Why I Wear Makeup

Why I Wear Makeup

In honor of Alicia Keys' and Alessia Cara's makeup-free movement
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I started wearing makeup around the age of 14. I would always beg my mom to let me wear just eyeliner for school but she would always say no and tell me my time would come. She would tell me how beautiful I was and that soon enough, my time would come. After seeing other girls at school and church, I was crazy about starting to wear some. Finally, “my time” did “come” and I could not be happier. Soon it became an everyday thing and I would not leave the house without wearing eyeliner. However, I wouldn’t dare wear anything else because for some reason I thought it was “too much” and I’m sure I didn’t know how to use it properly.

The problem with wearing it every day was that when I absolutely couldn’t wear it, the comments from others were never-ending. “You look tired”. “You look better with makeup on”. Of course, this led to huge self-esteem issues and it felt as though I was expected to wear it every day. If I didn’t wear it, I thought my face looked dull and I was afraid people would treat me differently.

Once I started high school, I started wearing more makeup. This is perhaps around the same time most boys would make comments on girls’ beauty choices. They’d say they prefer “their” women “all-natural” and that girls who wore makeup were “fake”. But of course all the girls they did give all their attention to, wore makeup (huh??). For some reason boys felt as though they were being deceived by girls who wore makeup all the time and assumed they wore it because they were “ugly” or because they lacked confidence. Maybe they did feel ugly and lacked confidence, but you certainly weren’t helping.

Just to get one thing straight, in the majority of cases, wearing makeup is a choice. However, it’s not up to you to decide that choice for the people who wear it. Of course there are some women (and men) who believe makeup is a necessity because society makes them think it is. If you don’t wear makeup (shout out to Alicia Keys), people suddenly start questioning your whole life but when you do wear it, you’re heavily judged for it. Whether a woman decides to wear makeup or not, is her decision.

(Alicia Keys makeup-free at the VMA’s)

Personally, makeup makes me feel better about myself. And until recently, I was never confident about going out without makeup because I felt like I looked unpresentable or sloppy. It took me five years to finally feel confident without makeup on and not care about what other people think. It feels SO good to rub my eyes without having to worry about ruining my makeup. But at the same time the satisfaction I feel after I realize how bomb my makeup looks is incomparable. The level of completeness I feel after buying makeup is unreal and honestly no one can convince me otherwise. Yes, I do spend my time watching makeup tutorials and following beauty gurus because I believe this is another thing women must reclaim for themselves just as I believe a bare face is also something women must reclaim for themselves. It makes no sense to me that we are oppressed for our choices in personal grooming when really it is no one else’s business and I could care less about what you think.

Also just for the record, girls do not wear makeup for boys or for “attention”. And what is so bad about a girl wanting attention anyway? I digress. Most guys are incapable of appreciating how straight my eyeliner is or how carefully I contoured my face. Most guys will most likely never realize how much my time I dedicate to my eyebrows nor will they notice their bad vibes reflecting off my bomb highlight. So does it really make sense to say we wear makeup for others? No. I wear makeup for me.

Cover Image Credit: http://coaching-five-stars.com/?page=beauty-wellness1&lang=en

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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6 Eco-Friendly Gifts For The Ones Who’ve Already Stopped Using Plastic Straws

Give a gift that will not be wasted.

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Christmas and the surrounding months are for some people synonymous with shopping and stress over gift giving. If you want to avoid stress, I recommend considering giving practical gifts this season that everyone can use. Personally, I have been trying to be more green and reduce my ecological footprint on the planet by reducing my amount of plastic and waste. This holiday season, I want to encourage my friends and family to also be more green by giving them useful gifts that will also help them reduce their ecological footprint and waste. (You can see what your ecological footprint is here)

1. Stainless steel straws

SENHAI set of 8 stainless steel straws

We heard earlier this year about the high among of plastic, especially plastic straws, in the world's oceans that are harming ocean wildlife. I now carry around a set of steel straws in my purse to use instead of plastic straws. These straws are even dishwasher safe!

Find on Amazon for $8.99

2. Travel coffee mugs

Travel coffee mugs are so much better to use than single use cups because they are sustainable. Plus they keep your coffee warmer longer and don't spill as much. If you bring in your own mug to most coffee places, they will be more than willing to fill it and may even give you a discount. At Starbucks, bring in any reusable coffee mug or tumbler and you will save 10¢!

Find on Amazon for $10.49

3. Reusable water bottles

S'well 15 oz S'ip stainless steel water bottle

Many people worldwide use plastic water bottles with a million bought per minute of which 91% are not recycled. By buying a reusable water bottle, your gift will help save the planet as well as their wallet "with the average American spending over $100 per year / per person."

(S'well water bottles and tumbler not only look good, they also do good with S'well giving back to their partners UNICEF USA, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and RED.)

Amazon for $19.99

4. Reusable shopping bags

BeeGreen foldable reusable grocery bags

Worldwide about one trillion plastic bags are used annually which contributes to the approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic waste that are found in the oceans. Consider helping to cut down on plastic grocery bags by giving reusable shopping bags. (These bags come in packs of 5 with cute prints and even fold up!)

Amazon for $14.55

5. Reusable produce bags

Purifyou reusable mesh produce bags

Another way to cut down on plastic bags is to use reusable produce bags when getting groceries at the store.

Find on Amazon for $14.97

6. Reusable snack bags

Stasher reusable silicone food bag

These not only cut down on plastic bags but are great for students and coworkers who have to pack their lunch!

Find on Amazon for $11.99

My recommendation is to gift several of these as a set or to include one as part of you. You can consider putting your gifts in the reusable bags or even using newspaper (especially the comics section) as gift wrapping to make your gift more unique and reduce waste!

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