Day 13: Dress to Impress

Monday, Sept. 23

Change of strategy for surviving a month of no makeup (well, 17 more days at least, but who’s counting?). Today, I dressed cute. No, not as in wearing my “cute” yoga pants and my “cute” moisture-wicking fluorescent tank (you know, the ones I bought to wear to the gym while I was still optimistic about finding time to go to said gym). I wore (que trumpet sounds)…denim shorts (no, not the cut-off daisy duke style, but a flattering dark denim short with braided belt) and a pretty red-striped tank with lace detail on the back (one of my faves).

Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for me it was. So far I have been dressing…well, comfortable (as in sloppy, ugly, unkempt, messy, okay you got it). Part of it has been due to a mild depressing feeling from not wearing makeup. This feeling of not being myself. Liberating (as in no muss, no fuss) but strangely sad (as in I don’t feel the joy that makeup and clothes give me).

But there are more moments when I do see myself (sans makeup) and actually am getting (a little) used to seeing what I look like. Okay, maybe that seems weird. But here’s the truth—I used to wear makeup every single day. Every. Single. Day. Whether or not I planned to leave the house. And when you wear makeup you stare in the mirror, and you see every little part of your face. But…when I don’t wear makeup, I don’t look in the mirror as much and therefore don’t scrutinize my complexion or overall looks as often (a happy side effect).

Maybe this is a good thing? (Question mark intentional) Because I’m not sure yet. It’s not that I had such a terrible self-image before, but I knew it could use some improvement. And it’s not that I felt over-burdened with the task of applying makeup each and every day, but I was very uncomfortable without it.

To wear makeup or to not wear makeup? There are no right or wrongs on this matter. That is a question that each person has to figure out themselves. For me, it is important to look presentable. And this is something that I’ve felt compelled to do since childhood (wearing socks to match the outfit, the scrunchie to match the socks, the earrings that coordinate with the whole “theme” of the ensemble).

I miss the days of childhood where it was so easy to look cute. No makeup. Hair up in a scrunchie. Cuffed socks. Stretch pants. Oversized, tie-dyed T-shirt with a ring/clip accessory. Gigantic peace-sign earrings. And I was set.

Now I have to thrash around my closet, searching for the ONE pair of jeans that FITS just right, then the shirt that is dressier than a T-shirt but not quite a blouse, then the shirt that goes UNDER that shirt for midriff and see-through coverage, then there’s the right bra, the shoes (boots? sandals? flats? tennies? (Yes, I still call them “tennies”, insert smiley face with tongue sticking out here)).

Oh yes, then there’s the makeup. To match or not to match your eyeshadow?

At least that is the question I don’t have to answer for a while. And who knows, maybe I won’t care anymore at all (okay I will). But maybe I’ll care less? Until then, there are the clothes. God save the clothes!

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