Makeup, a practice as old as our society, can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who have mastered it. According to historical sources, Egyptian women were the first to wear makeup, and they did it for the same reasons we do it today.
Back then, their versions of supermodels and rich socialites wanted to look their best and regarded the application of face paint as a way to achieve that.
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Today, nothing much has changed – makeup is, for many people, a way to express their individuality and emphasize certain facial features. But, apart from aesthetic reasons, makeup can also be very beneficial from a psychological standpoint. Here I will show you how makeup can help you achieve self-confidence.
Makeup Can Boost Your Self-Assurance
Applying makeup can feel like putting on a pair of heels or trying an extravagant hair color – it gives you confidence and the sense of control. Sociologists have compared grooming rituals to backstage preparations in theaters that make the actors feel ready to face the public and not let stage fright affect their performance.
Similar to that, your 10-minute-long grooming ritual (or however long you want to make it!) can make you feel prepared to face the challenges of the day. Experts have expanded upon the dramaturgical aspect of makeup and how people split their lives between ‘’front stage’’ and ‘’ backstage’’.
Front stage behavior is what we do when we think others are watching, scripted, predictable, routinized and in accord with social norms.
The backstage behavior is what we do when no one is looking; we let our guard down, we ‘’rehearse’’ certain interactions of behaviors and prepare ourselves for the next upstage performance.
Makeup is part of that preparation process that provides a necessary confidence boost, whether you are about to leave for a job interview, have an important meeting or go out for a night in the city. It is not necessarily a psychological crutch – more like a technique that can put you in the right state of mind. Which takes us to our next entry…
Makeup Puts You in The Right State of Mind
Just like certain clothes are made for particular situations – ‘’work jacket’’, ‘’gym pants’’ and so on – the expression ‘’to put on my face’’ exists for this same reason.
Makeup can put you in the right mindset for whatever comes next, be it an important, career-defining moment, or a family event. Whitefield Madrano wrote in ‘’Face Value’’ that “The act of applying camouflage becomes not only a way of making yourself look the part but also a way of actually becoming the part.”
Obviously, you can’t ‘’look’’ and in no way ‘’become’’ the part if you wear evening makeup in a professional setting so that you will need a few practical tips.
For example, let us talk makeup techniques for job interviews. The key here is, go for a soft and natural look, and that means choosing shades that match your skin tone as closely as possible. The idea is to play it down, but not too much – attract a little attention, but not stand out.
If you have a tendency of getting flustered or you are about to participate in an intense interview, try avoiding blush and opt for highlighter or use a green primer before applying any makeup. The same exact principle applies to mascara – do not apply it in excess or you might end up with clumpy lashes.
The ‘’soft’’ look mentioned above can be achieved with a pencil eyeliner. Instead of using red lipstick, you could instead go for natural lip gloss, making sure it matches the natural color of the lips. If you want to delve deeper into this subject and to experiment with various makeup techniques, you can find more info on best organic makeup and build your style around this.
Makeup Enhances Your Facial Features
Let us make one point clear: makeup is not here to make you look beautiful. Every woman has her own special, particular features that make her stand out.
And here comes the real purpose of makeup – to enhance and emphasize those facial features and make them stand out uniquely. The proper makeup can turn beautiful eyes into Liz Taylor caliber eyes. The right lip gloss will make your lips look more luscious. But, if you use it to enhance certain features and downplay those that you personally consider unattractive, that is fine as well.
Therefore, there are a few makeup techniques that you can use to highlight some aspects and attract away attention from the others. In order to emphasize the eyes, tight lining the upper lash line with a gel liner or a black pencil is a surefire way to make them stand out.
If you want to make them look brighter and larger, try applying eyeshadow on the inner corners of the eyes. To achieve that famous Audrey Hepburn doe-eyed look, apply the mascara on the outer lashes.
Next up is emphasizing the cheekbones. Giving them a defined, sharp look is easily achievable by using a matte contouring powder or a simple cream. Suck in your cheeks to get a rough idea where the shadow could be carefully blended the color into the hollow parts of your cheeks. Afterward, using a powder or cream brush, blend them on the shadow, angling up towards the temple and apply highlighter above the blush. This technique is best if you want to go for a natural look.
If you want to attract attention away from the nose, applying standard contouring makeup techniques will make it look thinner and smaller. The technique itself is pretty simple – using a concealer or highlighter, draw a straight line down the bridge.
However, make sure to use a color that is a tad lighter than your natural skin tone otherwise it might stand out. This simple trick will make the nose look slimmer.
Finally, as for downplaying the forehead, like in the case of the nose, you can use makeup to create a visual trick. All you have to do is to counter the hairline with a shade or two darker than the foundation. After tracing the natural curve of the hairline, blend it and voila, you have created the illusion of a smaller forehead through the magic of makeup.
Sociologists have associated the process of applying makeup with the backstage preparations that theater actors do before facing the public.
Therefore, other than serving certain aesthetic needs, makeup can offer a much-needed confidence boost in a tough period or can put you in the right state of mind for an important life event and science is here to back this fact up. But, regardless of your personal reasons for applying makeup, how much or when, the important thing is to do you.