Makeup: A Love Story



This past year has easily been the hardest of my life. I won't get  into the details, because many of us have had trials beyond measure  recently. Still, it tested me professionally, personally, physically,  and emotionally all at once.

This year, as my resources  were tapped out, I turned more and more to makeup. Why that, of all  things? For one, I've always been a very visual person: I've loved  studying the nuances and symmetry - even the quirks, the battle scars -  of each face.  Makeup has been an escape for me since I was about 13.  Escapes aren't healthy, right? Perhaps.

However, there  was a day that I can remember most vividly when my armor was a mess and I  thought sadness alone could be terminal. In that moment, I forced  myself to put on makeup. I don't know what drew me to it, but the act  alone helped restore something I thought I'd lost. It was acting as-if:  as-if I felt good about myself, as-if I still had that confidence, as-if  I still felt self-respect and demanded that back from the world. That  as-if feeling began to restore the real feeling.

The  inner and outer selves are more connected than we think: We radiate  physically when we feel good on the inside. The reverse can work for us,  too - even if it initially feels like faking it. Makeup done right  isn't purely about technique. Sometimes when I walk by a makeup counter  and see the giddy expectation in a young girl's eyes, I wonder what it's  really all about. I recognize that want.  For me, in the darkest  moments, it was about more than reaching for the perfect color lipstick.  It was about reaching for myself.

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