Make-up has always been magic, here’s how you can harness the power for yourself
Welcome to Witch Week, a campaign dedicated to exploring how witchcraft, magick and beauty intersect. Discover photo stories shot featuring real witches in NYC, a modern reimagining of the witch, and one witch’s mission to get a tan, as well as in-depth features exploring herbology, science and alchemy, and male witches. Elsewhere, we’ve created four special covers to celebrate the campaign and our one year anniversary – something wicked this way comes.
The spell is cast before I leave the house. I have decided how my day will be. Accompanied by music, my beauty routine takes a theatrical turn. It’s a ritual, a ritual for confidence, for beauty, for carrying a mood and atmosphere into the day ahead. It’s a symphony of scents, colours, vibrations.
I wash my face with rose water and witch hazel, for cleansing. Perfume with essences of earth, jasmine and rose, to carry the scent of allure and also to ground me. I ingest tinctures with gold and red jasper, for divine connection and eros. A Jade face roller to raise my vibration, uplift my mood, and improve my circulation. Coloured and crystal-infused eyeshadow and lipstick with different associations (Red for attraction, Green for luck, Pink for beauty). Finished off with a spritz of sage hydrosol and setting spray, for protection.
The care and thought I place into this ritual, ripples out threefold into my day. I feel sexy, magnetic, and powerful in my divine feminine power. My beauty ritual is self-expression and a way for me to be deeply intimate with myself. Creating a look is a form of spellcasting, invoking an aura to wear. It’s armour, a guise of power, and grace. It’s your magic.
In fact, ancient witches believed the act of altering one's appearance was witchcraft. The origin of the word ‘glamour’ comes from the Scottish gramarye around 1720, a glamer (or glamour) is considered a spell that would affect the eyesight of the beholder, making objects or people appear beautiful or fascinating. The Folklore of witches using illusory charms stretches across fairytales and myths alike, from sirens to old crones bewitching their observers to adopt a younger, more sultry appearance.
“It’s common belief amid the New Age witches that using positive language, which is simply vibration, to describe our outward self can implement change on the physical.”
Such rituals and practices would have been passed down with extreme secrecy and care, through the medium of ‘Grimoires’ or spellbooks, particularly after the practice of witchcraft was made an offence punishable by death. These ancient spells would primarily suggest the use of honey (for everlasting life) and roses (for beauty and love), as well as other earth-based ingredients combined with intention and the circulation of energy through the body. Cleopatra was said to have bathed in donkey’s milk, honey and roses, to give her a youthful allure. The usage of make-up and ritual began with the Sumerians and thereafter the Egyptians, who used the earth’s pigments in homage to the beauty of the gods.
Even today, modern-day witches believe one can alter their appearance using visualisation, mantras and even make-up. It’s common belief amid the New Age witches that using positive language, which is simply vibration, to describe our outward self can implement change on the physical. The esoteric philosophy of Wicca, “As above, So below” indicates that everything happening outside of ourselves is also happening inside. This implies that the outward appearance works in tandem with the inner state, and in invoking your highest vision of self, it can seep out to the physical.
But is it real?
If you told the inhabitants of ancient Egypt that we have the technology to change your hair colour within a day or contacts that could disguise the colour of your eye within minutes, surely they would think it was magic. Modern day make-up is a controlled glamour, a way to conjure a kaleidoscopic variation of personas, feelings and appearances. Although once considered manipulative ploy of smoke and mirrors, the act of a beauty routine is a deeply intimate one – a way to conjoin and connect with yourself. It is a way to merge your inner state with your outer one.
A GLAMOUR RITUAL FOR DIVINE BEAUTY
You will need:
Bowl of Rose Water
Regular beauty/make-up tools
(Make-up with crystal infused and natural ingredients is best, look for things with jasmine, roses or rose water, quartz, honey, geranium, etc)
Leave a bowl of rose water under the moon overnight.
To begin, sit cross-legged in front of the mirror, with the rose water. Practice breathing into your belly, circulating your breath around your body. Place your hands over the rose water, palms outstretched. Visualise your highest version of self in the region between your eyebrows. It shouldn’t be drastically different from how you already appear, and could even be unrelated to changing yourself, perhaps even just a happier or more confident version of self. Once you have a clear image, describe your desired image in present tense, theatrically, into the water.
Ex: “I am a magnetic, spectacularly unique, elven queen, with cobwebbed lashes and eyes of gold.”
When you have finished, wash your face and palms with the rose water. Place palms outstretched facing the mirror, and imagine magenta light seeping out from your palms onto your face, dousing your mind and body in beauty.
Continue with your regular or desired beauty routine, and commit this image of self to memory and conjure it up throughout the day. Repeat daily until you see results.