All Articles Tagged "natural beauty"
It took me a while to warm up to avocado. I distinctly remember my first introduction being someone scooping it out of it’s shell and eating it like ice cream. My face nearly turned as green as the avocado itself. But after doing some research and learning all the wonderful benefits of this amazing food, it’s become a big part of my diet. And not only does it contribute to a healthy diet, but it can also be used externally in mixtures, moisturizers, and masks to keep hair and skin beautiful. Read it. Try it. Love it. Embrace the avocado! For all the recipes, choose a ripened avocado that has a dark green skin and has give–but not mush–when you press it, for easy mixing. If it’s still bright and has no give, you can set it in a paper bag on your counter and let it ripen for a day or two.
Makeup and I have a love and hate relationship. I love it on other people, especially those who beat their faces to perfection, yet I hate it on me.
It wasn’t always like that. Back in my teens and my late 20s, I was one of those ladies who loved to dabble in the war paint. In fact, I wore the stuff everyday in full regalia from the liquid and press powder foundations to the concealer to the blush, eye shadow, lip liners and gloss and mascara. Back then, I saw makeup as not only a way to boost confidence but to accentuate the positive while disguising what I perceived as negatives.
But now that I am heading into my mid-thirties, the extra time spent in the mornings in front of the mirror fussin’ and fixin just doesn’t appeal to me as much. I would rather hit the snooze button and spend the extra twenty minutes or so sleeping. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes makeup just completes the look. So if I’m headed out somewhere nice, I might pull out the caboodle and press my face. However, even that is not always a given.
Part of my disillusionment with make-up involved worrying – wondering if the look I had achieved prior to leaving the house held up through the day. I can’t tell you how many moments in life I missed because I was in the bathroom or held up in my compact mirror, making sure that my face wasn’t getting away from me.
Now, I have a newfound appreciation of all my natural features including my nose and discoloration under my eyes, which I used to try to “fix” with makeup. I also love being able to touch my face without fear of some of it rubbing off onto my hands or clothing.
But perhaps my appreciation for my natural face isn’t all that it is cracked up to be – at least according to Sam Fine, celebrity makeup artist and creative makeup director for Fashion Fair Cosmetics. According to Fine, the biggest beauty mistake that I, among other bare-face Black women make is not wearing makeup. He says, ““I think the biggest beauty mistake is not understanding how to enhance your beauty,” Sam added. “And I think a lot of [women of color] are scared that makeup is going to make [them] look fake, ‘It’s not gonna look like me, they’re not going to have my color.’ I think that they just tend to step away from the category when a brand like Fashion Fair, is releasing a liquid foundation in July to add to the range of colors. Nineteen shades! There will be 17 shades in liquid! And if you look at that, that’s not a range that’s broken up for general market vs. African Americans. So you really are getting a wealth of coverage options and colors. I think the biggest mistake is not participating in the game at all.”
Interesting. Sounds more like a plug for Fashion Fair Cosmetics’ new foundation line than actual unbiased beauty advice. Product placement aside, there might be some truth to what he says. As one Facebook friend of mine – a photographer with years of experience – has suggested, the natural look is overrated and those who think that they look better without makeup are deluding themselves. In fact, his exact words were: “That whole natural thing is for people who don’t entertain the masses, everyone y’all watch, buy cd’s from, concert tickets to see, etc. rocks it. That natural line is corny!”
Ouch, that’s kind of harsh. As much as I was ready to” go in” on my FB buddy, I had to acknowledge that he too might have a point. We are an image-conscious society. Every day on television and in the magazines, we see images of celebrities and even non-celebrities alike with their faces made-up to perfection. Even among the menfolk and in the news industry, men are encouraged to wear make up although it’s supposed to be the news we’re supposed to be paying attention to – not the faces of the anchors. Some say television personalities need to wear make-up because of the harshness of the lights, which seems to highlights one’s flaws, but the truth of the matter is that folks do look more appealing with makeup on than without. Even I notice a difference in the number of cat-calls from men on the street when I am wearing makeup as opposed to when I am not – not that I am looking to be harassed on the street by strange and random men. But you get my point.
Thanks to good genes and parents who understood the value of self-confidence, I always held my physical beauty in high regard. As a child and even today, I can’t pass a mirror or any reflective surface without glancing in it. Some would call this behavior vain. I’d say I simply have an appreciation for aesthetically pleasing things and my face happens to be one of them.
Naturally, I always knew that my face wasn’t the best thing about me as a person and eventually I learned that everyone wouldn’t share the same passion I had for my looks. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. But it was cool, I still dug me.
The love affair I had with my face only grew once I started experimenting with makeup. My eyes popped with mascara and eye liner, nobody could tell me that my lips didn’t look especially luscious once they were outlined with a pencil and the mirror and I solidified our bond once my mother started plucking my eyebrows.
I loved my new look! Although I could certainly appreciate the benefits of makeup, I didn’t dive in completely and recklessly. For one, I already loved my natural face but I also feared that I’d become one of those women who appears virtually unrecognizable without the presence of her beauty enhancements.
So while I didn’t wear a full face of makeup everyday, it was rare that I went to school without a coat of mascara, some lip gloss and of course my beloved lip liner. (I’ll admit sometimes I went too far with that.)
By the time I got to college, I was too busy trying to get to class on time to be bothered with my mini make up routine. Mascara was reserved for special occasions. But it was no thang, I still liked and loved my look.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college and started working my first little temp job that I started relying on makeup. Wanting to be taken seriously as an adult and constantly being mistaken for a high school student, it was important that I look the part. For the first time in my life, I was applying makeup religiously, every morning before I left for work and frequently on the weekends. I even started adding blush and bronzer to my once simplistic regimen.
I beat my face every morning but I really wasn’t a fan of the whole process. Fed up, I made a decision that I was going to go a day without it. I went to the bathroom, showered, washed my face, brushed my teeth, did my hair and looked in the mirror, underwhelmed at the sight.
For the first time in my life, the mirror, my friend wasn’t showing me what I expected to see. Suddenly, the beauty I’d always seen wasn’t so impressive. My face looked ordinary, washed out, drab even.
Realizing that this wouldn’t do, I applied some mascara, called it a morning and went back to makeup regimen. A few weeks later, sick again of the process, I attempted to try my original resolution again. No makeup.
Again the mirror wasn’t showing me the image we had agreed upon, but I vowed that I was going to go without, no matter how much the face in the mirror was disappointing me.
So I did. That day and the day after. For a week and then two.
Sometime in that two week stretch I saw my face again, the beautiful face I’d known my whole life.
Through that whole ordeal I learned a value lesson: never rely on makeup to create the beauty you, I, we naturally possess.
No, I haven’t sworn off makeup completely. I still like to enhance my face, like I did in high school. But when I don’t feel like applying makeup before I go to work, I don’t. Even if I wouldn’t necessarily mind putting on a little something extra in the morning, sometimes I go without, just so I don’t lose sight of what’s been there all along.
More on Madame Noire!
- For the Cool in You: Classic & Kooky Leather Jackets You’ll Love
- Terribly Tatted Up: When Celebrities Get Ratchet Tattoos for the Ones They Love
- Style Icon: Tina Turner
- Stereotypes That Black People Uphold
- We Are Family: Shocking Celebrity Relatives!
- Let’s Be Real: Things in Life You Need to Blame Yourself For From Time to Time
- Are You A Socially Awkward Black Girl?