Today’s post is inspired by a comic by Connie Sun. Go check it out!
Make up was not my “thing” in high school. Really, a lot of very feminine things weren’t my “thing.” I didn’t wear skirts, I rejected cute sweaters in favor of shapeless hoodies, and pink was not a color that showed up on my clothing. I still owned plenty of “girly” things, like shojo manga (looking at you, original Tokyopop printing of Cardcaptor Sakura I totally still own), and my small army of stuffed animals, and I frequently bought allergy-inducing earrings shaped like butterflies from Claire’s. But make up I definitely shied away from.
Wearing make up at that time was not a part of the self image I’d built up for myself at that time — nerdy girl who cared more about getting to read an extra chapter of that Forgotten Realms novel than doing anything more with her hair than trapping it in a pony tail. I didn’t feel like I’d be “me” with stuff all over my face.
Things changed a little when I actually started learning how to put on make up. A friend did a smokey eye for prom, in college I discovered what lipstick colors look good with my face. And a terrible sunburn turned me onto the magical benefits of foundation!
I’ve since figured out eye shadow and eyeliner, and know that I prefer dusting on the “warmth” rather than a pink blush so I’m not completely monotone. I’ve discovered how to add colors and textures to my face, so it feels more like my face.
Very much unlike my high school self, I’m much less likely to leave the house without make up on, even for something as simple as traveling across town to see my in-laws. Sometimes I worry that I’ve become more vain — after all, I take care that I’ve got my earrings in, that I’m wearing the right shirts, that my hair is parted in just the way I want it. But I was concerned with my look in high school, too. I wanted to by the grungy nerdy girl. Now I want to be the slightly more put together nerdy adult. Make up, along with my tank tops and multiple ear piercings, is a part of my outward persona now as much as those DBZ shirts were way back when. When I brush on eye shadow or pick out a lip color, I feel like I am becoming me, and going out and being a part of the world is a much less intimidating process. I’m putting on my war paint, just like Connie Sun in her comic, ready to face the world as myself.
Plus, did you know there’s SPF in foundation? Super handing when I’m in Disney World roasting in the fiery Orlando Sun.