Growing up in Kenya, I never even considered wearing makeup. It wasn't that I was intellectually opposed to the idea, it just wasn't something that was part of my world. No one I knew wore makeup on a regular basis and that included my mother. All she had was a red lipstick that was worn on special occasions.
Puberty was not kind to me because my once flawless complexion was overtaken by a serious case of acne and the accompanying scars. To make matters worse, I was fitted with permanent metal braces on my teeth when I was sixteen. I'd always been very confident but now I suddenly found myself self-conscious about my appearance.
It took a few months but I finally realized that moping wasn't going to make the situation better. Why should I stop being myself just because I had railways on my teeth and giant zits on my face? The braces would come off in a couple of years and my acne would probably heal once I got to my twenties like my father and sister before me (at least that's what they told me).
Sure enough the braces did come off when I was eighteen but the acne was something else. By this time, I had moved to the US where almost everyone wore makeup. But even then, I never considered covering up my acne. It wasn't because I was opposed to wearing makeup, it just seemed counter-intuitive to clog my pores any more than they already were rather than let my skin breathe.
Furthermore, why would I want to add to my morning prep time by including makeup in my routine? Yes, I am somewhat lazy and want every extra minute of sleep that I can get. In any case, since I'd been dealing with this for so many years, having acne had no impact on my confidence. It was a part of who I was and I didn't see the need to mask the scars.
I still struggle with adult acne though it is much less severe than when I was a teenager. I've managed to find a diet and hygiene routine that has minimized my flare ups but still suffer from acne scars. It doesn't matter whether I pop a zit or not, I am just prone to hyper pigmentation. As for makeup, I still prefer bare skin but do wear it from time to time when I want to look a little bit more polished. Ultimately, every one has to do what makes them feel the most comfortable and this is what works for me.
Pictured: Dalasini Oyo Vintage Brass Necklace