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I Started Caring

Elling writes because she doesn’t sleep so well. At night her brain walks down winding little streets, collecting winding little words, question marks and colours from gutters, windows and alley cats. She draws too, but her art doesn’t always say what she wants and she left her pens at Fluff in 2018.

By Ellen Jenkinson, January 27, 2019

I Started Caring Image

I’ve never had a particularly complicated relationship with makeup.

I have always felt a little “meh” about it. When girls were watching tutorials on how to contour I was just blending my mum’s makeup into my skin with my fingies. If I am being honest and without ego, I probably thought this blasé attitude was kind of cute, maybe endearing? I dunno. But I realised pretending not to care was just as bad as caring too much. I was pitching to people that I didn’t give a shit about my face or my care of it when in reality I did, and I should. It wasn’t “cute” to clog my skin with crap. It wasn’t “endearing” to use products that were fucking the world, even just a little bit.

My skin is the house I live in and I don’t go pouring canned tomatoes all over the carpet of my flat, so why was I treating my face with such disrespect? It wasn’t about needing to wear more or less make up, although I do now wear significantly less and am extremely happy about that (cya orange face imprint on someone’s white shirt when I hug them hello). It was about choosing better, making informed decisions; being informed. Why spend $9.95 on some sparkly bullshit from a discount bin when I could choose art, chose a message, support a message and better yet, be part of a message? I started to see my money as a vote, every time I spent it I was voting for what a product was saying and I didn’t want to vote for “barely there” looks that are definitely fucking “there”, or for “a natural glow” that was created in a studio with thousands of dollars’ worth of lighting and hours of post-production editing. I didn’t want the little people I nanny, these girls who looked up to me, to think that their face needed to be covered, that their pimples were unnatural, or their cheeks should be altered with a 72 colour pallet to create an angle that just isn’t the way their bones angle. I didn’t want to tell them they needed to look like this new breed of “Instagram” faces, the ones that look like they were all born in some weird little pocket of the world where noses are pointy and narrow, where eyes are sultry and rounded, where cheek bones are high and could cut a loaf of bread and where skin is without pores, lumps or bumps. It’s just not real.

So, I started caring, I started learning, and not about how to apply makeup better, or to create a certain “look” but about how to choose better, about how to not fuck the world, how to be real and with that, came feeling better about the skin house I live in. I felt fresh, well looked after and clean. And of course I have days where I feel like a dogs breakfast, where the dimple I thought was cute last week now makes me think of cellulite on my face, or where I think I am losing all my eyelashes (I’m not) or when my eye brow hairs seem to be having their own little dance party I wasn’t invited to (boy can they dance). But that’s real. And I chose real and I think that’s real great.  

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