Do you remember earlier this year when Alicia Keys attended the VMA awards with no makeup and there was an almighty uproar?
It seems silly that whether a woman chooses to wear makeup or not is a topic worth discussing at length but throughout history, discussions about female appearance are often wrapped up in wider social issues. Indeed, that Alicia Keys moment seems to have spurred the flames for the empowering #NoMakeup movement that is currently spreading across social media, a movement with a positive message that encourages women to celebrate their individuality and confidence in their own skin without feeling the need to hide behind layers of makeup.
And whilst I wholeheartedly agree that we should celebrate confidence, uniqueness and positivity in your own skin, I also think it is important not to backlash and judge anyone who does choose to wear obvious makeup. For as we know, people wear makeup for all different reasons.
For many people it is fun and creative. For others it is out of necessity – not all of us feel happy stepping out without makeup. And I am one of them.
Since moving to London a few years ago, I have never had clear skin. Ever. There have constantly been angry red breakouts around my mouth and chin and it often looks dull thanks to pollution, stress and all the other damaging things that come with fast-paced city living. I would absolutely love to step out of the house makeup free or cut down my morning routine by just using a swipe of tinted moisturiser but sadly, I would be far too self-conscious of the blemishes and the red marks left over from previous spots. So for now, my morning routine has to consist of delicately applying and blending concealer over many red marks so that it covers whilst still looking natural – a very time-consuming process.
Also since moving to London I have noticed that the trend is minimalism, whether it be effortless dressing or barely-there makeup (even before Alicia Keys rocked it), and with this comes a feeling that you will be judged for wearing a full face of makeup. I almost feel guilty for obviously wearing more makeup each day when everyone around me is rocking their #NoMakeup fresh skin (and let’s be honest, most of the people taking part in the #NoMakeup selfies are already gorgeous, with natural cheekbones, groomed brows, long lashes and healthy glowing skin which just add to the bad feelings).
So whilst I do agree that makeup shouldn’t be used as a substitute for confidence and that we should all feel happy within our own skin, sometimes when your skin isn’t behaving, it makes it pretty hard to flaunt it with a smile on your face. If you’ve ever suffered with acne you know how truly damaging it can be to your confidence.
Let’s remember that makeup is supposed to be fun and not a one-size-fits-all approach, so whether you love your contour/highlight/brows on fleek or you prefer your minimal #Makeupfree Monday, let’s embrace and celebrate it all, with no shame or judgement attached.