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ADHD & Makeup: The Struggle is Real for Women with ADHD
There are lots of experiences that having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can amplify in both boys and girls 👖 👗. However, one cannot argue that while ADHD is not a gender-based condition, differences between men and women still exist.
For instance, reports say boys are prescribed with stimulant medications earlier than girls, and that girls often go undiagnosed until adulthood. From dating to maintaining relationships and even getting over breakups, a woman with ADHD can go through a lot. But, aside from the interpersonal connections we have to keep, our struggles may also include challenges dealing with personal hygiene and the complicated relationship with other girly stuff, like makeup 💄.
Neurotypical people may think due to our ADHD we might always make things complicated - even if it’s just makeup or skin and beauty routine in general. And while we don’t always have difficulties with them, there really are some struggles 🙁.
Puberty, ADHD, and Skin Care Routine
Everyone goes through puberty, and everyone needs to deal with the biological process of transitioning from a girl to a full-grown lady (or its counterpart in the male gender). The puberty stage can be overwhelming for adolescents because many changes can happen to their physical attributes and mentality. 🤔
In ladies, there are changes in the physical appearance wherein our bodies grow more prominent and rounder. We must go through monthly periods and the mood swings that come with them. There are also times when pimples and acne begin to show up because that's part of the puberty process 😨.
Imagine going through these overwhelming changes and having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as well (lucky for you if you are already diagnosed.) I bet it can be an even more dizzying experience! 💫
Having undiagnosed ADHD during my teenage years taught me a lot of lessons. One of those that I was forced to learn was taking care of my hygiene, especially my skin. I went through a lot of bullying because my face was overwhelmed with pimples and acne, hence my lack of confidence even during my early adulthood 😢.
As a child, I was not even a big fan of skincare routines and the chemicals I needed to put on my face 🤦. But I realized that as I grew through that era, I needed to take a moment to develop my skin care routine to deal with the “flaws” (well, they are part of life, but yeah) and avoid the stress that comes with them. I found some helpful tips online and from my friends on which items are good and which are just a waste of time.
It Started with a Simple Face Mask
My complex relationship with makeup and having my beauty routine started a week before an important event that I was obliged to attend 😅. Everyone was getting ready for that specific gathering and looking forward to putting their best foot forward (AKA, being presentable and even attractive). I remembered the morning I woke up and faced the mirror. I couldn't control my emotions and began screaming because three huge pimples decided to group up on my cheeks 😨. I began to believe they'd be gone a few days before the event.
Guess what? They did not.
As the anxiety was getting the best of me, I decided to head up the beauty products section of the shopping store 🏬 and found way too much stuff to try. I grabbed a full face mask whose advertisements always played on the television and decided to try it out to eliminate my problem and save myself from being judged.
The face mask I bought helped me, somehow. It lessened the appearance of the acne quite quickly, but I experienced dry skin and needed to find the perfect moisturizer for my face. Then, I started researching and trying out different items that were good for me, depending on my skin type. That's when my love-hate relationship with my makeup routine began.
The Difficulties Some People with ADHD Experience with Beauty Routine
As I aged, I became fond of buying makeup and trying different beauty routines because it is soothing 💄. Routines like putting on a face mask, applying a moisturizer, and wearing makeup have already become a habit. I refuse to relinquish them despite my ADHD symptoms because I know their benefits so well. Makeup became something that made me feel good about myself. Still, I have to experience the difficulties of having ADHD when following my skincare routine.
Time Blindness and Being Late
Putting makeup on is always at the top of my list of reasons for being late. I often miscalculate the time I allot to finish applying my makeup ⏲️. I feel that my routine will only last for a couple of minutes, but it can take as long as an hour. I sometimes concentrate on it, forgetting I have an important matter to attend to.
When we cannot realize the time we have, it can affect our schedule and other people's, too. I can't just tell them I was late because I had to stick with my makeup routine - it would be unprofessional, so I'll end up lying and telling them another alibi.
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Hyperfocus on Countless Video Tutorials and Makeup Reviews
I can watch an hour-long video about makeup tutorials and spend almost a day checking out different product reviews 📱. I often get sidetracked from my goal of finishing a task and find myself getting hooked in the world of beauty. I know (but I often forget) almost every makeup stuff and how to apply them because I have watched many related videos about them. Which product is best to moisturize your skin, how many palettes are there on a specific brand, and what color of eyeshadow to wear that will go perfectly with your green-eyed feature?
