I know, I know, the title of this post is a little passive aggressive but I’m feeling a little defensive. For years, when I used to talk about my love of makeup and beauty products, I was mocked. People have told me that the fact that I spend so much time and money on researching and buying makeup must mean that my self-esteem is low. I must be shallow. I’ve been asked umpteen times why I don’t have anything better to spend my money on or why I’m so vain. People have made assumptions about the type of person that I was because reading about beauty products obviously means that I don’t have a brain.
Being faced with so many negative thoughts, I hid my interest in the beauty industry for years. I stopped being myself. And then I remembered I’m a role model to two little girls and I would never want them to hide their true selves in order to appease other people. Women have the power to be a multitude of things, so one of the things I now choose to be is a beauty blogger. Even that has drawn negative remarks from some (don’t worry, they are no longer part of my inner circle) querying why I would want to write about such ‘trivialities’ when I could use my talents for other ‘more worthy’ topics. Firstly, writing about beauty and other topics isn’t mutually exclusive – see my girl crush – Sali Hughes. Secondly, to me the beauty world isn’t frivolous. To me, makeup is an art. All the different colours and textures and the millions of different ways that they can be combined to make a different look, intrigues me.
Makeup is a form of self-expression. It allows us to be ourselves but the more confident and self-assured version. It allows us to bold and brave whilst we experiment. Best of all, it’s not permanent. At the end of the day, it washes off. Makeup allows us to be who we want to be and I don’t think that’s frivolous or trivial.
My Beauty Inspiration
Like all girls, my first and biggest beauty inspiration is my mum. I have so many memories of watching her get ready for the day and a sniff of those typically heady 80s perfumes of Lou Lou and Eden will forever make me feel like a small child. I recall her enhancing her beauty using the limited amount of products that were around for black women 30 years ago. Fashion Fair – I salute you.
One of the many things that I have taken from my mum (we are spookily alike) is that no matter what life throws at her or whatever the occasion, she is always immaculate. Her makeup is like a protective layer to ready herself for the day followed by a spritz of perfume. Yes, I wear makeup everyday. No I don’t hate my naked face. However, I do like the ritual of applying my makeup everyday and having that time to myself in the morning. It’s calming. For me, makeup is part-indulgence, part-necessity. I like having that little bit of time to myself every morning to apply my ‘face’ and ready myself for the day ahead. It makes me feel like me. I like having the opportunity to create new looks to reflect my mood because at times, makeup is my armour to hide my feelings from the world. But most often painting my face is my signal to say ‘hey this is me, I’m here!’ Almost like an actress getting ready for a role.
My Beauty History
The only issue that I have ever had in my journey with makeup, is finding colours that are suitable for my skin tone. When I first was allowed to wear makeup as a teenager, I duly went to Boots and tried to buy foundation to help cover my blemished skin and failed. It was extremely difficult to find a colour match for my skin. Even now No.7 do not have a match for me. It’s sad. Diversity still has a long way to go.
I realised then, that as a mixed-race woman, I wasn’t being represented. I wasn’t being recognised. But this didn’t surprise me. Even though I lived in a large city, I was already used to having to travel for miles to find my hair products, why would my make up products be any different?
The lack of available colours at prices that I could afford meant that I did miss out on some experimentation as it was hard to find colours. Drugstore eye shadows were not pigmented enough to show up on my skin tone, which considering there is a whole range of skin tones darker than my own is woeful. It wasn’t really until I got my first job that I could begin to afford MAC- which did cater for more diverse skin tones – that my love of all things beauty really developed.
My Beauty Present
Twenty years later, thankfully the situation is so much better. It’s still not perfect, but now I can walk into department stores or high-street stores and find a larger range of products for my skin tone. I’m not restricted to just one brand. It’s not a guarantee, unfortunately. There are still brands with extremely limited shade ranges that don’t cater for my skin-tone – Marc Jacobs, I’m looking at you – but I can usually find a suitable shade.
Luckily for my purse, I don’t discriminate either. I’m an equal opportunities makeup shopper. From high-street to high-end, I buy across the spectrum of products. I research my beauty product purchases extensively and spend many hours wandering the beauty halls of both department and high street stores, collecting as many samples as possible. I’m determined to find the holy grail of products. Hand on heart, I don’t buy products for the name alone, but I must admit that sometimes I can be swayed by pretty packaging. If the colour, texture or longevity works then I’ll buy it regardless of where it is from.
What Will You Find On Beauty Addict Mama?
My intention behind starting Beauty Addict Mama is to create beauty and lifestyle posts for women who care about beauty and living their best life. but who also are interested in the issues surrounding the beauty industry. My beauty product reviews will be aimed at busy mums as I know all too well that we need multi-tasking, long-wearing products as we simply don’t have the time to constantly reapply makeup. Most of us mums do not have the money to test out multiple products on a quest to find the mythical perfect product. Best of all, I will be trying products to suit all price ranges.
But there’ll be more than just posts about beauty products. Having suffered with post-natal depression after the birth of my eldest and anxiety for the majority of my life, I know how isolating both conditions can be. I’ll be sharing posts about my journey with my mental health and sharing the strategies that I use to keep my anxiety at bay and almost under control. And don’t forget my most important role in life is that of mother and I sharing will be honest posts abut the trials and tribulations of not only motherhood but the tricky journey of single motherhood that I know so very well. So, join me. Don’t forget to connect with me and share your thoughts so we can navigate the blogging world together.
Are you a beauty addict? Let me know in the comments when it was that you realised that you were obsessed with all things beauty.