Since the lockdown my little family has a new routine; I exercise most mornings, work for a few hours before taking over childcare from my husband, who does his work in the afternoon. Even though I’m not going out, I’m finding that I’m still applying makeup; it’s a part of my everyday routine and it helps me maintain a semblance of normality. Writing about makeup may seen trite at a time like this, but I’m craving light relief. I want to eat Cadbury’s mini-eggs, watch stand-up and wear glitter eyeshadow. I’m usually drawn to darkness; 85% cocoa chocolate, Edgar Allen Poe and true-crime podcasts are usually more my speed. But everything on the news is so worrying and tragic that I need something blithe to get me through the day.

Makeup has always been a part of my self-care routine. No matter where I am in my bipolar cycle, my self-care provides consistency and keeps me grounded. There’s something helpful in the ritual of applying makeup and taking a few minutes for yourself as it can lift your spirits, even just a little. In this period of social distancing and isolation, makeup proves that I’ve shown up for myself, that I still want to look nice, even if it’s just for me. It keeps me hopeful and positive. When I’m ill, my bipolar will try to highjack my identity, but wearing makeup reminds me of who I was when I was well and who I will be again when I recover. And we will recover from this and return to some version of normality. It’s possible that our world will be changed permanently, but things will improve from where we are now. Until that day, it’s important to find those little moments of joy and normality, even if it’s only for your benefit. This can be an opportunity to figure out something you really like doing; a little activity you can build into your day that cheers you up and aids your self-care. Of course, there are days when this isn’t possible and all your energy is dev

When I think of the significance of makeup, I’m reminded of my paternal grandmother who wore red lipstick until her dying day. Cancer had robbed her of everything, but the scarlet lipstick was her way of holding on to her identity. She was a glamorous, funny and vivacious woman and she remained that way, even in death. I love how empowering makeup can be. It’s your chance to decide on who you’re going to be today, no matter what you’re facing.

The featured image was taken long before the lockdown, when going out to shoot a outfit post didn’t seem so strange.

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