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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Don’t get Fenced in

I long thought that a signature look was a good thing. So I created one for myself. I have stuck to black eyeliner, the blackest of mascaras, mega amounts of blush, and a red lip for every look of the past four years. I thought this made me mysterious, sexy, and muse adjacent. The narratives in my head are wild!

I admit that a red lip does make me feel like myself instantly - and I will never do anything out of my comfort zone without a red lip - but it has meant that I have refused things that could have offered a fresh perspective.

This may not be that profound to you, but sometimes shaking things up can really help boost your mental health.

I have over 20 red lipsticks - and yes they are all different - and have several of the same black eyeliner. However, if I think back over the last few months, the makeup that garnered the most compliments was not a big wing and a red lip. Yes, someone stopped me at dinner to tell me how much they loved my makeup. I was bowled over, gagged as the kids on TikTok would say.

So what was it? Well, it was a small - for me - wing, brown mascara on my lower lashes, simple blush, and a nude/rose lip, which you can see in today’s look. Still uniquely me, but not my signature. It made me realise that I had been limiting my growth by imposing a rule, that only I knew about.

Trying brown mascara, shock horror didn’t kill me, and softened my eyes without eyeliner. Less blush didn't make me look any less healthy, in fact, it may have had the opposite effect over the intense red my face normally glows with. This fresh approach to my makeup has also given me the ability to throw a face on in five minutes and not the half an hour to forty minutes my usual routine takes. I am still me without a red lip, hell I am still me without a scrap of makeup on.

The most rigid of rules fence us in. Trying to have a formula that I stuck to served me so well, but of late also stopped offshoots of growth, has limited innovation, and has prevented my skills from growing.

Don’t get fenced in by rules that don’t define you.


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