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Why I Use Makeup as a Form of Self-Care

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I wear a full face of makeup every day. Whether I’m staying in or going out, I put on a full face. Primer, concealer, foundation, powder, highlighter, contour, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick — the whole nine yards. Many people these days seem to think makeup is a form of covering up your insecurities. For some people, I suppose it’s true. But for me, makeup is a beautiful form a self-expression. It’s art.

I love to watch the foundation glide over my face, making my skin the same tone. I love to dust my face in powder, feeling how soft it becomes and how matte it looks. I love to delicately apply contour and highlight. I love choosing colors for eye shadows and carefully brushing the colors over my lid. I love drawing a black line across my eyelid. I love to curl my lashes and sweep black mascara over them. I love selecting a lipstick color and watching it turn my lips into a bright pop of color. After all of that work, a new face appears. It’s still me, just a different variation. My eyes look bigger, and my face seems slimmer.

The whole process takes about an hour. When I tell people this, they often will say, “But why? You look pretty without makeup. You don’t need to wear makeup.” I agree. I’m not one of those girls who thinks she’ll die of embarrassment if she is seen without makeup. I know makeup is not what makes me beautiful. The reason I wear makeup is not to impress, or feel more beautiful. I wear makeup because it is my form of self-care.

As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I often forget to take care of myself. Sometimes I think other people’s needs are far more important than mine. Sometimes I think I’m not worthy of care. Self-care is important, and I tend to neglect it.

Everybody has different forms of self-care. Some take time out of their day to do yoga, others pause and listen to music, some folks find cuddling with a pet soothing, creative minds might paint, others might read a book, meditate, or take a bath.

Self-care is taking time out of your day to do something for yourself. I have never been much of an artist with my hands, nor someone patient enough to just sit and think. I found doing these things often increased my stress rather than decreased it. This is how makeup became my form of self-care.

I think makeup is fun and relaxing. Doing my makeup in the morning allows me to start my day doing something that makes me happy. It gives me an hour to have fun and be at peace. When I’m doing my makeup, I often don’t think about the stresses of the day or the sadness I might be feeling. I just think about the art of makeup. I’m treating myself with kindness, rather than putting myself down.

Self-care is a necessity, and finding little ways do this — even something as simple as doing your makeup in the morning — can be extremely beneficial. Even these little moments can have big impacts.

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Thinkstock photo via Persians.

Originally published: April 6, 2017
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