Thursday, 17 March 2011

Beauty and the geek: make-up and me

So I know in my last time I promised to blog more often, and told you I had so much to blog about. I do- but I'm struggling to find the time! Anyway, as promised, here is a post I have been itching to write.

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Growing up, in my teenage years, I had the occasional spot but I had pretty good skin. My Mum always warned against me wearing make-up as she started wearing it when she was young, and thought it was the reason her skin got ruined. A few (not many) girls in high school were interested in make up, but I wasn't really. I was a geek/nerd/swot- whatever you want to call it, and we were into books and Pythagoras' theorem, not MAC lipsticks.

My Dad always used to say that the words "make up" imply the fact that cosmetics are used to make up for what you lack. He woud always remind me that beauty needs no armour. He also used to mention a hadith (which I have not found a reference for) that says that the Angels curse unmarried girls who leave the house which perfume and make-up on- especially make-up that's visible e.g. bright eye shadow. So naturally, I wasn't interested in make-up.

Eventually, my elder sister started getting into make-up. So during the first year of high school, I used to use a bit of concealer. It was the wrong shade, but I just liked the way it made your whole face look an even colour, and conceal the redness of spots. I only used to apply a bit, so it wasn't obvious at all.

The concealer would wear off quickly and wouldn't last very long, so I was advised to buy some foundation, powder and another concealer- all of the right shade. So I bought some. It wasn't expensive, it was of the "17" range by Boot's. So during the second year of college, I was now wearing concealer, then foundation, and then powder to "fix" this all in place. My Mum said that because of the shades I bought, and the paleness of my skin, I looked a bit ghost-like and needed some colour on my cheeks. It was then that I started to wear blusher too. I could never do it myself- I ended up looking like a clown, so my Mum always did it for me.

It was during this time that I was going through quite a rough patch- I had just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, barely passed my AS levels, I was denied being allowed to apply for medical school, so many things were going on. I realise now that I was hiding my true emotions and feelings behind this mask of make-up. I didn't want people to know what was really going on, and I did not want to talk about it. I became really recluse and didn't go out with friends anymore. I also really hated my body at that time. I was pretty big, and I thought to myself, well if I can make my face look beautiful- why not? That way, I could still feel pretty, even it was just my face that I felt was pretty.

I was also heavily addicted to facebook, and had a camera that would point out every spot, every wrinkle, every bag, and so I had to be made-up everyday as I used to take a lot of pictures and put them on fb, and there was no way I was putting up a picture that made me look horrible. It was about artificial beauty. 

This carried on to the point where even if I was going to the corner shop, or for food shopping at good-old Morrison's with my Mum, I had all this make-up on. I dreaded the thought of leaving the house without make-up on: what if people saw what I really looked like? What if people saw my hideous bags and spots underneath?

I don't really know what the turning point was, but, I think, out of laziness, I stopped wearing make-up at all. I just couldn't be bothered with the time it all took to apply it, and to take it off. So when I started university in 2009, I just didn't wear make-up. It may have been aided by the fact that I moved out and used to get up at 8:55 for a 9am lecture- so putting make-up on was out of the question!

Even now, I still don't wear make-up to uni, even though pretty much every girl does. I do feel like the odd-one out, but I don't feel I need it anymore. I do feel that most girls hide behind this mask of make-up, and they'd die should anyone see them one without it. I mean, the stats are quite shocking.

I sometimes wear it, for special occasions (weddings), but that's about it. I have thought about wearing it again, just a little bit, but I don't know how I'd fit it in with my lifestyle of going to the gym everyday, I'd have to keep taking it off and re-applying it. Plus I think it's kinda impractical for doing wudhu- you'll either wash it off or the water won't get through to your skin in which case you haven't done proper wudhu.

But in this plastic-fantastic society, I can't help but think what is the purpose of make-up? The cosmetic industry is worth billions- but ladies, are we enhancing our beauty or covering up our true selves?

All pictures via


Kcaiyah D. said...

very good point sis.. Makeup industry sure makes billions out of saying that we need to enhance our looks more.. I think, makeup should go with special occasions only - not daily.

redmerah said...

haha, nice one! i like the topic coz i am a bit like u but ive never try it..

Nas said...

