I wrote #92 to keep my daughter from thumbing her nose at personal hygiene. I didn’t want an act of rebellion or laziness to cost her a job … or the love of her life.

 #92 Appearance

One of my favorite young bloggers has a lovely take on this:

Make Time for Makeup — Not Just For The Reasons You’d Think

By Shelby Bouck

Florida is a difficult place to be a woman. You could argue a few reasons for this, but one that many of us experience every day is the humidity. The downright sludginess of the atmosphere makes presentable hair into a daily struggle, and between sweat and air that acts like a wet jackhammer, perfect makeup is a dream to be forgotten between late May and early October. Some days it’s just easier to follow the lead of celebrities like Demi Lovato and Jessica Alba, skipping makeup entirely and flaunting the faces we were born with.

However, as often as I just roll out of bed, throw back my hair and defy anyone to comment on my face to my face, there are still days when I feel like using every product in the pink Vera Bradley bag my mom got me when I was 11. On those days, it’s difficult to use logic to convince me to go barefaced, even if it’s over 100 degrees outside and I know I’ll have to walk across campus.

Before and after make-up selfie. Just saying.

Before and after make-up selfie.

My motivation for putting on makeup is rarely, if ever, others’ perceptions of me. I stopped thinking like that in high school, once I realized that most people are too busy worrying about their own perceived flaws to notice mine. My thought process also has little to do with professional or educational concerns, though I know that, as a woman, often others will judge my dedication to my work by how I look day-to-day. My affection for cosmetics has a much more radical inspiration: my love for myself.

I like the way I look without makeup. I don’t put on Clinique, Covergirl and Maybelline so I can hide my insecurities—I put them on because painting my face makes me feel even better about who I am. It’s a great way to choose my identity for a day: do I feel sweet and fun? Pink lips and shimmery eyelids it is. Do I need to feel powerful? Purple lipstick and strong black liner, please. Do I need to be glamourous today? Silver shadow, contoured cheekbones and red lips will work wonders. Makeup is an easy way to begin a transformation into whoever I need to be.

The other reason I wear makeup makes me proud: it’s fun. It’s a creative, skilled pursuit that leaves me with tangible results when I’m done, like finger painting, but socially acceptable for adults. If I’m having a terrible day, putting on makeup makes me look better, yes, but it has the added bonus of forcing me to make choices and express whatever emotions I’m feeling — or would prefer to be feeling.

I will never stop making time for makeup. Maybe not on a daily basis, especially in the Florida summer, but weekly at least. I don’t need cosmetics to survive, but they help make life enjoyable, and that’s something worth holding onto.

On days when I’ve done a good job on my face, I also reserve the right to take selfies — but that’s an essay for another day.

Shelby Bouck is the creator and author of the How Not to Suck Blog. A college student living in Florida and experimenting with adulthood, she believes in competence, not excellence, in everyday activities — in other words, just don’t suck.

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do your laundry or die alone author becky blades

Becky Blades, Author of Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone, and contributor to Huffington Post, Oprah.com, Scary Mommy, and Grown & Flown.