ME, Myself and I: Makeup and ME

This may seem like an odd thing to talk about in the part of my blog I mainly talk about ME things but as I tend to use makeup to hide how tired I look and that was my original reason for starting to get into makeup I thought it kind of fits in here.

I don’t know about any of you with ME but doing makeup often takes up more energy than I really have to spare if I’m going to do all the layers that I read about on blogs and see on YouTubers’ videos. I tend to stick with some basics and then on good days do more if I feel like it but still don’t tend to go out of the house with much colour and stick to a neutral look most of the time.

This might just be me but since having ME it’s like you lose control of so many things in your life; when you can go out, what you can do, who you can see and even sometimes what clothes you can wear because of energy levels and aches even if you think you’ve planned around them. I find that makeup can give that little bit of control back, which sounds a bit odd, but being able to create different looks is like changing an outfit but with less energy involved most of the time. I also use it as a bit of camouflage, it helps to hide my dark circles under my eyes that make me look tired even if I’ve had a full night’s sleep.

Going through school I was never one of the girls who wore makeup, I think while I was there the closest I got was a tinted lip balm or a sun cream with some kind of tint in it. I do remember a few times trying to do more and it failing to turn out how I wanted it, I think it must have been with makeup I was given as presents as I really don’t remember buying any until I was about 21.

From the age of twelve I’ve had severe acne which meant I tried a list of medications over the next four years and nothing seemed to help until I was sent to the dermatologist and I’m still on the pill and have a strong gel because of it so I’m always a bit careful about concealers and foundations as I’m always aware that one small change can make it all flare up again. That probably didn’t help with the trying different products before I was ill as I was still going through the whole medications thing.

I was first diagnosed with ME about ten years ago but I’d been ill since I was 15 so probably around the age I’d maybe have tried it more anyway but I didn’t have the energy to bother with anything that added time to get ready. When it’s hard to brush your teeth and wash your face it seems a bit of a waste to spend extra on makeup, add on the fact that something that would take me ten minutes now would probably have taken half an hour and made my arms ache it just wasn’t worth it.

When I started to go out a bit more, and by going out I mean grocery shopping with my parents, there were a few times when people would comment on me looking tired or how I shouldn’t have stayed up the night before and I just got tired of it and started to look into concealers. This kind of snowballed as I found YouTubers I liked and saw all these other products I hadn’t heard of (I still don’t have a primer I use regularly) and I ended up making a few orders on the elf website just to see what everything was and what would work for me. I’ve since found a few products that I love to make me look a bit more awake and feel a bit more alive when I go out.

I still don’t wear makeup probably half the time I leave the house but do love playing around with it and having so many different looks you can do. I still stick with very easy and quick looks because I don’t have the energy to spend too long on it if I’m going out as my energy is for that, I think on average I spend about ten minutes getting ready and there are three main products I can think of that help me a lot.

A good under eye concealer that matches your skin tone. This one was hard for me to start with as my skin is pretty pale and a lot gave me a bit of an odd orange line under my eyes when I used them. I find that the No7 one that comes in a clicky pen works well for me but I did love the elf concealer palette in light as the lightest was a good colour for this and set pretty quickly on my skin.

A fairly pale shimmery eyeshadow is great for days when I don’t feel like doing much. It’s the sort of colour that’s maybe a shade lighter than my skin tone so lightens the skin on my eye a bit without it being really pale and obvious. I do love a look with bronze or rose gold as well but they stand out a bit more and on days where I just want to look more awake and not really draw attention to my eyes as I don’t want them to notice the darker circles under my eyes that sometimes show through even with concealer when it’s a really bad day.

Either a gloss or fairly glossy lip stick or tinted balm helps to make my lips look less chapped and for some reason having a bit of colour on them makes me feel a bit less like I look like a zombie. I tend to go for a tinted balm that adds a hint of colour that makes my lips just a tad pinker or a bit darker but doesn’t need to be reapplied a lot. I used to really like the No7 glosses as they have a very easy to apply wand thing but have found that they can get a bit sticky if it’s a warm day and the glittery shimmer does get on glasses when you drink. They do look really nice though and I’ve had a few from their free bags when you spend a certain amount.

There are other things I find help a lot like a lighter eyeliner on the water line and some nice mascara that doesn’t run but I find that both of those don’t really work on my worse days as my hands shake and it’s just a mess or I end up poking myself in the eye and that just takes me back to step one.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be one of those women who spend ages getting ready and looks amazing and has the confidence to wear all those bright colours but I like how I use makeup. I think that makeup is great as there are so many things you can do with it. I tend to see it mainly as like with painting; you use colours and lines to see what looks good and it can be a great way to express your personality. I’m hoping that one day I will have the energy and time to be able to do that and not have to worry about it eating into my energy I have reserved for shopping or whatever we’re doing that day. At the moment I just spend too much time trying to work out how to get it to look how I plan it in my head, I guess it just means I’ll have to play around a bit more at home and have fun with that.

Hope you’re all as well as possible and if you’re in the UK you’re coping with this heat wave. My body hasn’t been cooperating much today as even inside where it’s normally cooler it’s just so hot and stuffy, doesn’t help the brain fog either.

2 thoughts on “ME, Myself and I: Makeup and ME

  1. I’m not coping well with the heat either. I have M.E. And fibromyalgia and during my good times I use quite a lot of make up- still a natural look but I will use all the layers of primer, concealer, foundation, powder and everything. When I’m not doing so good I use a concealer pencil to draw all over my face and quickly rub it in. A tiny bit of mascara and I’m done. I have allergic reactions to a lot of make up so I can’t experiment much without risking a reaction which is why I’ve simplified my make up so much. When I’m having a bad patch I already have so much to deal with that I don’t want even a tiny thing extra in the form of a skin reaction. But I wish it wasn’t necessary. I wish I could go without make up without being told I look sick and tired…


    1. Yeah, skin reactions on top of ME aren’t worth the risk. I hadn’t thought of a concealer pencil for on your eyes, I like the eyeshadow pencils for easy use but they never stick for me so concealer would probably fix that if I used that instead.

      Liked by 1 person

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