Makeup is usually viewed as in different aspects depending on how makeup is used. Sometimes the cosmetic tools are used for a boost of confidence, a mask to put on and hide the other side and can't feel comfortable without the cover up. Sometimes it's a way to be someone else for a while, wearing some different shades to embody by a semi-transformation.
Now judging by the photo, yes it's just simple cosmetics. Nothing dramatic or professional. Just eyeshadow, lipstick, mascara, and some foundation. It's basic stuff I use. However, I've become more lax with my glamming process and it's no longer used to impress someone else. I don't strive to have everything perfect in my looks. In high school I would get high anxiety if my makeup wasn't perfect on both eyes. I used to wear every product on my face, I had to be perfect, I needed to be an image to be accepted and found attractive. But now it's changed in the spectrum of my cosmetic enhancements.
For me: My makeup is my warpaint.
I say that because after my depression hit me hard and I could barely pick up the brush to do my makeup. I couldn't even create a colorful palette of colors on my eyes because I couldn't stand what I saw in my own reflection. I tried to make myself put on this mask, but I didn't feel anything, I had no pride in the way I looked. I hated the way I looked for a long time. I couldn't find anything good in appearance despite the compliments I get from family or sweet strangers. The depression only accelerated that toxic thought process.
It took a while, but after therapy and a positive life changes. I found myself being careful in my grooming routines. I was ready to get prepared to go out my door, and I actually wanted to transform myself. I had the strength to do that. I took the time to test out and play around with some makeup looks I wanted to do that I may have never done before. It was time for a change. I got to experiment with softer styles and edgier styles for different looks to do, now that I had this things: confidence and self-esteem. Two qualities I never really had before the depression or after the depression.
When I had my weekly outings to open mics, I would don on a cute outfit. Making myself put together. Can't have the war paint without the armor. I had some nice, mature dresses that I rarely got to wear.
As soon as I was settled in my usual spot at a cafe. I had decided to capture that moment with a selfie. Selfies are usually seen as a self-absorbed, sometimes obnoxious trait that people do. I saw taking a snapshot of myself as a moment that I got myself dressed, I put on my makeup, I was proud of appearance and I wanted to capture that moment of my strength of my accomplishments of mental health. It became apart of the routine. I still had the thought in the back of my mind that it seemed like a vanity complex, that I appeared to be very self-obsessed with my image that I have to take pictures of my appearance to share on Instagram.
Even though no one knows that the mini-vouge photo-shoot in a cafe is because I have a newfound pride in my appearance for a new lease on life. It was my tiny celebration to myself in my success of getting out of the house.
I could finally stop looking at myself and hating what I saw, that makeup couldn't cover up what I hated. I had moments I looked at my face in between the process of getting ready, that I was OK with less application of makeup. I was impressed with myself for being Ok with minimal makeup.
In the moments I had been told by random individuals that they had to stop and tell me I'm very beautiful. I could believe it and thank them for taking time out of their day to tell me that positive gem. It was told out of an encounter without a romantic attachment. But on that note, there was one occasion, on a date, when I was told that I'm beautiful then the date would say, "You didn't have to dress up for me, you didn't have to do your hair and makeup". Sometimes I shrug that off until I'm told again, and again, then, I have to politely say, "This is for me, I don't do it for anyone else." It seems sensitive to convey, but it's important to me, I take my self-care serious in my strive for continuing my mental health in this way. I did this for myself, not anyone. Sure, it's nice to have someone cheering on and giving positive affirmation, but the steady initiative still stands on my half to keep that up. I can't make myself pretty for someone else, that's not valid to me. I stand up for my appearance since it took so long to get to this positive pedestal in my life.
Days after that date, I put up a post on Instagram to share what my appearance meant to me. That was what made the impact on my mental health to call it my warpaint.
This is what I posted last year.
I went from the girl that had to wear every product on her face to make some kind of a forced self-esteem. Then, in the hard years to come, I became the woman that couldn't look in the mirror. Now she is the woman that can put on makeup without hating herself in the mirror. She can go out of the house without equally blended shaded eyes. She can go out without having every piece of makeup on. She is the woman that has a pride in her flawed appearance with the accommodation of some warpaint.
She's become the woman that can accept herself for her flaws and feels a love for herself.
It’s Mental Health May, and now more then ever , we need to take care of ourselves during this virus crisis pandemic.
Keep up with self care routines, try out new makeup looks to experiment on, have a solo fashion show.
Keep up with your warpaint.