Beauty To Love. You.

Beauty to Love. You: Makeup and Mental Health by Laura O'Rourke

I often wrestle with what it means to be beautiful and I how I live that out. I’m a huge believer that beauty shines from the inside out, but when it comes to what I see in the mirror, I can’t seem to apply that rubric. As someone currently struggling with my own self-esteem, I can assure you that logic doesn’t play much of a role in how I actually see myself.

Meanwhile, the feminist in me struggles with my sincere love of makeup. I see all these underlying societal structures profiting off of my desire to level up my look. But these thoughts do nothing to tamper my passion for this kind of pampering.

There was a time when I rarely wore makeup. I played around with it as a kid, but that was only at home. In high school, I used only a little bit and hardly even that. It was the same in university, and even into my first few years in the workforce. This was when beauty bloggers and YouTubers were taking off, and I began to notice that my makeup game was not on point. Getting there felt totally unattainable. It required shopping in the right places, knowing the right products, having the right tools, and mastering the right skills. I didn’t even have the right language to enter that world. On my wedding day, I asked my makeup artist for a smokey eye, not realizing it would be done with dark makeup. I didn’t really even like the end result. Makeup was just another thing I wasn’t measuring up in.

But then, I got liquid eyeliner for Christmas. I went to YouTube to try to learn how to use that and quickly got sucked into the whole makeup world. I discovered the tips and tricks I needed to wear the kind of makeup I wanted to. I’ve been hooked ever since.

I realize that I now fall into the category of women whose makeup is a step above. I used to tell Dan that he’d know it was a fancy occasion when I wore more than one eyeshadow shade. Now I blend multiple shades on my lid even when I’m going for a more natural makeup look! In the circles I run in, I’m usually the person with the most makeup on in a room. People tell me I should teach classes…

But I’m not trying to be exclusionary. I don’t want other women to feel like they’re not measuring up when they stand beside me. The last thing I want is to make someone feel worse about themselves because of how my face looks.

I don’t wear makeup to try to look better than others. I don’t even do it to cover up flaws.

When you’re a mom of three boys, married ten years, running around all day taking care of things… it’s easy to never put yourself first. It is easy to never feel beautiful. It is easy to barely get a moment of time to yourself. Can I get an “Amen!” from the tired moms staying up way too late just to find some quiet and alone time?

Makeup gives me some of this back. Makeup gives me a reason to stand in the bathroom with the door shut for a while. (I mean, I also do that without a reason, but I prefer to have a reason. Otherwise, I’m just sitting on the step stool which is also a potty playing Clash Royale on my phone, just to catch a break). Makeup lets me be proud of my appearance when I can’t think of any other reasons. Makeup even gives me an excuse to splurge on myself now and then. When I don’t feel good about myself, it isn’t because I’m not wearing makeup, but makeup can give me a reason to love what I see in the mirror. And I need that sometimes.

I would never want to make women feel bad for how much makeup they wear (or don’t wear). But I love the idea of encouraging women to do things that help them feel beautiful, that boosts their self-esteem, and that allows them to take moments for themselves. We spend so much time caring for others, it is important to care for ourselves too.

It doesn’t have to be hard to indulge in these moments of self-care. As a SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Ambassador, I’ve been able to learn all about their Beauty Galas, which are held multiple times a year in local Shoppers Drug Marts. These are part of Shoppers Drug Mart’s goal to put women’s health first and help all women across Canada stay focused on being their best in body, mind, and spirit.

On May 5th, all Canadians are invited to the Spring Beauty Galas, held in stores nationwide. (Select stores will be hosting their Beauty Galas on Friday evening May 4th, so check your store in advance!) When you come, you’ll receive a beautiful makeover or a personalized skin consultation. Each store puts their own personal spin on the Gala, which often includes raffles, prizes and gifts, so don’t miss all the fun your store has planned!

Tickets can be purchased at your local Shoppers Drug Mart beauty counter for $10, with $5 going to a local women’s mental health charity. The other $5 is redeemable towards a cosmetic purchase on the day of the gala.

There’s so much value to showing yourself some much-needed love. When you go to the Spring Beauty Gala, you get to do that while providing a positive impact on the lives of other women in your community. Sign up for a Beauty Gala at your local Shoppers Drug Mart.

I still believe that beauty shines from the inside. But sometimes I need a little help feeling bright. Maybe you do too.

PS: Have you signed up for your local SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women series race yet? Don’t forget that when you join the “LOVE.YOU. Ambassadors” team happening in every city, you have a chance to win one of two awesome prizes! I gave you all the details here. My run is on Sunday, May 6th in Moncton, NB – I’d love for you to join me!

Disclosure: I am so excited to be a SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Ambassador. This means that I received monetary compensation for this blog post (and this one) I am thrilled to partner in this because of my passion for women’s issues, mental health, and my very healthy (right?) addiction to makeup.

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