I wake up in the morning. Pull the blanket from over my head — the top of which currently looks as though a sweet little birdy thought it’d be nice to build me a nest made of unkempt hair during my slumber.
Often my brain awakes before my eyes do. I pry them open. Vigorously rub them, not giving a care to the possibility of pre-30s crow’s feet or the accidental smudging whatever colored substance I usually decide to trim them with once the day’s begun. Because as of now, nothing’s there. I slightly lift my head from the pillow, ever so briefly, to glance at the time. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Five more minutes? Let’s.
I snuggle back into my cottony cushioned comfort, without worrying that I’ll smudge my carefully applied foundation or that when I wake up again, I’ll have to tidy up my raccoon eyes. It’s nice.
Fast forward an hour later and I’m awake, once again. Reluctantly roll my body out of bed. ‘Til we meet again, my friend. Time to do bathroomy-stuff. Since I didn’t wash my face in the shower, I’ll save it for the sink.
That’s where I meet my worst enemy. The mirror.
There they are. All my glaring imperfections. Staring me in my face. Mostly because, well, they’re on my face.
This is too much realness for 8am.
Wash my face, spot treatments, moisturizer.
Now comes the fun stuff.
Primer? check. Foundation? You betcha. Concealer? Well we can’t leave the house without that, now can we?
And on goes the process of highlighting, contouring, powdering and drawing on my previously imperfect visage until it’s transformed into this pretty little painted picture of what I wish I could somehow look like every day when I roll out of bed.
The mirror’s somehow not so frightening now.
Ahh! All better.
Isn’t that sad? That I don’t feel quite content enough in the skin I was born into, to go out in public without this unnecessary routine?
I mean, I tried it. Abroad, one of my exes wanted me to feel more comfortable without makeup. He thought I looked pretty without it. So I experimented with going out for groceries and such a few times, completely barefaced. I thought people would stare. Point, make fun, laugh hysterically at the hideousness of this creature that was me. The humiliation!
…No one noticed.
So I kept it up. And I honestly stopped noticing too. I had begun to enjoy the cool breeze against my naked skin. But when I got back to America, I slipped back into my old, time-consuming routine (20 minutes or less, but it’s still time that could be better spent). It’s a hard habit to break.
I’m actually ashamed of my cosmetics dependency. I know there are plenty girls/women who feel similarly. That they’re simply unattractive in their natural state, and worry what others think. And then there are the girls/women who don’t wear makeup at all, and are perfectly fine with the way they look.
I wish I could be like that.
I mean, I was, for a little while. So perhaps there’s hope for me. I have no problems with wearing makeup. It’s fun, I enjoy experimenting with colors and techniques, and getting all dolled up makes me feel girly. The problem I have is the fact that it seems to be a crutch.
When I’m afraid to walk out my front door nude-faced, for fear of being called ugly, something is very wrong.
I feel free when I’m not wearing it. Not worrying about it coming off when I’m kissing someone, or smudging if I rub my eyes, or sweating away in the 90-degree heat…It’s surprisingly liberating. A liberty that, sadly, I don’t afford myself too often.
It’s a shame, really.