I will never forget the first time a few friends of mine put lipstick on me. I was 19 years old and had been struggling with a lack of self-esteem for many years. Nobody ever taught me how to wear makeup or how to dress well for my body. I was a tomboy growing up and that was okay but I always felt something was missing. I didn’t know that the firecracker red lipstick these girlfriends put on me would change my life.
Fast forward almost a decade and I have an entire Pinterest-worthy vanity of makeup. Not only lipsticks but mascaras, false lashes, eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, primers, and everything in between. You name it and I’ve got the formula and shade you want. So, what changed between my 18 year old self and who I am now?
When I saw myself in that lipstick I felt truly beautiful. I felt bold and strong and I didn’t feel uncomfortable when it drew attention my way. It took time to learn to apply it the way I like and experiment with other shades and formulas, but I still go back to that signature bright red lip. When I’m feeling a little sexier, I love a dark, wine colored lip. I feel just as beautiful today as I did then.
Looking back there was a change in me that occurred. On my path of experimenting with makeup, I learned that I can transform myself and how I feel simply by altering how I look. If I’m having a day where I don’t feel bold or don’t feel strong, I put that bright shade on. It helps. If I’m feeling a bit mellow or want less attention, I’ll go for a nude lip and simple mascara. This is the makeup that I go to work to get things done in. A dramatic eye and fuller lashes are for days when I want the attention on me. I feel no shame about saying that I want attention now. It’s a human feeling. 18 year old me who was terrified to stand out could have never imagined the woman I would become today.
Makeup has given me strength. It has made me feel powerful. It has connected me with the skin that I live in. But it has also given me relationships in a way that I would have never understood before. Whenever I see a woman with a makeup look that I love, I make sure to compliment her. I will ask what product she is wearing. This has started friendships I had never imagined. I have been trusted to do makeup for friends before first dates of men they would go on to marry. I have watched a peer light up when I compliment her lip shade. I have given girlfriends extra products I would never use and watched them explore their makeup interests as well.
Makeup gave me confidence. It started the journey towards self-love. But it also gave me community and connection and for that I will always be grateful.
What has makeup done for you? Please let us know in the Comment field below!
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