I am caught in the middle between wearing minimal make-up and foregoing full, decorative facial art.
Admittedly, I will always reach for mascara, eyeliner and some non-descript –it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that my chosen shade is called “burnt marshmallow on graham cracker” –brown shadow, every morning. The latter is particularly essential. It gives my unruly eyebrows the illusion of mirrored structure. The left one is curly and the right one is…all right. In essence, I use make-up to enhance my features, to reaffirm their existence and to draw people in.
There are several reasons as to why I don’t wear foundation, blusher, primer, concealer, bronzer, and so forth. The main reason is that I am pretty horrific at applying it. By nature I am overwhelmingly generous, especially to myself. I will reward myself with glutinous, gluten filled spoon of Nutella, drown cereal in an ocean of milk and most importantly; I will be just as heavy handed with foundation on my face as I will chocolate sauce on ice-cream. I have evidence of this theory, filed away in the dreaded “puberty” folder.
When I was younger I wanted nothing more than to feel older than my non-developed puberty boobs made me look. Naturally, taking the metaphorical reins from Mother Nature resulted in disaster, complete with an overzealously tangerine complexion. During this transitional time I fell victim to the female equivalent of the “chin strap.” No, I didn’t have ill-shaped facial hair – I would have preferred that, in hindsight- I merely missed the sleepover where everyone discovered that blending your foundation into your neck was an integral part of looking “natural.” Whoops! My 14 year old self was also guilty of iridescent lilac eye-shadow, never a good look, even with a gleaming mouth of braces. I have the photographs to prevent the possibility of this trend taking over Spring/ Summer ‘15.
Another reason for my make-up aversion is that I’m 22, and I want my skin to reflect my age. I realize this is an indulgently self-righteous thing to say. I am aware that I also sound like the head of marketing for an even more indulgent natural skincare line. I assure you, I am not. This a sentiment I should save until I’m in my late fifties, on the cusp of seeming irrelevant, but why wait? I’m happy with my skin just the way it is.
My disdain for make-up is not intended to evoke an assertive gendered position. I am not trying to rebel against the primitive expectations of man. I just don’t want to look like a red racoon, displaying a decoratively gingered complexion. Once again, I am conscious of my heavy- handedness. For this reason, I steer clear of gingerly layering foundation to avoid the illusion of condensed milk dripping down my face.
Finally, in the same vain -exemplifying my lack of vanity- I simply can’t justify waking up thirty minutes earlier to make myself look like a grown-up version of my 14 year old self.
Words: Zara Hedderman.