A Bold Decision – Part 1
* ‘make up’ in this post is mostly referring only to face make up, NOT eye make up*
A couple of days ago one of my best friends came to stay at my house. She lives very far away and I don’t get to see her very often.
She does not wear make up. Not any. Not even on her eyes.
I hope I haven’t caused any fellow beauty bloggers to faint from reading that statement because, I know, it is a bit of a shocker. I couldn’t understand how she did it. We chatted about it for a while before she came to what I suppose was her main point, which hit me quite hard. She said;
“Boys don’t like girls who are fake”
She said it in passing, as a simple statement that didn’t mean to cause much effect. I’d heard it before, I knew it was true. But I didn’t think anyone was actually strong enough to listen to it. It lingered in my mind and I began to consider why I wore make up, who or what for. I realised that it was a little bit habit, and a lot for the opposite gender. It’s obvious really – why would I want to impress any girls with my looks (as you may have noticed, I am not a lesbian. Yet)? I would hope that girls would easily look past that, especially when looking for a friend and not a romantic partner. So, at the end of the day, I wear make up to expand my success with boys.
For a short while, as I have done many times, I managed to convince myself that I needed the make up to actually be attractive and that she was very lucky not to. Boys may say that, I thought, but if they had a look underneath all our fakery they would keep their sorry mouths shut and let us put on our concealer. I assume that most make up wearers have adopted this view.
Then we decided to do makeovers. Because we were having a sleepover and we were (…and still are) girls. And girls on sleepovers do makeovers. I covered her in BB cream and I put concealer over her (agonizingly few) spots and blackheads, her blotchy uneven cheeks and her terrible under eye bags. I gave her blusher but didn’t bother with contour because I generally fail at it. I looked at her face with a growing sense of doubt; I saw what the make up had done. The character of her rosy, blotchy, naturally and indeed sensibly coloured cheeks, the realness of her under eye bags, were gone. Suffocated under smooth colours and textures, covering up her individualities.
Her face was gone. A child’s painting remained.
She was quite intrigued; hooked on the idea of finally having society’s perfect face. She said she liked it, rather mesmerised by her newly discovered ‘beauty’. I however had realised that her true, individual, wonderful beauty was underneath – what she had found was a popular way to cover that up and join the masses.
Who can honestly tell me there is beauty in that?
I told her she looked better without it, convinced her to stay how she was. I hope she listened to me, because I would be devastated if I had triggered her to tumble down this slippery slope. It was then time to do my make up.
Obviously she ha no idea what she was doing so I did all my make up myself. The growing sense of doubt I felt for her was creeping in on me again – did I really look better? Did I just look fake? If I’m honest with myself these thoughts had been at the back of my mind for a very long time. I asked her when I had finished;
‘Do I really look better than before?’
We looked at our sad, painted faces. My mind flashed back to the first thing she said, and it dawned on me that I had been deceiving myself into the easy option of just carrying on regardless. I looked at myself, and I looked fake. Boys don’t like girls who are fake.
I realised that as my face was on the road to ‘perfect’, it was leaving trueness, originality and, yes, beauty far far behind.
Now, a couple of weeks prior I had bought a foundation which turned out to be the wrong colour. I chucked it right to the back of my cupboard behind all my stuff so I couldn’t get to it, because I knew I would forget and use it otherwise and wind up looking like a traffic cone threw up one me. It was a good plan and it worked.
Upon my aforementioned realisation I decided to take a very brave step. I took some make up and threw it to the back of the cupboard. I did it gently, it wasn’t a symbolic killing or anything and I’m fairly sure it’s all completely intact, it was simply so I remembered not to use them. I made it much more difficult for myself to give up and go down that road again. I kept my concealer because I believed that it was a simple and small thing, and I kept my powder just in case I needed to combat my shiny face. I wanted to throw all my blusher and bronzer but most were attached to eye shadows in sets and I still wanted those. I hoped I would be strong enough in mind and in memory to resist them.
I was going to go bare-faced.
“Thank you,” I said to my friend, “For inspiring me to do this”
In part 2 I will recall the outcome of these events.
Thank you so much for reading :)
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November 3, 2014 @ 9:41 am
This is a brave move to make. Although I personally don’t wear make-up for boys, I am glad to see some people embracing their natural beauty.. I wish I was brave enough!
November 24, 2014 @ 8:33 pm
Thanks for the support Sammy :)
November 4, 2014 @ 12:02 am
I’m not sure I agree with much you have wrote in this post, although I respect your opinion. I (and I would hope many) do not wear makeup to attract boys/men/women. I am in a secure 8 year long relationship and my partner very often (in fact most of the time) sees me without makeup and lives me just as much. I wear makeup for myself. To feel I am the best version of myself and because I like colour and experimenting. I also think it depends on the makeup look as to if you are making yourself or others look false. I believe for the most part (unless it is editorial for e.g.) makeup should enhance natural beauty not mask it. I once had a client whose makeup I did who had freckles. I used a foundation that would allow the freckles to show through as I thought they were beautiful. She was not happy. The next time I worked within the team she brought her own makeup and did her own foundation. I refused to do the remainder of her makeup as she had basically caked on her foundation completely masking her face and I didn’t want to put my name to it. Interesting post though xxx
November 24, 2014 @ 8:33 pm
I really appreciate hearing your views on this subject, especially when they contradict or test my own views. I am always open to other points of view to learn from them and, if they seem to overpower mine, adopt them.
I think all the things you have said are valid and good beliefs that you are entitled to, as I am to mine. I only have one thing to say, which is that you said you wear makeup to feel you are the best version of yourself, among other reasons. I feel obliged to question, as the basis of my argument, whether this is a good thing. Surely we should work towards feeling that the best version of ourselves is the natural version? In other words, our true self; how we really are without changing or covering up. Even enhancing to make ourselves look ‘better’ cannot be described as the best version of yourself, as it is hardly you at all. You have felt the need to enhance, make better, and in that a certain love and self-confidence is lost. I believe no one can be content until they have learnt to love their body and their face as it comes, which I also predict will cause a huge self-confidence, self-acceptance and happiness boost. I have a similar view on hair removal incorporating these ideas which I may or may not write a post on in the near future.
I would like to put it out there that I can in no way say I have reached this ultimate aim, and I have great respect for people who have.
Thank you so much for contributing your views,
November 23, 2014 @ 6:01 pm
I find this post really interesting – and I admire that you’ve decided to take a step back from make-up and go for a more natural look. However there are a few statements that make me think that maybe you’ve been a little harsh on yourselves.
“Boys don’t like girls who are fake” – I don’t believe wearing make-up makes someone fake – Like the comment above mine says, it enhances natural beauty along with allowing someone to be creative with their looks. For example trying a new lipstick shade or eye shadow. Red lips don’t turn you into a fake person.
Also… who cares what boys think?! I’ve been with my boyfriend nearly 2 years now and I still wear make up. I wear it because I enjoy it – not everyday, some days I’ll go natural and others I’ll add just a little – but I don’t wear it to impress him… and I definitely don’t wear it to impress any other guys as I’m just not interested..
Obviously I don’t mean to sound rude or cause offence, but if you enjoy make-up and wearing it then that’s great! It doesn’t make you fake at all.. do what makes you happy.. not what you think you should do for others.
November 24, 2014 @ 8:57 pm
Thank you so much for contributing your ideas, I am always open to people’s thoughts especially when they go against mine as I am able to learn.
Your first point I think is a matter of opinion, so I have no reason to contradict you on that.
About the boys thing…that was simply me evaluating why I wear makeup and acting accordingly. Essentially, I wear makeup because it makes me look better. Then I think; Why would I want to look better? I’m content with how I look, so it can’t be for me; It must be for others. Then I try to think of who those others might be, and so far I have evaluated that I have little or no reason to do this for girls so I have narrowed it down to boys. Perhaps if I spent time and effort narrowing it down further I would be able to understand exactly why I wear makeup and act specifically according to this. I would like to do that one day.
I would like to make it clear that I do not think I ‘should‘ do it for others, nor do I feel like I am obliged to do so. I see makeup as a tool in relationship to others. What this tool is for, I have yet to completely discover.
I did not take any offence at all! It interests me far more when people comment things like this which make me think about what I have written, and I encourage people to challenge me.
Thanks again for sharing your ideas :)