April 23, 2015

You Don't Have to Try

As I worked in the office last summer, there was a song I jammed to that had inspired me to write a blog post. The song was 'Try' by Colbie Caillat.

Obviously, it's been a year since I was listening to this song at my desk, and I've only now gotten around to typing up the post. Although I think the timing is actually perfect because I recently had an experience that gives me a - not necessarily new - but better understanding of the issue at hand.

What I want to talk about today is makeup. My mom has always been a strong proponent of no-makeup, and has been firm about wanting me to look natural. As a result, my encounters with makeup were few and far between. I used to wear it as a kid when I performed in The Nutcracker ballet on stage, and wore some of it during my Grade 12 graduation. For things like job interviews or events, I will generally swipe on some lipstick. Day-to-day, I wear absolutely no makeup.

While the lyrics of this song aren't groundbreaking, it was the message that resonated with me. I remember girls in my junior high who depended on their mascara; to be seen without it was their worst nightmare. But I think as Caillet would say: that's not the point of makeup.

Why should you care what they think of you,
When you're all alone by yourself,
Do you like you?

First and foremost, you need to love yourself. Makeup is most powerful when it's clear you would be just as confident about who you are without it. I've always admired girls who aren't afraid to post photos of themselves bare-faced because it shows that when they do put on makeup, it's for their own happiness - not for the approval of others. Makeup is about enhancing the natural beauty you have, but if you don't like who you are underneath, then makeup will only ever be a mask.

I mentioned the timing of this post is particular because, just recently, my friend agreed to help show me what I would look like with makeup on. She came over to apply eyeshadow, eyeliner and lipstick:

I wanted to share this because putting makeup on helped me change the way I look at myself. I used to be so jealous of girls who were pretty, wondering why I wasn't graced with the genes to look as stunning. I used to hate taking off my glasses because I thought my eyes looked awfully tired and flat. Yet as you can see, I'm not wearing glasses in these photos - and that's a big deal for me. I have never taken a photo of myself without glasses, nor have I ever been so happy to see myself without them.

But the real moral of the story here happened when I took my makeup off that night.  I looked at my once-again bare face, and realized that the features I so loved with makeup on were still there. I realized that the eyes I once thought were dull were actually quite wide and exploring, that the lips I hated for being too big were actually nicely plump, and the face I always thought was too wide was actually due to the way my cheeks pop when I smile.  Funny how I had to see myself with makeup in order to love myself without it.

I still adore the way I look with makeup, and I have a whole new appreciation for what a simple cat eye can do. I would definitely wear makeup again if I had the chance, but day-to-day, I will continue without it because I know I don't need it to feel good about myself. After all, the most important question you have you ask yourself is: do you like you?


  1. Hey you look really pretty Angelica!
    You should post more photos of yourself though!
    I prefer to have no make-up, in the past I hide myself under it and my skin turned very terrible, I could not face public with just bare skin,
    When I experienced clear skin now, I super enjoyed the benefits of it! For years of hiding,and finally my confidence is back...I just could not live without a sunblock and a blush...I wanted to use a lipstick but even that tiny dab for me takes a lot of time and I am too busy to use one...:)

    1. That's amazing - they say clear skin is the best make up. I too depend on sunblock to ensure my skin stays healthy. It might be a hassle now, but it'll be worth it in the long run. Here's to natural beauty!

  2. great song :)

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