Is it worth the ‘trouble’ when no one’s watching?
Real talk, how are you?
The quarantine period has got us and our lives - plus, our beauty routines - on pause. With everything that has been happening in the world, a lot - if not all - of us are putting our conventional habits on hold as we navigate the changes brought about by what the media has been referring to as the ‘new normal’.
Our once flawless, strict to the T X-step regimens were now most probably cut short. Pre-lockdown, we make sure that before stepping out that door, our no-makeup makeup look is on point, hair is intentionally messy with that just-got-out-of-bed vibe, and our effortless minimalist looks are worthy to be shared in a few (okay, maybe 10) Instagram stories. End result? Our confidence level matched that of Tyra Banks! We looked good, therefore we felt good. It did a major boost in our self confidence.
So really, do we need to continue with this routine for the sake of looking good for ourselves even if nobody’s here to appreciate our put-together looks?
The lipstick effect
Since the lockdown has been implemented, maybe we took out some of the *supplementary* steps in our skincare and makeup routines. On some days, we put our bronzers and lip gloss to rest. On other days, we’re dressed in our pyjamas all day (and throw on a blazer a minute before a scheduled Zoom meeting). Everything’s cool, we’re not hurting anyone, right?
Putting on makeup is so much more than that. Harvard did a study on the effects of self-care and applying on makeup. They discovered that those individuals who were wearing makeup received higher grades than their bare-faced counterparts. It changed the way they believed in themselves so they were more composed and self confident during the exams. There’s the connection between physical self-esteem and makeup application!
Dr. Daryl Appleton, a New York-based psychotherapist, also observed that our brains release more testosterone when we put on makeup, making us feel great and confident about ourselves. This is so helpful especially in times like this when we definitely need to lift ourselves and each other up.
So there’s our ‘why’ on continuing to perfect our brow A-game during the quarantine period!
And this rings true on us at Evio Beauty. When we put on makeup and look at ourselves in the mirror, we feel great and amazing about ourselves. We’re kinder on our reflections. We appreciate ourselves more. Not that we don’t like our bare-faced selves, but there’s something about lining our eyes, and putting on that cream blush that makes us feel wonderful. Pre-lockdown, we noticed that we felt more confident in facing other people too, whether during a meeting or on cocktail hours with friends.
Cream blush and positive reinforcements
We may not know it, and as cliché as it may sound, but physical appearance can have a huge impact on our self-esteem. Remember the world pre-quarantine when we were all rushing to get ready and catch the 8am train to get to work on time? You threw in the first outfit you saw, grabbed your purse, and told yourself you’ll do your makeup while having coffee. But then you realize, you left your makeup kit at home. Gasp! As you go through your day, you feel different, don’t you? Maybe you don’t do small talks in the office pantry, pass up on that group lunch the marketing team is hosting, or say no to that impromptu dinner date your beau invited you to.
Now, compare that day to when you were able to get up a little bit early, and actually had the time to put together clothes, and apply makeup on your face? You go to work, and you make more eye contact with the people around you. You were fearless and said yes immediately to that unscheduled meeting your boss asked you to attend to. You were just 10X, if not more, more poised and self-assertive.
So actually, we can think of makeup as not just something that makes us look presentable or on-trend, but its effect is like having a pep talk with your best friend, sibling, or partner, and realizing you can crush on any challenges the world will throw in at you. A simple application of a cream concealer followed by a coat of mascara and a dab of cream blush will not just lend you a glowing complexion even if you weren’t getting enough sleep, but it will do wonders on your self-esteem too.
The Department of Fashion Design at Pukyong National University in South Korea has conducted an experiment about the link between cosmetics and positive reinforcements to young girls. The authors found out that ‘negative self-esteem seeks pleasure through makeup, and transforms one’s feeling of inferiority and depression into positive emotions’.
Come to think of it, putting on makeup is such a confidence booster that it even converts unhappiness to something encouraging. It can seriously change the world!
Lining our eyes = freedom of expression
With everyone stuck at home during quarantine, some of us were pushed to live alone in our studio apartments away from our family and friends. Some couples haven’t seen each other for months. This time can really take a toll on our mental health.
For those of us who simply love putting on makeup, it’s one of the few things that keeps us sane and happy. Some - if not all - of us find joy in watching beauty content creators give a rundown of their quarantine makeup regimens on YouTube and IGTV.
What’s also good about makeup is that it has created a supportive community. As beauty gets more inclusive and expansive, makeup brands are targeting wider groups. Now, we see the LGBTQ community taking over global makeup brands’ Instagram Stories to share flawless makeup tips. Beautiful black and bronzed babes are getting booked to model for major makeup international campaigns. Asians are taking over the cosmetics world by storm with makeup companies showcasing various techniques on these gorgeous humans’ delicate facial features and stunning bone structures.
These days, makeup isn’t just limited for the ladies alone. Boys can wear them proud too! And we seriously think they look amazing in that perfect bold eyes and nude lip look.
Makeup has created a circle filled with encouragement, rather than hate. It has built this space where individuals can freely express themselves without being judged. Beauty has expanded to so much more than rendering smoldering eyes, or lending a fuller pout effect. It has built a community of beautiful individuals who are kind to each other, and supporting each other. And during this time, that’s exactly what we need.
The final look
So, going back to the ultimate quarantine beauty question, are you still wearing makeup? How has your beauty routine changed since the beginning of the lockdown period? Are you still religiously following your regular pre-quarantine skin and body care routines?
Makeup has gone so far from its basic purpose of highlighting our facial features and faking a strong jawline. Now, it’s the ultimate self-care and self-empowerment practice that we could possibly do on a daily basis in the comfort of our own home, without exerting so much effort. With makeup, we also found a group we definitely belong to, where we could be just us, and free to express who we really are.
Makeup has taught us to be kinder to the reflection we see in the mirror. It’s giving us that extra boost of confidence that we really need in these trying times. Because doing our brows and lining our lips serves a bigger purpose than solely making us look the glow-up version of ourselves.
So, give us a second while we prime our faces, and dab a bit of highlighter on the high points of our cheeks before we answer the question we posed in the beginning of this article.