‘Do Your Makeup Like Your Meds’ challenge finds the beauty in medication

Twitter users are finding beauty inspiration in an unlikely place: their medicine cabinets.

The “Do Your Makeup Like Your Meds Challenge” is challenging the stigma around taking daily medication by inspiring users to create makeup looks using the same colors as their medicine tablets.

“Do Your Makeup Like Your Meds Challenge – Idk if this has been done before I just think my meds have pretty colors. Yellow is my oral chemo – Tasigna, purple is my anti depressant – Wellbutrin, orange is my anti anxiety med – Klonopin. This the shit that keeps me alive,”  Twitter user Walela Nehanda wrote along with a picture of the colorful array of pills they take and their makeup to match.

Nehanda told the Daily Dot via Twitter DM that they started the challenge as both a way to cope with their illness and feel beautiful while doing so.

“I really love makeup–it’s become this way for me to cope with my illnesses because I can be the one in charge of making myself feel beautiful,” they said. “While diagnosis can provide relief for many disabled people, being on meds is a very hard adjustment to make and to accept the conditions we have can be equally hard. I decided to make a makeup look based around my meds because it was my way of trying to be more accepting…. yea, I’m disabled and yea, these things help me stay alive.”

Nehanda also hopes the challenge will create a safe space for others who use meds to share their own experiences, which are oftentimes neglected and underrepresented in the mainstream.

“When I got diagnosed with leukemia, I never saw anyone online or in the media who looked like me so it communicated to me–maybe my story wasn’t important enough and I’m not meant to survive,” Nehanda explained. “Everything I do on social media is rooted in making space for people who look like me and share experiences like mine but feel like they can’t open up.”

Some users jumped on the challenge, posting pictures of their own meds and matching makeup.

“I had so much fun doing this. Very grateful for my meds and how they help me live,” Twitter user @miaanathema expressed.

For many, their medications are literally a lifeline, helping them survive and thrive–and the challenge is allowing them to express their appreciation. Some of the meds users highlighted help with issues ranging from cancer to depression and anxiety.

“ADHD med, asthma med, antidepressant–because of them, I’m able to feel as good on the inside as I look on the outside,” one user wrote.

Users like Paju Viljami–who participated in the challenge by posting a picture of the nine pills he takes over the course of a day for various health issues–also believe it is a great opportunity to spread awareness about the importance of responsible use of medication in a light-hearted, playful way.

“I just think it’s important to normalize taking medication when you need it,” Viljami told the Daily Dot. “I need to take these medications on a daily basis to be able to function and live somewhat normally and here’s the makeup I did based on them.”

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Tiffanie Drayton

Tiffanie Drayton

Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.