How does makeup affect your skin? And not just skin, but everything that you apply it to? As a big lover of makeup, this is a question that I often thought about. For many years now, there has rarely been a day when I would go without makeup. To be seen outside with a ‘bare’ face? Never!!! After all, I had hereditary dark circles under my eyes, a pale, if not slightly ‘unhealthy’ skin tone, and slightly downturned eyes that, on a bad day, look undeniably sleepy 🙂 I felt compelled to cover up all my flaws. Although I did not realise it, I was ‘trapped’ by decorative makeup. I got so used to seeing an even, foundation-covered face and defined, perky eye makeup, I felt ‘faceless’ without it.
Eventually, though, I understood what I have been doing wrong! You see, it’s actually simple, the mistake happened when I started wearing makeup daily, which accentuated all the ‘flaws’ I am now so self-conscious about. The reason is, for example, the more a person wears foundation, the worse skin tone and texture becomes. Pores become blocked, skin does not ‘breathe’, all the tiny little bad foundation/bronzer/blusher/powder chemicals are absorbed. All this leads to an uneven, often dull or even problematic complexion. So the person looks in the mirror and thinks ‘Ugh! My skin does not look good bare!’ and applies the usual foundation and whatever else. And so the story goes on, and this is how a slave to makeup is born 🙂 This is true not only to foundation, but to all makeup. Eyelashes thin out and their life-cycle shortens because of mascara and curling, so naturally you apply mascara to make them look nicer. The tone of lips becomes uneven and their contour loses definition from lipsticks and lip glosses. Makeup is a short term solution to problems it will never solve in the long run. Also, don’t forget, the manual friction you inflict on your poor skin, eyelids, eyelashes, and whatever else by applying makeup and then removing it is not doing you any good.
So, it’s not unusual to think that some types of makeup, like mineral, or just good quality makeup is not bad for you. Of course, this has some truth in it, and ‘better’ brands tend to provide better things, however, a ‘good’ chemistry of makeup is not guaranteed or exclusive to better brands, and vice versa. It’s all much more complex than that, and will be explained properly in a later post. For now, let’s just say, there are ‘bad’ ingredients in anything ranging from a typical drugstore purchase, to makeup by a brand like Clinique or Chanel.
As another example, let’s take mineral makeup. It has been popular alternative for a while now, and I would even take a chance to say it is sometimes better than the ‘classic’ makeup. However, although it is mostly less ‘harmful’ in a sense of chemistry, it is still not doing any good, and will prevent your natural assets from improvement. I believe this goes for all make up, with a few exceptions like eyelash and eyebrow care gels and tinted lip balms (but only those that are truly natural), they barely count as ‘decorative’.
Now I’m not saying you should not use makeup. We all do as we please =) Sometimes, looking your best is absolutely necessary. Keeping this in mind, my approach recently has been to choose makeup properly, minimise the amount I use, and weigh up the occasions where I could do without it. Do I really need those smoky eyes to go to the shop over the road? Or the foundation if I am going for a walk? Not at all, and this took me a while to realise. The benefit of using less (or no) makeup is to give skin, eyelashes, eyebrows etc. the opportunity to improve naturally, without constantly covering them in something, and stunting their natural processes of recovery and growth. This is important for determining how you will look in the long term, as well as how good you look ‘au naturale’, without makeup.
There is no ‘one’ way of improving your natural beauty, but here are some things I did, and you could try too :
- Re-think your daily makeup routine, if you have one. Foundation to go for a walk? Eyeliner to the shop? There’s just no point!
- Re-invent your makeup look to the most natural possible, with the least decorative products, for the times you really do want/need it.
- Invest in good quality, organic, harmless products. Think of what makeup items you could not live without/use the most, for example foundation, mascara, concealer and make sure you concentrate on choosing the best.
- Remove all decorative makeup when you get back home, not before bed.
- Pay attention to your skincare routine and health, they are the true bases of good looks. Foundation that looks better than healthy clear skin just does not exist.
- Don’t feel self-conscious when going outside without the makeup you are used to. No one will notice (or care), seriously.
- Don’t forget that often, a person can look worse, or out of place with too much make up, rather than none at all.
Good luck to all the lovely ladies who, like me, are trying cure their makeup-a-holic addiction 😉 And share if you have any tips of your own! I would love to know!