My relationship with beauty
Ok I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit of a beauty junkie since my early tweens (and the discovery of a disgustingly sticky, bright pink, sparkly lipgloss that Miss Sporty sold). I’ve always been obsessed with the colourful and creative side of beauty, I was far more likely to paste my eyelids with green and blue eyeshadows that I was to try to create the illusion of perfect skin.
Over the past decade, my relationship with beauty has changed wildly, and I feel I’m now at a point where I just know what works for me and I’m far less likely to buy into gimmicks or endorsements because, well, I like the way I look and I don’t look to other people (or products, for that matter) to improve my self esteem.
My relationship with beauty has not always been a happy one, but I do feel it has more recently become a good one. So, today I thought I would have a bit of fun and reflect on my relationship with beauty and where I am now.
When I first discovered the beauty industry
I must have been about 11, and my first introduction to the world of beauty was through makeup, and more specifically the blue eyeshadow, pink lipgloss look that (god knows why) was so popular back in the day. I spent all of my pocket money on Dazzle Dusts in a rainbow of colours and sticky pink lip glosses. I was living my best life, and I felt so cool.
When I look back, I’m pleased beauty began as a fun hobby for me. As I got older, and went to senior school, I noticed the older girls were wearing foundation, so off I trotted to Boots to pick myself up a tastefully orange pot of Dream Matte Mousse. That’s really where my relationship with covering and concealing began, and I quickly became addicted to piling on the foundation and concealer (which, trust me, looked awful).
As I got stuck into my teens, I discovered YouTube, and makeup tutorials, and began trying to create smokey eye looks (which I have to admit, I got pretty good at!). I became more interested in developing my makeup skills, and I loved getting ready for a party (I LOVED IT, the ritual of getting dressed up always has excited me).
However, there was one crucial beauty routine I wasn’t so clued into when I was younger – skincare. I lived by face wipes (to remove my makeup and ‘cleanse’) and spot busting moisturisers and they really took their toll on my skin, but hey I was makeup obsessed so I just kept piling it on to cover my ‘awful’ skin (which actually wasn’t ‘awful’ until I began battering it with harsh products!).
When I was 18…
I was religiously reading beauty blogs and watching A LOT of YouTube. I became addicted to watching other people’s skincare routines and knowing what they were using to make their skin look so good. I bought Glow Tonic for the first time, and it changed my life. I discovered La Roche Posay and was equally impressed.
I was beginning to tone down my makeup, but I wouldn’t leave the house without some neutral toned eyeshadow, black liner, lashings of mascara and a foundationed and powdered base on. My skin slowly got better and better, but the constant makeup wearing was taking it’s toll (something I would realise later on in life) and I just couldn’t understand why I kept breaking out.
I think 18 was when I was most excited by the beauty industry, I loved spending my wages (from a part-time job at a high street shop) in the aisles of Boots and excitedly tried new products. I was learning what I loved and what I hated, what suited me and what made me look, well, just a bit ridiculous. This was great, but it did mean I was wasting a lot of money on products I didn’t use, and didn’t particularly like.
I mastered the skill of applying a red lip, and Ruby Woo became my go to product for an instant confidence boost. Makeup made me feel good, but I was reliant on it for feeling attractive, and once I realised that a couple of years later my focus shifted from painting my face to feel good, to building a solid skincare routine that made me feel good about my natural looks.
This past year
My relationship with beauty has become more relaxed, and more comfortable. It’s less about me trying to stay on top of the newest thing, or recreate the beauty I saw in other people’s perfectly painted faces. It’s more about looking after my skin and only applying makeup when I feel the urge to be creative, rather than the urge to conceal.
I enjoy the beauty industry a lot more now than I did in my teens, I think I’ve rediscovered the fun I had with it when I first started buying makeup.
I’m happy with the way I look, whether I’ve spent 45 minutes on my makeup or I’ve just rolled out of bed.
And I think that’s the best relationship to have with beauty.
- Candle* by Next, £10
- Foundation* by Joan Collins – Timeless Beauty, £25
- Tweezers* by Rubis, £32
- Lip pencils* by Glo&Ray, £9.90