Out of My Own Skin

Today, I went out for dinner with my brothers bringing my Tulisan Green Grass Hobo Bag that holds my green Topshop wallet I had since 11th grade; my secondhand Samsung S5 my friend gave me, my mom’s Xiaomi Mi Power Bank; a Fujifilm QCam analog camera; a couple of fine-tipped pens; a USB drive I last used a couple weeks ago to print out my thesis draft; and  a peach nylon pouch that I used as a makeup bag.

The bag contains four things: Etude House Precious Mineral ‘Blooming Fit’ BB Cream that I got since my early college years from my mom, a knock off beauty blender I bought at Foodhall so that I can reach my credit card minimum purchase limit as I was trying to buy two packs of q-tip, Etude House Big Cover Tip Concealer in beige — the first piece of makeup I bought out of free will in Jakarta, and a Wet n Wild lipstick 507C ‘Blushing Ball’ that I got as a present from my friend as she got back from the United States. I used to have so much more, but it got lost along the way as I was too careless in keeping them.

So in the car, as my brothers are joking with one another I decided to put on a makeup. Why not? I used The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Face Mask earlier shower today. My skin should’ve been pretty cleared out and although a bit dry, it just feels like a good day to wear makeup as we’re going to a mall in the south of the town for dinner. So I applied my three set makeup with the help of my phone’s front camera. At first, it feels weird, it’s been weeks since I last wore makeup and even I can count the times I wear makeup this year with my two hands. I made sure to thin out my layer of BB cream by wiping the top off a bit with a dry tissue. I also got a reaffirmation from my brother that my makeup wasn’t too thick. Then I proceed with my dinner.

As I got home pretty full and now with a Starbucks venti Caramel Macchiato leftover, I changed my clothes to my usual nightwear: an oversized shirt and shorts that guaranteed have a couple of holes in them. I then walked to the bathroom, find my usual cleanser — Etude House Wonder Pore Freshener (I swear this post is not sponsored by any brand whatsoever, my mom just like to think that I am really accustomed to Etude House product and due to my low interest in beauty stuff I don’t care about it and I’ll just use whatever product my mom bought for me) with Watsons Embossing Cotton Puffs.

First wipe — oh, there’s less makeup residue than what I expected.

Second wipe — of course, there are more residues than one would expect.

Third wipe —  wow there’s still some here and there, is this cleanser even effective?

As I proceed on grabbing my fourth cotton puffs of the night I looked at myself in the mirror. Honestly, I did not look so different from the time I put on my makeup.

Obviously, my lips were not as pink and glossy, my neck became a tone darker, my acnes are now visible, my face got a bit red from all the rubbing.

But really, not a huge difference.

I made sure that I had my makeup completely off by proceeding with the fourth wipe. The same conclusion was made. I continued washing off my face using Mentholatum Acnes Creamy Wash that I have been using for the last month — not knowing who really bought it and for whom, it was just there inside my bathroom. To finish off everything I used Wardah Lightening Face Toner. There, there. So much effort is put to clean up makeup that barely looked there; the ‘natural look’.

And there I found that maybe that amount of makeup is enough for me. That maybe the mascara I bought in Rotterdam was actually unnecessary and whatever brand of eyeliner I used to have on my peach bag is not needed. Maybe every piece of makeup I have is not needed — for I looked the same and I feel the same. But then I realize it’s not actually the makeup result that I really liked; it’s just that the fact that I tried improving myself to be more presentable to the community standard. Yet at other times, I feel empowered.

Or maybe I just like to spend some time painting my own face, realizing some parts of my face that I liked and some I really don’t. That I like putting it when I feel like it and for most of the days being comfortable in my own skin. Even sometimes I put on makeup as a reminder to take care more of my skin — look at how much effort it takes to clean a thin layer of makeup compared to sleeping off the dirt on my face every night since I thought “oh I don’t put any makeup I don’t need to wash my face tonight”. Sometimes, talking about makeup products like talking about that new designer collection that you cannot afford is also fun and the experience of buying one is also exciting.

I remember the first time I bought a full set of makeup from Martha Tilaar counter in a department store nearest to my house and the cashier thought that I was preparing for a theater performance (it was not, I was actually joining a beauty class, FAILED miserably and realized that I got no potential to become a makeup artist). I remember the time my friend got so surprised to know that I recognize a lip tint palette from a picture of a packaging of an up and coming beauty brand. I also remember getting so confused when a friend asked me to help him to look for a good shade of lipstick for her mom at Tonymoly while I just knew right then that Tonymoly sells makeup and not shoes (LMAO). I also remember when my friend laughed at me for using Wardah as my go-to brand for skincare since she thought it was not ‘sophisticated’ enough. I also remember being so lost during the time my friends are talking about contour sticks and the time I was so proud of buying The Original Beautyblender that I immediately told my friend to “invest in one ASAP!!!”

Sometimes I feel like whenever someone suggested that I have to use makeup was to cover my ugliness, but I have to realize that sometimes people are just curious about my skin, what I would look like if ‘decorated’ with X product, or would I be willing to let people test their makeup skills on me. Of course, it’s different when I have other people put makeup on my face. It sometimes feels uncomfortable, but it is interesting to see how other see the nooks and crannies of my own face and how they either emphasize the good and hide the bad. Like a painter, each hand has a different touch and it is interesting to see yourself as the media but with your unique features and the makeup artist ideas coming into one.

From this, I have to teach myself that makeup does not define a person. “Oh, you like applying makeup? That’s cool. Oh, you don’t usually wear makeup? That’s cool. You look beautiful either with or without.” I also need to improve my makeup skills ’cause although I don’t plan to wear it often I have to at least look on point at the right moment. As for now I don’t think I’ll ever be so invested in makeup nor do I intend to wear makeup more often. I just come to appreciate it more on myself and especially by myself. For I can be beautiful inside my own skin as well as from the outside, and so are you.


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