There's no denying makeup has the incredible ability to make us feel good. With the flick of black eyeliner and the swish of red lipstick, we can all feel like queens with the touch of a few products.
But sadly, there are many, we repeat, many people out there who think makeup can't possibly be a tool of empowerment; a product that gives us confidence. To these people, a woman wearing a full face of makeup shows her insecurities.
To that, we say: wrong. Makeup is a form of communication; girls and boys use it as form of self-expression; it helps us say, "This is who I am." And if foundation, bronzer, eyeshadow and lip gloss help you feel your absolute best, than it is a powerful weapon.
Like feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once said, makeup, confidence and intelligence can co-exist.
"Women are a multiplicity of things. I think it’s time to really stop that ridiculous idea that somehow if you’re a serious woman you can’t and should not care about how you look," she said. "Women who like makeup also have important and serious things that they’re doing in their lives."
So for that, we rounded up a few of Canada's best Instagram beauty gurus to tell us what makeup means to them and how they've used it as a form of confidence.
"As a woman, having grown up in today's society, it took me years to realize that true beauty means to love and accept yourself for who you are. Makeup isn't a way of concealing or hiding yourself — makeup is empowering. Whether you are someone who applies makeup or not, being confident in what you do and who you are is what true beauty really is. Personally, I believe makeup is a way of artistic expression. It allows me to bring out my creativeness and not be afraid to try unique/daring looks."
From: Brampton, Ont.
"Makeup has become so much more than a morning routine for me. It's the part of my day where I can actually be free to be as expressive as I want. I find true empowerment by applying makeup, it has completely changed the way I carry myself. I am not ashamed to say I feel better when I’m wearing makeup. Ninety-nine per cent of days I do feel insecure about how I look when I'm not wearing makeup, but every now and then, a day will come along when I actually feel beautiful in my own skin. It’s not often, and I know it should be, but it can be really tough to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful without your security blanket. I love to make others feel beautiful about themselves, inside and out. This is why I decided to become a makeup artist; to show that beauty is in everyone. I believe that if I can show people the beauty that is within themselves, I can find it within myself too.”
"Beauty means confidence. Being confident when wearing makeup and being confident without wearing any at all. Makeup has helped me become more confident because I am my most self when I have makeup on. This isn't due to any insecurities or confident issues. Makeup is my art and it is what I do best. When an artist is lost in their canvas, that is when they are at most peace. They are fully themselves. Makeup is an art form and it is beautiful."
"To me beauty is understanding and accepting the unique features that make us who we are. Makeup has given me a sense of confidence, as it enables me to express myself. It gives me the ability to enhance a feature like my eyes or mouth with just a few strokes of a product. To me that is amazing!"
"For a long time when I was younger, I was afraid of walking around without makeup. I thought my dark circles, pale skin and uneven lips made me look ugly and sick, so I always used to throw on some makeup to give me that boost of confidence. But at the same time, I was lacking confidence without it. As I started my journey on social media, I soon realized that I wasn't the only one that felt this way about themselves. Everyone has their own insecurities. When I first posted a makeup tutorial on Instagram exposing my naked face, the amount of love I was shown from everyone was overwhelming. I soon came to realize that girls were coming to me for advice, and thanking me for helping them feel comfortable in their own skin. I think that's what really gave me the confidence, knowing that through makeup I was able to reach out to and help so many girls just like me."
"Beauty to me is confidence, whether it's with bare skin or a full face of makeup. Being confident in yourself, regardless of what you look like on the outside, is what I consider beautiful. Beauty is about the positive energy that you give off. I believe that beautiful people make others feel beautiful too. Makeup is a form of self expression. I use makeup to express the way I feel on the inside. If I wake up a certain day and I want to take on the world, putting on a dark lipstick makes me feel as if I really can. It doesn't give me confidence because it hides my imperfections, in fact it's the opposite. Makeup gives me confidence because it allows me to express my true self."
"Women for years have been subjected to deal with the term 'beauty' in their day-to-day lives. Whether beauty is natural or enhanced, women tend to use it as a source for their self-confidence. To me beauty is within, it is how you feel emotionally about yourself. It is true that I am a makeup artist, I use makeup to enhance features on my face and my clients' [face]. However, if you do not love yourself internally, no matter how much makeup is used, it will not make you look more beautiful. I rarely use makeup on an everyday basis as I have learned to be confident and comfortable in my own skin. As I was growing up, I believed that makeup was a must to look more beautiful, thus, on an everyday basis, I would use makeup. As time passed, I became more passionate about makeup and the art of it. I absolutely love making my clients feel beautiful internally and externally."
"I didn't start wearing makeup until puberty had run its course and the bulk of my acne had disappeared. When I was no longer concerned with actual pimples and more curious about concealing scars, I always felt like they might be a distraction — I would do an amazing wing liner but somehow always felt like it was overshadowed by my looming acne scars (this is when I discovered foundation — we've been friends ever since!) No longer would I spend time doing beautiful shadows or liners only to be overshadowed by scars — I had discovered my canvas! Makeup for me has always been one of my favourite outlets for creativity, the very idea that I can power my attitude for the day with something as small as the change of a lip colour; it is art, it really is! I would say makeup enhances my confidence. I've always been enamoured with the idea that I can use makeup like accessories to completely shape the mood of a day. If I wear red lipstick I feel like a Bond Girl — out to conquer the world. But if I wear a nude lip, I feel subtle and sexy and I wear pops of colour on my even bolder days!"
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