How to Use Makeup as Part of Your Self-Care Routine

by Stacey Kole

You woke up 15 minutes late, your blow-dryer is on the fritz and you can’t figure out what to wear — and oh yeah, you’ve got to do your makeup too. In that scenario, applying makeup doesn’t seem like it could possibly be part of a self-care routine. But what if we redefined the act of putting on makeup from something we have to do — to something we get to do? Let’s explore this idea a little more deeply.

As an Act of Kindness

Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, committing to a beauty routine is an act of self-love. It’s not about you needing the makeup in order to feel good about yourself when you’re in public, but it is about devoting time that’s solely your own to doing something just for you. When you choose good products with ingredients that nourish your skin (and are free from nasties like talc, parabens, and GMO’s), you’re affirming that you matter by applying them. When you take the time and do something kind to yourself, that’s the epitome of self-care.

As a Time for Mindfulness

Whether you set aside 10 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour, make it a genuine routine — and enjoy it! Include some skin care — think a nice cleanser and a luxurious moisturizer that you can massage in — then dive into applying your everyday makeup. For some this will include the whole nine yards, from primer to foundation to blush, shadow and lipstick. For others, it may just be a BB cream, mascara and lip gloss. How much you use doesn’t matter; what does is that you’ve carved out these moments just for you. It’s a time to be mindful, to breathe. It may not be full-on meditation, but it’s you time nonetheless.

As a Creative Break

Applying makeup is effectively having a blank canvas every morning that you can paint any way you like. Take advantage of all that makeup has to offer, mixing it up from time to time. Seasonal changes are a great opportunity to do just that: Gravitate to warm coppers and earthy browns in the fall, a red or berry lip in the winter and sun-kissed pink or apricot during the spring and summer. You can also change things up with shimmery versus matte finishes or change the look with some colorful eyeliners. The opportunities are endless. Best of all, this creative outlet is a wonderful way to refocus your energy when stress or anxiety starts to creep in. By starting your day this way, you can concentrate on the creative instead of the stressors of life — if even just for a few moments.

You have the choice whether to look at your beauty routine as a chore or as part of your self-care. By choosing the latter, you turn something that may have felt obligatory into something good for you. Makeup may seem on the surface to be about how you look, but extra doses of kindness, mindfulness and creativity can go a long way in affecting how you feel…and we’ll take that any day.

Stacey Kole was managing editor of the national beauty and style magazine “Savvy” and is currently a freelance writer and editor based out of Phoenix, Arizona.