The past year or so, I've not been wearing any makeup.
It's not part of some makeupless challenge -- it's just not been on the short list of things I do in the morning before going to my day job. Things have been a little hectic around here, and most days I was just glad that my clothes pretty much matched.
I used to know all the makeup artists who worked at my favorite counters. I'd get excited for specific collections -- and I went to a couple of prelaunch parties -- complete with cocktails, which is where I learned I am just not equipped to be drunk at the mall.
My old routine involved a lot of bright eyeshadow. That's what I think about when I think about me wearing makeup -- that ritual of heavily making up my eyes even though I wear glasses. I've never been a big fan of foundation or blush, but catching me without brow powder was an uncommon occurrence.
Times have changed, as they are so often prone to do, though. My once-meticulous eyeshadow spreadsheet (accessible via the web so I could consult it from my phone and never buy duplicates) is out of date. And I'm just out of practice in general (though I do still rock a red lip with my otherwise bare face).
I put on some eyeshadow for Ed's birthday celebration last weekend. I can still wing my eyeliner like a champ, but other things no longer came quite so naturally. I've lost the muscle memory of the routine.
Makeup is one of those super loaded topics -- it's so often dismissed as frivolous. I really think it's anything but because it's such a powerful tool toward deliberate presentation. Makeup is -- for many women -- all but mandatory in some settings. And even when it doesn't have that gross compulsory feeling, it gets tied into expectations of what women are "supposed" to look like.
I think makeup is at its most powerful when we use it because we like it, but I'm not actually sure we've got the language to talk about it in those terms without crossing into conversations about why we like what we like.
And that might be way too philosophical for a summertime Saturday morning, you know?
The other night, I was feeling super nostalgic -- not for a specific THING so much as for a general mood. It's been forever (at least it feels like forever) since I've been out dancing and I missed attending Convergence (the annual net.goth gathering) this year, too.
So I put on some music (Harmjoy) and pulled out my black lipstick and just played. I might have looked serious but I was laughing at myself quite a lot.
Makeup is a femme skill and it takes practice. And there's also a low-pressure virtue to sitting down when you aren't going anywhere and trying new things. I've been thinking about how much I used to enjoy this kind of thing -- how I'd even have friends over and we'd all just watch videos and put ridiculous colors on our face.
I wound up with a super gothy look because I am resisting the siren song of black lipstick for day wear. (That new lipstick from Kat Von D in matte black might finally break my resolve -- Slayer looks so amazing.) (Oh, hey, y'all -- I totally broke down and bought Slayer almost as soon as I finished writing this. And it really is incredible.)
And then I went and washed it all off because it was time for bed -- as much as I really want to get back into wearing makeup regularly, sleeping in my makeup is a bad old habit I don't need to revive. It wasn't a perfect look by any means. But it was fun.
More than that, it was a potent reminder that I'm not just my work. I can bare face it to the office, sure, but I can also go a little heavy with the black eyeshadow. There's still time for both. The realization was something of a relief.
This weekend, I'll definitely be playing with makeup some more. What are your favorite looks to experiment with? Who are your favorite YouTube tutorial artists?
And, as always, welcome to your weekend. Whether you're wearing makeup or not.