It Took a Long Time for Me to Realize That Beauty Rules Are Made to Be Broken

A lot of things have changed about how a view beauty, not only on a superficial level, but on a personal one.
Publish date:
May 4, 2016
beauty experiments, beauty rules

It’s probably safe to say that everybody’s attitudes about makeup or likes/dislikes change over time. As we develop more of an interest in beauty and trends come and go, it stands to reason that our tastes will develop as well.

For me, though, there have been a lot of things that have changed about how a view beauty, not only on a superficial level, but on a personal one as well.

One of the things that I let hold me back in my beauty adventures until recently was my skin type. I thought for the longest time that being oily meant that I had to do everything in my power to make my face as shine-free as possible. This includes layering on heavy, matte foundations, powdering my face within an inch of its life, and avoiding shimmery or luminous products like the plague.

Recently, though, I’ve been inspired by other xoVain writers to try to break out of my comfort zone in that respect, and I’m loving embracing my natural “dew.” Now I still like some mattifying products, but I always add touch of glow to my looks.

I’ve taken a similar approach in skincare as I’ve found a lot of products geared towards oily skin often overdo it in the drying department. In the last year or two I’ve incorporated oils in my routine, and I’ve definitely seen an improvement in the amount of sebum my skin produces. I’m still an oily gal, but I definitely feel like I’m leaning a bit more combo/oily these days rather than just straight-up greaseball.

Experimenting with makeup has also been very fun for me. I remember on one of my earlier LOTW posts, a reader asked me for more diversity in the looks, and I’ve been trying really hard to mix it up. I’ve been incorporating more color and trying to play with more shapes.

Something new that I’ve been doing in my every day routine is skipping eyeliner. I’ve always been ride-or-die for eyeliner; whether it’s been a raccoon ring or a killer cat eye, I used to always wear something. Now I’m playing with keeping the lip bold and having bare eyes (except for brows — you can pry my brow pencil from my cold, dead hands) or even sporting a “no makeup” look. I’m love being challenged by readers and other writers to keep playing with my look and embracing whatever makeup mood I am in.

Growing up mixed-race was not without its challenges. My hair texture was pretty unique around my neck of the woods, and my mom was never quite sure what to do with it, so ponytails and buns were a pretty standard uniform for me. By the time I was old enough to really tend to my own hair, I didn’t know what to do with it either (and I didn’t have the lovely people of xoVain to guide me yet) so it was just one endless stream of SAME until adulthood. (Fun fact: the only time I ever wore my hair down from late grade school to high school was for my senior prom, and it ended up in a ponytail halfway through the night anyway.)

In my freshman year of college, I colored my hair for the first time and chopped it to about chin length and for the first time. I really had to figure out how to embrace my texture. After a lot of trial and error, I finally discovered that my hair looked really nice down, and my curls were something to be proud of. I had gone through most of life seeing them as a nuisance at best and a flaw in my genetic makeup at worst and despite my mom’s constant reminders that people “would kill for” my curls, it took me 18 years to accept and fully love them myself.

All of this is to say the little beauty “rules” we either set for ourselves or allow ourselves to follow are often times just holding us back from embracing the things we see as imperfect. As a result we can miss out on really enjoying beauty, whatever that looks like for each one of us.

  • Have you felt challenged to break out of your beauty comfort zone?
  • How do you want to challenge yourself in the future.