It is hard to picture a woman’s world without the never-ending array of cosmetics surrounding it. Women have been using various types of makeup for as long as mankind has existed, whether it is to paint their faces whiter or to outline their eyes darker. The ancient Egyptians produced the world’s first range of cosmetics by burning matches to darken their eyes and crushing berries to stain their lips. The ever-popular kohl – a jet-black liner that was used to frame their smoldering eyes and elongate their enticing shape – was originally created in Egypt. The primeval Indians and Persians had their own version of the antique eye-liner, which they called kajal. Ancient Greeks and Romans used chalk for whitening their complexions, whereas the English used white lead powder. The Japanese geishas painted their lips with crushed flower petals and applied rice powder to color their faces, while the French wore bright red rouge on their cheeks and lips. Today, we use commercial tubes of lipstick, wands of eyeliners, and pots of foundation and blush to produce the same effect.
Women have always regarded make up as a form of adornment – a way to accessorize the features they are born with. Whether they are brushing on a smooth layer of pressed powder across their cheeks or swishing a gradient of colors across their eyelids, they are conscious of the fact that these cosmetics will heighten their natural look. They deftly coat their puckered lips with their favorite lipstick and brush their eyelashes upwards with their dramatic mascara, knowing that every sweep of cosmetic enhancement is taking them one step closer to ravishing beauty. Their makeup outlines the striking shapes, accentuates the soft curves, and highlights the natural shades, coming together to illuminate the inherent beauty of a woman.
Beauty is personified by the female form. There is nothing more alluring than the brightness of a woman’s enchanting eyes, the arched angle of her strikingly dark eyebrows, the lusciousness shape of her full lips, or the smooth curve of her soft cheeks. The magnetic appeal comes from her feminine features – both seductively supple and precisely defined. When the eyes are outlined with dramatic black eye-liner, other eyes can’t help but sneak an admiring look. When the lips are painted with glossy tints of pinks and reds, other lips catch themselves giving tempted smiles. There is something bewitchingly powerful about a woman’s beauty that has been exaggerated by these bold cosmetics.
But what role does makeup really play when it comes to a woman’s beauty?
I believe makeup does not create beauty; instead, it enhances beauty. Makeup does not give confidence; instead, it has the potential to augment a woman’s self-assurance.
It is instinctive to deepen the depths of a woman’s inherited beauty with cosmetics, but that doesn’t mean the natural beauty would be non-existent without cosmetic alterations. Elevating a woman’s beauty is not to say that she isn’t beautiful without makeup; she is beautiful in spite of her makeup. After all, makeup can only build on what is already present in the original canvas. Painting one’s face in vain attempts to hide all impressions of one’s natural appearance will only result in an artificially overdone mask. And, quite honestly, there is not too much beauty to be seen in that. And makeup does not last. When a woman is splashing off her makeup at the end of the day, where does her confidence go? Down her mascara-streaked cheeks? Down her scrubbed naked lips? Down the sink with the rest of her melting makeup? Will it only reappear tomorrow morning, when she looks in the mirror and carefully reapplies her daily cosmetic regime? Or should she consider a more permanent method – chemical skin peels? Botox? Collagen injections? A surgical facelift, perhaps?
None of these methods can create confidence out of thin air. She either has it, or she doesn’t.
It has to bud from the inside, before it can blossom bigger on the outside.
A woman’s ceaseless desire to enhance her beauty has its reasons. It could be the “feel good” factor – every woman wants to feel beautiful, both on the inside and the outside. It could be the attention it elicits from others – every woman wants to feel attractive, whether it is to turn heads when shopping at the mall or to be subtly admired across the table by her partner at the dinner party. It could just be simple curiosity – every woman has the right to experiment the options within her cosmetic playground.
But, no matter what role makeup plays in a woman’s life, her feminine intelligence should remind her that true beauty comes from within.
All the makeup in the world cannot enhance a woman’s beauty if it does not already exist inside of her.