During this pandemic, I’ve grieved the loss of many things. I’ve grieved the tremendous loss of socializing in large groups. I miss going to concerts, attending local music festivals, and going to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. While the list of losses goes on and on and feels heavy, there is one thing I’ve given up during the pandemic that I haven’t cried once over: wearing makeup.
Time to Give it Up
For people with sensitive skin like myself, wearing makeup and a mask is simply an oxymoron. I teach all day behind my mask—mix heat, moisture, and makeup and you have yourself a recipe for intense breakouts. Thus, I have been forced to give it up.
I have never been a huge makeup fanatic but I had my little routine pre-COVID. Wake up, brush my teeth, style my hair, and open my cosmetic bag. I have been wearing makeup since the early 2000’s when I was finally given the go-ahead from my parents. Lotion, foundation, blush, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, lip liner, gloss, or stain became as much a part of my life as breathing. Perhaps it’s youth or social media that has made me feel like makeup was a requirement.
I am a very feminine person and makeup has just been a part of my culture for as long as I can remember. I would watch my mother primp and prepare for hours to go anywhere. While I admired her in that mirror, I also loathed how long it took. This pandemic has shown me that I don’t need that life. I don’t need that personal pressure to present myself to the world with pretty paints and polishes all over my body.
COVID has redefined beauty in ways I’ve never thought about. When the gyms were closed, people took to nature to cleanse their mental health as well as fulfill their physical needs. When the beauty salons and medical spas were halted, so was the need to spend thousands of dollars on dyes, injections, and blow outs. Alright, alright. I won’t get too high on the hog here, I do love a good hair treatment, massage, and beauty visits. However, the daily tether to my makeup has been miraculously removed.
Makeup Doesn’t Make Me
While the masks help with feeling the freedom of a makeup free face, I have a deeper empathy for my friends who choose modesty and the natural look all of the time. Whether they do this for for religious or otherwise personal reasons, I now have a better understanding of this freeform way of life. I feel empowered to just wake up, start the day, and present myself just as I am. I won’t say that I’m completely makeup-free as I do enjoy getting dressed up for date nights and whatever else. However, I no longer feel like I need to throw on eyeliner and foundation to show up and show out.
When this pandemic alleviates, I think I will keep rocking an all-natural face.
COVID and cosmetics may never mix. Yet I feel a deeper sense of confidence knowing that I am who I am behind this mask. With or without makeup.