I like makeup. I don’t wear it all the time, but when I do I like the way it makes me feel. When I was a kid we belonged to a church that did not allow makeup. We were members of The United Pentecostal Church. We also could not cut our hair, wear jewelry or pants. Around the time I was 14 or so I started really being curious about makeup. I’m sure that my discovery of Madonna had something to do with this. We were not supposed to watch tv or listen to the radio but occasionally I snuck and did it. I thought I was so rebellious, now I have to kind of smile when I think about my minor sins. I was almost kicked out of the UPC school I went to for trying to get by with clear nail polish. When I was feeling particularly rebellious I would sneak on some blush or lip gloss. They did not notice that too much, but we sure heard tons of sermons about the evils of being a Jezebel. I just could not understand how having shiny fingernails would cause a man to fall into sin. That made no more sense to me than how seeing my upper arm would cause a man to fall. The reality is none of the UPC holiness standards kept me safe from being molested by one of their ministers. The UPC church is riddled with sexual misconduct. All of the sermons about how evil everything is seems to only feed a hunger for it.
When I left the church one of the first things I did was start wearing makeup. It was a way to experiment with different personas. The church was all about making all of the women look the same. I knew that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted freedom and I wanted to be able to express myself through my clothing and makeup. As I was putting on my makeup the other day I thought of how much the act of putting it on was a symbol. A symbol of freedom and individuality. I also thought about how much I use it as part of my magickal expression. My primary deity is Morrighan. When I am trying to embody her my makeup looks different than usual. I use makeup as armor. I wear my makeup in certain ways when I want to be left alone or when I feel I need extra shielding. I may add jewelry to enhance the effect. If I had to name the look I am going for when I want to carry Morrighan energy, I would call it Crow. Dark eyes, hair down, crow pendant and dark lipstick. You can also use makeup as ritual prep, to help you prepare to shift consciousness.
Isn’t funny how something that seems so ordinary to most people can take on a special meaning? Most people would not see the significance in applying makeup. For me, it symbolizes my freedom from an oppressive faith and god. It represents my ability to choose how I present myself and that is really meaningful.
As a side note, I have used makeup to invoke elemental characteristics as well. I’m happy to help if anyone has questions about this part of my practice.