the problem with osfa makeup

Makeup--perhaps more than anything else in the beauty world--is not one size fits all. When someone says, "This is how I do makeup," I listen. I'm intrigued. I'm inspired. When someone says, "This is how you should do makeup," I shut down. I'm not interested in being told what to do. I'm certainly not interested in institutions that approach women and beauty as anything but an individual experience. Makeup, like the face it's showcasing, should be unique.

If I sound a little worked up, I am. I just got home from a Mary Kay party. I'm not here to say anything about Mary Kay as a brand, but I will say that it is shocking how I came home from a night of "pampering" feeling uglier than I have in weeks. I personally don't think thirteen beautiful women of all ages and races should be instructed on applying makeup en masse. Nevertheless, being the rule follower that I am, I set aside my creativity for a couple of hours. I followed my card. I did makeup like I was told. Then I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. The woman running the assembly line came up to me and said, "You look good! Your face looks...fresher. Don't you think?" So, does that mean I came in with a stale face? Should I take her supposed compliment to mean that I should discard my comfortable nude lips, colorful eyelids, and heavy eyeliner and settle for this uncomfortable face, because someone else thinks it looks better?

Of course I won't. Of course I'm too prideful to stop wearing what I think looks good. But I also know that periodically in the coming months when I'm playing with a new eyeshadow combination, I'll think about tonight. I'll wonder if people think I wear too much makeup. I'll wonder if people other than Ms. Mary Kay Consultant think a simpler look would look better. Fresher. And even if only for a moment, I will feel self-conscious in this skin of mine.

And I think that's wrong.

So to the beauty world, I issue a challenge: Stop approaching makeup as a paint-by-numbers activity. If a woman doesn't want to wear makeup, she shouldn't have to. If a woman wants to be adventurous and try red eyeshadow or blue lipstick, let's applaud her artistry. If a woman does her makeup different from our own, we should thank her for letting us remain unique.

Hi, I'm Wendy. I'm addicted to makeup. 
And I think I have the right to feel beautiful.

Comments

  1. How funny! I've always felt the same way about Mary Kay. I love how you're always experimenting with new looks. It's inspired me to try and mix up my look every now and then as well!

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