Just think of a voice, dripping with a Valley Girl accent, saying, “Like, oh my gawd! I’m so, like, totally NOT going out to the mailbox without my makeup on!” “Oh, my gawd, no! You can’t possibly expect moi to go pump gas without my makeup on!” I think it’s safe to say that many of us know one of those girls.
Skincare is important, I always take care of my skin- but makeup is another story. I can honestly say I have never worn so much makeup as I do now that I’ve been blogging about it. I can’t begin to count the number of times I have gone to the gym, showered, then went to dinner at Chili’s without one speck of makeup. When we’re going somewhere, going to an event, or if I have a giant zit, or something equally nefarious that needs covering, I will wear makeup. Sometimes I wear very little, sometimes it’s full on war paint, depending how much fun I want to have, or how conservative I want to be (Moi…? Conservative…??) at any given time.
Now, to get on with the point- there are generally two types of women (or men) who wear makeup ALL. THE. TIME. The first type is like the aforementioned Valley Girl. Although it would not be PC to assume that all chicas like this are unintelligent, in many cases, it seems the thing they are smartest with is applying said makeup. This girl may wear makeup to attract others in a romantic way, to show off, to feel better about herself, or to compete with others, or she just REALLY likes to look at herself.
The second type is the gal (or guy) who has something she would like to cover- be it imperfect skin, acne, a rash, a scar, or any number of things. We will focus on this type later on, because it’s a whole other matter. But, as for our ditzy Valley Girl, what do guys tend to think of her? I asked our Man Panel what they think of women who absolutely must wear makeup everywhere, even to run errands. Do they think this is necessary? Do they think they are high maintenance? Do they find it annoying? What are their thoughts on this phenomenon?
“In my opinion, makeup should be for interviews or things of importance. Women should be secure enough to do these small things without makeup. If you need makeup for small tasks such as these, then yes, to a degree, you’re high maintenance, and your opinion of what others would think matters too much.”
“I think it varies based on the woman and her confidence that’s been ‘modified’ based on the environment she’s been both raised and resides. Women who absolutely refuse to leave the house without makeup are, in my opinion, just arrogant and high maintenance. Often associated with the same group of girls that use the phrases ‘I can’t even’ and ‘literally’ in every sentence that isn’t literal. You’ll also find they have Instagram accounts flooded with pictures of themselves in dresses with sun hats and a Starbucks cup in one hand (shocking, right?). I don’t think it’s necessary to leave without makeup for places like the grocery store, but it does make sense. Sometimes, for women, makeup is a sense of self-satisfaction. Not for anyone else. It may also be her only opportunity to get out of the house and she wants to make the most of it. If I go shopping at the local market and leave the house in my Armani shirt and American Eagle jeans, it’s not because I think the cashier is cute, it’s for myself. It makes me feel better about myself, and that’s what I care about. I wouldn’t necessarily be annoyed by it, but it’s definitely something that I would take note of based on the environment that I’m in. You don’t need Chanel No. 5, contour, and Maybelline, if you’re doing cardio, ladies.”
“Well, first off, this question makes me want to ask a question: Do women walk around the grocery store, post office, etc., criticizing each others’ makeup in their minds? That’s kind of a disturbing thought. You would think that a grown person could run errands without being so self-conscious that they have to put on an entire face of makeup to face the world. Do they think they are going to run into their dream man and miss an opportunity? If your dream man requires you to wear a full face of makeup 24/7, then maybe you ought to be looking for another type of dream man. Most guys appreciate a natural, maybe athletic look, exercise clothes, hair in a ponytail, no makeup, that’s just fine with us. Plus, if you meet a man in a grocery store with no makeup on, and strike up a conversation, and find out he thinks you’re great, imagine how you will blow him away when he sees you WITH all your makeup and hair done. Don’t be ashamed to be yourself.”
Now, for the second type of makeup wearer, the one who wishes to hide something she feels is imperfect. We all have one of those cartoon moments where we are face to face with someone with a smudge of their lunch on their face, and all we can do is stare at the food. Sometimes, a woman (or man) may wear makeup to conceal something. In that situation, she feels that with makeup on, the other person is seeing her authentic self, rather than a scar or whatever she considers an imperfection. What are a man’s thoughts on this?
“The world is constantly asking us who we are. We go shopping and the clerk wants our personal information in order to put us on mailing lists or send us text messages, and the sum of our identity is often found in the name we were given at birth or the nickname we choose to be called. As with all things, whether it is clothing brands, vehicles, or other commodities we tend to derive a sense of identity from the things we purchase or participate in. Makeup is no exception.
“People wear makeup for various reasons, and some of those reasons are personal and psychological. That girl who never leaves her house before being perfectly “made up”? She’s hiding the acne scars she was teased about all through high school. That older lady you always see adorned with bright red lipstick? Her husband bought it for her, and he died last year. It’s her way of remembering the joy of their relationship.
“Some people wear makeup because they are afraid of being vulnerable, and that’s okay too. In this world we are always being asked, “Who are you?” Some people choose to present themselves with makeup, and that’s how they choose to present their authenticity. If a woman (or man) chooses to “paint” themselves with eye shadow or concealer, it is their choice, and it would be inauthentic of them to not present themselves as they choose to do so under normal conditions.
“This life often presents us with harsh criticisms about our weight, wrinkles, blemishes, and a plethora of other traits, and if a person desires to use makeup to alter their appearance they should be free to do so. Often it’s easier to deflect the critical gaze of others rather than to draw more attention to aspects of ourselves that we are already self-conscious about. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision, and there is no right or wrong answer. Sometimes makeup is the magic that aids people in their personal journey through this life, and if it can help someone to feel more secure and beautiful, then it is powerful magic indeed.”
Ladies (and gents), the Manel has spoken. Hopefully we have all taken away some important lessons from these guys. The heavy, full-on war paint isn’t always a necessity. It’s okay to have fun and play around with different looks. But never forget who you are, whether with makeup on, or with it off, don’t be afraid to be your authentic self. Be you. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
To view the first Man Panel posting, Makeup at the Gym, click here.