I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore makeup. Since the age of 14, I’ve experimented with different looks and styles. I binged youtube tutorials in order to get inspiration. Nowadays, putting on some winged eyeliner and concealer can immediately flip my mood around. Not only that, but I feel more confident and smarter with makeup on. I don’t wear it all the time, since I am often running late, but when I do – I feel like Beyonce.
To some people, indulging in makeup may seem a bit narcissistic and shallow, but the truth is that it’s not.
As someone who has struggled (and still is) with depression and anxiety, makeup is like a breath of fresh air for me.
It’s a creative outlet for me. I didn’t even realize why I started to wear makeup until a friend asked me about it. I don’t think I realized why until I was forced to think about it.
For me, it was one of the ways I coped with my mental illnesses. Of course, it didn’t cure my depression or anxiety, but it helped me feel more at ease with my body and enhance my features.
Keep reading to find out how makeup can boost your mental health! You’ll also learn how it helped with my struggles with depression and anxiety.
You get time for yourself
In an era where the hustle mindset is strong, taking time for yourself can be a challenge. Putting makeup on takes a while, and for me, that’s my ‘me’ time. It also sets my mood for the day. Will I go for a no makeup look or will I rock a bold eyeshadow or a bold lip color? I didn’t realize that whenever I had a presentation or a big project due, I subconsciously created a bolder makeup look. Taking time in the morning to reflect on the type of day I would have and do my makeup accordingly helped me feel better and more at ease with myself. I knew what to expect out of my day (which helped my anxiety tremendously – I’m a HUGE fan of routines).
Additionally, on the days where I decide to wear makeup, I have to wake up earlier. As a result, when I leave the house I’m more refreshed and awake. On the days where I don’t wear any makeup, I have to jump out of bed (where I inevitably overslept) and rush around the house trying to get ready.
Rushing around in the morning sets the tone of the day as stressed. I find that when I take my time, my mindset is so much better and I’m so much more relaxed.
Last but not least, figuring how you like to do your makeup forces you to know yourself. It forces you to take the time and reflect upon who you are. Do you prefer to rock the classy look? Natural?
Taking time for yourself is a must. And what better way to do that when you’re putting on your war paint.
It can boost your self-esteem
There was a study that was originally carried out by researchers from Harvard Medical School and researchers from Italy. There’s this psychological phenomenon known as the ‘lipstick effect’. According to News18, this phenomenon gives a boost of confidence by making individuals feel more attractive (and thus increasing self-esteem, attitude, and even personality). And, as a result of this boost of confidence, the individuals performed better academically.
In other words, wearing makeup improved the self-esteem of the people who were wearing it (and therefore improved academic scores too). While I only summarized this study, an in depth article on this study can also be found in online at Cogent Psychology. Who wouldn’t want their self-esteem raised? Obviously, you shouldn’t become dependent on makeup for raising your self-esteem. Make sure you’re comfortable leaving the house without makeup on too!
It boosts your creativity
There’s an artistic element to makeup. The way that you blend eyeshadow, the curve of winged eyeliner – it’s like painting on your face. Your face is the canvas.
There’s no limit to what you can or can’t do. The more you do anything, the better you’ll get at it. The same idea applies to makeup. Doing your makeup boosts your creativity.
Remember when you were a little kid and you were encouraged to be creative? That was because creativity has a lot of benefits. According to Lifelabs, these include freedom, increased self-awareness and expression, faith and confidence, stress relief, and problem solving. I guess binging and copying all of those Youtube tutorials paid off, huh?
Art is subjective. What one person likes, another person will find boring and uninspiring. Why am I reminding you of this? It’s so you won’t be discouraged by someone criticising your makeup (or, honestly, anything about you). What someone will criticise you for, someone else will love.
Helps alleviate anxiety and depression
Ranker claims that makeup can help with mental health issues. When you have a mental illness, you need to channel your emotions in a healthy way. Makeup can be the medium to help you do that.
With makeup, you have 100% of the control.
One of the ways I struggle with anxiety is that I overthink everything. I also tend to be stressed out for no discernible reason. With makeup, I have the time to focus on something else other than what my anxiety is focusing on and it gives me some peace.
According to Teen Vogue, beauty routines give powerful cognitive effects on the brain, especially if you’re caught in negative thought patterns. Mike Dow, a psychotherapist, remarks that this is why most cognitive behavioral therapy patients are told to do something productive or pleasurable when they’re noticing themselves getting stuck in these cycles. For the majority, makeup and skincare cover both of these.
The Bottom Line
Makeup is capable of boosting your mental health. But, of course, you shouldn’t depend upon it. It’s very easy to get carried away and it can be tough to get yourself out of that dark hole. Makeup should NEVER be used as an alternative for professional help.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Val is super passionate about helping people recover from mental illnesses and get their lives back together. As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety for years, she knows it’s very hard to come out of that dark place.
Her intention in creating this blog is so that no one will be in that dark place where I once was – and if they’re in it right now, they can eventually lead themselves out of it and live to their fullest potential. It’s going to be tough, she got out. So can you.