My relationship with makeup throughout the years

/ Monday, April 6, 2015 /
When I first started using makeup in high school, I was obsessed. Never did I imagine I could use a pencil to make my eyes look so much bigger than before. From high school through early college I wore all sorts of weird looks, ranging from crazy eyeshadow colors (bright purple! cornflower blue!) to sparkly green eyeliner and white highlights. I would create what I called "Lady Gaga" looks - coloring my entire face in different colors and taking photos of myself in them.

I thought of makeup as a powerful tool - one that could redefine my personality, my characteristics, covering up what I had hidden on the inside.

Ever since I started medical school, my makeup trends have toned down quite a bit. Time is much more limited now, and combined with the fact that I now use makeup to look professional rather than to try new looks, my collection has become more of basics. At the same time, the quality of makeup has gone up. I use only neutral tones for eyeshadow, but I use the Naked 3 palette instead of the $1 ELF eyeshadow palette I used in college. My principal eyeliner upgraded from $1 sharpened pencils from Wet N' Wild's ColorIcon series to Maybelline's Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. I change out my mascara (usually waterproof) every 3 months, but the brands range from Maybelline and L'oreal to Smashbox and Lancome.

I've also toned down my craze for makeup. In college, I used to wear makeup to class every day, every single day. In med school, during pre-clinical classes, I used to only wear eyeliner, concealer and maybe eyeshadow/mascara (people got so used to the look that they asked if I was sick when I didn't wear any makeup). During clinics, my routine was reduced even more. Cream eyeshadow, eyeliner, and maybe mascara if I had time. No lip stuff, no concealer to hide my dark circles, etc.

Honestly, now that I look back, the times when I wore heavy makeup were still times when I wanted to conceal myself. I remember during particular times in my life when I was scared of the environment I was placed into (strangers, potentially scary people, etc). I would wear heavy BB cream foundation, primers and load up on tons of makeup in order to create a "barrier" of sorts, between myself - my real self - and those around me.

But now, every day after I leave work, I go home and take off my makeup. The feeling of washing off a day's worth of work, getting all of the gunk off of my face - oh what freedom!


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