My Bittersweet Makeup journey 

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According to InvestSA the cosmetics industry of SA employs about 50 000 people and contributes to about R25 billion at retail level and more than R5 billion at a manufacturing level and an astounding $532 Billion worldwide, again, astounding😱!, isn’t it? Just realising this blows my mind away. I am absolutely amazed at how vast the world of cosmetics really   is, especially so considering makeup began with the use of ashes and berries 🍒 as eyeshadow and liptint. 

The reason behind the cosmetic industry thriving so well is actually quite simple, make up holds meaning for most whilst being a very versatile instrument. This could be a way to achieve heightened confidence that a woman needs when walking in to an interview in a male dominated world or it could be a tool that she uses to do away with the anxiety and insecurity that causes her to feel judged and materialised 😐

 It could also be a form of art and expression for some. Make-up could be an entire career built on making ‘special-effects’ on movie sets or the work of a successful influencer in the entertainment industry 📺. The best part of it all is that it isn’t limited to people who are able to study years in university to gain a degree.

Despite being such a powerful weapon, it could be a source of concern and despair for you as it is for me: 😓   

Almost all throughout high school, I did not struggle too much with my appearance and how I was received by people. However during my final year, my body began to change, part of this was because of all the stress from school that caused me to miss my menstrual cycles for months and at times accompanied by the stress eating 🍴. Having always been thin my whole life, this change (that felt drastic at the time) placed me in a state of internal misery. 

While always having admired the world of cosmetics from a far, my teenage-self believed make-up might help me accept myself and feel better, unfortunately, it had the opposite effect

When I walked in to a make up shop, I was completely and utterly overwhelmed by the wide-ranging variety of products. As a beginner, finding the tones that matched my skin correctly, what colours would flatter me or simply what products to start with had me deeply perplexed, all of that not including the price tags 🏷️. 

Thereafter, I received some help and I bought some basic cosmetic materials. Now came along the struggle of applying it correctly, at times, I would wipe off an entire face of make-up just to do it all over again. When preparing for an event or occasion I began getting ready almost 2 hours before it was time to leave. With so many kinds of products and so many influencers and make-up artists with just as many opinions the methods only felt more and more complicated 😕

After I was somewhat satisfied with the ‘layering’ I had done on my face to cover up what I found ‘unfit’ I would only find myself feeling even more insecure with all the beautiful and elegant women around me 🚺. I constantly felt under scrutiny of being judged and ridiculed for the ‘make-up’ that was meant to make me feel pretty. Unfortunately, that which was meant to enhance me became something that crippled me 😢

I refused to stop doing something that I admired so much just because it felt immensely difficult. As I kept diving in to the world of make-up I realised that it does get simpler after all the ‘trials and errors’ . A lesson for all the girls and even boys out there, yes, even women get intimidated by make-up and even though I am not the next ‘upcoming make-up artist’, I assure you that its perfectly fine to learn along the way and even if you aren’t met with the kindest of words, know that you deserve to be accepted as exactly who you want to be 🧍. 

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