Okay, so that title is a bit of a lie. It makes it sound like I’ve never had makeup on my face, and to some extent, I have.
I use lip balm fairly regularly, and if I’m going someplace fancy, I’m not averse to using lip gloss or even lipstick to make myself feel like I’m sprucing up.
In addition to that, for my high school prom, my sister insisted she do my makeup. So I stood stock still, i.e. cringing away from her every time I got uncomfortable, for a whole half hour, as she generously applied various products to my face.
However, that’s it for my makeup experience.
To this day, I’ve never sat in front of a mirror and “made up my face.”
It’s not that I have anything against people who put on makeup. As a matter of fact, it’s not always apparent to me when people are wearing it, especially if it’s a stranger. When I’m scrolling through pictures on Instagram, I can’t point out people who wear makeup (though I’m fairly certain it’s a large majority). I can spot a filter a mile away, but makeup is shrouded in mystery.
However, I do know that one of the positive aspects of makeup is that it highlights and accentuates good features on your face. (Errr, subjectively good features, I guess.) It can cover blemishes, even out your skin tone, make your lips appear fuller, your eyes brighter. It can sharpen the angles of your cheekbones and soften the lines on your face.
So don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate makeup. If anything, I’d like the opportunity to look better than I do, highlighting what I consider my best features and obscuring my worst.
Plus, the ritual of it appeals to me. I’m rather fond of daily habits.
But there are things about makeup that hold me back from just biting the bullet and trying it out.
For one thing, I’m incredibly sensitive about things around my eyes. To illustrate my point, that is why I wear glasses. For those of you who don’t know, I wear glasses. Here’s a picture:
I have terrible vision, and my prescription has only increased over time. When I first got glasses, contacts weren’t really a thing, and when it was mentioned that I should try them out during high school, I said “Hell no.”
Contacts are little slices of plastic that you shove onto your eyeball. Does that sound pleasant?
No, it does not.
I have a very reasonable fear of sticking things near my eye, so right off the bat, mascara, eye shadow and eye liner are no-gos for me.
Another reason why I don’t wear makeup is because it makes my face feel heavy and caked. The one time I did wear full-on makeup during my prom, I felt like a clown. I could feel the various layers of powders, creams, and gels weighing my face down. It was not pleasant.
Which also leads to another issue I have with makeup: cleaning up afterwards takes time. Good makeup is the kind that stays on your face for a long while. But a consequence of that is that it takes time to remove it. If I’m hanging out with friends late at night, I don’t want to have to stay up even later to take up painted grime from my skin afterwards. I want to be able to hit the sack immediately after an outing without worrying about leaving a skin-colored smear on my pillow case.
My last big issue with makeup is the cost. Makeup costs money. Maybe not too much if you’re buying cheap brands, but if you keep using it, makeup becomes something akin to groceries. You have to consistently purchase it in order to maintain your favorite appearance. I already have a hard time buying my favorite soap bar (these fantastic-smelling blue ones from Lush) on a regular basis. Do I want to add mascara, eye liner, eye shadow, eyebrow pencils, concealer, foundation, bronzer, primer, powder, blush, setting spray, etc. to the list of things I need to buy every week?
In the future, I may decide to give makeup a try, though definitely not during a pandemic that a) keeps me indoors most of the time, b) has limited my social interactions, and c) reduced my income. My first efforts by myself will be laughable, so if I do give this the old college try, expect a few posts absolutely steeped in self-deprecation.
For now, I’m good to just leave my face the way it is, by which I mean positively Below Average.