2013 Shay Cochrane

There’s a lot of shade thrown at women who wear a lot of make-up.

Aside from the subtly guilt-tripping comments online such as, “You look way better without it,” or the hashtag #IWokeUpLikeThis, I have personally experienced mean comments about the way I do my make-up. I’ve been called fake, a clown and was even told jokingly that I get called beautiful because I wear make-up. These days, wearing too much of it can mean that you’re hiding something or that you’re trying way too hard.

I’ll admit – I love getting ready to go out. It’s like a ritual. I’ll put on music and sometimes light a candle and just take my time beautifying myself up. It will usually take 30 minutes for me to do my make-up, and I’ll do the whole thing – foundation, concealer, eyebrows, eyeshadow, blush and lipstick. You’d think that after this, I’d feel confident, right? But I found that I feel all the more insecure because it. Not because of anything internal, but because I sometimes live in a state of anxiety about what people might say or think about my make-up from the awful comments I’ve had about it in the past. I don’t want to blame society for my insecurities, but despite the appearance of a seemingly confident girl, is a girl who has been conditioned to think that wearing a lot of make-up is laughable and even bad.

It’s not so surprising when you take a quick look through a make-up wearing girl’s Instagram or Facebook. There, you’ll get a taste of how unrelentingly harsh people can be toward people who wear it. “You’re wearing too much,” and “You wouldn’t look so pretty with a make-up wipe,” are a few things people say to make themselves feel better about their own appearances. While I would never comment on these photos, I have thought these kind of things before. When I observed why, I came to the conclusion that it’s because it came from a place of insecurity.

No matter how confident a girl may seem, comments intentional and unintentional throwing shade at how much make-up she wears (or doesn’t wear) does hurt. And that makes me annoyed. I know for me, I don’t wear make-up to ask for your opinion. Neither do most girls who wear make-up. It’s for us.

Some people may wonder why I go through such great efforts to put up a nice appearance, but they don’t understand that I actually enjoy it. It’s my me-time, my self-love time, just like any other hobby someone might have for sports or craft or dancing. I enjoy enhancing my features, concealing areas that make me feel insecure and playing with color combinations. Together, they make me feel confident. I think make-up is powerful and fun when you use it the right way. This in no way makes me superficial, materialistic or egotistic. It certainly doesn’t make me fake and it doesn’t even make me beautiful, because one thing I know for sure is that no amount of make-up can conceal an ugly heart.

What people may not know is that as much as I love it, I can go without it. When I’m at home, I’m bare-faced and very comfortable. If I make a trip to the supermarket, I’m not going to rush to my dresser and layer on make-up. I love that feeling of coming home after a night out and washing my face clean. My worth and my beauty is not dependent on how much make-up I wear. I very well know that it comes from a place deep within, and with or without it, I know I am loved, I am of great worth and I am beautiful.

But I know my self-confidence would not be where it is today without people who love me despite my make-up obsessed tendencies. Friends who have told me I was beautiful with and without it, friends who never even commented on my overly-drawn eyebrow phase, friends who saw me without make-up and treated me just the same. It’s a wonderful thing when someone who feels so insecure steps out in her vulnerability and finds that she is loved and accepted just the same. And so, this is me standing up for me and for all girls who were made to feel bad about themselves: why should there be a problem if a girl feels beautiful with and without make-up? Stop throwing shade at girls who don’t wear any make-up, who wear a lot of make-up or who “don’t wear enough of it.” At the end of the day, nobody has the right to tell someone else what is beautiful.

As for you, make-up lover, Youtube beauty guru admirer, MAC hoarder, if you want to wear fake eyelashes everyday – do it. If you spend 30 minutes perfecting your eyeliner wing – have at it. If you feel the need to touch up your lipstick once an hour to feel confident – go ahead. If you’re on the less maintenance side and feel most comfortable with moisturizer and lipbalm, all power to you, too! But don’t ever feel ashamed or insecure for doing so. As long as you understand that your real beauty cannot be taken off at the end of the day, that it is something eternal that you hold inside of you, you’re killing it.

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Top image via Shay Cochrane
Bottom image via Pinterest