• Makeup is something that has existed for so many decades and it has had so many meanings to not only women but men as well.
• Not everyone will look at the makeup industry in a positive way, but we also need to understand that times have changed.
Why do you need to cover your face with all that makeup? Are you insecure about your face hence the need to cover the natural you?
These are some of the many questions men and even women ask ladies who wear makeup and in case you thought you were just asking a sincere question, you are wrong.
Makeup is something that has existed for so many decades and it has had so many meanings to not only women but men as well.
We all have different mentalities about makeup, but at the end of the day, why do we all have different opinions about it?
Women wear makeup for so many reasons. They have been bashed and criticised so many times about it but do you know why an individual has chosen to wear makeup?
Lisa, 32 * has been wearing makeup since she was 20 years old and all this is because she has been battling acne.
As she explains to me why she opted to turn to makeup to cover her scars, she seems very confident and happy about her decision.
"I have been bashed so many times for wearing makeup not from only men but women as well. I have battled acne for years and when the products I was using weren't clearing the acne, I opted to try makeup since it would cover the scars."
She says she had a hard time learning how to apply her makeup right since she was just a beginner having not worn makeup in her entire life.
"I had to watch tutorials on YouTube so as to understand how it's done. It was quite a hustle because watching the tutorial is not the same as doing it practically.
"The first time was just a mess and I could feel my college mates looking at me weirdly. They would speak in low tones, pointing at me and making funny gestures, but that did not break me because I was the only who knew why I had to wear makeup," Lisa said.
Maria, 24* has worn makeup for 15 years and she says she's totally okay with it and doesn't need anyone's approval.
"I wear makeup because I want to and I feel confident. I was never the type of person to wear makeup. The first time I wore makeup was during my cousin's wedding and everyone thought I looked good. Their compliments really boosted my self esteem and I came to understand that there's nothing wrong with wearing makeup as long as you wear the right shades," she explained.
When asked if she would ever stop wearing makeup, she said that it depends with where she'll be at that time.
"You can't wear makeup forever. It will get to a time you will be less bothered by it and go for a more natural look. One thing I keep telling people is to embrace the now before they think about tomorrow."
As for Achieng, she wears makeup because she's not comfortable with her appearance. She was involved in an accident when she was 14 years old after a pot of hot water fell and burnt her face.
"People look at me and say that I look weird even after wearing makeup, but most people don't know what I have been through. When I was 14, I tripped while in the kitchen and landed on a sufuria with hot water.
"All the water poured on my face and I sustained serious injuries on my neck and face. The healing process was quite long but eventually the burns healed. I have never been confident enough to walk around with a naked face filled with marks from the burns. That's why I opted to wear makeup so that people don't keep asking me why my face looks a certain way," Achieng narrated.
She added that she has faced a lot of criticism especially when it comes to her dating life.
"Since I wear makeup all day, most people can't tell if my face has burn scars. So when I meet a guy and I have to remove my makeup, they always freak out. I remember a time I dated a guy and he said he will accept me as I am but when i wiped the makeup off, he almost jumped out of the window.
"He claimed that I had deceived him by wearing makeup yet my face was not as perfect as he had thought it would be. Since then I have been sceptical about dating guys and showing them the real me," she said.
And how has that affected her?
Achieng says she has learned to accept that society will always judge her even though it does not know why she wears makeup.
"At this point, I really don't care what anyone says about me wearing my makeup because strangers will never understand what I have been through to a point I had to turn to makeup to gain my confidence back or rather to feel beautiful."
When it comes to men's perspective about makeup, Xavier* says that he came to understand why most women prefer wearing makeup.
"I once dated a chic who was so into makeup and she couldn't leave the house without even doing her eyebrows even though she was going to the shop.
"In my eyes, she was so beautiful without makeup and I didn't mind her bare face, but she had this idea in her head that she is way more beautiful when she wears makeup.
"At first I couldn't understand why she was so insecure until later on when I learnt that she was following what society says about women," Xavier said.
He added that he had to look for ways to convince his girlfriend that she was beautiful even without wearing makeup.
"After talking for a while about the same issue, she understood where I was coming from. I was not blocking her from wearing makeup. I just wanted her to feel confident in her own skin and she has made some progress when it comes to self confidence," he adds.
Wambui* a makeup artiste said that she receives clients with different issues and she has to find a way to figure out how to help her clients.
"The makeup world has been criticised for years but there are reasons why people turn to makeup.
"I have had clients who have told me they don't like their face structures and would prefer if some makeup was/is done to hide their flaws.
"When it comes to a personal decision, there's not much you can do to convince someone about something," Wambui said.
She said that she loves her job and making people feel good about themselves is what she strives to do everyday.
"I fell in love with makeup since I was young and when both women and men come to me and ask me to for a face beat, I'm always happy that they have confidence in me to give them the look they want or rather going for.
But one thing we all need to understand is that there is nothing wrong with wanting to wear makeup. It doesn't have to be because you are hiding your scars or acne. it can be for fun or experimental.
In addition, I earn from being a makeup artiste and the fact that I have a child and I'm a single parent, I have to work extra hard so as to make sure that my child has everything he wants," Wambui explained.
Kenyan singer Avril once asked online users to stop being harsh on people who wear makeup.
Having previously faced backlash over allegedly poorly done makeup, she said some people wear makeup to cover their skin.
"Stop shaming girls and guys going through the ups and downs of having problematic skin who choose or want to wear makeup," she said.
We have always followed what society portrays as the right thing and forgotten to be confident in our decisions.
Not everyone will look at the makeup industry in a positive way, but we also need to understand that times have changed and "every man for his/her own and God for us all."