For the longest time (translation: the first 24 years of my life), I did not use makeup on a regular basis. Before last year I could count on one hand the occasions where I had makeup on, and that was mostly for weddings.
The main reason I was not interested in makeup was because I felt like putting on makeup would make people look at me and often I hate being noticed. Half the time I wish I could just melt into the floor and have people forget I exist full stop. So to me not wearing makeup helped me achieve this goal. If I could draw as little attention as possible than surely people would just leave me alone?
That’s the way I used to think, anyway.
Now, this is me just explaining the weird logic that was going on in my head. It’s not any kind of assumption about why other people wear or do not wear makeup. Everyone has different reasons. Some people wear makeup to build their self-confidence, for the enjoyment of the craft involved in applying makeup, or many other different reasons. Talking to someone at a Christmas party this year, they told me a lot about how they wear makeup as a mask to help them put on a different face for the outside world.
Alternatively, some people don’t wear makeup simply because they have no interest in it, or maybe because most products have an adverse effect on their skin.
There are a thousand and one reasons to wear or not wear makeup and all of them, I think, are quite personal to each individual person.
In terms of my views, this year I have majorly changed my personal perspective on makeup and how it can relate to me. A lot of big things have happened in my life over the past twelve months and those things have prompted me to look at things afresh. As a consequence I have made a lot of changes and looked at myself differently, both in terms of the physical and in terms of my head space.
I started to look at my face and think that I wanted to use makeup. I wanted people to see me, to make a feature of my eyes (which even without makeup people have unfailingly commented on over the years) and stop people commenting on how pale and ill looking I am all the time. I wanted people to stop thinking I’m 16 when I am actually 25. Makeup could be my resolution to cut out some of the paper cut-like comments I’ve had about my appearance over the years.
So, finally, at the grand old age of 25, I have started applying makeup practically every day. I watch makeup videos on Youtube and search for special offers on brushes and palettes.
I’m a changed person. Kind of. I’m trying to change how I think about myself. I want to have confidence in myself and to force myself to have a presence in the world rather than slinking around in the shadows. I want to exist in the world more and to have more control over how people perceive me. Putting on makeup in the morning is like a personal ritual where I promise to myself that I will have a presence to be proud of that day and not hide away.
I’m weird, I know. But I’m trying to own that and be unapologetically Lauren.