Makeup As A Form Of Self Care?

Daley Grace Sweeting

I know what you're thinking. I've fallen into some sort of capitalist, misogynistic trap. Watched one too many adverts that scream out "If you buy this makeup, your life will be better."

I've always prided myself on being the type of woman who does not need to put on makeup before leaving the house, even to go to work. In the early stages of dating, I would always be sure to let the guy see my face as it naturally looks to avoid any awkward and self-conscious morning-after moments. Because if you can't love me at my acne scars, you certainly don't deserve me at my Fenty Face, right? 

So why am I writing about makeup in relation to self-care? Well, I noticed a bit of a life pattern when it comes to my daily routine: whenever I am having a bit of an emotional dip,  I go through 2 stages. Stage 1: IDGAF as far as my appearance is concerned and personal grooming is kept to a bare minimum - frankly, you're lucky I showed up at all. Stage 2: I wear ALL of the makeup. 

Stage 2 normally happens when I am trying to pull myself out of a funk. Perhaps it is a way for me to disguise my exhaustion, anxiety, depression, etc. Warpaint, if you will. And yes, I feel super cute, which helps with my confidence, but upon a bit of introspection, I realised it is more than that. Right at the start of my day, before the challenges of work and life begin, I am able to complete a task from start to finish. I can create something and have a sense of achievement before I have even left the house. I can match colours to my mood (or alter my mood with the use of colours). And as for the act itself, I am completely in the moment. Mindful only of the task at hand. Taking things one step at a time. It's actually quite soothing and I've found myself looking forward to it each day.

I'm sure there are many versions of this: nail painting, braiding your hair, shaving. Maybe it doesn't need to be anything to do with grooming, it could be cooking or colouring or doing a puzzle. The task is secondary to the state of calm that is achieved. And if you are someone who is familiar with anxiety, you will know that meditation or mindfulness-based practices like breathing exercises can be a real challenge at first because it's easy for the mind to wander off on a worry train. Finding a simple task that has a positive outcome and is easy to complete is a good place to start; training your brain to focus on what you are doing at that moment and nothing else.

I'd love to know what your self-care rituals are, readers so please comment below!