It’s a Made-Up World

On my short commute to work yesterday, I did as has become habit now. I woke up at 7:45am with my alarm, promptly pressed snooze every nine minutes until I decided eight thirty really was time to get up, in order to leave the house for 9am.

After showering, I didn’t have time to do my make-up at home, so my make-up bag came on my commute with me (don’t tell TfL – I really can’t afford another monthly Travel Card). I started with concealer, to hide my acne, which is really bad lately. My therapist says it’s hormonal, and I can quite believe her. I then applied No 7’s Skin Illuminator followed by their Intelligent Colour Foundation (just like chocolate mousse!), both with a make-up brush.

From behind my mirror, I could see her peering at me.

In the eyes of an eight-year old, it probably looked like I was painting my face.

Which I was.

I have always worn make-up, although in recent years I have little issue with stepping out into the world with a naked face. During the depths of depression, especially when I was at university and had no need to leave the house or even get out of bed, I had no desire to make myself feel better by making myself look better. While I consider it a good day if I’ve left the house with make-up on and run a brush through my hair, I’m not one if those girls who would refuse to leave the house without full warpaint.

But that’s what make-up is: warpaint. It is a defence mechanism for being able to go out there and face the world, look your enemy in the eye and say I’m ready for you. Whether that be another perfectly mascara’d eyeball or the world as a whole, make-up gives us the confidence to look further than just the mirror, and even that can be the hardest view of all. It is a weapon to hide our imperfections, both from ourselves and from the rest of the world. If those blemishes cannot be seen, and our good points enhanced, then just maybe we can convince the world that we are capable of anything.

She continued to peer at me as I applied my mascara. Her mum realised what her daughter was looking at and she smiled at me.

The little girl, as most eight-year olds would, got bored. So she opened her little pink gun, and started eating the sweets it contained.

So that’s what every thirty-five year old woman needs to survive life – warpaint and a weapon. Or in other words, No 7 and a sweetie gun.

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