My hyperfocus on these beauty routines and products related to them can provide answers to every question. However, I wish I could concentrate more on other stuff besides skincare and makeup 😞.
Hyperactivity and Fidgeting
When I am in a rush and don't put on my makeup according to my ritual, I expect myself to have many restroom breaks later to fix the situation. Worse, if I cannot redo my makeup, I won't be able to focus on what I am doing and start to touch my face often and fidget 😨. I won't be able to concentrate on my work, and the anxiety will kick in more.
My hyperactive ADHD brain will always tell me that I didn't stick to my routine and there's something wrong with it. I'll often ask my friends if I look good or if there's something flawed with my appearance. I'll become more conscious of myself and worry that people will judge me.
The funny thing is, I am currently looking at my lipstick across the room, which is far away from where it was supposed to be. One thing that makes me annoyed is I have way too much of this stuff, but I cannot manage to keep them in place 💢. I didn't know they were misplaced until I saw them or remembered that I had bought them.
I am now trying to find ways to keep my makeup and other beauty items organized by grouping them by kind and according to the frequency of use. However, as I try to use them while moving, I tend to leave them scattered around. For other people, it may just be a visual clutter, but for me, it’s a manifestation of my ADHD.
The ADHD Impulsive Makeup Buying
Watching the tutorials and advertisements of different makeup brands makes me think about them constantly. I have to admit that there are also moments when I go out of my schedule to buy something from a specialized shop of beauty products 🏪. I never intend to use them as I still have plenty of that kind on my kit, but the satisfaction I get in purchasing them is comparable to the feeling of buying something I have wanted for a long time.
I know that sometimes, I often go overboard and engage myself too much with these hobbies. But as I struggle with too many things, the relief I get from my impulsive purchases is priceless (even if sometimes I have to spend lots of money) 💸. I am also starting to understand my condition better, find ways to manage it properly, and get out of the deep trouble I am in.
The ADHD Extremes
It is quite funny when I exert too much effort and plenty of hours for my skincare or beauty routine. However, there are times when I won't put on any makeup for days when I don't feel like doing them. Getting up and brushing my teeth 🪥 on other days can even be problematic. I find it weird that I can start making the perfect make-up look by focusing on it entirely, while on some days, I'm an expert in procrastinating, and I'm fine being blank and bare.
My beauty routine can also fluctuate depending on my mood. There are days when I feel pampered every morning when I wake up and apply my favorite skin products. But I think there are plenty of moments when I wouldn't like washing my face at night because I am too tired to move.
These Struggles Can be Part of ADHD
Some things in life become more complicated because of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Many people may not experience the same difficulties, but it's okay: people not experiencing your struggles doesn't make yours less valid 👌. Remember that each person has a unique ADHD journey. What's important and helpful is focusing on what makes you happy and making ADHD more manageable.
If skincare routines and make-up kits calm you down and can save you from depression and other effects of ADHD, then go for it. But when these things contribute a lot to the stress you experience, maybe tone down a bit.
ADHD is complicated, and I'm still trying to manage it properly. In the process, these little things (like beauty routine) help me find a way to cope with it as much as possible. It may not be perfect, but at least I am taking steps to ensure that I take care of my mental health. Sure there are challenges along the way, but I think that's part of our neurodivergent condition. We have to accept them and form better outlooks in life.
ADHD and Make Up: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are people with ADHD fond of applying makeup or having a beauty routine?
There’s no direct connection between ADHD and fondness for makeup and beauty routine. Since makeup can be calming, some people with ADHD may like them. Likewise, since wearing makeup can come with challenges, others may not be too fond of it.
What ADHD symptoms affect makeup and other beauty routines?
Several symptoms affect makeup application. For one, time blindness can make one apply makeup for a long time. Hyperfocus may make them fixate on video tutorials and brand reviews.
Will interest in makeup fluctuate when you have ADHD?
Even if you don’t have ADHD, your interest with makeup might fluctuate from time to time depending on the situation. For instance, if you’re tired, you might not put too much effort or skip it altogether. When you have ADHD, the fluctuations may be amplified due to the symptoms or traits. For instance, one might fixate on their makeup when they feel anxious because they don’t want to be judged.