Thursday Thoughts: In My Own Skin

Browsing around my subscription feeds, I always see a deluge of “no makeup” looks. Basically, the concept is that wearing natural-looking makeup gives the appearance that you are actually au naturale. But you see, these tutorials, ironically, usually require around eight to ten products.

On a day to day basis, the amount of makeup I wear is minimal. Like a mascara and tinted lip balm kind of deal. This is because a.) I need my sleep and b.) I want to be able to be comfortable in my skin. I want to be able to feel beautiful sans foundation and blush, simply with my own natural features.

Not that wearing makeup daily is a necessarily a bad thing either, you should never underestimate the power of a swipe of lipstick or a coat of mascara.

However, we should not be reliant on cosmetics to give us confidence or feel like we are only “complete” when our faces are dolled up.

In a study, 44% of the 1,292 women surveyed said that they feel negative about themselves when they were bare faced. Many participants also described themselves as feeling unattractive, naked, and self-conscious as well.

Even more discouraging, a quarter of the respondents stated that they started wearing makeup as early as age 13 to hide their flaws. That is what’s even more alarming about this problem; that it is starting so young. This makeup culture and accepted norm is being introduced at an early age, which can lead to even more of a reason for adolescents to become depressed, bullied, and ostricized.

Makeup is a tool for enhancement and creative expression, not something similiar to a drug. By this I mean, something that is doing more harm than good, is starting to become accepted in society, and can cause people to become too reliant on it to feel good. It even turns out that cosmetics can be four times more addictive than drugs. This is known as The Kabuki Effect.

Photo Courtesy: Byrdie

I am a makeup lover, obviously since I run a blog with one of the main focuses being beauty, but here’s the truth: If someone took away all my makeup and I had to leave the house, with all my imperfections out in the world, I wouldn’t freak out. Neither would anyone I interact with on a daily basis. Think about it, are you applying makeup more for others or yourself? Which is more important to be doing something for?

One of the biggest debates surrounding the discussion on beauty is whether or not it is only materialistic and shallow. I say absolutely not, it is an art form and should be treated as such.

There is no reason why women should be judged if they choose to wear makeup. And there is also no reason women should feel pressure to have to apply it either.

I’ve been in situations before where people have not been as accepting with my choice to not always wear makeup, and they saw me as being lazy or conceited.

When these women judged me on something like this, it gave me insight into the issue of how beauty, specifically for women, is being potrayed. If you’ve ever turned on the television, perused a magazine, or seen a billboard, chances are you’ve seen the influence. Our harsh expectations of beauty extend into how one should dress, style their hair, what body type they should have, and even if they should wear makeup.

The fact that, if I go out without a painted face, it’s considered an abnormality or as a sign of incompetence, is just ridiculous. Makeup and it’s use should have freedom of choice. Even with as open we’ve become, it seems there are still two extremely divided sides in many matters.

However, maybe the fact that we are starting to prefer natural makeup is actually a postive development, a step in the right direction. It could be an indication of how we are becoming more liberal in the idea of makeup and getting past its stereotypes.


Also check out some of these related reads:
American Women Are Too Dependent On Makeup @ Elite Daily
How Eyeliner Became My Security Blanket @ Byrdie
In The Eyelid Of The Beholder @ Into The Gloss
Up The Career Ladder, Lipstick in Hand @ The New York Times
Beauty Confession-I Think I Wear Too Much Makeup (Sometimes) @ Afrobella


What do you think is the main issue with beauty and makeup? How often do you wear makeup and what does it do for you?

Beauty link party on TLV Birdie Blog
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17 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: In My Own Skin

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  5. This is definitely something I never thought about, but I guess it’s true some people do wear makeup to impress others. I wear makeup because I think it’s a fun outlet for creative expression and I enjoy trying out new looks. That said, on a day to day basis, I hardly ever wear makeup at all, let alone a full face. I’m lucky if I wear lip balm. I love to wear makeup, but aint nobody got time for that haha. Like you said, I need my sleep!

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  9. This is such a well-written post on a topic that affects nearly all of us. Though I felt so bad about my cystic acne situation, I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was 21. I probably did get judged for being weird about not wearing makeup but I shrugged that off. I really wanted to heal my skin through skincare before I wore any kind of makeup because makeup would only make my acne worse! Even now when my skin looks much more clearer than before, I only use makeup sparingly (light foundation and a dab of color on the lips) and I like that a lot! I don’t pressure myself to wear makeup and I cheer my friends on when they say they don’t even use foundation. 🙂 There are so many toxic words written and said about women’s flaws and I really hope one day, that becomes less of a reality.

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    • Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your experience! I can relate entirely to what you are saying. The least used makeup product of mine is foundation. The hardest part about wearing minimal to no makeup personally is how it affects me as a beauty blogger, seeing as that’s part of the job. I think that woman become too reliant on makeup for validation, and that is the main problem.

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  13. Great post! I think it’s really important to think about these kinds of things, especially for those of us who spend so much time immersed in the beauty/makeup world. I do feel more confident with makeup on. I think it makes me look older (which is to say my actual age, as opposed to the years younger I’m often mistaken for) and just generally more polished and put together. There are situations I would never go into without makeup – ie. a job interview – but I’m not someone who never leaves the house without makeup on either.

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