Makeup is a calming and creative activity that helps many people feel ready to start their day. Entering that readiness mentality means using makeup as a medium to achieve a certain mindset intended primarily for the wearer, not for the beholder. Cosmetics is a hobby and an art form and, sure, sometimes a security blanket-- it can certainly affect the way we're perceived and treated in social and professional circles. So how can women overcome the struggle to approach makeup with a healthy mindset, rather than viewing it as a necessary evil?
In the Digital Age, the internet is your magic mirror; it will answer any question you ask. For every girl who finds this utterly overwhelming, there is another who considers it absolutely necessary in their pursuit of beauty and status. Sometimes the two are one! So maybe it's time to think outside the box--or even just between the extremes--and reevaluate what questions we're asking our magic mirrors in the first place.
Here's an idea: Instead of asking Google how to contour like Kim Kardashian, think about your own bone structure. Place the highlight where it naturally arises along the cheekbones, because there is nothing wrong with the placement of yours. Or don't highlight at all if you don't even like highlighter!
Rather than seeking videos that will tell you how to look like Taylor Swift, ask yourself, if you love that red lipstick on her: Why does it work so well? Maybe you think it's harmonious with her skin tone. Surely, you can visualize an array of colors on your own lips and choose one for yourself, even if your favorite YouTuber has some silly rule that forbids warm complexions from wearing cool-toned lip tints.
Have you ever noticed that nobody builds their career on tutorials that teach people how to look like Lady Gaga? That's because Gaga is unique and always changing. She's a font of creativity and self-exploration whose look is in a constant metamorphosis. It's not consistent. It's not even practical. And yet she's no less famous or beloved than any beauty star because her persona displays all the intrigue of a woman who both knows and loves herself.
Essentially, the idea is to let yourself decide on a goal, and then seekinspiration, not instruction, on how to get there.
Just like Lady Gaga, you're perfectly autonomous and capable of exercising authority over your own ideas. So don't run immediately to "the experts" to remind you what self-esteem looks like--come to yourself first with questions. For example, what is your favorite color? Which jeans are going to make you feel best today? What have you been really looking forward to wearing, but haven't had the "right" opportunity to wear yet? Only you know the answer to this kind of inquiry.
After that, the vast billions of online resources available to you can simply serve as brain food and eye candy for you to incorporate as you please. If, at this point, you decide you really do want to work on that polished three-step eye look, then polish away, girl. Just remember to have fun doing it.
If you're still not convinced, here's a 10-second exercise. Look in the mirror and frown the most boring frown you can muster with the most expressionless brow you can possibly convey. Then smile. Really grin and see how your eyes light up instantaneously.
Congratulations: you finished the exercise, and now you've reminded yourself how attractive confidence is. It's a much better look than the sense of obligation we sometimes wear.
Finally, go out into the world knowing that only you can look the way you do, because only you get to experience this life in your incredibly complex body, with your resourceful brain and your distinct sense of self. Enjoy your craft, because no painter is ever satisfied just consuming art; we'll always end up with an urge to paint our own masterpiece. And while anyone can paint, only you have your face as the canvas. Lastly, don't forget to have fun!