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Full-Face Fabulous: why do we wear make up?

So, my very first post for The Yorker and I choose to write all about my opinions on make up. Wow. What a great way to portray myself to people as a mindless bimbo, with nothing better to do than flip her hair aggressively and pout even more aggressively on all her Instagram pictures.

Although I suppose that  is in fact a bizarrely accurate description of me; I certainly wouldn’t say that it would be a synopsis. I adore make up – so my argument here may in fact be slightly (or enormously) biased- but just because I like to enhance my appearance with mascara does not mean that I have less to say than anyone else. I absolutely detest the stigma that people that make an effort in a morning hence have less to contribute later on in the day. It is ridiculous to say that those of us who wear make up have a lower mental capacity, because when you actually think about it we probably have a higher one, as we’re the ones that have realised that by sticking a bit of Loreal’s finest on your mush, you are less likely to repel people on the bus.

For a lot of people, the transition of going from bare faced to made up is a long and gradual process; which is exactly how I remember it. When I was about 8 years old, I began turning to my mother what seemed like once a day and desperately plead with her “Mummy, how old do I have to be before I can start wearing make up?” Absolutely enamoured with the brightly coloured eye shadows and the glossy lipsticks, the satin creams in ivory pots all laid out in a row on her bedroom cabinet, I was obsessed with the possibility of making myself  as beautiful as mum looked before she went out of the house. For me, I have always been self-conscious of my appearance, and the fact that here before me was this collection of mini miracles that would make me feel good about myself, I couldn’t believe my luck. Naturally, I had friends that lived near me that were older by a couple of years, so I was able to watch as their parents gradually consented to make up, and I was almost bursting with expectation for my 13th birthday when I would finally be allowed access to this magic I so longed to have. After all, what’s a teenager without heavy eye liner?

As it happened, the entire scenario was a bit of an anti-climax, for when the glorious occasion eventually arrived my expectations were shattered. Rather than receiving a huge bag filled with make up amidst the pile of gifts on the end of my bed the morning of my birthday, there was instead a small package; which when unwrapped revealed a mascara from Avon, and I was expected to make do with that. Well, that simply wasn’t good enough for me, a burgeoning Make Up Artiste! From that moment on, I vowed to grow my collection myself, saving up my monthly pocket money purely to purchase whatever item took a younger me’s fancy at that time. Gradually, the box I kept these precious luxuries in swelled, as I bought more and more as time went on. This process was of course stunted by my high school, who had a zero-tolerance policy on any make up, meaning I couldn’t practice and experiment as often as I would have liked, and hence spent that 5 years looking like something nasty from a fairy tale that one may find under a bridge.

But eventually, I exploded into my college years, and my make up application and style exploded alongside it. I learned how to wing my eye liner; how to contour and that blusher can be used to tone down the bronzer that I had previously used on it’s own. My eyebrows got thicker, but were defined and shaped my face. My lips were lined, my foundation equalled my complexion and my eyelashes were black and lustrous. I was finally able to use make up how my mother used to when I was little, and I was complete. But that didn’t stop me. Even to this day my tastes evolve and expand. There’s always something new to learn, and the eagerness I felt at 13 still tugs my purse strings, urging me to buy new products to try. Some girls think they’re lucky to be naturally beautiful, and some Monday mornings I admit that when I’m sat desperately trying to make myself look presentable to the population, I envy them. But I love make up, the way it makes me feel, and most of all learning new ways to give myself confidence when I look in the mirror, so that one day, I’ll be able to say “You look good today” and actually believe it.