Spoiler alert: reading this will make you feel really good about being a woman by Nicole Newman
Why do I wear make-up? It’s a question I asked myself just after I finished reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. Do I wear make-up for myself, or to please others, or could it be a little bit of both? Do I wear make-up because I lack confidence, or is it because I have been programmed through the media and society that women are meant to wear make-up? Or could it simply be because I love make-up and the way it makes me feel? Then I remembered a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:
Pretty is something you’re born with. But beautiful, that’s an equal opportunity adjective.
You see, beauty is not only external – a façade – it comes from within, and being beautiful has nothing to do with the make-up I (you or we) wear but, and this is a big but, does wearing it make me feel better about myself? And does the freedom to experiment with it make me feel empowered? Oh, yes, it absolutely does.
If I wake up and feel like I can conquer the world, I opt for a red lip, and when I want to shake things up a bit, I try a new blue eyeshadow. If I want to be bare-faced on a Sunday morning, I wear my hydrating moisturiser and a tinted lip balm and venture outside, feeling just as good about myself as I did the night before when I channelled Madonna with a deep plum lipstick and (several coats of) mascara.
So, the reason why I choose to wear make-up has nothing to do with lack of confidence, or a need to cover up, quite the contrary; my love of make-up is empowering, it gives me choice to be whoever I feel like on any given day or night. And, believe it or not, when I am feeling fatigued or under the weather, pale faced and bloated, I turn to my make-up bag for a temporary feel-good solution; a light layer of BB cream, a flash balm and a hint of concealer. I also don’t believe that make-up makes me any less intellectual – I see it as a smart choice because I am investing in my skin. I love my morning skin and make-up rituals that have become therapeutic for me: from the scent of my serum to the lip colour that suits my mood. I love enhancing my assets with different products, like a green eyeliner to make my hazel eyes pop, or accentuating my arched brows with a highlighter. I also love seeing women of all ages at the make-up counters peering over and experimenting with new products.
Make-up has a positive connotation in my life. As a teen, I remember watching the overwhelmingly positive reactions of women who’ve endured tough times and were treated to a makeover. That first reveal unveiled new, transformed individuals, and the change in their attitude and demeanour was instantly noticeable. It served as a new lease on life.
So why do I wear make-up? Because it helps me enhance my natural features, it nourishes my skin, and it makes me feel all sorts of happy. Stick with me and together we will continue to unpack the beautiful, exhilarating, insightful and powerful world of make-up as we strive to enhance our inner and outer beauty.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT
M.A.C Blue Nectar Lipstick in Intoxica, R220
Diorshow Mono in Show, R555
Benefit Lollitint, R435
Sisley Eye Concealer, R999
L’Oréal Superliner Black ‘n Sculpt, R150
Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation, R760
Inglot HD Lip Tint Matte in 17, R499
and for when I’m feeling daring
Smashbox Be Legendary Cream Lipstick Tabloid, R260