Makeup and Meditation

Makeup Brushes

If you’ve already read some of my blog posts, then you’re aware that I have suffered with Anxiety and Depression with varying severity for the majority of my life. Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well as Social Anxiety are things that create a myriad of different problems that I have to face every day. Some of the issues I face however, are quite constant, so I find that it is extremely helpful to find methods of meditation specifically directed at addressing aspects of my anxiety that can be controlled.

Social Anxiety Disorder specifically is described by as, “…the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. You could say social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. It is chronic because it does not go away on its own.” Basically, I worry a lot about how I am perceived by other people. I go over the things that I say and do in conversation for days after the event has passed, wondering how they interpreted my words, and if they could’ve possibly been put off by something I said. I also worry a lot about how people see me. I’m incredibly self-conscious about how I look and honestly I always have been.

I remember having the Chicken Pox when I was maybe 4 or 5. I looked at myself in the mirror, seeing the itchy spots covering my body and almost in tears stated, “I am so UGLY.” Can you imagine a 4 year old actually getting depressed over her looks? But even then I remember feeling a sort of anxiety over the fact that people might see me and think the same.

My anxiety has taken different shapes throughout my life, as I progressed into my teenage years I hit a new height of anxiety, accompanied with the added stress of a bad relationship I was not in the best of places. Around the same time though is when I started getting into makeup. At first it started with a little concealer here and there to mask my tired and puffy eyes but then it built into watching makeup videos on Youtube for fun. I experimented with colours and methods of application to a point where I became really excited to try it all out.

After some nights of little to no sleep and a lot of undue stress (too much stress for a seventeen year old) I found myself waking up with a level of anxiety that took my breath away. Reliving the stress of the night before and anticipating the stress of the day made getting ready for school a near impossible process. However there was one particular day I remember very clearly where I decided to try to make myself feel better by practicing ALL of my makeup skills that morning. I would do concealers and foundations, eyebrows and eyelashes, lips and cheeks and by focusing on just me for that moment, trying to look my best, I would perhaps feel a little better.

Makeup Brushes

The process of putting on makeup for me that day was a kind of meditation. I was calm and focused on a specific and singular task that centred around my mental health. The sensations of the brushes against my face became a welcomed calm. The concentration it took for me to do a perfect winged eyeliner completely removed me from the things I was worried about facing during the day. Putting on makeup from then on became a time in the morning for a kind of very personalized, ritualistic meditation where I could bring myself back from the edge and just breathe. Redirecting my focus was an amazing way to lessen my anxiety and in the process I had created a piece of artwork that I could be very proud of. My makeup routine, in this positive and relaxing sphere was not about covering up insecurities and flaws but enhancing my own beauty, the beauty I felt underneath all the stress. I felt beautiful and strong. the creativity spread into my outfits and I was able to take on the day in a way that would have been very difficult otherwise.

Whether I’m going to the mall or out to a party, I still feel a nudge from my Social Anxiety, but when I use makeup to meditate I’m able to refocus and ready myself for the interaction ahead. When I feel that I am presenting my best self, I feel that I have a little less to worry about and that is a blessing that I am truly thankful for.