Mostly, though, I despised make-up because of the pressure on women to spend inordinate sums in order to appear beautiful for society. I saw it as yet another burden on women, who must twist themselves into pretzels, or cut off parts, shrink their minds and their souls, in order to be what society proclaims to be beautiful (diminutive, quiet, obedient, etc) and thus accepted.
To some degree, I still think it's true. Even if feeling beautiful using external means (like make-up) is absolutely a personal uplifting thing, which I am not denying, I question why that might be.
That said, there is something to focussing on oneself for a while. It's something of a ritual, one that is centred on yourself and how you're feeling. Applying make-up is that little ritual. It's all about you. There's something vaguely therapeutic about that.
I have not really been taking the time for myself in this way. I've certainly been working on myself to make myself physically healthier - what with the returning to the gym, changing up my diet (and boy was that a good idea!) to exclude gluten and processed sugar, drinking more water, and things like that - I haven't actually been taking time to care for my mental health, and my relationship to myself... other than therapy when things get tough (and I have the funds).
Given this, I figured I should maybe start a morning ritual that was all about me and my skin, including makeup. Now, I know a lot of makeup has a lot of pretty awful stuff in it, making me reluctant to use it. I was surprised when I wandered into my usual chemist (drug store, for my North American peeps) and found that my favourite honey-based brand has come out with a complete make-up line. Burt's Bees, which I've loved since they only made lip balm, is now making make-up that is made with natural ingredients and without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, silicone, talc and artificial fragrances. It's not all brilliant, to be honest, but it's a damned sight better than a lot of other brands.
So, last week, I spent a stupid amount of money on makeup. I had a lot to replace or fill in, in my (non-existent) collection, so it really was a lot of money. That said, it should last me a long while. Everything I have is now Burt's Bees, with the exception of the BB cream, which I could not find, so I went with the hypo-allergenic Physician's Formula. If I can't find the BB cream at the chemist, I might order it online. Just to try (the Physician's Formula, despite being the lightest available, is still a little too dark).
So far, after only three days of use, I can say that I really like it. My skin isn't freaking out (thank heavens!), and seems to actually be clearing up ... which is also related to diet. I must say that the pigment of the eye shadow I have (countryside lavender) isn't quite what I expected. It is a little more like a purple-ish neutral than purple, which, actually, I quite like. I'm not really about all the bright, hyper pigmented eye-shadows. Maybe one day I'll get a bit more daring. This is in contrast with the blush, which I have to use very sparingly, because otherwise I look like a clown.
What impressed me the most was the mascara. It smells lovely (like honey. Surprise) and, by some remarkable miracle, my eyes don't sting. It didn't even sting when I accidentally hit my eyeball with the applicator (make-up application is not my strong suit) and got some of it all over my eyeball. The mascara doesn't run; thus far, anyway.
This is a very long blog post to say that actually, this make-up line exceeded my expectation, looks pretty good on (if I knew what I was doing, it would probably look better), and my skin is not having a conniption. Also, I'm finding it particularly soothing; a nice, small ritual at the beginning of the day where I, and how I feel, is central. We all need a little bit of that, I think.
This blog post used to have a point. Don't know what that is, anymore. Now I have to go write more words and hope that they somehow become a book.