Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet.
I love makeup. Adore it, even. I spend a ton of time in the mornings painting my face while sipping on my coffee, because it makes me feel beautiful and ready to face the world. But, my deep, dark secret? I loathe base makeup. All of it. Foundation makes me cringe; I can't take BB, CC, or ZZ creams (is that a thing yet?) seriously; and I didn't wear undereye concealer until I was 22. I despise it, for a reason I can't quite pin down — but I wear it anyway.
Unsurprisingly, I was very late to the base-makeup game. My first tango with makeup was in the backseat of the school bus on my way to middle school. A friend swiped some black liner onto my waterline, threw some mascara on me, and tossed me some Limited Too lip gloss. But, foundation didn't enter the fold until my sophomore-year prom. Concealer came much, much later.
I spent the better part of my late teens and early 20s searching for a formula that works for me, to no avail. Once I became a beauty editor, I thought my search would become easier. But, to my dismay, I never truly found one that fit the bill. They were clumpy, heavy, cakey, or made my face look like a grease pit. Every time I had my makeup professionally done, and the artist would sing the praises of yet another miracle foundation, I'd smile, but inwardly roll my eyes.
However, I keep wearing it, for several reasons — the first of which is that my job comes with a certain set of expectations, including always looking your best. If I don't look put-together, who am I to give advice to others on how to achieve their pinnacle of gorgeousness? And, since my skin doesn't always look insanely even, and bags have taken up permanent residence under my eyes, it's become a necessity — an annoying one, which is why I've been attempting to wean myself off of the stuff, by sticking to only concealer instead of all-over foundation.
Can we also talk about the weird hypocrisy that comes with makeup? Case in point: I once dated a guy who sat me down and told me that instead of the "made-up me" — which included red lipstick, blush, and yes, foundation — he preferred "natural me" — which (he thought) meant not a stitch of makeup. But, he'd never really seem me without any makeup — and when he finally did, he asked if I was sick or tired. This sentiment has been repeated throughout my life by friends, coworkers, my mother — just about everyone. Which further proves my point: No matter how much I hate it, me with some makeup on is me in my "natural" state — or at least what those around me think it should be.
Is it self-imposed? Maybe. But, I can tell you one thing — I'd be scared to put my bare-faced mug on the Internet for all to see, especially in light of all those flawless no-makeup selfies that have been dominating our Instagram feeds. I could go without the rest of my makeup bag, but my dependency-cum-hatred of base makes it pretty difficult for me to go 100% sans.
So, until the day I wake up with angel skin — or folks quit asking me whether I have consumption because I skipped my foundation, I'll spend my morning doing my face. And, I know I'm not the only one. Tell me: Is there a type of makeup you hate, but wear anyway?
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!