The Power Of Beauty: Getting Underneath Your Cover-Up

I was asked to write a guest blog for “The Power of Beauty” website for DermHa, a natural skincare line. Check it out below!

Ever since I was in grammar school, my mother would powder me up and add blush to my cheeks before walking to school. She would say, “This is so you won’t look so pale. Que linda. (How pretty).” I looked in the mirror and felt beautiful with my Cover Girl-covered face. There I was, a bilingual kid with an accent who wanted acceptance more than anything else in the world. If my mother told me that makeup made me look prettier-I believed her. What I was unaware of was how those early years would mark my relationship with makeup and its relation to beauty as an adult.

When I think about not wearing make-up publicly now, a voice inside of me is saying, ‘no just some under-eye concealer, mascara and lip gloss please!’ I should be able to walk around barefaced from time to time, but why don’t I feel comfortable? I don’t lack inner beauty or self-confidence. So what is the problem here? After reading a women’s magazine blog post, I sent an email out to some of my close girlfriends asking them to challenge that voice along with me and not wear makeup in public. No one wanted to join my made up makeup revolution.

As a Latina, a lot of my earliest life lessons with beauty and makeup were cultural. We take pride in looking good for ourselves and others. It is ingrained in us from the time we are able to walk, but the bigger picture is also society’s view on the ‘power of beauty’. We are living in a society that teaches little girls that looks are a part of who we are and sometimes, that looks are everything. Ad campaigns, magazines, and reality television shows don’t help the idea either.

After taking the challenge on my own, I realized that the voice or idea that we can’t be beautiful without makeup is conditioned. It runs deep and normally it takes looking in the mirror and talking to that little girl with the Cover Girl-covered face. There is nothing wrong with makeup. It sparks our creativity and makes us feel good, but when we become dependent on it, then we need to have a little makeup challenge–even if it means just going to the grocery store without anything (and I mean anything) on. I challenge you to do the same.





5 thoughts on “The Power Of Beauty: Getting Underneath Your Cover-Up

  1. I try. I can go all day without wearing makeup, but I hate seeing myself in the mirror and then I start comparing myself to all the other girls wearing makeup. I just don’t feel attractive without makeup on.

  2. I don’t think make-up is a bad thing or that you are a better person if you can go a day or a week without it. It’s a part of a woman’s daily routine just like brushing our teeth or hair. I do think you should feel comfortable being bare-faced but there’s no harm in a little make-up or a lot of make up when going out in the evening. Make-up is a way of self expression and it tells others a lot about you. You can tell whether a person is shy, outgoing or just doesn’t care what people think by the type of make up they apply or don’t apply. I don’t feel like I am hiding my true self because I wear cover up or blush everyday. I feel that make-up enhances the real me.

    • I have never been one to wear much make-up. But, I feel that the older I get the more make-up I wear. All throughout high school and college I never wore make-up on a daily basis. It was pretty much wash and go unless going out at night. I didn’t purchase my first foundation–Smashbox’s High Definition Foundation–until I was about 24. Now I can’t leave my apartment without foundation, blush, and lip gloss. Why the change?
      Part of it has to do with the perception of aging and beauty. We live in a society that values youth and artificiality more so than natural beauty and aging. In a sense, you are told to cover your face up with crap because the natural you is unacceptable. That is, your face is “too oily,” “too blotchy,” “too many pimples,” “way too many wrinkles,” “ugly freckles,” and “dark circles.” The list goes on and the things women do to themselves to look beautiful doesn’t stop at make-up.
      As Rudman & Glick (2008) note “Women the world over are pushed toward impossibly high standards of beauty and receive strong cultural messages that their bodies are unacceptable as they are, thus promoting a variety of body-altering practices.” I agree. Are men expected to wax, pluck, and peel themselves on a regular basis?

  3. I was not allowed to wear make-up as teenager, but I did it anyway. After college I started wearing make up regularly (the power, blush, lipstick) and now those 5-7 minutes are very therapeutic. The moment slows down and i focus on me.. I like it. I think its all about the balance.. there are days that i do not wear makeup and just moisturize my face… I’m cool with that and there are nights and days were i want to wear makeup- but makeup doesn’t make me feel prettier, its just a thing to do to feel feminine. Thanks for sharing.

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