thankful to find Janet Persaud who did an amazing job! Both my husband and I were happy that I looked like myself, just a bit more sparkly!
I loved being in my wedding dress and my gold stilettos. I loved fluttering my fake eyelashes.
But I wouldn’t want to wear my wedding dress everyday — it would lose its magic.
I’m so thankful that I learned to love myself without makeup. I get to sleep-in, my husband was never surprised by my real face and I use my money to travel. I also don’t feel compelled to hide when my eyebrows or upper lip hair is growing out. This is who I am.
I feel like we live in a world where putting on a fake face and hiding the real you is a daily occurence. And though it’s just makeup, I wonder if we’re doing this figuratively as well — trying to become something that we aren’t. I wish everyone would find their confidence in actually being special not just looking special.
“If the whole world was blind, how many people would you impress?” – Boonaa Mohammed