The Intoxicating Part of Beauty

by Devina Gunawan

My cousins who are make up artists told me, “Natural is always best.”

It was one of those days when I asked them to teach me how to put on makeup, because sometimes, I do find myself wanting to try looking different. Yet they would look at me and say, “Natural is always best.”

That if you could help it, try to avoid too much makeup. Try to be as natural as possible, because in the end, that was the only thing permanent. You could only change as much, cover up so much, but what you were born with, your genes and features would never leave you.

If you can help it, that is.

I have met several women whose ‘natural’ makeup is smokey eyes and thick powder. They would say, “I still look like me, only with darker eye and brighter lips and better complexion.”

Well, there you have it.

But to be honest, they are more beautiful without their smokey eyes and thick makeup.

The makeup artists in my family would tell me, “I don’t even dare to put on so much makeup. More than wanting to look beautiful, I love my skin. And thick makeup’s effects on your skin won’t show right away, but eventually it will get there. And you’ll wrinkle faster than you can say ‘aging.'”

One of my relatives loves makeup. She is the paragon of barbie doll. If she could bring Barbie to life, she would be it.

And one day, on a ‘natural toned down’ day, she approached me and stood so close to me that I could see her eyelashes with thick, chunky flakes. And they looked crispy enough that I knew if I reached out my hand to her eyelashes and poked them, some would fall off.

But of course, it is amusing. I thought natural, toned down would mean a couple of makeup items. But last time I saw a South Korean TV Channel and it was a tutorial for “Natural, toned down makeup” which included about 20 items or more. I started taking notes when it started, but gave up after writing more than ten items listed. This was natural, what about full party makeup?

So I could not blame my relative. I could not blame anyone for wanting the same thing.

It made me sad, honestly, to see that. I remembered the simpler day when the most bizarre thing my relative would have on her face was her pink lipstick. She had always been beautiful, and I wished she would have more confidence in her own natural beauty.

But I guess that is the one thing that I have never understood that got to her. The addiction.

A lot of women cannot seem to stop themselves. And as I had said earlier, 70% are not confident to leave their rooms without makeup. It is intoxicating, and I bet addicting, feeling beautiful.

And they seek more. They search for more. And they put on more.

But by the end of the day, their own faces, the real ones, are the ones they see before they go to bed and when they wake up in the morning. And it will be too late then when they realize the damage they have done.

That years from now they will look at their real faces and say, “Why did I torture my own beautiful face like that?”

But they refuse to look at that side of their endless pursuit of beauty. They live in the moment.

And at the moment, there is no greater thrill than beating their own natural beauty.

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