Hey everyone, as the title suggests, today’s post will be about my journey into make up!
I was never really into makeup growing up. I wasn’t a tomboy but I wasn’t super girly either. More of a bookworm! I can’t really explain it but appearance had never really been important or unimportant to me. It just really didn’t exist to me as a concept for a long time and instead I judged people on how ethically they behaved, how they portrayed themselves, and how smart they were.
I think I didn’t notice make up at first because my mother never really wore any herself; she was a stay at home mom so she never really seemed to find the need to. My parents, being Mexican, told me that girls couldn’t even wear makeup until they have their quinceanera, a birthday celebration that Hispanic girls typically get when they turn 15. On special occasions my mom would let me wear lip gloss, but that was it.
Eventually my 15th birthday came and went and I didn’t have a party. Instead my dad bought me a car, which for practical and introverted people such as ourselves, was a much better investment of time and money. I remember my mom did start trying to get me interested in makeup a tiny bit but ultimately gave up as her daughter was far more interested in studying her textbooks and was just too busy as she had a packed high school schedule that involved sports and AP classes.
Things didn’t change when I got to college. I had a buddy from my cross country team that would do my makeup and hair out of the goodness of her heart for my band concerts and such and I kept a bottle of foundation and a tube of mascara lying around for meetings with the school’s board of trustees every semester and so on but other than that, I didn’t wear anything make up wise. Later on, my internship was at a local coffee shop for social media where my boss didn’t care if I wore makeup. She was a strong believer that your appearance didn’t affect your work and later told me how she had refused to wear makeup when an employer told her she needed to start wearing it to be professional. I didn’t really have too many influences to start wearing makeup.
At some point in my childhood I somehow associated makeup with the word “uncomfortable” both physical and emotional. For example, I thought that if I wore lipstick my lips would feel like they do when they’re extremely chapped. I also thought that women who wore makeup were insecure and uncomfortable with themselves. These two (incorrect) assumptions stayed with me until I started using makeup myself and understanding what beauty can really be.
After college I didn’t have a job and I took some time for myself. I don’t have a psychology degree so I can’t say for sure I was depressed but I was definitely feeling burnt out. I found a job working retail in a women’s shoes department of a large chain department store. There my colleagues were extremely different than I was and all the females were very much into makeup. They would try and urge me to wear makeup or at least give it a try. Eventually I worked up the courage to walk across the shiny tiled aisle to the makeup section.
I was instantly overwhelmed by all the choices and colors and the entire world of makeup. The section I had walked into was known as “impulse” and included brands like Urban Decay and Bare Minerals and Benefit. Luckily the people working the counter were all really nice and helped me kind of start getting acclimated to the items that surrounded me. When I went back on my break one of the impulse employees did my makeup and I LOVED IT. It looked amazing and I bought a bunch of the products he used right away. “Impulse” certainly fits the counter! The employee became a good friend and he taught me all about applying makeup; he actually got me comfortable with contouring before everyone else was!
Because I had an employee discount I spent a lot on makeup in the store. I bought foundations and blushes and eyeshadow palettes, etc. And I use all those products to this day. I also have since acquired a ton more. I discovered my love for Estee Lauder, Origins, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay, and tons more high end brands at that department store. Recently I’ve been discovering great drugstore options as well. So far my favorite brands have been Maybelline and Rimmel.
I won’t say that makeup cured whatever it was that I was going through or that it was the solution to all my problems, but I think it definitely helped me in the long run. I gained confidence, made some new friends, and gained a fun (albeit expensive) hobby that I carried with me even when I left that job.
Now that I wear makeup every day I have completely changed my mind on what make up can do. I now realize that makeup reflects you, it doesn’t make you. I now know that you don’t have to be uncomfortable with yourself to wear makeup and experiment with your look. If anything, you need to be comfortable with yourself and have tons of courage to try the newest trends and latest techniques.
The world of beauty products is an amazing one. Essentially makeup can be just like clothes. If you wear it confidently, you will look amazing. There will be looks that you feel you can’t pull off or that you won’t feel great wearing, but that’s easily fixed. You just have to wash off your face and try again! You’re not trying to change yourself when you put on foundation; you’re showing who you are though an endlessly creative outlet.
Thank you for reading! Please let me know what your makeup origins story is below or let me know if you wrote a post on this very subject. I’d love to learn your stories in makeup!