What do you wish to give yourself permission for?
I know I am a day late, but I wanted some time to think about this, to focus on what I most wish to give myself permission to do.
First, I wish to give myself permission to refrain from wearing makeup while my skin heals. My skin has been behaving terribly since November. It has been red, irritated, dry in some places, oily in others, and with plenty of acne blemishes scattered about. The past couple weeks, the acne got worse, and I was afraid I would end up with cystic acne again, which I had while I was a stressed out university student, and that was something I just didn’t want to go through again.
As 2010 dawned, I vowed to focus on skin care more than skin cover. With that in mind, and after reading good reviews and receiving a couple of recommendations from people I know, last week I ordered some skin care products from Origins for sensitive and combination skin (as they are well-known for using botanical ingredients instead of harsh chemicals), since nothing I’d tried–and I’ve tried nearly everything–from local stores (i.e. Wal-Mart and drugstores) has worked, and most have made things worse. That order was more expensive than I’m used to, but I decided it would be worth it if my skin improved.
To give the new skin care regimen I’d ordered the best chance of working, when I made the order I decided not to wear any makeup other than mascara and lip gloss or lip balm for at least two weeks. To remove temptation, I threw out the concealer, foundation, and powder I had been using, and since it was standard, mass market makeup with a lot of chemicals in it in common with the skin care items I was eliminating.
Why is this worthy of wishcasting? Let me explain…
Where I live and work, women are expected to wear full makeup when they leave the house, and most especially to work, unless their religion forbids it (such as with Holiness and certain Pentecostal Christians), they already have perfect skin, or they’re over the age of 60. There is a lot of cultural pressure for someone with imperfect skin like myself to hide behind layers of makeup, to “put on [my] face.” My boss doesn’t care, thankfully, if I wear “the face” or not, but I feel awkward without it.
The aforementioned skin care products arrived on Monday while I was at work, and I started using them that evening. I saw a big difference just overnight, and every day my skin is getting noticeably better. But when I catch sight of myself in the bathroom mirror at work without any foundation or concealer on, it makes me self-conscious. (Even though I had come to resent every minute I spent applying makeup.) I haven’t, until just now, really given myself full permission to go without makeup until my skin heals, whether that takes two weeks or longer. And, when I do go back to wearing makeup, it will not be laden with harsh chemicals, nor will it be a daily thing. I’m ordering Origins makeup to be safe, since it’s formulated to work with their skin care products. That’s the deal I’m making with myself.
One of my friends, when I talked to her about this, pointed out that going without makeup isn’t just about cosmetics for me, but about putting my true face out there for people to either accept or reject…A baby step toward being fully, authentically myself, outwardly and not just on the inside, something I’ve struggled with for a very long time. And she’s right.
I’m always terrified people will reject me if I don’t behave in certain ways or wear or do certain things or if I look a certain way. So, I also wish to give myself permission to show my true face, and to open up a little more into being my true self, outwardly and not just on the inside. Those who truly care about me will still care about me, and those who don’t accept me as I am are not people I need in my life.