The Real Reason Why Red Lipstick Boosts My Confidence

Yesterday was makeup-free Monday, but, for the first time in months, I didn't post a bare-faced selfie. It was partly due to laziness, partly because I felt like I was out of things to say and partly because I've been in a slump and recently more of my days than not have been been spent sans-makeup.

 Un-Instagrammed Makeup Free Mondays Selfie #picsoritdidn'thappen

Un-Instagrammed Makeup Free Mondays Selfie #picsoritdidn'thappen

I actually haven't minded skipping the makeup and flaunting my bare face (read: dragging myself out of the house, with or without makeup) lately. I felt somewhat free as I unshackled myself from the ten or fifteen minutes I usually spend in front of my mirror after getting dressed, instead of merely feeling the "I give up" vibes that this "decision" might have carried before I embarked on my Makeup Free Mondays experiment.

Today, however, I made myself get over the mid-winter, final semester slump, at least somewhat. How? I spent some quality time with my mirror before school. It was amazing. I felt so alive. I was reminded of why I love wearing makeup in the first place: I love the self-love vibes that spending a few morning minutes pampering myself bestows. I love the creative rush that comes with selecting and applying various fancy products to my face. I love the meditative peace that comes from a moment of focus on the colors and textures and curves of my incredible, one of a kind face.

 Makeup-ful Tuesday 

Makeup-ful Tuesday 

I'm not going to lie: The rest of my day was still pretty lame. My favorite English professor (jokingly, lovingly) called me out for not following along in my book. I wasn't able to follow along in my book because the copy that I'd already read was at my parents' house and the copy I had borrowed from the library conveniently failed to label the chapters and obviously did not have the same page numbers as the rest of the class's books. Also, it rained and my umbrella broke. 

I'm also not going to suggest that my light purple lipstick made these (honestly minor) annoyances any less annoying. My day was probably not much different than it would have been if I'd skipped the makeup. Still, those moments in front of the mirror gave my day a peaceful start and I believe that those moments stayed with me as I trudged through the rain from class to class. 

I have a lot of issues with the beauty industry, and I think it's important to be a critical and inquisitive consumer, but I'm so glad that I have a big stash of lipsticks, loose and compressed powders and eyeliners in my arsenal of self-care tools, to help me feel good inside and out. I'm glad I realized that the confidence boost I get from a bright red or subdued pink lip doesn't always come from the color on my lips, but from the moment I spend applying it, pampering myself, tending to my body and mind. I'm also glad that Makeup Free Mondays have helped me learn to see makeup as wonderful, optional tool, so that I can choose to wear it freely and not just out of a distorted perception that I look like crap without it.