Beautiful post.
I've not got much to say on the topic I'm afraid.
Maybe I should comment back when my heads a little less mushed :P.

Goodnight, I'll be back.

Yours Truly said...

Lovely post!

I always wondered why some girls put sooo much makeup on everytime they went out, and my thoughts would always bring me to the question that you so beautifully addressed in your post. I think people forget the true reason behind makeup. It is meant to enhance your natural beauty not to cover it up.

Thanks for sharing!

syieranuar said...

nicely said Nuby! :)well i guess we're in the same boat. i dont really know how to put makeup on, i mean properly and nicely.and I always envy those who had the talent on doing the makeup all by their own.hehe..

la.noir said...

lovely post...very helpful.xx

Nas said...

Okay this is my second attempt at writing a comment on this time, and hopefully it'll be half decent.

Did you watch the beauty and beast series on Channel 4 recently?

Make up is one of those things that I've not really understood (being a guy and all that), and it would amaze me how some girls could spend 2 hours a day in the morning getting ready. 8-)
But I think having watched the program it made me realise that the people who choose to hide behind that mask do so for some very deep reasons.

But I agree with you totally when you say when you say make-up should compliment one's beauty as opposed to make a person completely different.

Under Urooba's Umbrella! said...

Natural beauty > makeup masks.
I'm so glad you've reached that point where you're doing what you're happy with! <3
My everyday look is verrrry minimal--blush and lipgloss are my choices of poison. Although, I'm a sucker for electric blue eyeshadow! haha

p.s. my baby brother's name is Ayaan. :) he is such a cutie m'A!

hijabi hippie hypo said...

@Kcaiyah D. : I agree with you

@redmerah: thank you :)

@Yours Truly: thank you. exactly, I agree, I think people have forgotten the purpose

@SyieraNuar: thank you. haha yes let's leave that to the make-up artists :P

@la.noir: thanks, glad you liked it

@Nas: Yeah I have been watching that series, I forgot to mention on my post that that programme has been the reasoning behing this post.
Yeah I think there are a multitude of psychological factors behind make up, that the programme shed some light on

@Urooba: Thank you :) haha- I have some electric blue eyeshadow too, but it only comes out on special occasions! Aww, sweet name mashaAllah- thanks for letting me know. Hope you've not had too many sleepness nights & hope your Mum is well

Anonymous said...

Great topic! I've haven't worn makeup once in my life and I'm doing great!!

[[[ x Smiley x ]]] said...

Awesome post mann! :)
I totally agree with you. It actually reminds me of the time I heard someone say "Oh you should see her in the morning when she steps outside to wave her husband goodbye, no make up then, she looks like she just stepped outta her grave,"

Im not kidding. It made me cringe.
But yes I think now its about disguising rather than actually wearing it cos its make up. Get me?

And it is addictive. Thats the saddest part.

PS: Hopes you're well! :) x

Ashi said...

another tough subject beautifully addressed =)

hijabi hippie hypo said...

@Rabia: thank you, good on you! :)

@Smiley: thanks :) LOL, what a funny remark. Yeah, I get you, and I think it partly is that too. Yeah, it's highly addictive!

Alhamdulillah, I am well thanks :)

@Ashi: thank you for your kind words

Misha Zia said...

I like this post. I don't know what to categorize myself as, I started off same as you (wearing it a lot more in my younger years) and now I just wear minimal to school and nice events, and don't wear any if I'm going to the mall or grocery store or other random places. I guess it depends on my mood.

In terms of the enhancing vs. covering, I think it differs from girl to girl. Some girls use it just to enhance their features, while there are others who seem as if they are definitely covering something up!

Ralph said...

When I was in at University of California a long time ago -- around 1970, in the original hippie days -- the hippie girls didn't wear makeup, and I was a hippie too in those days, and I thought the girls looked so beautiful. Later, when I had to go back to Philadelphia, I noticed the women somehow looked different, not as good. Eventually I realized there were two reasons: in California, everybody was outside a lot, because the weather was usually sunny and nice, so people looked healthier. The second reason was that on the east coast, the women all wore makeup.

Especially for young women, I think it is a shame to hide your natural beauty with makeup. Maybe after age 80 it might be a help, because eventually people's skin gets tired, but as far as anyone younger is concerned, I say let your beauty show. It is so much more real that way. And we