I’m 22 now, and in the last four years, I do not remember a day without wearing a bold lipstick. It often becomes a point of conversation… my love affair with true blood reds, magenta pinks, and 90’s browns. But I refuse to wipe it off, especially after it took me five minutes to prep, outline and then fill my lips with precision.
My mother tells me, my love for makeup started even before I could talk properly. I would look up to her as she would get ready for parties, tugging at her clothes for a little bit of blush or a little bit of lipstick. And then as I grew up to the age of four and five, I would sit at my hello kitty dressing table and wear pretend lipstick and lots of necklaces and pretend to be Belle or Aurora sometimes Cinderella. I was and still am a Disney kid.
After I started school, I would love getting my make up done for dance performances, especially when I was able to keep the lipstick and eyeliner on after the performance, as I went through the metro, I felt powerful even at the age of nine. Back then, I could not wear makeup to school per say, but I would always have a lip balm, especially the glossy kind. Even now somewhere in my closet, I still have the lipstick and eyeshadow quad, filled with glittery pink, green, purple, and white. Holding on to them and sometimes coming across them, reminds of how much I have grown up. I still remember the day I went to Toys”R”Us and came across this beautiful blue carry case with butterflies on it. That was the day my mom bought me my very own makeup kit. That was almost 11 years ago.
It may seem like I am masking an insecurity I could possibly have, I may have started to wear makeup because of that when I first began college. But now it’s my secret weapon. When I began to wear makeup on an everyday basis to college, it was because I knew that I would meet a lot of people that day, and I wanted to make an impression, I was naive. Now after four years, I wear it for myself, I wear it because I am proud of the amount of work it took to have a good look that day after 20 minutes.
You see I have always been dramatic in my personality, it can be seen as a detriment but I own it. I own it by being put to together in my appearance as well. Even on a normal college day, I will always have a full face of makeup and dressed in business casuals. If and ever I wear sweatpants or sweatshirts, I dress them up. I believe that if I am being dramatic and stressed about a task that was assigned but was seen through completely my appearance helps me project the authority I need to have.
Each time I walk onto the cosmetics floor of a department store, I am engulfed by an all-encompassing feeling of power and boldness. Each trip I learn more and more, not just by the artists but by the women and men there to make their purchases. Standing at makeup counters helps me stay calm on a weekly basis. I do not go and shop every time I go, but I learn. I learn about things that work with my skin, I learn what colors reflect better on me. Each trip I grow, each trip I become more of a soon to be college graduate and leave behind my childish flaws. I still can’t do a perfect winged eye, but I don’t worry, I know that I have to shake hands from all the adrenaline that runs through me every day as I do my ritual of standing in front of the mirror, figuring out my mood, and choosing the look of the day.
The whole process from taking a few minutes to do my skincare, to applying a base, and setting it, to doing my eyes, and adding that pop of highlight and finally reaching for the strongest weapon in my arsenal, my lipstick. Every single day as I apply makeup I make a mental list of all that I want to achieve and in the evening as I remove the day’s artwork, I get to reflect on the things I achieved in a day, conversations I had that made an impact. It keeps me focused and organized.
My love affair with makeup does not make me high maintenance, however much the society sometimes makes it seem so. I do not wear Persistence or Bawse because it looks good on me when someone sees me, I wear it because the moment I have my lipstick on me, I know I’m going to be a boss. I don’t wear it to just look cute or pretty, I don’t wear it to hide my flaws, I wear my lipsticks because they have helped me be a better leader, they have helped me own my quirks and personality. One perfect swipe helps me to reach the next step on the ladder to becoming the future’s global leader.