What Makes You Beautiful

Any girly girl knows there is one thing that can make or break your look: make up! Make up should not be the thing that defines you as beautiful; it really is, in my eyes, there to enhance what you already have. I want to share with you how I have grown and evolved with that mentality and how I have learned to feel beautiful.

My freshman year was the first year I was able to wear make up. I couldn’t wait to put on mascara and eyeliner in the mornings! I never put eyeliner on my top lid; that would look too weird. I knew that wearing too much would make me look fake, and my mother couldn’t stress enough that she didn’t want me to look fake or painted. At first, I thought I was doing a pretty good job.

74574_154679634576240_1129937_nThis picture way taken the day I got my braces on. See? I think I still look fairly natural. Being as girly as I am, I spent a lot of time perfecting the minimal amount of make up I put on. I had to wake up earlier than some of my other friends and that was one of the most difficult things to do. I was entering a school full of boys I didn’t know and the fourteen year-old in me longed for her first relationship. That girl also thought boys liked girl that wore make up.

Freshman year was I time for experimentation with my image. It wasn’t until sophomore year that I thought more was better. I started adding eyeliner to my top lid and eyeshadow was an every day must have. This was the year that turned into “more is better.” I had to wear more for choir that year, and I think that played a role in this mentality.

I never tried the smokey eye–that was for choir and choir only. I wanted to keep a more natural color (although a pinkish purple was my favorite to use) because I did not want to look like my face was painted on. I don’t think I ever looked ugly with less make up, I just thought more would make me better-looking.

402729_336539126390289_1017557098_nThis photo was taken at a party, so of course I wore more make up than usual, but it is a fairly accurate representation of what I wore every day. I had just spent more time on it that day than the rest of the days.

At this point in time, I wasn’t wearing foundation every day–if at all except for choir. I just did not see it as necessary, and I was worried more about what my eyes looked like. That was always my focus. I looked back at my photos from middle school, and I did not like that I couldn’t see my eyelashes. The thing was, though, that hadn’t bothered me during those years. But now I was in high school, so that meant I had to change. Every one else wore make up, so I had to as well. At least, that’s what I believed. I wanted to be as pretty as the rest of my friends.

Junior year, I compromised. I discovered an eyeshadow that was “for brown eyes” and I fell in love immediately. I also stopped wearing eyeliner, for the most part. I occasionally had a thin layer to my top lash line. I also started wearing foundation almost daily. My acne made my face a tad bot red and splotchy in places, and it was the best cover up for it. It didn’t eliminate the zits, but masked them without giving me that “cake face” look.

536153_456904374353763_33397111_nI was still piling on the mascara. Hey, I had long eyelashes and I wanted everyone to see them. Without that black gunk, nobody would. That is the reason I wear it all in the first place, to be honest. I also felt that if my make up looked nice, it would cover up the fact that I had braces. Who would want to kiss a girl with braces? A girl with a pretty face, perhaps.

It wasn’t that I thought I wasn’t pretty, it was that I didn’t think I was pretty enough, and I hated that. Why did I so desperately need make up to prove I was pretty? I didn’t, but I wasn’t about to put that into action. I liked the way the make up made me look.

Senior year, my experiments with make up hadn’t changed much since the previous year. I pretty much stopped wearing eyeliner at all over the summer. I worked with kids every day, so there was no one to impress. Except there was. However, I didn’t feel the need to wear make up to impress him. I wanted him to think I was mature, and that meant with my brains not my beauty. But once school started, I slipped back into my old habits.

IMG_1243Instagram was probably the thing that made me want to wear make up. All the prettiest girls on there wore enough of it and they got tons of likes. I didn’t want to get caught up in that hype, but I did. I hated that, too. Why should how many likes my selfie got measure how pretty I was? I guess I just wanted to look perfect for the world, even though I didn’t need to. I do not like posting selfies because what happens when I don’t get enough likes? It causes girls–including me–to feel like they are not good enough. The number of likes doesn’t matter, and that is something I am trying to understand.

Now that it is summer again, I have gone back to the days of no eyeliner. The days of layer after layer of mascara are gone, too. I realized it just weighed down my eyelashes, and that wasn’t the look I wanted. Sometimes I barely wear any at all. The foundation stays, though, because it makes my skin tone even. That part is not about looking “pretty” it is about me trying not to let my acne get the better of me. Also, my foundation has acne medicine in it, so it is a win win.

I feel better about myself now that I wear less make up. Twice this week I have gone out without wearing any at all. I didn’t realize, at first, that I had done it, but it didn’t bother me once I noticed. If the world–and boys–can’t accept me for being beautiful without make up, then they shouldn’t be a part of my life. I like the way I look with minimal make up. The only reason I do is because my eyelashes are blonde and invisible without it and I want myself and every one else to see how long and nice they are. Am I weird for that?

Photo on 8-18-14 at 9.27 PMThe answer is no. Girls are not “fake” for wearing make up. They just like it. I still love putting it all on just for kicks–but mostly for super nice events. I put on eyeliner and eye shadow for the first time all summer, and I looked totally weird. You just have to get used to seeing yourself without it to realize you are totally beautiful that way. I know that now.

Also: there is no need to color in your eye brows. It is weird.

I love you, my beauties ❤ -A

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