Okay, I’ll be honest…I don’t get contouring. I understand its appeal. It gives you the ability to enhance your facial structure: You can create the illusion of higher cheekbones, highlight certain areas of your face, and even look like a flawless model. I have to say though that I’ve never really felt the urge to do my makeup in this way. For me, it feels a little too forced. I always think that doing my makeup and feeling pretty shouldn’t require a color-coded roadmap.
Don’t get me wrong, I have contoured my face before: for special occasions or when my girlfriends insist on doing my makeup. And I have to admit, it does make me look (and feel) amazing. However, it’s when I take my makeup off that the issue arises. After washing away my contoured face and seeing my real face, I can’t help but feel plane, round faced and just flat out ugly.
When I noticed this slight dip in my self-esteem, I put my foot down. I thought, Nope, my face is good enough as is and I have to be able to see that. So I gave myself a challenge: no more makeup. I told myself, You are good enough as you are and until you feel gorgeous makeup free, you’re not wearing any. So I stopped wearing makeup. At first it felt weird – I felt disheveled and messy. I avoided mirrors throughout the day and made up false excuses to my friends like “I woke up so late today”.
After a while though my perception of myself started to shift. I’d wake up each morning with less self-loathing than the previous day, and before I knew it I completely loved my bare face. This experience was completely liberating. No longer did I feel the pressure to make changes to my natural face, and further, I became astonished at how much effort we women put in to doing so. I mean, aren’t we enough as is? Who said that high cheekbones, full lips, arched brows and protruding collarbones are aesthetically superior anyway? I’ve decided to release these expectations and embrace the face I’ve got. These days when I wear makeup it’s with less of a transform-my-face mentality, and I have to say it is so freeing.
I want to be clear that I’m not shaming anyone who contours their face. I think the freedom of crafting different looks with makeup is a creative liberty and can be really fun – if you let it be. However, I am claiming that there’s no need to paint illusions onto your face to feel pretty enough.
If makeup is something you have fun with, that’s great. But keep in mind that makeup shouldn’t be a crutch for confidence: we are beautiful just as we are ladies, don’t forget it!