Today, I joyfully applied my makeup. I thoroughly enjoyed the act of putting on makeup. It was just me, a few things I wanted to try (a couple new Pixi palettes), and absolutely no pressure to overachieve or create something extraordinary, and no difficult-to-reach expectations. It was simply easy and fun.
It might not be the edgiest, most interesting or most complicated makeup I’ve ever worn…but you know, I had a spring in my step when I finished, and I felt good about it all day long.
First of all, before I started doing it, I let go of the idea that I had to do it. I didn’t have to do this look or any look today, and letting go of the pressure was liberating.
There seems to be a lot of pressure to go around these days, or is that just me? Every day I feel this self-imposed — and probably completely unnecessary — pressure to be the best version of myself and to push myself past my limits… I know that in some ways, to want to do this is a good thing, but in other ways it’s not all that great.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the pressure we put on ourselves, like the pressure to be the best at so many of the things we do. Best at our job, great partner, best friend, best daughter, best mother, sister, neighbor, best student, best teacher. The pressure to be Insta-fabulous and keep up with other people’s seemingly perfect lives. If there’s some way to put pressure on myself, I will find it, it seems…
Like, with putting on a full face, for instance. I wore makeup two whole times (!) last week, and the other day I found myself thinking, “Hmm… Can I do three times this week? Four? HOW ABOUT FIVE? And how do I do better? Should I do an all-matte face, so it’ll read better on camera? Or maybe I should dig out some false lashes because I haven’t done that in a minute. I should really, really should do a colorful look because it’s been a while…” Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Why do I do this? I don’t really know. I finally stopped the spiraling by reminding myself that 1) putting on makeup isn’t something I ever have to do, and 2) if I did put it on, it could be as elaborate or as simple as I wanted. As long as it left me feeling great, then cheers to that. 🥂
Because, note to self, it — whatever “it” is in any given circumstance — doesn’t always have to involve going hard at 110% max effort and “taking it to the next level.” There is no shame in modifying your expectations for yourself. If all I can handle is painting my face once or twice a week for no apparent reason at all, then so be it. One can wear black eyeliner with a single eyeshadow (or even no eyeshadow), or just bright lipstick and a tinted moisturizer, and the world will most certainly keep turning.
For now, it’s good enough. And that’s just fine! 😊
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,