Have you heard about how singer Alicia Keys was criticised for not wearing makeup when she walked the red carpet in this year’s VMAs? That is just one prime example about how women can’t seem to get it right when it comes to their appearance—or in this case, how they wear makeup. For someone famous like Keys, it’s easy for her to voice out her stance regarding her decision to be makeup free, but what about the common, non-celebrity woman? If she’s not wearing makeup, she’s considered someone who doesn’t take care of herself. On the case that she is wearing makeup, people (mostly guys) start complaining how about it’s “too much”.

Truth be told, a woman can wear however much makeup she wants and should be left alone because it’s her body and her decisions. However, for those who don’t understand why women go through so much trouble just to look glamourous wherever they go, here are a few personal examples I have to share:

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It’s our self-expression

As I grew older, I’ve come to realise that putting on makeup has taken new meaning for me. It is no longer about aspiring to be as pretty as the women I see on TV or magazines, but rather to become more of me. What I wear is an extension of myself—not make believe, not a mask, but an expression of who I am for that exact moment. Wearing a makeup has become part of my outfits, my look, and my style; it’s visually communicating my moods, emotions, or attitude for the day. Makeup is my now. One thing’s for sure: I’m not putting it on for anyone but myself.

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It’s a form of stress-reliever

Back in college, whenever I was stressed out with finals, but felt determined to make it through the day, I would simply put on bright red lipstick. Not only did it make me look less tired, but it made me feel like I slept eight hours. It was the same for job interviews where I would play it up and go for full coverage. Despite putting on thick makeup, I never hear any negative comments because of the natural colours I use to blend to my skin. Honestly, it takes a while and a little extra effort in the day to go through a complete makeup routine—from the moisturiser, the primers to the foundation to everything else—but it’s all worth it because I know the long process will pay off. I’ll get the look I want and that’s what matters.

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It makes our skin feel better

One thing I also appreciate about putting makeup is that I am able to practice extra care for my skin. A lot of people have a misconception that putting too much product on my face is harmful, but if you’re like me and your skin is extra sensitive, you’ll take great consideration on picking your makeup. You’ll want to get only the best makeup that suits your skin. In fact, I’ve met a lot of women who have had skin problems in their past which of course, affected their self-esteem, but are now more confident because of makeup. As arduous a task putting makeup may seem, it can actually make life easier, and if I may say, even better. The whole process of applying makeup is an art that’s enjoyed whether it’s done in a few seconds or a few hours.

As you can see, there are many personal reasons why women wear makeup. It’s basically part of our packaging, our daily exercise before strutting out to the world. As long as she feels great about herself and is confident about her decision to be extra pretty that day, the best you can do is compliment her effort to look her best.
 

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