The word ‘mindful’ has been thrown around a lot in the past few years. Blame it on the stressful global situation, or on the hectic lives we are living today; everyone is trying to live more mindfully. But have you ever thought of making your makeup routine a mindful moment, grounding while applying your favourite lipstick?
My life is pretty busy, managing multiple jobs and projects, and especially managing my anxiety. I was introduced to mindfulness — like many of us — through an app that was helping me cope with my thoughts overload. But after using up all the free lessons (is it only me with no money to spend on an app?), I was lost. I didn’t know where else to find my mindful moments, without someone directing my thoughts while whispering in my ears.
That’s when my real journey with mindfulness started. As you may know, the definition of mindfulness is ‘awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment’. Which means that you don’t have to be laying on your bed with your eyes closed all the time to be mindful. You can literally be mindful doing anything you’d like, as long as you’re paying attention.
In my big list of mindful activities — cooking, cleaning the dishes, practising yoga, I tried them all — it has never occurred to me that makeup could be a mindful experience as well. Except, it is maybe the most mindful moment of them all. It is so unbelievably easy to let any worry go away while applying makeup when you’re concentrating in buffing that foundation perfectly or doing the perfect wing with your eyeliner. There’s no room in your head for much else.
When I finally realised this, I started making the moments in front of the mirror more intentional. Mindful makeup is now a thing I do and that doesn’t just happen by chance. And it really helps with my anxiety, especially when I’m in a rush and I feel like I’m losing control of time. I make sure that even those five minutes spent in front of the mirror are meaningful.
The trick to turning your makeup routine into a mindful moment is simply noticing it. I make a conscious effort to acknowledge each second passing. I am not sure how, but it feels like time is stretching because of it. And it gives you a sense of accomplishment that sometimes is the key to overcome anxiety.
With mindfulness comes grounding, which for me is even more powerful as it allows me to be less in my head and more on my feet. Seeing my face through the mirror allows me to concentrate more on the physical world than getting lost in my thoughts, and of course, makeup is deliberately about something material.
The materiality of makeup is not something I condemn. Quite the opposite, I treasure it. Because makeup is about the body and the art of taking care of it, in a way, it allows me to bring me back to reality and experience life outside of my anxiety.