Don’t you let anybody shame you about your makeup and/or appreciation of it: according to a study for CVS by psychologist Dr. Vivian Diller, having a beauty routine can save your life. (Gasp.)
“Activities that allow us to take care of our personal beauty needs should not be viewed as ‘guilty pleasures,’” Diller explained. “These acts may help us live a long and vital life well into our 80s and 90s.”
This is because when we partake in self-care, we’re engaging in things that make us feel better about ourselves. In her example, Diller uses lipstick to explain why our esteem and self-worth is boosted by makeup, citing that feeling of “hell yes” you get when you apply your go-to shade makes you more confident. Then, that confidence and positivity leads to “subjective well-being” which in turn leads to better sleeping, better eating, and boosted immunity.
“You should allow yourself to see beauty as staying healthy for the rest of your life,” she adds. “We know that on multiple biological levels, from the cardiovascular system to cellular growth, if we include relaxation we are very likely to slow down the natural deterioration of our bodies that come with age.”
The most important thing? Stop feeling guilty for indulging in makeup and beauty, because health and beauty aren’t necessarily separate, Diller concludes.
And, I mean, duh. This isn’t to say you need to shell out top dollar for makeup or even start wearing it at all (like, hello: if your definition of “beauty routine” is washing your face, then own it — you’re doing what makes you feel good, and that’s all that matters), but it does shut down arguments that makeup is a waste of time, stupid, shallow, and anything else we’ve been told when our self-care routines are being dismissed. (Which, for the record, shouldn’t be: self-care and routines can alleviate anxiety, since they’re a means of taking control, and if you’re an anxious person, that’s especially helpful.)
As a makeup-loving teen, I remember how crushed I felt when the guys I wanted to impress shamed me for wearing it, as if I was somehow “less than” because I was “girly.” “I like girls who don’t wear makeup!” they exclaimed proudly, while I immediately felt terrible and embarrassed about my penchant for eyeshadow. And even when I realized said guys were the actual worst, it still took me well into my mid-to-late twenties to see makeup as something I could have fun with; something I could use to express the way I was feeling that day (instead of using it to hide behind), and something that would make me slow down, chill out, and engage in self-care.
If you’re an anxious person like I am (hi!), this probably makes sense to you. By taking control of your day by instilling a beauty routine, you force yourself to live in the moment and stop thinking about the trillion-or-so things you’re getting freaked out by. You have to concentrate while applying eyeliner, or while choosing shadows. You have to consciously participate in a routine that inevitably makes you feel better once you start the day. And then you feel confident. I’m typing this in my pajamas and wearing no makeup at all, and I still feel major — but if I can put an outfit together and coordinate lipstick tones later, I’ll feel even better. Especially because I like makeup and I like beauty routines and I’m making the 13-year-old version of myself very happy and proud.
Of course, this isn’t to say that if you don’t buy into makeup that you’ll die young and sad and full of anxiety. (Imagine.) Especially because odds are, in some way, you do have a self-care routine that forces you to slow down and leaves you feeling amazing. Makeup isn’t for every person. But if it’s for you, bask in the glory of knowing that it’s not something you have to play down for feel insecure about. Makeup doesn’t make you weak, or vapid, or less than. In fact, acknowledging that you’re into it makes you a little bit stronger — especially since now you won’t waste any energy playing down your beauty routine.
It’s saving your life and keeping you sane, after all.
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