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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Simmons chapter.

Straying from the form of my previous two articles, I want to talk about the reasons why I wear makeup. Although I enjoy writing about my favorite products, I think it’s important to discuss why I wear makeup in the first place. For the most part, social media and television has taught me two things: I can’t be beautiful without it, and I am absolutely beautiful without it. Of course, these are polar opposites, and that doesn’t make it any easier to choose how to get ready for the day. Makeup isn’t just about feeling pretty though. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely can be, but makeup is so much more than that.

I first became interested in makeup when I was in middle school. Some of my friends wore some and my older sister did too. I watched a ton of videos on YouTube to learn how to apply eyeshadow, foundation, and contour and learned about how to apply makeup for my facial features. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until high school, as per my mom’s rule, but that didn’t stop me from watching all the videos I could get my hands on. Michelle Phan and Jaclyn Hill were my go to channels and I still use many of the things I learned from them today. 

My first true experience using makeup was at a MaryKay party. I used eyeshadow for the first time, natural colors sadly, but glitters anyhow. I played with blush and lipgloss and figured out what I liked. By the time high school came around and I was allowed to wear makeup, I had bought the darkest CoverGirl eyeshadows I could find in Walmart. I knew I wanted to do smokey eyes because I wanted to be bold and different. I was never one for plain colors and I’m still not. I wasn’t good by any means, but that didn’t matter to me. Even at thirteen, I wasn’t putting the makeup on because I thought I looked better with it on. It was a way for me to express myself after three years of wearing a school uniform. I was able to be artistic and be crazy if I wanted to. A whole new world had opened up for me. 

Throughout high school, I bettered my skills and acquired mass amounts of makeup, both through gifts and shopping trips with my dad to Ulta. A year into my makeup journey, I had bought a set of brushes and I learned how to blend my eyeshadows better. I experimented with brighter colors and colored mascara. I found it even more enjoyable to apply the makeup and try out new techniques than to wear my look. Eventually, I realized that my eyebrows are pretty much non-existent due to their light color and learned how to fill them in. Like my eyeshadow skills, my eyebrows weren’t perfect by any means for the first few months. I filled them with eyeshadow, incorrect colors, and too thick or thin. But for me, it still wasn’t about looking better, it was about seeing what I could do. Once I started dying my hair, that included filling my eyebrows in blue, purple, or red to match my hair. I was fascinated with how much makeup could alter my appearance.

My senior year of high school, I got more experimental. I started wearing foundation more often, tried out false lashes (and hated them), and practiced applying winged liner. I am by no means a makeup artist, but especially over the past year, I have improved drastically. I love to scroll through old selfies on my phone and see how much my technique and style has changed. Products I used to love don’t appeal to me anymore, and styles I never thought I would be able to complete are easy for me now.

My quest to find new makeup all the time has transitioned from drugstore buys to small trips to Sephora in the city. Now that I’m in college, I buy less makeup, but this doesn’t stop me from getting new products. After I found Ipsy, I knew I had to have a subscription. For $10 a month, Ipsy sends you a personalized bag of five beauty products. I have had a subscription for almost two years now and I couldn’t love it more. Considering that you receive each product for essentially $2, I think it’s well worth the price. I have received hair products, perfumes, lip glosses, eyeshadows, brushes, and skincare that I would have never found on my own. I’m able to experiment with new brands all the time, and every once in a while I get sent a product that pushes me outside of my normal routine. Lavender lipstick is not something I would ever have picked up by myself, but after trying it, I’m so glad Ipsy chose it for me. As my makeup needs change, I can adjust my settings to request more of one type of product or color group and less of another.

My growth in makeup has also led me to be more conscious of the products I buy. As I have mentioned in previous articles, I am a cruelty free beauty shopper. I began weeding through my products in tenth grade, and researched every brand I owned. At first it was difficult to get rid of so many products I loved, but the idea of what had to happen for me to be able to use my mascara was worse than the idea of throwing it away. So many companies began with cruelty free techniques or have developed to become cruelty free, and it’s so easy to shop this way now. It’s very important to me that I know I am not only getting high quality products, but that they are coming from a brand that ethically tests their products.

Makeup allows me to become a different version of myself. This version isn’t better or more beautiful, just unique. I don’t wear makeup for anyone else but me. I like to get dolled up when I go out because putting on makeup puts me in a good mood. All this to say, I am well aware that I don’t need to wear makeup. I hear that all the time whether I’m wearing makeup or not. But, I’m also aware of how much of an impact makeup has had on my life. I can’t imagine my life without it.

Why do you wear makeup?

Hayden is a junior at Simmons University studying Psychology and History. She loves to read, write, knit, and sing. She also loves watching RuPaul's Drag Race, Criminal Minds, and Jurassic Park. Hayden is working towards a possible career in correctional/criminal or child psychology.
Julia Hansen is a senior at Simmons studying PR/Marketing Communications and English with minors in cinema, media arts, and graphic design. When not writing for Her Campus, she can be found reading every book she can find, retweeting photos of dogs and binge-watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix. Find her on IG @juliarosehansen