Is Makeup Cathartic?

Alexandra Owens, Allure magazine

We often describe makeup as fun, transformative, and sexy. But in a recent interview with Style.com, budding style icon Felicity Jones used a different adjective. "I like the process of applying makeup," she said. "It's cathartic."

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Her choice of words is unusual, but not entirely unexpected, since I-and I'm guessing a lot of other women-understand exactly what she means. If I'm having a rough day, I always find that sweeping on some mascara and lipstick lifts my mood. By looking prettier, I actually feel prettier.

For you skeptics out there, before you judge me for referencing West Side Story, think of it as the equivalent of taking a walk. When I'm not at my best, my instinct is to retreat to bed, eat the deepest-fried-anything I can find, and stay in my pajamas and bare face. But if I can motivate myself to get dressed and go outside, things rarely seem as bad. I am a better version of myself, whether or not I look in the mirror.

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Does putting on makeup feel like a fresh start to you?


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