When I was growing up I was taught that, from a certain age, it's probably best not to leave the house without make up on. I'm not talking, red carpet-level, you-could-chip-off-enough-foundation-to-build-a-fucking-house type regimen, but more so just enough concealer, bronzer and mascara to avoid looking like something the cat threw up mid-hairball.
And as a kid I never really gave it a second thought. I had waited so long to be old to enough just to be able to put make up on, I couldn't fathom ever not wanting to do it. Arts and crafts on your FACE? Could life get any better?
Clearly the novelty eventually wore off and I developed into someone who minored in Women Studies and abided by the strict "if it's yellow let it mellow" policy. Once I graduated university and went travelling I got a tan, forgot what a bra was and realized that make up was a load of shit.
It seemed heavier on my skin, more tedious of a task and such a frustratingly blatant tool in furthering the already vast dichotomy between the sexes. Wasn't I beautiful the way I was? Were my boyfriend's zits somehow nicer than mine? Shouldn't my skin be able to breathe and sweat without having to navigate around powders, shimmers and shadows? The answer, I've realized, is no.
It's not because of society. It's not because every endorsed picture of the naturally exquisite Sofia Vergara makes me want to set my corneas on fire. It's not because I don't like what I see in the mirror without embellishments (okay, it's a bit of all of those things). It's because, for the most part, wearing make up makes my days better.
It's a strange series of events that I've noticed, but ever since I became self-unemployed (my term for being both self-employed and technically unemployed -- the fun part is completely accidental), I've realized that not wearing make up makes me feel less professional (because let's face it, it's not like I'm going to work from home in a fucking pencil skirt). If I look like I just rolled out of bed, I act that way. If I have make up on, it makes me happier to go out into the world, more likely to get shit done, smile at strangers, dip into new places, experience new things, because I have a certain amount of confidence I wouldn't have otherwise.
Now perhaps this is partially a product of winter, and the fact that extra weight and alarmingly pale skin don't really make me want to go HEY WORLD CHECK THIS BITCH OUT. But there's also just something about taking the time to prepare for the day that sets you up for accomplishing more.
Whether it's right or wrong or society did it to us, the fact that the impact make up has on my days is exceedingly positive takes me right back to eighth grade when I would shit myself over eye liner (I was a simple child).
I can't say I always put it on, or that every time I wear make up and have a shitty day I'm not pissed I bothered, or that sometimes I don't wanna throw my caboodle out the window, move to Central America and develop permanent bronzer and lip tint chez le soleil, but for right now, striving to put make up on as part of my morning ritual seems to be doing an awful more good than bad. Even if it means a large part of my hippie self is really pissed about it. Don't worry though; I let her not wear deodorant or underwear all the time.
MORE ON HUFFPOST: