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January 23, 2013

Makeup Vs. No Makeup

Photo credit: Bouncing Light

   I was watching an episode of Katie Couric's show a few weeks back and she had author Phoebe Baker Hyde on the show discussing her book, The Beauty Experiment: How I Skipped Lipstick, Ditched Fashion, Faced the World Without Concealer, and Learned to Love the Real Me. Phoebe swore off all beauty for a year to outgrow the fantasy of feminine perfection and find a spot where she felt comfortable. This meant she gave up makeup, jewelry, salon visits, and new clothes. She also cut her hair short in a men’s style.

   On the show that day, Katie wore no makeup and asked audience members not to as well. Katie wasn't comfortable being on the show without the makeup at all. Katie discussed how society has influenced our belief system on makeup. The show demonstrated the results of an experiment. It filmed an actress, dressed well and in makeup, as she stood outside of a store and asked people for directions or to borrow their phone. Many stopped to hear the actress’ request and most let her use the phone and even made small talk with her. Later the show recreated the scenario using the same girl, this time without the nice clothes and makeup. Almost all walked by ignoring her. One man dialed the phone for her and many just said, “No!” when asked to borrow their phone.

   This prompted me to ask my female friends on Facebook if they wear makeup and, if so, why. Also I asked the men if they think women should wear a little makeup or none at all. Since the statistics say women spend $12,000.00 a year on beauty products and services, I wanted to ask around. My friends are pretty diverse and many said they wear a little makeup. Most said mascara and lip color are a must. Many said they like to cover their skin imperfections and like how they feel wearing it. One friend said she looks like crap without it and that made me laugh. The men replied saying a little is good. They like lip gloss. One male friend said, “It should complement women’s features much like a tie does to a suit.”

   In my career I have had female clients say, “My other half doesn’t like it when I wear makeup.” Is it that or are they scared I will make them look like a clown? Could it be when they put on makeup, they look like a clown? Or is it that their other half is just a clown? All joking aside, I think as women we do need to find our HAPPY spot. No makeup can cover internal scars. No makeup can hide unhappiness. We have to find that center, as Phoebe did, then use makeup to enhance our features.

   In society, many prejudge a person before they know them. Perhaps a gal has on too much makeup just because the lighting is bad in her bathroom. Limited makeup may be because the inexperienced girl doesn’t know how to apply it, so she opts out on any. In my profession, you wouldn’t want to see me looking like a hot mess and then trust that I can make you look amazing. This is no different than going to an interview in dirty jeans and t-shirt and expecting to be taken seriously. So I guess we are influenced by looks. If you find you dislike makeup, it is OK! I am sure your personality will compliment your look. If you do love makeup, set aside a budget and have fun wearing it.

Photo credit: Doug Treiber

1 comment:

  1. I've experienced this first hand, it's totally true. When I worked as a cashier at the local mall, I'd wear foundation, mascara, and lipgloss. I thought it was so subtle that no one would notice if I skipped a day here and there. Customers treated me with less respect and less patience every time.

    I also think that we're taken more seriously if we're wearing makeup while shopping at most department stores. Great blog topic!