Why Do You Wear Make-Up?

Beauty Editor Laura Greatrex on why she wears make-up and how it inspires confidence.

7th November 2017
Image Credit: @shaaanxo (Instagram)

"You wear too much make-up." I can't be the only person who is just a tiny bit fed up with how frequently and how carelessly this clichéd and narrow-minded comment is thrown about nowadays. My response to this is a heavy eye roll and a sarcastic thumbs up. Well done, you've noticed I'm wearing make-up (to be honest I would be offended if you didn't), but no one has the right to judge whether I'm wearing the 'right' amount or not. In my opinion, as long as you're happy with the final result of what you've daubed and blended onto your face, then there's no such thing as too much make-up. After all, it's your face and no one but you should dictate what you do with it.

What some people don't seem to realise is how personal make-up can be. I would like to explicitly state now that I don't wear make-up for anyone else but me. I admit that I am very insecure about how I look without make-up (unfortunately, this is something the majority of people can relate to) but I don't spend time applying it in the mornings, sacrificing an extra half an hour in bed, for the benefit of anyone else but me.

Image Credit: @toofaced (Instagram)

Image Credit: @toofaced (Instagram)

Having said that, it's nice when my efforts don't go unrecognised or unappreciated. Despite being tipsy on trebles, I still remember the moment last year when I was queuing at the bar in Soho and two random girls complimented me on my makeup - shout out to these lovely girls for making my night! It might sound small and insignificant, but just one positive comment on my make-up can keep me buzzing all day. But again, this comes back to the fact that I have decided for myself to apply specific products in a specific way. The fact that someone has recognised my efforts is just a bonus.

Make-up is about personal expression and experimentation. It's about having fun, and yes to some degree it's about confidence. But in today's warped society that is extremely focused on the physical appearance, sometimes we need something to give us some confidence and protection against the constantly critical gaze we are subjected to.

I love a good meme as much as anyone, but the ones I've seen circulating about how you should take a girl swimming on a first date to see her without her make-up, and therefore her 'true' appearance, I find cruel and immature. If you're on a date with someone who has clearly spent time on their appearance, firstly, and most importantly, you shouldn't assume they have done this for your benefit, and secondly you should appreciate and admire the effort they have gone to. Applying make-up isn't the easiest thing to do, it's a form of artistry, and like any artist, it would mean the world if someone noticed and complimented us on our final masterpiece. Contrary to the popular, and quite frankly frustrating, belief make-up is not deceiving. By applying it, we're not out to trick you, we're not attempting to change our appearance. Make-up is purely for enhancing your appearance. We use it to bring attention to the features we're proud of and draw the eye away from those things we're feeling a bit insecure about.

I would love for society to abolish the misguided societal assumption that we can only look good when we're wearing make-up. I definitely wouldn't describe myself as a natural beauty, but way to make a girl feel rubbish about herself. However, despite the stubbornness of these shallow stigmas, I will continue to maintain that I wear make-up for me, myself, and nobody else.

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