In my youth I was experimental with makeup, but as an adult I settled – as most people do – into a pattern. Everything was anchored around red lipstick. I wore foundation, two different concealers, brow gel, mascara, blusher, and a touch of highlighter and shimmering eyeshadow every day.
As a staunch feminist, I was confident that I did all this for myself, not anyone else’s pleasure, so I reasoned that working from home wouldn’t change my relationship with makeup. It didn’t quite work out like that.
After just a few days, I had abandoned everything but the lip. It wasn’t that no one saw me except my nearest and dearest. In fact, I was more visible than ever thanks to seemingly endless Zoom calls. And it wasn’t that my skin was markedly better as a result of staying home. The stress and lack of sleep were causing eczema, hormonal breakouts and dark circles that a raccoon would envy.
A lot of it came down to the explosion of usual routines – not least, having nowhere to go. Applying a full face of makeup to commute three steps to my desk seemed faintly ridiculous and, anyway, what did time even mean? As Faz Gaffa-Marsh, a writer and digital marketer puts it: “My days all fused into one – there was almost no night and day during the circuit breaker (CB) – and I rarely went out.”
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