It may be common knowledge to you…the idea that makeup is the subtle mark of an elegant lady.
I, however, grew up in a family where wearing makeup was the mark of a girl or woman who was trying to be “fast” or “promiscuous” or if the girl or woman was obviously not promiscuous, her wearing makeup was seen by my family as excessive.
And goodness forbid you wear a RED lipstick…that was a one-way ticket to hell.
I exaggerate, but not by much. If I or any of my female relatives were seen to be wearing “visible” makeup or if it looked as though we had altered our appearance in any way, we were immediately chastised by my grandfather, sometimes by my grandmother, and made to feel so bad or awkward that we washed it off; or we were told to go and immediately wash it off.
Talk about destroying a young woman’s sense of self, freedom, and budding sensuality.
Imagine my surprise when in college, my close friend who was an international student from a noble and very wealthy family told me that in their culture it was expected for the young women to begin to wear makeup at a certain age (usually at the start of college); to put away the things of childhood and to begin attending to yourself as a woman. That meant shaping your eyebrows, wearing foundation, concealer, lip gloss, and mascara at the very least. To do less would be…a bit dishonorable to yourself and your family; since you have not moved on and attempted to find your rightful place as a young adult.
That was so surprising to me since I had been unconsciously taught that a bare face was almost a mark of righteousness, of virginity, of honesty. While I do agree that makeup does not belong on children, I am more liberal and freewheeling than my cosmetically-conservative family. I believe that at around 13 a girl should be able to wear lipgloss and that a teenager can begin to wear very light makeup at 15 if she is so inclined (This is for our family). And I wholeheartedly support women wearing any type of makeup they chose! Makeup can be so very elegant. I’ve seen some pretty pretty wild makeup styles out there; and while they turn cosmetics into art, I would rather use cosmetics to highlight my own natural beauty. But I could totally see myself rocking bubblegum pink hair and incredibly artful makeup
I encourage any adult women who were shamed away from makeup as a girl or young woman to try it out! Go to your local Nordstrom’s and ask the woman at a makeup counter of your choice, to apply a full face for you. Just say:
“Hi, I would like to start wearing makeup and I was wondering if you could help me. I’d like to see what I’d look like with foundation, concealer, mascara, eyeshadow, lipstick and blush. I would like something very natural yet fresh and lovely.”
At first it might be shocking to see yourself in a full face of makeup; so ask her to do something subtle, but noticeable. And see what she comes up with. Or bring in a picture of the makeup style you’d like to try out on yourself. This process is FREE. And the woman at the counter will also show you all the products she used to to make your fabulous face and you can then buy them; knowing that they match with your complexion and your color choices. And you do not have to buy everything the makeup counter assistant suggests; you can buy all, some, or NONE; it’s up to you. Just don’t forget to take his or her card!
Remember makeup or no, you’re beautiful.
It’s alright to enhance your natural beauty. And if anyone says anything negative, just think: Tiana’s rooting for me and she thinks I look gorgeous. Because I do 😉