When I was a teen, sure, I had a good personality, but let’s face it, other teens aren’t looking to grasp onto your good personality, they’re looking to grasp onto coolness. And I had no coolness. I was overweight, I didn’t follow trends, and I hated pop music. Oh, and I wanted to get good grades, so I had no interest in drinking, drugs, or sex. What a loser.

SIDENOTE: I love losers.

In a way, makeup sort of formed my teenage identity. I couldn’t really be cool in many other ways, so I started to experiment with makeup. I quickly became obsessed with MAC Cosmetics eyeshadow, eyeliner, the whole bit. I read books, watched videos, and really just paid attention to how people I loved wore their makeup, and in the process, I learned a lot about how to apply it.

And it turned into my thing, so I wore a lot of it. All the time.

SIDENOTE: Then I shaved my eyebrows off because I wanted to draw on my own, thereby making makeup a daily necessity (unless I wanted to look like an ALIEN).*

I’d say from the ages of about 13-20, makeup was my safety blanket. And I was TERRIFIED of the thought of anyone seeing me without it. Like many women, I thought I looked ugly without it. I thought that if I left the house without makeup on, everyone would be staring in horror at the monster walking down the street. I was even afraid of letting close friends and family see me without makeup. I remember when I was 16 and my aunt, uncle, and cousin visited us from Portugal, I was livid that they would see me without makeup on in the morning. I almost cried just from worrying about it on their first morning in Canada.

It makes me sad to think back on that, but I had so little self-confidence, even with makeup on, that it was kind of all I had to hold on to. It makes me even sadder that a lot of women – hell, even a lot of my friends – still feel this way about themselves.

I honestly don’t know exactly what changed, but it certainly wasn’t an overnight thing. I guess I grew up a bit, but I also just became more self-confident. By the time I hit 20-21, I was slightly willing to be seen with a clean face, but only in the last year or so have I become totally comfortable with it. Part of this self-acceptance was forced, since I started going to the gym early in the morning and then teaching Zumba, etc., etc. (which I realize some women will still primp for, but whatever, there’s a line for me somewhere between self-consciouness and laziness), but a huge part of it was me realizing hey, I like who I am and I don’t give a shit what you think of me. That part of me realized that I’m smart, talented, funny, and yes, dare I say it, beautiful, and that all of those things come from my insides, not my outsides. I don’t care how stereotypical of a statement that is; it’s a stereotype because it’s true. There are a lot of perfectly manicured, “beautiful” bitches out there. I think we can all agree on that.

And I love when I see famous ladies I admire going around with clean faces:

Like Lena Dunham.
Like Lena Dunham.
Or Mindy Kaling.
Or Mindy Kaling.

Because it’s like, (A) it’s your face, so just be cool with it, (B) you still look gorgeous without makeup on, and (C) who has the time/care some days?

And also, I don’t know about you, but it’s how I look the majority of the time, so if you’re gonna know me/like me/love me/live with me/etc., you’d better get used to it.

Hello, world.
Hello, world.

Lesson learned: Makeup is fun, but not necessary.**

xA

*NEVER SHAVE YOUR EYEBROWS OFF, PEOPLE. It has taken me over a DECADE to grow them back, and they still aren’t the same/as full as they used to be, plus they grew back in a different, ashy colour. Just don’t. You want to experiment with drawing on your own? Cover the ones you have. I can teach you how.

**Look, I get that even I wear makeup a lot more than some women. I know a lot of women who never wear makeup, and that’s totally fine with me. Now that I’m a part-time fitness instructor and a frequent fitness participant, I get excited at the idea of wearing clothes that aren’t spandex and getting to put on eyeshadow, so I wear makeup when I can. I didn’t write this post to point out any right or wrong or solve any huge world issues, so let’s not argue. Unless you want to argue about women who think they’re ugly without makeup and should wear it all the time, because I’ll definitely stand up and say that’s wrong. This blog, though, is about me, so this post is just a little tidbit of my life. Okay? Okay, cool.

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