How I Went From Hating to Loving Myself & Makeup

Up until this past semester my life had been nearly devoid of makeup. Sure, I used it every day, but by “used” I mean a few dabs of powder foundation and a couple swipes of mascara. Every now and then I would add a touch of red lipstick for a particularly fancy event. Otherwise, I steered clear of any other products.

I grew up with a sort of negative connotation about makeup. It seemed useless to me; why buy products that did nothing more than supposedly enhance your self-worth? To be fair, I may have thought this only because some boys in the seventh grade mocked me for trying out multi-colored eyeshadow. I felt as though my efforts meant nothing other than to be picked on. So, I stopped that — supposedly forever. I saw other girls’ faces completely made up and thought they were foolish for thinking that makeup did them any good.

Then, I met my best friend Faith in ninth grade. Since then I’ve watched her wear all sorts of lipstick shades, from black to bright blue (peep her rocking the shade below). She truly became a lipstick queen in my eyes. I always wondered why she did it — how she felt as bold as she did to step out of the house with unconventional colors on her lips, but I never asked. I didn’t despise her for it, not like other girls, but rather I became curious as to how she could pull that off and I couldn’t.

The answer’s quite simple but I didn’t have the mental strength to answer it for a long time, stemming all the way back to those frivolous seventh-grade boys: I didn’t love myself. Not my face, and certainly not my body. I didn’t feel deserving of wearing makeup and making myself look pretty when nothing about me was pretty in the first place. I didn’t hate the girls that wore makeup at all — I was jealous of them because they had the confidence I had wanted for so long.

So, Faith continued to wear her collection of lipstick and I continued to hold on to my self-esteem issues regarding makeup. For a while, nothing changed. Then, this summer, as I was watching one of Jeffree Star’s reveal videos, I noticed that he was releasing a black lip gloss. The idea struck: me, wearing black lip gloss. It was a bold concept, but one I felt drawn to nonetheless. After all, black was and is my favorite color, apparent to anyone by my wardrobe.

When I went home for the summer I visited my hometown’s local Nyx store with Faith and bought a tube of black lip gloss. I wasn’t sure when I was going to wear it — if I was ever going to wear it — but I couldn’t shake the feeling of empowerment when I bought it. That empowerment was nothing compared to when I actually put it on and left my apartment for the first time. And even though I felt as empowered as I ever had, I was still worried I was going to be mocked yet again for stepping out of my comfort zone. Instead, I was met with nothing but praise. Faith dubbed me her lipstick queen, my boyfriend said it was just right, and someone in my summer class called me the ‘Kiss of Death’ – but in a good way, rest assured.

Since then I’ve amassed a collection of makeup, shown below, that I never thought I would own. Two full bags: one jammed with lipsticks and lip glosses and the other with just about anything else (primer, foundation, mascara, blush, etc.). In fact, I’m already outgrowing these two bags – I guess I know what to put on my Christmas list this year!

With all of that being said, yes, I grew to love makeup, but more importantly I’ve started loving myself. My self-esteem issues aren’t completely gone, not by a longshot, but the world of makeup that I had hidden away from has now been integral in overcoming them step-by-step.

I love makeup, I love myself and I love myself in makeup.

P.S.: My boyfriend recently bought me the Shane Dawson x Jeffree Star Cosmetics Conspiracy palette which is very multi-colored. Hi seventh-grade boys, how are ya?

Images: 1, all other images provided by the author