I’m going back to basics on this post. When it comes to wearing makeup, there are two extreme (but related) opinions out there. The first is that: a woman isn’t fully put together until she has “put her face on”. The other opinion is that “Women who wear makeup are insecure or shy and use it to feel better about themselves.” *
The idea that a woman “puts her face on” in order to feel complete, is something that recently came from a representative of a well-know independent beauty consultancy. The sentiment is potentially damaging to our self-confidence. It supposed that makeup is a mask that a woman puts on, like armor, in order to hide or protect herself. Makeup is not about ‘fixing’ you or ‘making you beautiful’. Certainly, if you don’t feel you are beautiful in your natural state, makeup alone will not fix that for you. I recently saw a boring film in which one of the female characters (heavily made up eyes, tons of foundation, dark lipstick) comes face to face with herself after being labeled a ‘whore’ by her ex-boyfriend. As a symbolic gesture to show that she finally accepts who she truly is (not a whore!), she wipes the “mask” off her face and smiles at what she sees underneath. But makeup and self-acceptance don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Don’t get me started on the association between whoredom and heavy makeup.
To the other related opinion is that makeup is oppressive, something we put on for the benefit of others, not ourselves. Often women who adopt this opinion simply can’t be bothered with makeup because of the overwhelming number of products that are out there; false promises on some product labels; and advertising campaigns that makeup us feel incomplete without a medicine cabinet full of products. Sometimes feeling overwhelmed by the beauty industry can lead us firmly into the I can’t be arsed camp.
Makeup is about reflecting on the outside the woman that you are inside, or the woman you are working to become. No amount of foundation or eyeliner will cover up unhappiness within. In other words, when you feel beautiful, you are beautiful! A good appearance shows that you care and respect yourself. In turn, others will have great respect for you. Of course it is possible to respect yourself without making yourself look good, but when you take time to pull your appearance together, it makes an undeniable difference in your interactions with your colleagues, friends…strangers even!
We live in a world where we make first impressions every day—consciously or unconsciously. Mere seconds is the amount of time it takes for someone to make a judgment about who we are. That’s before we even open our mouths! So we should take 5-10 minutes before leaving the house to make sure that we are accurately projecting who we are. Makeup is for enhancement, not covering up. All you need are simple tools, a few products that are right for your skin, and confidence in your abilities. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it is we who are the beholders.
What’s your take on why we wear makeup?
* recent comment left on a beauty blog (not mine)