I like makeup. A lot. I spend way too much money in MAC and Sephora, I pin makeup tutorials to my "Make Me Up" Pinterest board, and I follow Kim Kardashian on Instagram because she's the queen of the contour. Sometimes I wear fake lashes, and sometimes I wear red lipstick to the grocery store.
I wouldn't consider myself a makeup guru. Some days, I am way too lazy to put any on. Most days, I'm lucky if I can draw my eyeliner on straight. But for me, makeup is fun. It allows me to express myself. If I'm feeling extra cheery, I'll add a little extra blush. If I'm feeling flirty, I'll *attempt* a sultry smoky-eye look. If I'm feeling bold, I'll add a pop of color to my normal earth-tone eye shadow routine.
Lately, I've found I've had to defend myself on way too may occasions for liking makeup. I hear things like, "You're not going to see anyone important, so why are you wearing makeup?", "Men prefer women without makeup," or my personal favorite, "You look beautiful without makeup, so there's no point!"
Now it always feels good to be called "beautiful" in the natural, but I am always baffled when people assume I wear makeup for anyone other than myself. I am fully aware that I don't need makeup. I wear makeup for the same reasons I watch Netflix, drink coffee, and eat Chipotle -- it makes me happy. Maybe that makes me basic, or maybe it doesn't. But I like what I like. To me, makeup is an art. I don't wear makeup to cover up any insecurities; I wear makeup to express on the outside how I feel on the inside.
For me, self-esteem has nothing to do with the way I look. I know lots of beautiful women with low self-esteem. Self-esteem is an internal decision to accept who I am. Don't get me wrong, I feel beautiful when I put on makeup. I feel really good about myself. But I also feel really good about myself in the morning before I put it on, and at night when I take it off, because my value is not externally determined. It's internally determined. I decide to like myself before I even look in the mirror.
When I get dressed in the morning, I don't think about trying to visually please men. When I get my hair done, my goal is not to please my friends. When I paint my nails, I don't pick designs and colors that make other people happy. And when I apply my makeup in the morning, I don't do it for anyone other than myself. Quite frankly, I don't owe anyone an explanation for why I like what I like, and I'm certainly not going to apologize for it. And neither should you.