Your Body is a Temple (Or, my makeup story)


Like many girls, I’ve been wearing makeup since I was a pre-teen. It started with nail polish, evolved into mascara, and soon, it was a full face – foundation, gloss, eyeshadow, the works.

And, like many girls, I made a lot of mistakes. I remember borrowing my mom’s foundation – my mom is several shades darker than me – and looking like what I can only imagine must’ve been an oompa loompa. I remember getting glittery green eyeshadow and loading it on, to which my male friend replied as we sat in our desks, “That’s a lot of eyeshadow”. I remember (lightly) filling in my brows, a decade before that really became a big thing, because my very beautiful friend did.

So why wear my mom’s makeup, why load up on eyeshadow? Was I trying to impress boys, was I self-conscious? Was I trying to get attention, or trying to blend in?

Yes. I always had crushes on boys, so of course I wanted them to notice me. And yes, I was self-conscious – this is high school we’re talking about. Yes, I wanted attention – I didn’t dye my hair pink and black for nothing. And yes, I wanted to blend in, because I wanted everyone to like me.

But still, that’s not really why I was into makeup, then or now.

Simply put, I was an art kid, and makeup is art. Sure, my face wasn’t often a masterpiece (as the glittery green eyeshadow can attest), but the act of trying new things, of playing around with makeup in the morning before school, was art. Maybe I wasn’t very good at it, but I still got creative pleasure from the act of application. And I think this is the case for many of us who wear makeup.

I’m not going to lie, I like looking pretty – my skin tone is uneven, I have dark undereye circles (thanks Grandpa), and I don’t really look alive without blush. So for me, wearing makeup serves a practical function just as much as it does a creative one.

I don’t need makeup – no one does – but I sure feel more like myself when I wear it. Maybe it’s the years of habit that have accustomed me to it. I’m sure if I stopped wearing makeup completely, I’d get used to my bare face and that would become my new normal. But to me, it’s like putting on a nice shirt. It’s like showing up to work with fresh clothes instead of a sweatpants. It gives me that little boost of confidence, that feeling of, “This is me at my best, world, so bring it on.”

They say that your body is your temple, and I think it’s true. Eating well is honoring yourself, exercising is honoring yourself, and there’s that whole “Cleanliness is close to Godliness” or however it goes. But I think you could extend that to the way you dress, the way you do your face, the way you present yourself to the world.

Whatever makes you feel the most you – the badass you that can conquer the world – isn’t vain, isn’t shallow. We all express ourselves to the world by the way we look, whether we intend to or not. And that’s okay. We can learn things about each other from the way we choose to dress, from the makeup (or lack thereof) that we wear, just as we learn things about each other from conversation, from acts and deeds. And it’s all good. You be you, and I’ll be me, and we’ll cherish the fact that we both have the freedom to do so.


  • Ashley

    I’m so with you on this. Sure, there are days when I don’t wear makeup, but I love having a little something on!

    • Allysia K

      Same! Although, and maybe this is because I live in a small town and always run into people, I can’t bear to leave the house without at least a little tinted moisturizer! 🙂

  • Deasy Noel

    I agree with you wholely! Especially in a business setting, or at least a non-casual setting, makeup really helps make you look more presentable, and adds more effort into your whole look, which I think other people appreciate.

    • Allysia K

      For sure – good makeup, even if simple, is kind of like an extension of a good outfit, especially in a work setting!

  • Erin MacNeil

    I often wonder what it is about makeup that attracts so many of us to it. I don’t feel uncomfortable without makeup, and I know logically that if I were to not wear makeup to work tomorrow that I wouldn’t look drastically more or less presentable or professional, but at the same time I would rather be wearing it than not. I think I like your idea of creative pleasure best. Plus, it’s fun to dress up, and when it isn’t always practical to wear a gown, you can always put on some lipstick or a winged liner.


    • Allysia K

      That was very apt and well said! Though I’ll stick with the lipstick, I’m crap at winged liner. 🙂

  • Kiss & Make-up

    Make-up is definitely art! Too often people dismiss it as superficial and trivial or even vain, but that’s not what it is. It’s a creative outlet.

    • Allysia K

      Absolutely! 🙂

  • Linda Libra Loca

    Even though I am far from being an artist, I agree. Makeup is art. Or can be.

    To me makeup is a pick-me-up, my way of deciding what people get to see from me. The sadder I am, the better I usually look. Because I don’t want people to notice right away that i am down, I want to choose who I confide this to and not have it showing on my face for everyone to see.

    Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Allysia K

      This is a really interesting perspective! It makes sense that if your face is well put together, people will perceive that as being more confident, happy, etc. And I agree with you, I’d rather confide my sadness to someone close than wear it on my sleeve.

      • Linda Libra Loca

        People who really know me get concerned when they see me wearing a full face of makeup, although most of the times it is just for the sake of playing with makeup.

  • Cosenza ♡ Daily Pixie Dust

    I don’t feel uncomfortable without makeup. For running quick errands, I don’t bother wearing any makeup. Either way I do feel naked without it. In high school, I used my face as a canvas. I experimented with makeup and put a lot of it on my face. Nowadays a lipstick, some mascara, eyeliner and blush will do for me.