Makeup & Mental Health

So first things first, this has been difficult to write. Click bait this ain't. I procrastinated in the writing of this post, to the point where I actually wrote it out by hand first. It is that unease which is conflicting with the usual confidence I feel in writing. The usual effortlessness that goes with clicking publish. Any discomfort makes me feel all the more like this is an important idea so here we are...

After watching Sam's video about makeup and depression, it got me thinking. That and a somewhat feather-ruffling article about the skincare industry and its presence as a scam, preying on the idiotic and gullible among us.

It's no secret that makeup exists to fix a problem, to enhance our features and mask flaws. How many of those adverts with questionable statistics from a trial of sixty people grab anyone by the purse strings? I shudder to think. The multipurpose, unnecessary products. An insert telling you how to apply mascara. Foundation that comes in twenty shades of white. The examples and types of problematic behaviour and ethics within the beauty industry are of course not limited to these examples. If we looked at every debate we would be here for a decade. Like the fashion industry, many of these ideals and standards are deeply rooted. Change will be eventual but it is by no means fast moving. Patience is key and of course accountability across the board.

For all its faults however and potential damage, it will be interesting to see how the ageing process affects my generation's eventual perception of beauty. Makeup has its merits. If I am having a lousy time of it, throwing on a glittery eye shadow or a bold lipstick can give me a little confidence boost. An external armour if you will. A spritz of Coco Mademoiselle relaxes and comforts me. Its scent encases me in a veil of familiarity and nostalgia. It serves as a reminder that any past memories, are simply that. Past memories and that is where they will remain. The scent itself will always be there, one hopes at least. 

There also lies comfort in the ritualistic nature of a beauty routine. It brings with it structure, normalcy and an invitation to pause-free from outside noise. Yes, it even deserves mention as a form of self care. I apply makeup first and foremost for myself.

Sure there will be some who dismiss this thinking as superficial and ridiculous. I am well aware there is always another perspective to any discussion of this nature. In a time where the beauty world is muddied by ethical quandaries, misguided advertising, brand mishaps and PR nightmares, it can be easy to become swept up in the negative side. Give a girl the right weaponry, in the form of glitter as a shield and blood red lipstick as a sword and she can conquer the world, whether fleetingly or forever.

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