A few years ago, I would never have thought I would become a beauty editor, I probably would have just chuckled at the idea: up until the age of 16 I was a tomboy, in every possible way. Sweatpants were my favorite outfit, and the idea of buying lipstick never even remotely crossed my mind. I was a sporty girl, I had other stuff on my mind. I remember I had even gotten one of those massive 23-layer palettes by Pupa as a gift once, one of those with too many eyeshadow colors to count, but I think I may have just used it on two occasions: Carnival, and Halloween. I don’t know what happened later on, I think it may have had something to do with caring about other people’s opinion of me, what my classmates and teammates thought of how I looked, of what my (inexistent) boyfriend thought of me. I think I stopped feeling like I was enough, I stopped feeling pretty the way I was. It seems odd to write it, but it’s true. I started wearing makeup because I didn’t feel pretty enough, because I saw my flaws in the mirror, before I really noticed what was reflected there: a regular teenager, with glasses and freckles, who was looking for her place in the world, and struggling a little to find it.
The truth is, we are never patient when we are young.Your mum, your dermatologist, your older friends, everyone constantly tells you that it is just a phase, that it is all hormone-related, that it will stop, but still, those few flaws still make you feel totally disfigured. Come on, we were all little drama queens, when we were teenagers. Of course, applying many, many layers of foundation and concealer seemed to be the best way to fix the problem at that time, to cover the wreck that was otherwise known as your face. That’s how my journey in the world of beauty started.
Growing up and learning, luckily my perspective changed. I realised that when we are young and lack experience, there is always one factor we forget, actually, there are two: the first one is that taking care of our skin would make you a lot happier than improvising as makeup artists, stealing brushes and powder from your mum, whose skin tone is about 3 shades darker than yours (#truestory). Secondly, learning to embrace our flaws is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Of course I am going to go down cliché lane here, telling you that it is our flaws that make us unique — but it’s the truth! A lot of people envy my freckles today, and anyway, remember that those two or three flaws are just temporary: they shouldn’t have the power to define who we are, or change our mood if there’s a beautiful day outside. My new mantra is: skincare first, makeup later. If I I can solve an issue by creating a suitable beauty routine, I would rather be patient and decide not to cover everything at every cost. On some days, I don’t even wear any makeup! Yes, it’s usually in summer and usually when my skin is very happy, but still, there are those days.
What I have learned so far is that, by adopting this philosophy, I also have to choose skincare brands that share my ideal – and luckily, there are lots of those nowadays! The rule is also valid for makeup, anyway. Say no to overly covering foundations and double layers of powder: learning to embrace your imperfections requires a little bit of sacrifice, but trust me, my skin is way happier at the end of the day, if all I use is a simple, light BB cream. I just proudly look at that mirror, and think of the day that all my skincare and beauty routine efforts will pay off, allowing me to completely abandon all face makeup… I would never say no to lipstick and mascara, of course. You’re joking, right?
Cover photo by Chiara Predebon