We can do what we like with our faces. They are OUR faces. I don’t wear makeup often, and haven’t done for a couple of years and here’s why.
First of all, I am incredibly lazy. I could happily spend the rest of my life watching netflix surrounded by cats. So if I have to choose between more time in bed and wearing makeup, my bed will always win. I’ve always been fairly confident about being makeup free since my school days. We weren’t allowed to wear makeup until 6th form. We had to report to our housemistress every morning for ‘the face wipe test’ and it didn’t matter where we were, if a teacher thought we had makeup on they would use the public humiliation technique to scar us from ever daring to cover up a spot again. This seemed cruel and unnecessary (and still does to some extent). Teenage girls are walking insecurities. I had horrible acne that would later leave scars that took years to fade. I hated my nose and was convinced people wouldn’t notice it if I drew attention to my eyes so I would line the hell out of them. But on that first makeup free day, the world did not end. Turned out everyone had spots, and no one looked that much different without our poorly applied makeup. I still had boyfriends and no one set themselves on fire at the sight of my real face. Even though I think it is unfair not to let teenagers at least wear concealer for their spots, I cannot deny it gave me a confidence in myself that has never left. So thank you, school. Kind of.
Obviously as soon as I left school I learnt how to apply makeup properly and embraced how fun and transformative it can be. I really love painting faces, and still do. However a couple of years ago I went a long time without makeup and I got to know my face all over again and I became really attached to it. I am really fond of my unique face with all its lumps and bumps and when I wear makeup now I don’t feel 100% comfortable. I still love applying it and trying out new products, but I take it off again relatively quickly, and I probably only wear it now about once a month. I know it seems weird to feel more comfortable without makeup, but I just prefer to see my unaltered face looking back at me in the mirror. It upsets me that women who choose not to wear makeup are labelled as lazy or slobs.
On the other end of the spectrum, it also upsets me when people judge men and women who wear a lot of makeup or who need makeup to feel comfortable. As much as we can choose not to wear makeup, we can also choose to wear as much makeup as we want. When I do wear makeup for a night out I wear A LOT! And I’m sure I speak for most people who wear makeup when I say we do not do it to attract people, we do not care if you think it’s too much, we do not care if you think we are prettier without it. Our main concern isn’t pleasing strangers. We wear it because it’s fabulous and makes us look fierce and it’s fun to apply. We can be creative and reflect our personality with the canvas that is our face and the paint that is our makeup. It is art, and anyone who thinks otherwise is unenlightened. And for some people, a signature makeup look can be part of their personality. It reflects who they are, so if they feel uncomfortable without makeup it is not because they are insecure, it is because they don’t feel like themselves.
Our faces are our faces, and they are not there to please onlookers. Dolls, do what you want with your faces! Paint them up, or leave them be. They are YOUR canvas to decide what to do with.