One in ten women refuse to let their partner see them without makeup
50% of women would much rather have some makeup on than not
One in three women will not be seen in public without makeup
So says a poll by Superdrug of 3,000 women, reported on by Yahoo’s Shine. Yahoo isn’t my favorite information source, but my mom sent me this article and said, “blog?” I sometimes still do what my mother tells me do.
Superdrug is a makeup supplier. I’m sure they want women to want to wear makeup. I imagine them on the phone with survey participants, going, “So how weird and ugly would you feel without ANY makeup to cover your pimples and wrinkles? Really ugly, right? I mean, who wouldn’t? Yeah, that’s what I thought.”
But even if Superdrug told women they’d win a thousand lipsticks if they answered that they would kill themselves on the day they woke up to no makeup in the bathroom cabinet, makeup is still a big deal. And women definitely do feel like they can’t live without it. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I’ve talked about it for No Makeup Week, and when I tried to figure out if I had a beauty routine, like Beauty Schooled.
I’ve gone through phases of trying to wear makeup, failing hilariously and dramatically, and giving up. I had a little on at my wedding, but seriously, it was a little. I think some lipgloss and mascara.
But no matter how bad I am at remembering to care about makeup or applying it when I do remember to care, I know that I live in a world of women who are makeup experts. Who will not go outside without a lot of it on their faces. Or who wear it creatively, as a part of their outfits. And so I have to keep writing about it, when articles like these are sent to me by my mom, because I have to keep trying to understand. And I have to keep being surprised all over again, that this is even a thing.
I thought about it being a thing when I walked by Sephora in Times Square the other day. Every time I see that place, I can’t believe they need such a big store for such tiny merchandise. I mean, really, there is no good reason to have a choice of 22,000 different sticks of eyeliner. I got overwhelmed in Duane Read, when I decided to buy some mascara (mine was several years old and had given me some sort of weird, weepy allergic reaction the last time I used it).
(this actually frightens me. source)
Just how feathery was I looking for my eyelashes to be? How suggestively dark? What shade of black? Charcoal wing? Bold ebony? Darkest midnight? Each sleek vial claimed to do something magical. “Thick, voluminous, truly intense lashes, this mascara plumps each lash to maximum fullness.” My eyelashes had the potential to be truly intense. Part of me couldn’t believe I’d let them miss out for so long, at minimum fullness.
Bear, who looks miserable after two minutes in any store that doesn’t sell food or computers, was behind me, holding the water bottles we’d come for. He reached into the pink fray and plucked out a tube of mascara.
“This one,” he said. “This one is great. I love the way you look without makeup.”
“Yeah, but you’ll love me a lot more when my eyelashes are intense.”
“I doubt it.”
The mascara looked exactly the same as the last one. It didn’t make my eyes swell, though, so that was good. I wore it for three days in a row. And then once the next week. And then once two weeks after that. And not since.
(this one is very upfront about how magical it is. source)
Makeup is a habit. You have to wear it enough to get used to the way you look in it. I hear it can be artistic and fun. I’m jealous of the women who have fun with it. Every time I wear it, I feel like I just put on a tiny red dress. Like I’m doing something obvious and provocative. I feel naked with it, walking in crowds of women who feel naked without it.
Sometimes I think it says a lot about the world that men don’t (for the most part) wear makeup.
Sometimes I think it says a lot about the world that most of my friends don’t feel like they have to wear very much of it, or any at all.
Or that I see women without makeup every day.
Or that Sephoras are sprouting (lumbering) up everywhere, and they always seem to be full of customers.
Or that the average woman reportedly spends $13,000 on makeup . I’ve heard much higher estimates, too.
Or that makeup is marketed like this: “Put a lot of this on your face so that you can be the confident, independent woman you know you really are!” A Superdrug (how creepy is that name, by the way?) rep quoted in the Shine piece says, “Wearing and buying cosmetics is not about vanity. It’s about giving a woman confidence to succeed in every area of their life.”
I feel pretty confident already, actually.
* * *
Un-roast: Today I love the my hair feels when I touch the back of my head. It springs up under my fingers. It always looks good messy. Actually, I just discovered that I can give myself Wolverine hair! How cool is that? This is a long un-roast.
New post at Un-schooled, about how I wasn’t one of those homeschoolers who gamed the system.