So here’s a thing.
Up until two days ago, I wore foundation or concealer (or some combination of both products) every single day (give or take a glitch or two in the algorithm that is my life) for the past fourteen years.
That is over 5000 days of wearing makeup; makeup that covers up and paints over my natural skin tone, my freckles, my pimples – everything that makes my face, my face.
I wore this makeup on runs, to the beach, to work, to work out, to school dances, to graduations, to family dinners, to the grocery store, to job interviews – I wore it everywhere.
And two days ago, I stopped.
I thought – enough is enough.
I am twenty-eight years old.
This is very representative of how I operate in life. I won’t do something until I have completely made up my mind.
However, once the decision has been made, I will never renege, and I will never look back.
I first started wearing “pressed powder” when I was thirteen years old. I had just started grade eight, and I was very self-conscious of the patch of acne that had sprouted atop on my forehead over the past year.
I wanted to make a good impression, so what better way to do this that spackle six dollar Cover Girl all over my skin?
(The answer: be really, really funny.)
Grade nine brought even worse skin, so I graduated from just the powder, to bottle foundation (that I supplemented with the powder.)
Looking back at photos of myself from that time, I can only laugh. I wore so much of this product that I looked practically a ghost – pale as anything, with super dark red lips, and thick black eyeliner.
I was pretty much a dead ringer for one of the Twilight kids, only ten years too early.
Over the years, my use of foundations and concealers has waxed and waned.
I wrote previously on how this tied directly to my eating disorders – in times of health I used less because my skin was much clearer, and in times of sickness I used much more.
But even at my happiest I always used it.
But two days ago I was out at the park, running myself ragged, doing my favourite combination of sprints, push-ups, pull-ups, squats (and all their ilk) and I just felt so incredibly strong- so alive and powerful.
So much so that when I arrived home and showered, I stood in the bathroom and just stared at myself for a long, long time.
For many years, I would do this same thing, but in a highly critical sense. I would scrutinize everything about my body – my skin, my hair, my teeth.
I would pick myself apart, and leave the pieces scattered, broken on the floor.
But this time, however, I marvelled.
At the strength of my muscles, and the glow of my skin; the length of my hair, and pulse of my heartbeat.
And I thought – I will face the world as I am.
Which is not to say that I won’t wear any other makeup ever again.
I love playing dress up too much for that.
But I won’t wear any more skin cover up products.
I’ve got a strong enough foundation as it is.