Make-up Changes More Than Appearances

Blogging about my funk last week made a significantly positive impact on my sense of well-being, and I was surprised how liberated I felt after writing it all down.

Pink Pussy Hat in Proces
Pink Pussy Hat in Process. Personal photo.

I was able to stir myself enough to finish crocheting a hat that I had promised a friend.  It was a pussy hat, and I hope that she never has to wear that symbol of rebellion against the President, but given that she lives in the US there is a strong possibility that it may come in handy for the next rally. Accordingly, I put it in an envelope and set out to the Post Office to mail it to her.

Before doing that, though, I put on some make-up.  I don’t wear a lot of make-up, and it doesn’t change my appearance very noticeably, but it does change how I feel about myself when I am going out to face the world. After all, Harrison Ford is out there somewhere and you never know when you might bump into him.

When I am feeling blue, I tend to stay home and, because I don’t expect to see anyone, I don’t put on any make-up. And, because I don’t put on any make-up, I don’t go out. It’s a logical loop that’s hard to escape.

Make-up Tray
Make-up Tray (Personal Photo)

It dawned on me that day that, if I am to improve my mood and my health, I need to put on make-up every day.  It’s not that the make-up itself does any good, but it makes me feel prepared to be seen. When I feel ready to face the world (and possibly Harrison Ford) I am more likely to take a walk, or run an errand, or go to see what’s happening downtown.

When I debate this with myself, my back-to-nature self tells me that I don’t need make-up and, while we’re at it, I probably shouldn’t colour my hair, either.  Then my the-heck-with-nature self tells me it’s more important that I take care of my mental health than adhering to some vague notion of natural beauty.

Looking Out the Window by Alisha Vargas via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)(
Looking Out the Window by Alisha Vargas via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Then I think of all my lovely friends who neither wear make-up nor colour their hair and I feel as though I’m letting the side down by failing to do the same. As I said, though, it’s about being able to face the world. If mine is a slightly artificial face, so be it. It’s this or stay home. For now, at least, I’m going to put on a false front and see what’s outside.

I took that pussy hat to the Post Office, then I kept on walking and enjoyed an hour in the sunshine strolling around nearby streets. That imbued me with energy and a renewed determination to get out more often. For that, I know that my first task will be to put on make-up. Then I’ll be more likely to put on my walking shoes. Then I’m more likely to actually take a walk. Then I’ll be more likely to bump into Harrison Ford. You never know.



  1. I need to get out of the house more. I don’t really wear makeup but maybe I will try this technique, though I so t really know what to do once I leave the house

    • I know the feeling. I’m finding that just getting out is the hardest part. After that, I can just walk around the neighbourhood or take a bus downtown. Even if I don’t actually do anything productive, I have at least seen the sun.

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