Beautiful More or Less

by Devina Gunawan

I’m going to start this with: You are beautiful, no matter what. We can start singing along to Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” too if you’d like.

Oftentimes, we desire what we can’t have most. That being said, I think makeup artists are the coolest people on earth. Because despite being an artist, I can’t figure out how to work makeup.

So here goes defense mechanism.

“I am allergic to many things, including makeup.” Now this is true, even though maybe it’s a bit unfair that I use this reason too many times to the, “Do you ever wear makeup? Don’t you want to look fresh and pretty? Instead of pale?” questionnaires.

But, you know, sometimes, we look better without makeup.That is also my case, hopefully, if you agree.

Trust me, I need this argument more than you think.

So here’s my case.


So the first photo was taken the same week as the second one. I was my cousin’s bridesmaid, and her wedding gave me a makeover. I decided to use these two photos because they were back to back, I didn’t weigh less or more, hair the same length… you get my point.

So first photo is my usual, no makeup face, with much less eyebrows…. The second is, to me, yikes. I almost cried the moment the makeup artist told me, “Open your eyes.” I think it was because she got rid of most of my eyebrows! My partner’s first comment was, “You kinda look like a geisha.” which, I grieved upon afterwards.

And despite people telling me otherwise, I believe that I look ugly with makeup. Perhaps I’m not used to it, and I do get rashes if I have makeup on for over three hours…


Then there are these pictures. The first one is me modeling for my dad. This is my usual, troll looking face. The second is me modeling for a company. This includes mascara, eye shadows, blush-on, lip gloss… I think? And a lot of hairspray.

Majority of the people I ran into had told me that makeup was a good thing for me. They told me I looked “plain” every day, and I needed an upgrade.

Honestly, I have to agree. And if I could work the magic that the makeup artists had done on my face, I would. I looked nice. And I liked it. That was, before my allergies kicked in and I started cleaning my face like a mad woman getting rid of ants off her face.

Here’s my intake on makeup. It deceives.

Don’t get me wrong, I really would love to be able to have makeup on every single day. It makes me feel like a real girl. But I am someone who likes bare naked identities.

In my family, 50% of the girls are makeup artists, and I feel like a fish out of the water during family gathering. And there was a time when I was so determined to be good at makeup.

I wanted to be pretty too, but I didn’t know how to.

Once, I dedicated half an hour everyday trying to figure out eyeliner. That lasted two weeks and I never go back.

One day, a friend of mine told me that he had fallen in love with a beautiful girl. I was happy for him, until weeks after he informed me that he had seen her without any makeup on. Of course, what he told me afterwards broke my heart. He realized that without her makeup on, that girl was no worth pursuing.

So I stopped my trials. I decided that I never wanted the same thing that had happened to that girl to happen to me. That if one day someone falls for me, it’s because of my personality and charms, not because of how good I look 12 hours a day.

I want someone to love me when he sees me waking up and falling asleep. I don’t want to pretend and cover up all the time to keep someone in love with me. I’m not programmed that way.

So I challenge you, you who read this, to try going out without spending half an hour in front of the mirror first. To look like you. The you in the morning and at night in bed. The you who is happy and comfortable without having to paint your own face with different colors.

Really, that means half an hour off of your daily morning routine before going out. Just be confident, because I am sure that every woman is beautiful naturally. This way too, if you’re looking, you’ll meet someone who will see you for the real you. Wouldn’t that be nice?

PS: Since I am looking for ‘homework’… Feel free to send me your #makeupfree selfie. And your beautiful face might be up in one of my sketch posts.

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