As I work my way through my backlog of magazines, having successfully made it to September 2017, I came across the “She’s Like A Rainbow” article in Elle magazine, discussing the ever constant face makeup debate.
The article discussed both sides of the makeup debate, exploring the reasoning behind why some choose to go all out with their makeup repertoire, while others choose to let their natural beauty shine through.
After reading this article, I am reminded of the time when I dealt with the ever dreadful chemo rash. This rash manifested itself with a few weeks of my first round of chemotherapy treatment for my Stage 3A, triple positive, Breast Cancer.
Having experienced acne while growing up, my first thought was that my treatments caused a bout of adult acne, so I did what anyone would do, I picked up a bottle of acne cleanser, and began the ritual of cleaning my face every morning, in hopes of returning my face to its former acne free glory.
Needless to say, my chosen cleanser had the exact opposite effect. Instead of clearing up the acne, instead, it dried my skin out, leaving me at a loss as to what to do next. When I had my next appointment with my oncologist, the nursing staff took one look at my face and diagnosed it as a rash brought on by one of my chemotherapy medications. I was prescribed a tube of clindamycin, as I had a bad habit of “popping” the bumps, as they were quite painful, and this process relieved the pain. This concerned my oncologist as it was opening my skin to the chance of infection, hence the need for the clindamycin.
So, you may be wondering how does my bout with the chemo rash work into the face makeup debate? Well, it’s actually quite simple. I still held down a full-time job while I worked my way through my cancer treatments. Having a face full of what looked like adult acne brought with it a high level of anxiety. What would people that I barely knew think? What would my co-workers say?
Dealing with breast cancer diagnosis was hard enough, then add on top of that the plethora of symptoms that came along with it, and I found myself faced with a tough decision. Should I do my best to cover the rash with foundation, or choose to let my skin “breathe” and go into work makeup free?
This was not an easy choice. You see, growing up makeup was not an option. If I chose to not wear it, I was told that I would not be perceived as feminine, but every time I put makeup on I felt like I was hiding my true self. I avoided wearing makeup as much as possible, commonly only for special events, like going out to dinner. And even then, my minimalist approach to makeup resulted in comments that it looked like I wasn’t wearing any makeup at all, and I needed to put more on to look feminine.
As the years passed, more times than not I chose to go makeup free. I worked in the male-dominated computer field, and never really gave my makeup-free face a second thought. Then due to a job loss, I landed my first ever job in clothing retail, and I was reminded of how important makeup was to my “look”. I did my best to plaster my face, to appease management, then one day I was sent over to a makeup shop in the mall for a “free makeover.” I hated every moment of it, but my co-workers all squealed with delight when they saw my new “look.”
Once I landed my new full-time job, I felt like I needed to apply a full layer of foundation to my face every morning to hide the imperfections. The acne scars, and sun spots to name a few. But when cancer entered my life, I reached a point where I didn’t care what others thought of my face any longer. I found myself in a fight for my life, and along with that fight, came side effects that changed my appearance in a variety of ways.
I lost my hair and had to wear a wig, I dealt with painful acne-like bumps and a variety of other side effects that were not visible to the human eye. After a year and a half of fighting, I was classified as a survivor, a huge win in my book.
While I am no longer in treatment, I am still on two different medications that cause unexpected side effects each and every month. I currently deal with acne like cysts on my scalp, limiting me to using Tea Tree products to keep it from getting out of hand while my hair grows back in. I also get acne like flares on my face, so I found a Burt’s Bees complexion stick that also contains Tea Tree oil to keep the little buggers at bay.
You may be wondering, is my stance still the same in the face makeup debate? Without a doubt yes. I rarely, if at all wear makeup, and if I do, it’s minimal, like eyeshadow and liner, and a touch of lip gloss. I avoid foundation as much as possible, as I have a bad habit of touching my face, and it would spread everywhere. Making it not worth the trouble in my opinion.
Please feel free to comment below with any questions, or comments you may have regarding the face makeup debate. I look forward to reading them.
Till next time!