By: Kerry Ingram, Columnist
Obviously, I love makeup, at least to some extent. I wouldn’t have this column if I didn’t. I think makeup is not just a product of vanity and materialism — to me, makeup is an art. It’s a way of expressing oneself through transformation, and it’s fun because it’s never really permanent. However, my love for such products didn’t stop me from learning a very important lesson this past week, and it’s something I think every college student could take from.
At our age, we’re still growing. We have absolutely nothing figured out. If you think for even a second that you do, you don’t. Prepare yourself for the major life-changing occurrences to come.
Makeup is something that most people find solace in. It makes us feel like we’re closer to “adulting,” and that we are a part of the glamorous society that is often portrayed to us, where no responsibilities or real obstacles take place. It gives us this temporary feeling of confidence, which can feel super empowering when you have your face beat-to-the-gods, but once you take the makeup off, those feelings are removed with it.
I had made the goal to use more of my makeup this year. As a beauty blogger, I own much more makeup than I will ever use, so I figured I would challenge myself to step up my appearance, get outside of my comfort zone and make use of everything I had. Before then, I kept my makeup routine fairly simple, but I didn’t think the natural look was cutting it anymore. I felt that nothing was more frustrating than telling people, “I’m a beauty blogger. I’d love to have a mass communication job in the beauty industry one day,” and have them look at me like I’m crazy because of the lack of makeup on my face.
So I had my stint at being dolled up every day. I would come to class, my eyelids cut-creased and winged out, my lips red and glossy, my face highlighted to the point where I was beaming. And at first, I felt great. I got compliments on how “pretty my makeup looked,” and I felt taken more seriously for the field I wanted to be in. But eventually that changed.
I started to get so used to seeing my face in a ton of makeup that I felt that’s what I needed to look like. I began feeling self-conscious whenever my face wasn’t covered in a glam look. Eventually, even the super made-up look wasn’t enough for me. I felt ugly.
It hit me one day that despite my love for makeup, and despite the trend that consists of girls looking like real-life Barbie dolls, wearing a ton of it wasn’t who I was. I saw that makeup was getting to my sense of self-esteem, and that it was becoming a crutch instead of a helping-hand. I realized that I should be okay walking out of the house without a speck of makeup on while embracing my natural beauty.
And so I did just that.
The day I came to campus with no makeup on was a glorious one. My face felt like it could breathe, my hair didn’t stick to my lips since they weren’t glazed in gloss, and I was free to rub my eyes if they itched without the fear of completely smearing my eye makeup. All of these things felt great, but the best part was that I felt like myself, and like I wasn’t hiding from the realities that a college student has to face. I was able to admit that I’m a college student, I’m not perfect, and I’m still growing. And all of that is more than okay. It’s normal.
Since that day, I have gone back to wearing my minimal amount of makeup. I feel like myself again. And rather than worrying about my face staying together all day, I focus on the important things, like slaying m assignments, balancing work with friends, and making time for myself. I don’t feel self-conscious anymore when I don’t have makeup on, and I get compliments of how “pretty I look,” rather than how great the products on my face look. I‘ve realized that I now feel beautiful and prepared for the world, even without the compliments. And all of that has made me extremely happy.
And so my point here is that although there may be many pressures on you to look a certain way, don’t ever feel like you have to fall into those expectations. Don’t ever question yourself or your capabilities based off of your appearance, and don’t use makeup to cover up your true beauty — only use makeup to enhance it.
Because being and loving your truest self is totally on trend this season.