People, ever feel like you’re not quite certain which face is your face these days? Ever think: just this little bit of make-up or enhancement of some description (read: filter) and I feel like I look normal? I’ve definitely got to the stage where I don’t really recognise, or like, my face, without that base layer on. Without my war paint. Without.
And that scares me. In the same way that I wrote about needing to find my body confidence, I’m now looking to take back control of the way I see my face. So, before I left for the Desert (where I am currently residing for six months of volunteering whilst on sabbatical from my normal life), I had two weeks without make-up. Two weeks where I slowly remembered that my face is acceptable to other humans without a little layer of enhancement. And where I started to see it properly. For when I wear make-up every day, I start to forget which face is actually my face. And I see it without make-up in such a negative light.
I’ve never been a big make-up wearer and maybe that’s how I’ve always managed to fool myself that it’s ok. I just need a bit of tinted moisturiser and some concealer because I’ve been dealing with different levels of acne over the last twenty years. And I have quite blonde eyelashes, so I just need a bit of mascara or it looks like my eyes aren’t really there. But slowly, over a period of time, I’ve started to not really recognise my face without even that little mask on.
And now, here I am living make-up free in the Desert. Every day. For three months. (I am aided by the fact I don’t have a mirror). Posting a no make-up selfie the other day from the Desert was actually really hard. And though it makes me sad to say that, it is the truth. A truth I have to admit to myself. And a truth for me as well as many others these days. Some may tell me that’s antifeminist of me to say that being make-up free scares me, but how dare you? We are living in a world that puts image above everything and it’s an internal battle we all face to find the confidence to take the plunge and swim against that current. That might be face, body or any other kind of self-image consciousness and confidence.
So, when I return home at the end of my first three months here I want make-up to be a treat. Something I enjoy wearing, not something I’m scared to be without. Something that makes me feel good now and then. I want make-up to be like good underwear: it’s just for me and sometimes to show off to a person I care most about. But most of the time, it’s just for me.