As I scrolled through my social feeds over the past two years, I noticed a lot of people loved makeup like I did.
They loved bright eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, liquid lipsticks and finding “dupes” (or more affordable products with almost identical formulations or color payoffs as a more expensive versions) I watched this beauty boom come after the advent of photo- and video-based social media platforms, which not only held millions of selfies that showed off everyone’s hard work and flawless faces but tutorials for any product or look you could imagine.
We also felt less afraid to say we love beauty.
In an era of empowering women and tearing down gender stereotypes, women and men no longer felt like they were vain of frivolous or not “manly” for liking lipstick and glitter or experimenting with their look.
And even if others thought that about us, I think we finally stopped caring.
There was something missing, though — no one was really talking about skin.
We don’t talk about skin because most of us are embarrassed even on a subconscious level. Our ancient ancestors were programmed to spot weakness in those around them. I’m sure back then blemishes or imperfections on the face and body were immediate signs that this person wasn’t viable, whether as a mate or as a fellow hunter. I truly think that’s still how we function today: clear, smooth skin means clean; blemished, scarred skin means dirty.
It obviously doesn’t but ask anyone who’s struggled with acne or anyone who’s had a pimple and they will tell you it comes with its own set of mental torture from anticipating other people’s reactions to facing yourself in the mirror.
Makeup is a tool to enhance. It’s art we wear every day but I was noticing my canvas wasn’t looking its best and I wanted to fix that. I also wanted to talk about it and to give other people the chance to talk about it, too.
I’m obsessed with products so it was easy for me to get into skin care. A Proactive gal, I’d been on a regimen for almost 10 years but something about exploring these new, pretty little bottles with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce at first was super fun for me. Over time, it also started to relax me. Even if I get home at some ungodly hour, I perform my skin care routine, and if I wake up late, I always will do its morning counterpart.
It’s the highlight of my whole day: a place to meditate, recharge and reset, or a calm, centering practice to prepare me for what’s coming next.
My skin looked better, too, and as a result my makeup looked better. Some days, I was even able to go without it. And I feel better on the inside: calmer with a clear mind. Skin care and beauty is my yoga or golf or gym time or glass of wine (or three) to unwind. My skin isn’t perfect but I’ve learned so much along the way, about products and about myself, that I cannot wait to share with others.
So let’s start here: Invest in your skin. This way, you can enhance what makes you beautiful and special.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT