Sunday 22 March 2020

Does Makeup Matter Anymore?

Now that many people are self-isolating or social distancing, does makeup really matter anymore? If you're inside, no-one outside of your home has to be subjected to that huge blemish on your chin. Who is going to know if you don't fill in your eyebrows this morning? Who cares whether your nails are painted anymore? If you're out in the world at your workplace, is it now ludicrous to apply a layer of mascara in the morning? 

My unfiltered, everyday make-up
My short answer to the question: 'does makeup matter anymore?' is 'yes!' Of course, makeup is an unnecessary part of life, but it is (for many of us) a routine and a form of 'self care'. At a time of uncertainty, where we cannot control many parts of our day-to-day life, the small rituals are what will keep us calm and functional.

For some people, it isn't about makeup. For some self-isolating folk, it might be important to keep their alarm on for the time they would usually get up and go to work. For others, it might be building in some kind of routine, such as the 11am coffee break. I am going to do both of these things. It is funny how much we all moan about our jobs and feel crushed by the 9-5, but now we would probably be happy to go back to all of that if it meant this situation would disappear. We're funny creatures when you think about it!

For me, as a teacher, I'm looking forward to going in to help out with key workers' children. I am also finding myself grasping every opportunity to be creative in how I provide for my students from home. I want them to feel as supported and calm about things as possible, but who knows how it is affecting them. 

I think many of us at home are trying to distract ourselves and look for ways that we can feel 'normal'. And this is the reason that I will be applying makeup most days and blogging every Monday about my favourite products, looks and techniques. It isn't isn't about vanity, or impressing anyone (but then it never was anyway). It is about joy, and holding onto those little things that make us feel happy.

Makeup is a facade for some, an enhancer for others, self-expression for many: it is a way to take ownership. On the first few days of isolation I was quite poorly (probably not the virus, but a virus-- which is almost on its way out). When I eventually did look in the mirror, I was saddened, not because I was bare-faced or I looked ill, but I looked beaten by what was happening in the outside world. And that is not how I want to feel moving forward.

Sure, like many, I am having moments of panic or anxiety, but it is important (particularly at this early stage) that we look after ourselves emotionally and physically (these are both so deeply intertwined). Seeing my face look 'polished' makes me feel mentally stronger; on my makeup-free days, I am paying particular attention to my skincare, so that I look as healthy and fresh as possible. 

Most important though is this: if we can continue to carry out these small daily 'rituals', if we can keep hold of some calm and normalcy for ourselves, we can remain strong for those around us.

What will your daily routines involve if you are self-isolating or social-distancing?

If you are out working, how are you looking after your mental health?

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