You can’t make this up

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My fascination with makeup began at a very young age. Personally, I like to think my interest in cosmetics inherently arose from my genetic makeup. My mom, too, was very fond of experimenting with colors, shades, powders, liquids, and so on and so forth. Her natural radiance was the perfect blank canvas that alone possessed all the glamour in the world. When her beauty techniques were employed, her stunning appearance was only further accentuated. I loved to watch her apply makeup with a delicacy that can only be mastered with time. Though I wish I could say my first years of painting my face were successful (pictures of raccoon eyes, harsh blush, and unflattering purple eyeshadow prove otherwise) it was still an enjoyable pastime of mine. To be honest, I am still baffled my parents allowed me this creative freedom. Since this experimentation came at an age when most girls did not wear makeup, my efforts were not always met with praise from my peers. “Why are your lashes on your right eye so much longer than your left? Your eyeshadow makes you look like you were punched in the face,” I did not let these comments stop me from perfecting my winged eyeliner, raiding my mom’s makeup trove, and watching beauty gurus on YouTube.

Makeup gave me a sense that I was not stuck with the imperfections on my bare face. My eyebrows were quite bushy, but there would always be a gel on the market to keep them in place. My porcelain face was quite noticeable in a city of beach goers, but there was a bronzer or self-tanner for that issue, too. As you can see, although the makeup-process was surely something I enjoyed (and woke up precisely 2 hours from school to complete) I still was confronted with insecurities that gave my interest an unhealthy quality. Learning how to banish this required me to stop applying makeup on select days to appreciate my natural look. As much as I enjoyed makeup and its unlimited possibilities, this was a crucial measure to take. Going makeup-free in front of friends and my SO took some time. For a while I had a phobia of not looking the way the power of makeup allowed me to. This forced natural regimen, that also included not straightening my naturally wavy hair, was a necessary-evil that benefitted me long-term. I have come to realize a bare or perfected face are both unique looks I can enjoy for their respective qualities. Like the preteen in me, I still devour makeup, skin, and haircare news in magazines to stay up to date. The gateway drug to my makeup knowhow was Allure magazine, and I still can thank its staff for imparting its wisdom upon me. On YouTube, my original beauty heroes were Tanya Burr, Lauren Luke (panacea81), Kathleen Fuentes (KathleenLights), Michelle Phan, Allie Kratzer (MakeupbyAlli) and Lauren Curtis. Now the list has grown to include Jeffreestar, Sona Gasparian, Carli Bybel, Shani Grimmond, and Shaaanxo.

My definitions of beauty have changed over the course of my life. With age comes the power of not relying too much on the exterior for self-appreciation. Although there are days when my self-tanner fades and I feel my childhood insecurities creep up, I remind myself how far I have come to succumb to these fickle doubts. Makeup is simply an extension of me and not a dire necessity. Nevertheless, I still get excited when a new product is released with X number of positive reviews. However, I promptly remind myself I do not need to own it to feel happier. Whether you apply makeup regularly (or ever), I think the art of makeup should still be treated with dignity. It is a respectable craft that anyone with an open mind can appreciate. Certainly no one should feel alienated for liking makeup or harassed that they are wearing it for the “wrong reason.” Everyone has had a different experience with it, so they should not be ashamed for their interest or be made out to feel ditzy, girly, or superficial, either.

I have been debating if I should include my top beauty products in one or more upcoming posts and other beauty-related advice I have accrued over the years. This would incentivize me to start a new beauty category to my current feed. If this is something you would be interested in, let me know!

Remember: you are so beautiful inside and out!
Annie 

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