Make-up as Therapy

In this post I am going to talk about make-up therapy. In the past weeks, I posted a blog post about skincare as self-care, how skincare routines can help with mental health. While applying a sheet mask does not do the heavy lifting as therapy or medication, it can surely do good. But it’s not just skincare. Not just the process of cleaning our skin and hydrating it. It’s not just the fact of applying layer after layer of moisturising goodness. It’s also what comes after the skincare routine. For some of us, it’s the make-up routine. This is something I would usually do in the morning, in a very minimalistic way; despite having a nice collection of eye shadows, eyeliners and highlighters, I often apply just mascara and lipstick. However, recently, I started suddenly to experiment with make-up. Every time I shoot an outfit post, I do a basic makeup with eyeliner and lipstick. But I am starting to play more with eye shadow and lot of highlighter. I force myself to make complementary colours work together.

Make-up Therapy

There’s something special about make-up. On one hand, it’s about taking time for yourself and taking care of yourself. Starting your day with skincare and make-up routine can be relaxing, almost like meditation, getting our minds ready for the day.
On the other hand, it’s about the artistic process. Because make-up is an art. It starts with setting out the canvas with foundation, adding lights and shadows with contouring, and doing masterful pieces of art on your eyelids with eyeshadow.
So many people regard make-up as being something superficial, and vain. Make-up therapy? What is that non sense? Many people would say that if you love yourself and are comfortable with yourself, you wouldn’t need make-up. You wouldn’t try to “deceive” people into how you look like. But if we compare, as I did above, make-up to meditation, therapy, art, we get a totally different picture. We start seeing make-up as an outlet for creativity, a way of relaxing the mind. It’s not necessarily about how much make-up you put or how it looks in the end. It’s about the process of applying the make-up. Preparing the foundation and applying it everywhere with the beauty blender, it’s about carefully drawing the cat eye and applying the boldest lipstick.
I might be blabbering here about how make-up is therapy and can be beneficial for mental health; but I am not the only one to think so. In 2013, Shiseido launched a “cosmetic therapy program” in Japan for elderly people, by organising make-up sessions in care facilities around the country. It filled my heart with hope and joy to read that this kid of therapy may halt dementia, and in young people, it can be used in treating depression and stress. The article states that make-up therapy can “change the state of mind and stimulate both the brain and body.”. And this is exactly what I feel when I apply my make-up in the morning, or trying out a new make-up look.


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