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The Connection Between Makeup and Mental Health

By HERWriter
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Mental Health related image Photo: Getty Images

She said makeup added more negativity to her experience with an eating disorder.

“There is a common deception rampant in people with eating disorders. As odd as it sounds, there is a belief that our looks can change drastically from hour to hour,” Huntely said.

“There are times when someone with an eating disorder or body-image issue will perceive themself one way in the morning, and by afternoon, feel that they are seeing something completely different in the mirror. Make-up added to this deception for me. I can remember in high school, checking my make-up many many times per day. If it wasn't just right I believed I looked ugly. If the make-up was alright, I felt at peace. I would go back and forth and back and forth about this.”

“Of course, I was in the midst of an extreme eating disorder, so this was just one of many behaviors that were a result of deception and fed into the deceptions I lived by,” Huntley said. “I had mastered ways to alter myself, and make-up was just one of the ways.”

Overall, she said that it’s a matter of balance with makeup.

“There is a healthy balance to achieve. I don't think make-up is evil or bad,” huntley said. “It's important to be okay in your own skin with or without make-up. There's something special about trying to look our absolute best and adding make-up to accentuate our features. There's also something equally as special in being confident enough with yourself to not ‘need’ make-up.”


The Renfew Center Foundation. Email interview. Feb. 7, 2012.
Kleinman, Susan. Email interview. Feb. 15, 2012.
Phillips, Michelle. Email interview. Feb. 15, 2012.
Huntley, Angela. Email interview. Feb. 14, 2012.

Reviewed February 16, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.