Monday, December 7

Look of the Month :: Winter 2015 :: December

"One of the best things to do sometimes is simply to be." - Fortune Cookie

I've been contemplating these words for over a year now. Finding them was important to me, and I've finally made it to a fork in the road. Which path do I choose? Or perhaps it's not as definite as that. All I know is that I have changed so much over the five years that I've been creating these digital makeup face charts.

It's been a great run, and I've been able to express myself in one of the only ways that I knew how: through the way that I looked. I, like most people, have been taught that you are what you look like. If you are having a bad day, wear black. Or if you want to be noticed, wear fancy things. Simple! There is validity to these believes, but after all, a belief is just a thought that we think over and over again until it sticks.

Our societies and cultures have different mass beliefs, and if one wants to thrive or survive then we must follow these unwritten rules. Countless times I've heard that one expresses self through creation, whether that is art, writing, science, fashion, or yes, even makeup.

Makeup, used for thousands of years by many different cultures, is a form of expression or survival. We're told that we look better with it, and even our friends and family comment on how nice we look when we use it. One study even found that waitresses wearing red lipstick got bigger tips. Talk about survival! Why is that though?  The reason is because higher contrasting features (especially in females), like the eyes and mouth, are more attractive when they stand out against our skin. These sexual cues trigger this response, and we thrive. Also, when we eat fruits and vegetables high in yellow-red carotenoid pigments we appear to have a golden glow from within. Yellow-based foundations sell best because they make us look more healthy. In nature this means that quality food is abundant, and all is well. This is true too for the pink in our lips; if we do not eat well, we loose our healthy pigments. This is noticeable in older people or people that eat a lot of animal products. They will normally have ruddy skin and brownish lips, because they're not eating foods that promote health.

So yes, applying a tiny bit of mascara to make the eyes pop and a dot of lipstick can go along way, especially for sick people. Makeup can be powerful. It hides our flaws and makes us appear more attractive. We all want to be loved, and most seek eternal youth as well. This is contrived through our society by unrealistic means, but the natural relevance is also a factor. If we seem healthy, we are loved by many and found to be beautiful. Most people need help regarding this, because many are struggling with sickness, low energy, and obesity. Therefore, buying a few things to mask the problem is the solution for most. Advertisements suggest that a pill, the right clothing, and a spot of makeup will do the trick. Covering up the problems will suffice, but alas, we will never feel good or satisfied. We wouldn't change anything about ourselves if we weren't told that it was wrong in the first place, so why not just get healthy?

This is what I did, and I can't begin to explain what it feels like: to not need the mask, to have compassion for self, to feel complete without a product. This is priceless, and for any of you out there that feel lost, I highly recommend implementing change right away. I had acne, puffy under eyes, dark circles, freckles, broken blood vessels, milia, and a dull complexion. All of these have greatly improved or completely healed because of my new lifestyle choices. Fruits and veggies, along with sleep, and self love go a long way.

Then why do we still feel that we are our best selves when we are seeking it from an external source? Or why do we feel that we have to look like others? My celebrity and character makeup recreations are some of my most popular. It's because of survival. They have something we want, whether that is attention, power, fame, success, or love. We channel our deepest desires though these outlets. Perhaps mimicking a look can bring about that same power and love. That's the furthest thing from the truth though. Everyone has to find their own individualism from within, and with that your own strength and power will manifest.

When we are born into this world, so naked and pure, we have all we need. Then we are clothed and told that our beautiful bodies are shameful, sinful, ugly, distracting, and inappropriate. Even if the words were not that blunt and harsh, the underlying messages still resonated. We were never enough.

Then, we have "self expression", something that humans have been doing for centuries. Why is it that we consider the purchases that we make to be self expression? Or what about the way that we alter our bodies through piercing, scarification, binding, or tattoos? I once read that these things are a manifestation of child abuse and an outward reflection of self hatred, not self love. People are basically saying to everyone around them that they had a difficult upbringing. What about tribal cultures then? Truly, these issues are ancient, because no child would change their body in a way that wasn't beloved or accepted by their people. Again, your natural body isn't good enough, stretch your lip out so that we, the people, can see that you're valuable, mature, or worthy. The same is true with a car, career, or yes, even makeup. Are you worthy? Are you better?

I too have experienced this, and as a smart young lady I wanted to thrive. Self expression is as vital to living as breathing, but we don't have to do it through the things that we wear, purchase, or create. It is all found within, if only we dare to find true self. Body language, actions, emotions, words, and facial expressions are truly adequate forms of expression.

Companies wouldn't have us think that though, because they need to sell products. Perhaps like the waitress wearing red lipstick, we need to make larger tips to buy things that we don't need to impress people we don't like. I promise you that the people that love you unconditionally will stick around. Every other relationship will, and should, fall away.

The cost of this consumerism has dire consequences. Isn't it just a bit of fun with makeup though? Sure, to most, it is. What about the chemicals in the products that cause all sorts of harm? What about the animal testing? If you're so daring, I encourage you to research this. The pictures will stay with you. We are emphatic towards unnecessary suffering for a reason. Death is natural and a part of life, neither of which describe these acts. Then, we have the plastic and packaging waste that pollute the environment. Most of which does not end up in a recycling bin. Reduce, reuse, then lastly recycle. Again, this is all senseless consumption based on needs that can be mended internally. For me personally, I'm going to replace almost all of my products and try to stick with natural, cruelty-free options.

I stand at that fork in the road: choose to continue consuming, destroying, and submitting or choose to find true wholeness within. To undo a lifetime of beliefs is quite the challenge, and I will do the best that I can. Perhaps instead of choosing one direction, I'll be somewhere in the middle for awhile. Growth takes time, I understand this, and I hope to find peace sooner than later. I leave you with this: true love, joy, and abundance can be found without purchasing anything. It is free, if you only desire to obtain it.

It's been fun these past five years creating makeup looks, but it's time to move on to new things. I might create a few more stand-alone looks in the future with the products that I'm using up. I don't like wasting things, and perhaps this will help me let go slowly.

The next time you put on makeup, ask yourself, "Why?" Truly, why are you putting on that makeup? It is always best to be completely honest with oneself. And yes, without further ado, the last face chart for the "Look of the Month" series is below. Have a beautiful winter, spend time in nature, love unconditionally, be kind, and enjoy your time here on this Earth. 

The current look is:
D E C E M B E R  2 0 1 5


Color inspiration:
Ice blue, reflecting pond, ivory, white, and pewter

Current motivation for the look:
White magic, inner strength, and nurturing


Previous Looks this Year:

J A N U A R Y  2 0 1 5

F E B R U A R Y  2 0 1 5

M A R C H  2 0 1 5

A P R I L  2 0 1 5

M A Y  2 0 1 5

J U N E  2 0 1 5

J U L Y  2 0 1 5

A U G U S T  2 0 1 5
  
S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 5

O C T O B E R  2 0 1 5

N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 5

Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

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