Makeup is complicated. While everyone’s reasoning and frequency with wearing it can vary, one constant is that makeup application is a choice. Whether you’re the person saving the expensive concealer and mascara for a big event, or you’re the person primed, concealed, blushed, mascarad, lips perfectly puckered, eye brows filled at any given moment–both situations are conscious choices to wear makeup.
And sometimes there are the not-as-rare-as-you-think cases when makeup application doesn’t so much feel like a choice but a requirement. Because by design clear, even skin is a sign of health, a sign that you take care of yourself. And to an extent yes this is absolutely true. But what is also true is that a girl who is very physically active, eats clean, limits sugar, limits alcohol, washes her face every night and morning, gets enough sleep, can still be struggling with breakouts, can still be wearing the skin of someone who does not take care of their body. This girl was me for a very long time.
Today (left) vs. October 2016 (right) The journey to better health isn't just about lifting heavier and making cute smoothies. Picking up the heavy weights, pushing through the rough cardio, that stuff hasn't always been the hardest part. THIS has been the hard part for me. Trying to figure out what was going on inside my body to cause my skin to be in a steady state of breaking out. The hardest part was accepting that for me there wasn't going to be a magical cleanser, toner, face mask, or topical cream to end this nightmare. Hundred dollar serums did NOTHING. As someone who already had uprooted an unhealthy lifestyle in exchange for a healthy/fitness-centric one the last thing I wanted to do was START OVER. Everyone told me it was something I was eating, it was hormones, something internal, something I couldn't fix with fancy acne products. I didn't wanna hear it though. It wasn't until I accepted that I needed to CHANGE my lifestyle again that I started seeing clearer skin. I wish I could make posts like this and say "omg I had acne for years but proactive fixed me!! Go try it now!" It wasn't so cut and dry. I literally changed the way I live my life AGAIN (the 28 day reset helped me discover some food allergies) and I pretty much changed body chemistry (by taking hormones). This process was not easy. And I think I was the most upset during these transitions because I wasn't seeing change right away. And that's probably what scares people away from fitness programs too–like how dare something so hard not give me optimal results in a couple months?? I know I know 😔 I went through the fitness thing (even though I was a lot younger when I lost weight), and I'm at the tail end of the skin thing. Change is gradual. Patience is EVERYTHING whether it's toning your physique or finding the cure to YOUR acne (because there's no universal cure–everyone's situation is unique). Be patient with yourself, embrace the need to change, and everything will be ok 💗💗 #healthspo #28dayreset #fitspo #transformation
But it really doesn’t matter what drove you to wearing makeup in the first place (I mean, we’re all so pressured to be perfect so what’s a girl to do?). For me it was frustration and low self-esteem but no matter what your reason is, you should never feel like you have to justify it–especially if acne is a part of the situation. But sometimes there are those people who more often than not think they’re helping you feel better by commenting on your makeup or skin but in reality…are doing the exact opposite. Here are some of the most common (and frankly most deadly) comments that can drive a makeup wearer mad.
- “It looks like your skin is clearing up!”
I’ve lost track of how many times people (usually loved ones) would say this to me and I’d always reply, “That’s because I’m wearing makeup.” For so long, the only time I ever heard this was when I was legitimately wearing foundation and concealer. Of course the person saying this means you no harm. They’re not trying to be a dick. But the fact that they’re dishing a compliment that you can’t accept is what’s hurtful. I mean, yes of course you have the right to accept any compliment thrown your way. But for me personally, when friends and family have said this to me, I just couldn’t stop thinking about how easily I could wash away this “clear skin” with soap and water. Thus plummeting me deeper into the “I’m deceitful for wearing makeup” train of thought, which is a thought pattern extremely hard to break when you’ve been concealing acne for years.
My Advice: Don’t get mad at whoever is saying this to you. Yes, I think it’s okay to mention nicely that you’re wearing makeup but remember, this person isn’t saying this to make you feel bad. Chances are, this is someone who knows how uncomfortable you can get in your own skin. Accept this compliment at face value and move on.
