How the pandemic changed my relationship with makeup
Piper recalls how the pandemic impacted her makeup usage and road to self-acceptance.
Saying life before the Covid-19 pandemic was different than it is now would be a massive
understatement, since it’s difficult to pinpoint any aspect of “normal” life that hasn’t been
touched by the pandemic, including my makeup habits. Pre-pandemic, it was normal for me to
wear a full face of makeup daily, regardless of whether I would be going anywhere, or seeing
anyone. I wouldn’t feel comfortable until I had a layer of foundation over my entire face, as well
as mascara and eyeshadow. It was a testament to my insecurity, and my fears that I would be
perceived as less than perfect.
The pandemic, and the necessity of wearing a mask in public, put a stop to my full-faced
makeup practices. Part of it came from the practicality of not wearing makeup—it wouldn’t get
on my mask, and I was attending school virtually, where no one could see my bare skin clearly
over the webcam. The other part of this included a more lax approach to my own appearance, in
which running to the store in sweatpants and a tee became commonplace for me, and not
wearing a noticeable amount of makeup seemed safe. This translated to my not wearing
makeup unless I left the house, or went to my in-person job. Even then, I only opted to apply
concealer and some mascara, a marked difference to what I was comfortable with before the
"A pimple or some dark circles under my eyes aren’t going to change how everyone else feels about me."
Once my school determined that in-person classes could resume, though, I no longer had that
practicality to fall back on. Now, not wearing makeup, or wearing less of it, was an active choice
I made every day. I understand now that my friends and family don’t mind how I look with or
without makeup, and I no longer feel the need to appear “perfect.”
I’ve learned to look past my own flaws, as I’ve unconsciously done for my friends and family, and realized that a pimple or some dark circles under my eyes aren’t going to change how everyone else feels about me. That’s not to say that I don’t put on a full face of makeup every now and then, or that I judge others who want to wear more makeup than I do.
I love finding new ways to do my eyeshadow, and how I look with foundation on. The difference now is that I do my makeup out of the enjoyment I derive from it, not out of necessity. I also like to see how other people do their makeup, and take inspiration from the variety of ways people express themselves.
It’s taken a pandemic to recognize that I am included in my belief that everyone is allowed to
wear as much or as little makeup as they want. And while the pandemic changed a lot of things
for better or worse, I can confidently say that my journey towards self-acceptance has been for