SK-IN: Make Up and Mental Health
As mental health remains a heavy talking point within society, suicide continues to plague the UK, especially upon young people. Suicide rates of girls and young women hit a record high in 2017, while it is the leading cause of death for young people in general (especially men aged 20-34). While 1 in 4 people in the UK will deal with a mental health issue each year, depression and anxiety is undoubtedly the most predominant problem. While these issues are being brought to the forefront of media discussion by celebrities and other recognisable platforms, those that are suffering still struggle in their search for a coping mechanism.
Whether it be anxiety (feeling unnecessarily nervous/worried to disproportionate levels, causing panic attacks) or a severe case of depression (feelings of despondency that diminish self-worth and the ability to function), all of us - even those that are relatively well and content in their mental state - need things that help us to cope with the strain of stress, and the perpetual issue of self-confidence.
While there are a wide range of unique triggers that cause people to feel uncomfortable with who they are, being confident in your appearance is a stepping stone towards a stronger sense of self-worth and being able to express yourself.
The Power of Cosmetics
At SK-IN, we believe in cosmetics as more than just a means of impressing others or enhancing your allure. Beauty products are a craft, a skill that can be developed and utilised. Over recent years, there have been articles by acclaimed outlets such as Vogue where people have bravely revealed their battles with mental health issues, and further indicated how make up in particular played a significant role in their recovery.
To explore this idea, that something as seemingly trivial and supposedly superficial as make up, could in fact instigate drastic improvements on the wellness of someone’s mind, we spoke to a freelance Make Up Artist to see how she personally relates to the matter, as well as her overall opinion.
Shaunna is a 21 year-old Make Up Artist & Eyelash Technician based in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. She currently works part-time as a Marketing Executive to support her independent business.
With the help of online tutorials, she began teaching herself beauty procedures as a teenager while she was a Dance/Broadcast student at Birmingham Ormiston Academy. She then took a course in make up off her own accord to advance her skills, however, due to her struggles with anxiety, she rarely put her skills into practice as she felt constantly judged and was short of self-confidence. Her high levels of anxiety forced her into being homeschooled for some years; causing her to lose interest in cosmetics almost entirely. But as she developed throughout adolescence, she eventually sought help.
She benefited from the professional assistance, alongside refocusing on her passion for make up. She states that, while she will always have a voice in the back of her mind telling her that people are judging her, as she’s matured she’s found it easier to ignore. During our conversation, we tried to explore how her love for make up helped restore confidence and resist anxious thoughts:
When did you first realise cosmetics had an effect on your mental health?
“I think because of the worry I had always had about other people’s opinions. With makeup it can feel like everyone is so judgemental about what you do and how you do it - if your contour is too dark etc. So I feel quite early on it affected me, and that’s the reason I stopped almost instantly.”
How has make up influenced your life for the better?
“I feel, now I’m older, and understand my issues more, make up has helped in so many situations. My younger sister suffers with autism and we both share a love for make up. She does drag makeup and we both can be so creative together. It’s brought us both closer, and helped us in gaining confidence.”
What inspired you to use make up in a professional capacity?
“I think, because I knew I loved doing it, and I saw people living their dream daily doing it. I thought why not. I took a full plunge - quit my job, started working part-time to make time for clients, and I’m really enjoying it!”
What would your advice be to people who don’t know a lot about cosmetics?
“I think probably to not be scared to try. Someone who doesn’t know a lot about makeup may discover a passion but they are probably too scared to try. It’s all about trial and error!”
Is there anyone in particular that you’d recommend learning from, either about make up or mental health?
“I have such a supportive family, so I learn mostly from them!
P Louise is such a great person to look at, she built her career from nothing and she is great!
Holly Boon is someone on YouTube who gives me so much advice and makes me feel so calm! She is amazing! I think for both mental health and makeup she would be your girl.”
What type of product has the biggest effect on your self-confidence?
“Foundation is a big one. I feel like if it doesn’t cover a spot or redness I feel so low, or if I put too much on it makes it look worse. It’s a no-win. Until you accept the skin you’re in, I feel like any product can actually cause a negative effect.
If I feel down, when I do my makeup I always love to put a pair of false eyelashes on. They give me so much confidence!”
For more information on the cosmetics we supply, or for help and advice, please contact us.
For him, her, everyone.