When I started Sixth Form it was at a completely new school where I knew nobody at all. I used this to my advantage and remade myself. I turned up wearing thick foundation and concealer; my skin looked almost clear. No one knew that beneath the caked layers I had bright red blemishes and ugly purple acne scars.
This use of makeup continued. I never went to school without wearing makeup, even when I had a cold and my nose ran more than Usain Bolt. Even when I woke up with only half an hour to make it school because I slept through my alarm. Even when I my anxiety got so bad there was a 50/50 chance it was going to be cried off. I continued to hide beneath my makeup.
It took well over a year for the friends I made at that school to see me without makeup, and when they did I couldn’t stop apologising. I don’t know why though. It’s my skin and they don’t have to deal with it. They probably didn’t even care.
I realise now how much I hid behind that makeup. It gave me this sense of confidence that I never have with my bare skin, but also this sense of fear of people’s reactions if they saw the ‘real me’. There’s a fine line between when makeup is a way to enhance your features and when it’s just a mask. I think I crossed it.
After I left Sixth Form I stopped wearing makeup completely for a while. It wasn’t fun anymore; it was just a chore. I only saw my friends and family and I didn’t need to impress them. In a strange way this did help me feel more confident. I grew to accept my poor, blotchy skin and didn’t care as much about what people thought of it.
Over the past few months the condition of my skin has improved dramatically, to the point where I don’t really need to wear makeup. But now I want to. And I think that’s what makeup is supposed to be.
You should be able to feel comfortable enough to go in public without makeup and not care about what other people think. If you do wear makeup it should be a choice, something you actually want to do. It’s a form of creativity, a way to boost your confidence, not something to hide behind.
So here is me…
What you see above is me both with and without makeup. A year ago I would have never have done this, but now I don’t mind. Both of them are me.
What’s your opinion on makeup?