When I was younger, I wore makeup for a variety of reasons. It started with the makeup trends I saw in Sixteen Magazine. Following the gold eye shadow look I wore all through freshman year (it was 1988), I eventually wore makeup for attention (I discovered boys!), to look older, to look pretty, to look weird, to look “grunge”, to look hip-hop, to look natural and so on. It was always an aesthetic reason with no real substance. Now that I’m older, I wear makeup because it makes me feel good. I feel empowered. Whether it’s a touch of mascara or full-on drama, it puts me in touch with feeling feminine. Of course, I feel great without it but there’s something about enhancing my brown eyes or adding a little bit of rose to my cheeks that makes me happy.
Come to think of it, the women in my family also showed me how important it was for them to always look their best – even during difficult times. My grandmother lived with cancer for 11 years. She didn’t wear makeup but she sure did love painting her nails once in a while. And no one mastered an up-do quite like she did. She had a very nice collection of combs and pins for her church days. Those daily rituals lifted her spirits, even when she didn’t feel so well.
Two years ago, my aunt had a stroke that left her partially paralyzed. It’s been very difficult. During a recent visit, I couldn’t help but notice that she her nails painted and her hair was colored in the fiery red we know her for, which so matches her personality! I really admire her for taking those moments to teat herself to a little bit of beauty time. It makes her feel like herself again. No matter the circumstance, they found a way to feel feminine and beautiful.
There many makeup lines that get it. They understand that makeup is powerful tool for empowerment for many women. They also recognize that it’s important to use their influence to help make a difference. Think about it – I started wearing makeup in high school. That is over 20 years as a consumer. Collectively, we can all help make a change. Here are 8 Beauty Brands that Give Back.