I Feel Pretty…Oh So Pretty

A year ago you wouldn’t have seen me without makeup. It’s not that I feared being seen without it, on the contrary, until about 2 years ago I hadn’t worn makeup since high school and that was fine. I stumbled back into makeup at a low point in my life when I needed something, anything to break out and show my individuality. I was working in a job I hated, where my personality was constantly stifled and I experienced workplace bullying nearly daily. I’d lost connection with a lot of my pre-married life (friends, religious affiliations, old hangouts etc) and I needed a way to shine through.

I discovered indie makeup, bright loose-powder eye makeup which was surprisingly affordable and I went nuts like a doll collector with Beanie Babies. I loved experimenting with the bright, vibrant colors. I loved feeling pretty, setting myself apart from the crowds. For two years I hid behind the makeup. It was something I needed on the exterior because the me on the inside wasn’t strong enough to stand up and be seen. Sometimes we aren’t strong enough and need that exterior whatever to keep going.

One of the things about pregnancy is that I haven’t had the energy to put on makeup. At first I tried, but as things progressed I just didn’t feel like putting on makeup to not leave the house. But only part of it was my energy levels. I realized that I didn’t recognize my face without makeup, and that scared me. What happened to that happy woman who only needed a lip balm, a pair of Tevas and her backpack to get out the door? That woman who thought “getting made up” was mascara and a lipstick? I missed her. She was confident in her naked face. I wanted her back.

I have a lot of makeup that I’m just not using and yet I’m highly attached to for a multitude of reasons. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it. In fact, I’m sure on occasion I’ll still wear my makeup, but I no longer rely on it the way I used to . In part, I have pregnancy to thank for that. Being pregnant helped me to reconnect with that hippie woman in her naked face and Tevas.  By growing a new person I’ve been able to reconnect to myself more than anything.

Does this mean I don’t like to feel pretty, that I don’t like to get “dolled” up as my grandma used to say? Not at all. It’s just I feel pretty with and without makeup now. I still like to make myself up, but with my flagging energy I just don’t want to prime and spackle and whatever else I need to do to pull off a nice eye look. I’m too tired and with my 38 weeks in the way I can’t really get close enough to the mirror now to do it anyway. So how do I feel pretty when I want to make myself up? Nail Polish.

The wonderful thing about nail polish is that it is nearly as versatile for making a personal statement as face makeup and I don’t have to stand to apply it. In addition, I don’t have to negotiate a pregnant belly and access to a mirror to apply it. And the most wonderful thing-I don’t have to wash it off at night when I’m exhausted.

I have terrible nails. They crack and peel and never seem to grow very long (and really that’s fine for me-I’ll stab myself.) Keeping my nails polished helps with the cracking & peeling issue and it’s pretty besides. I can be as inventive with my nails as I was with my eye makeup and I don’t have to stand in front of a mirror for 20 minutes. Recently I decided I wanted a nice simple Spring look, so I dug through my bin of polish and rediscovered a lovely bright green polish from Nerd Lacquer called “Purely Logical.”

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