Makeup Changed My Life for the Better Because I do it for Myself
Makeup can help you form lasting friendships over lipstick and learn more about buying cruelty free. Makeup can be a really good friend.
If you’d asked me a decade ago to list the things I thought would have a major effect on my life, I can honestly tell you that makeup wouldn’t even begin to cross my mind. Technology, sure, friends and family, duh, pop culture, absolutely — but makeup? Not even a little bit. After all, what is makeup but glorified face paint?
I started playing around with a bit of lipgloss and eyeliner as a teenager. Over the years, my initial dabblings in the world of cosmetics transformed into a full-blown obsession. Now, at 32 years old, makeup has become an important part of my daily routine.
My passion for cosmetics isn’t driven by a need to cover my natural features, it’s simply an extension of my lifelong love affair with art. But it’s even more than that. Let me tell you the multiple ways makeup changed my life.
Makeup Really Did Increase My Confidence
I’m an introvert, and an anxious one at that. As such, I’ve spent most of my life doing my absolute best to blend in. I was a ghost throughout my school years, and I carried the tendency to avoid drawing attention to myself into adulthood. The way I saw it was this: if I could disappear into the crowd, no one would attempt to speak to or hassle me.
For the longest time (15 years to be exact), my makeup style remained much the same. Just a smidge of neutral eyeshadow and lipstick. It, like everything else I did, was designed to avoid becoming the center of attention. I admired people who donned bright colours and the newest trends, but I just couldn’t bring myself to make a change.
Then, the era of matte lipstick began, and I was absolutely bewitched.
Flipping through the pages of an Ulta catalog one day, I came across a gorgeous berry coloured matte liquid lipstick, and decided to take the plunge. Despite years of convincing myself I couldn’t pull off bold colours, I bought the lipstick, took a deep breath, and put it on.
I’d like to say the clouds parted and I had one of those glorious “ah ha!” moments, but I wasn’t immediately convinced. It took a while before I had the guts to wear it outside of the house, and even then, I felt like everyone was staring at me. But then, the compliments started flooding in. At the grocery store, the coffee shop, and in the office — every time I wore that lipstick, someone would tell me how much they loved it.
With that added boost of confidence, I started buying up every bold lipstick I could get my hands on. Then I branched out to bright eyeshadows, winged eyeliner, and ultra-showy highlighters.
I rocked all of them with a degree of fearlessness I wasn’t completely accustomed to, and I was totally unapologetic.
The realization finally came over me that I could wear anything I wanted. As long as I loved it and wore it confidently, I could “pull it off.”
I’ve Formed Incredible Friendships Through Bonding Over Lipstick
Chelsy always spoke her mind. I’m pretty sure that’s the first thing that drew me to her. I wished desperately I could move through life with the same level of determination that she did. Trisha, I admired from afar. She had perfect eyebrows, and the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen. At the time, the only thing we had in common was a workplace.
After finding ourselves on the same team, we discovered that we shared a love for makeup. Despite having differing levels of experience with cosmetics, and diverse styles, we found it to be the ultimate bonding tool. Eventually, we decided to start our own makeup blog, Three Broke Bunnies.
Our common passion for makeup solidified into an incredible friendship. We’re in constant contact, chatting in Slack throughout the work day, communicating through group text on the weekends, and getting together for girls’ nights at least once a month. We make each other dinner, watch movies, and play board games. We laugh, cry, and rage collectively. We share highs, lows, and everything in between. I consider my bunnies to be two of my closest friends, and I simply couldn’t imagine life without them.
And it all started with makeup.
Buying Cruelty Free Makeup Increased My Social Awareness
One of the first things Trisha ever taught me about makeup was the fact that much of what’s on the market isn’t “cruelty free.” Cruelty-free cosmetics are those which haven’t been tested on animals at any point in their development. When I realized that the majority of what was in my vanity was tested on animals, I was horrified. I made a promise to myself right then and there that I was done with non-cruelty-free makeup. I finished up that last of what I had and made the switch.
Buying cruelty free means that sometimes, I have to pass on makeup I really, really wanted. It often means having to spend more, as there are only a handful of cruelty-free drugstore brands. It means frantic Google sessions in the middle of Ulta and Sephora when I encounter a brand I haven’t tried before. It means occasionally getting an item in my BoxyCharm that I can’t use. But it also means that no animal suffered for the sake of my newest tube of lipstick. That’s worth all the minor inconveniences combines.
Makeup Has Been a Learning Experience All the Way
All in all, makeup has been a major learning experience for me. I’ve learned:
- The types of makeup brushes and their uses
- The best lighting for makeup application
- How to properly match foundation
- The easiest way to do winged eyeliner
- What highlighter works best for pale skin
- How to find the best dupes
- What brands are cruelty free
- That sometimes, makeup brands pay YouTube influencers.
Makeup improved my confidence, helped me forge new friendships, and changed my perspective on animal welfare. However, the most precious lesson I’ve learned is this: Makeup isn’t for anyone but the person wearing it.
Whether you wear a full face, go au naturale, or anything in-between, is up to you. Everyone else can keep their opinions to themselves!