There was a time when girls wore flowers in their hair or pinned them on to their dresses, emanating freshness and grace. They adorned their pretty hair locks and curls with ribbons, colourful and bright. In India, they wore bangles that clinked together, anklets that jingled merrily and bindis that defined their lovely faces. Almost every girl’s basic grooming involved enhancing their soft features and embracing their strongest ones. Then most women discovered that usage of kohl beautified the appearance of their eyes, also protecting them from bacterial infections. What’s more, the usage of kohl soothed their eyes and absorbed heat from stress. Alongside kohl, castor oil, beeswax, olive oil and rose water were among the first cosmetics to be used. Flash forward to the supposedly modern times and googling about makeup gives us an article titled 35 must have essentials in a makeup kit. The list comprises the following objects along with their uses.
- Primer: For foundation to glide on your face smoothly. I did not even know foundation does not glide smoothly without a primer.
- Concealer: To conceal acne, freckles and dark circles because all of us would want to hide our flaws from each other. Judging each other on our dark circles is completely alright.
- Foundation: To even the different tones on your face, removing any redness in the process because you want to remove any evidence that the sunlight fell on your face. Use 2-3 shades to contour your face and turn into Kim Kadarshian.
- Setting powder: To help the foundation set on your face. Because you don’t want anyone to discover that you have loads of makeup on, put some more on to seal it in place.
- Bronzer: To get a tan without getting sun damage because as we know very well, the sun hates us.
- Eyeshadow: Gives an enhanced effect to your eyes. Remember to use at least three colours on the palette for the desired effect.
- Eyeshadow primer: To prepare your eyes for eyeshadow. I don’t even know why people use this.
- Lipstick: Product involves different shades of reds, pinks, nudes and browns. Usage depends on how attractive you want to look, on a scale of Plain Jane to Kylie Jenner.
- Lip Gloss: Because lipstick does not do its job well.
- Blush: Remember the foundation that removed the colour off your face? Put it back on using this product.
- Highlighter: To get back the radiance of healthy skin that your foundation and concealer stole away.
- Eyeliner: To make your lashes look lush or even change the shape of your eye. Pretty useful for disguise and detective work.
- Mascara: To define your eyelashes and turn your whole eye area black and sticky with one blink. (Oh! I forgot, the kind and thoughtful makeup companies have a non-sticky, costlier option)
- Cleanser: Because duh! All the products you use are harmful as hell and you need to take them off asap.
Put on all of these ‘essential’ makeup products and hide all your insecurities, because there is a product out there for each one of us and for all our flaws. Now that we have tons of harmful chemicals on our face, there is not an iota of doubt that we look perfect. Our face looks almost like that of a celebrity on a glossy magazine cover. Almost, because there are some things only photoshop can achieve. Time for a selfie because all the effort that has gone into looking fabulous has to be captured. Oh no, there is a stray freckle that your concealer did not hide properly. This picture will get 30 lesser likes because of your nasty imperfection. Time to use that handy editing app that does the work of achieving Vogue standards for your picture. Ah! Done. Uploaded! One hour later and you have just 23 likes. You should have put on a redder shade of lipstick, dear. It is too late now. This picture is a failure.
Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way mocking our desire to look pretty and presentable. I am only saying, do not let that desire turn into a need because that need is an artificial one that all the cosmetic brands thrive on. Initially there was makeup. Then, some brand said they had makeup that was less harmful that the first one. Then, another claimed that theirs was completely skin friendly. Needs were running out. Women were getting content with what they had. So this annoyingly smart company told us that they had makeup that when put on, gives a completely natural look. What?! That is a miracle! I am so going to buy it! This is how our economy works. It works on the needs of the customers. If the needs start getting fulfilled, they introduce new ones and this cycle will go on and on.
Let us all realise the fact that we need not look perfect. Perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring. Have dark circles? Let the world know you have been working hard. Have wrinkles? Show the world the maturity that lies beneath them. Every line on your face, every scar and every dent on your body is a proof that you have lived. It is nothing to be ashamed of, or be embarrassed about. Imagine a happy world without makeup, photoshop or botox. A girl will get noticed for her nice nose and a lovely smile and not for her freckles. A girl will get praised for her beautiful eyes and it will not matter that she is dark skinned. There will be people commenting on your imperfections nevertheless, but it will no longer be taken as an insult. You will learn to recognize your strengths and then, your weaknesses shall not matter in the slightest. I look forward to such a world. A happy place where we have better things to worry about than our pimples. Until then, we will have to encounter thousands of TV and Youtube commercials telling us that we are not perfect enough for them. Well, at least there is a Skip Ad option in Youtube.