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My name is AnnaBella Grant and I love cosmetics. I’m addicted. If I like it, I buy it, even if I have six others that look just like it. And I’ve been doing this for years. I have more makeup than most women twice my age and I’m obsessed with trying new styles and teaching others to do their makeup.

But the question is: why? Why do I like makeup so much? In fact, why does anyone like makeup? I spent weeks thinking about this question when someone told me that they’d never seen me without a full face of makeup. At first I just brushed it off and explained that I simply loved doing my makeup everyday.

But after a couple days of overnalyzing this question, I’ve come to the conclusion that my answer was a partial lie. I realized that this person’s comment could be taken quite offensively. Were they trying to prove something? Did it have to do with my self-confidence? Why can’t I be brave enough to show my face in public without makeup?

And my honest answer is that I really don’t know, but I have a few guesses.

For years, men have been telling women things like “you look better with makeup” or “you have circles under your eyes” or “you look different today” or “you don’t need to wear makeup to impress me.” Besides being rude, those things bring up some questions that I really want to address and answer. The common misconception with many people (read: men) is that women wear makeup to impress men. But, no. The truth is that women do not wear makeup to impress men. Seriously, how can people think that women wear makeup to impress men, when they can’t even tell the difference between navy and black eyeliner? Women wear makeup for themselves and other women.

Why? Because women can be judgmental sometimes. 

When you have a zit on your nose, a dark spot on your cheek, you hate the shape of your eyes, or you think your chin is too big, what do you do? You try and fix all of your small imperfections to make them look better. That’s the natural reaction for most people. We want to look attractive to others, so we fix the things about ourselves that we deem undesirable. We cover our faces with cosmetics because it makes us feel like our insecurities have evaporated from our faces.

Makeup (for me at least) is like a shield from the rest of the world. If I look perfect on the outside, with my brows perfectly arched, no bags under my eyes, clear skin, and a tanned glow, it makes me feel a little less insecure about myself because even if I do feel insecure, no one can see it in my outward appearance. Maybe inside, I might feel terrified that other people are going to judge me because I have a horrendous zit on my left cheek that makes me feel like I can’t leave my room in the morning. But, if I conceal it enough and it’s not noticeable, I feel like people can judge me as the person I am inside and not for my honking zit. Even if I am a total hot mess inside, at least on the outside I look like I have my act together.

And pretty soon, it becomes such a habit to look put together every single day; it can be scary to go out into the world natural without your shield. Because everyone expects me to look perfect every single day, I don’t know who I am when I don’t look perfect. I’ve put this mask on and I can’t take it off because if I do, I have to step outside of my comfort zone and really show people that there is more to me than just my face.

What I’m afraid of is, “That’s the girl that writes all those beauty articles for Her Campus. She looks terrible. Who is she to give me advice on my foundation?” or, “She looks like she just rolled out of bed.”and, “I can’t believe she doesn’t care enough about herself to fix that zit on her chin.” and even, “Her face is like four shades lighter than the rest of her body.”

Maybe we don’t mean to be mean. Maybe it’s a confidence thing for all of us, like Cady when she judges that girl with the lipstick on her teeth at Mathletes. But I think we can all agree that maybe we should stop judging people for their appearance. Maybe it’s okay to not wear makeup sometimes and it’s okay to have bags under our eyes (it’s college!). We’re all human, and we can’t be perfect all the time. It’s normal, and it’s okay.

 

We’re all perfectly imperfect, and that’s kind of perfectly imperfect.

 

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I'm a girl who loves fashion, beauty, cowboy boots and American University.
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