• Piper Diers

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

pandemic.

"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

the better.