2. “I would never wear makeup to the gym.”
First of all, good for you. Second, no one ever got hurt by feeling good about themselves. Again, I think remarks like this genuinely come from women who don’t understand what it’s like to use makeup as survival tool rather than a luxury. For me personally, I know I don’t perform as well physically at the gym if I don’t feel confident. Sometimes that means throwing on some tinted moisturizer before I walk out the door (and sometimes I don’t want anything on my face at all). Sometimes that means a swipe of mascara, a taming of the brows, what have you. It’s honestly sad to hear women whispering about other women who dare to wear makeup to the gym. I think the people who have a problem with this are clearly victims of low self esteem too. It comes from a feeling of inadequacy. But maybe that’s why the girl doing bicep curls in the corner (looking fabulous by the way) is wearing makeup in the first place.
And of course, we’re all busy people leading busy lives. So maybe she comes right from work to the gym and still has a full face of makeup on. Ultimately, it’s wrong to be judgmental about a woman’s makeup usage. Because you just don’t know why she’s wearing it to begin with. Every woman has the right to look her best in any situation. I’m not sure when the gym ever became an exception to that rule. Like ok you see women wearing $150 leggings but “don’t care” how they look at the gym? Mhm, a likely story. I mean what’s the difference between wearing a designer workout ensemble and wearing makeup to the gym? Both are a form of trying to look your best and there’s nothing wrong with either of them!
3. “You don’t need to wear makeup.”
Opinions, opinions, opinions! This one I’ve actually have only ever heard from guys. Unless someone blatantly asks you, “Do you think I need to wear makeup?” then it’s probably safe to say that she’s not looking for your validation. And that’s where a lot of women’s makeup usage gets misconstrued. It’s often seen as wanting to look good for the opposite sex. What ever happened to self-validation? When I throw on some concealer before hitting the gym my thought process isn’t “well, incase there’s a hot guy, better look good.” Hell. No. You know what my thought process is (and yes, this will vary from woman to woman)? I’m thinking, “I’m gonna be standing in front of a mirror for at least an hour so I don’t want to be distracted by my insecurities while I’m lifting.” That’s it! I’m at the gym to relieve stress and tension, so why would I want to stare at something that gives me so much stress and tension while I’m trying to relieve it? And if I’m not at the gym and just literally anywhere else my thought process is “I don’t want to feel like everyone is staring me.” Depending on how deep a skin insecurity can run, this might be a reality. For me, it definitely was before I saw improvement. I used to think people weren’t talking to me when they spoke, they were talking to my jaw line (which is where my acne was). Whether you’ve struggled with acne or not, it’s pretty much a universal thing that no one likes the feeling of being stared at. Imagine feeling like that 24/7? That was a feeling I liked to avoid as much as possible for obvious reasons.
Also, someone saying verbatim “You don’t need to wear makeup” is actually implying that there are in fact women who do need to wear makeup, women who shouldn’t be seen without it. I don’t like the way that compartmentalizes us based on appearance. That statement is only reinforcing her insecurity. Because the sad truth is that so many women are already subject to believe that. The first time I felt like I “needed” makeup was in 6th grade, walking down the hall, when some girl said to me “Do you rub olive oil on your nose? It’s so shiny.” It was something I never forgot and it was truly my gateway into the world of makeup. I remember going home that afternoon asking my mom if I could start wearing makeup now, and she let me.
Overall, makeup is an amazing tool to have when dealing with acne or any insecurity on the face. That’s the thing right there, insecurities on the face are incredibly hard to cope with because your face is well….your face. It’s the first thing people look at it when they meet you (well hopefully lol). So even now that my acne is gone, I’m just hyper aware of the marks it left behind. It doesn’t matter if other people think you look fine, what matters is what you ultimately think. Learning to be comfortable in your own skin is a process never to be taken lightly.