Deep within this exploration of the psychological impact of wearing makeup, I found myself face-to-face (or rather, screen-to-screen) with Oludara Adeeyo, who recently authored a book about Self-Care for Black Women. Adeeyo is also a psychotherapist and a psychiatric social worker based in California, where she assists individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as mental illnesses. In her experience, makeup can facilitate healing, which is a slow and non-linear process. It’s a starting point.
“Many of my clients have experienced trauma—whether it's childhood trauma or the trauma of being homeless as an adult. And with trauma, there is this feeling of loss of power,” says Adeeyo. “You know something happened to you that was out of your control, and to get that sense of agency back, you need to create a safe space for yourself in order to move forward with healing,” she explains.
“Makeup can be a great avenue to begin creating that safe space for someone. And it’s relatively accessible to people, especially when you compare it to most other things. Putting on makeup can also serve as a form of art therapy, in the sense that it allows for self-expression and a way for you to regain control through the application itself. You get to decide exactly what you’re doing in that moment and how you're going to do it, and that is empowering,” says Adeeyo.