Out in public with a naked face

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.

53 Comments »

Kate on January 20th 2011 in beauty, being different, new york

53 Responses to “Out in public with a naked face”

  1. JJgal responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 11:26 am #

    I thought of you and Eat the Damn Cake instantly when I read that very same article today. I wish so badly that I could feel confident, or even a little bit okay without makeup. I’ve been going without wearing it for a few days as a kind of experiment. And I hoped I would feel liberated(? – haha) but I feel awful, un-done, naked, and anything but confident. I actually find myself wondering what people think of me that I could leave my house without it. Does she not care? Wow, she’s “letting herself go.” Is something wrong with her that she can’t take a few moments to try to look decent? And this one is my “favorite”… thinking that I must appear to have some kind of mental disorder for not “caring” about how I look, or drug habit because of the dark circles under my eyes. I know, a little much, but that’s where my brain goes. Funny thing is, I bet THEIR brains don’t go there far as much as I think they do. And if they do, how is that my problem? My little experiment has been quite interesting. I’m trying to look in the mirror at my naked face and love it, but I’m not there yet.

  2. Tiffanie responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Hi – found your blog through an unschooling discussion list. I have savoured it, bite for bite, like a rich piece of flourless chocolate cake. Body image and self-love are issues very close to my heart. I appreciate where you’re coming from.
    Keep Enjoying!

  3. Tiffanie responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 11:35 am #

    @JJgal- I think makeup wearing is very much a habitual thing, and also cultural. I have at different points in my life, worn makeup and earring everyday, and now am in a no-makeup several year stretch. You get used to the way you look without, and I have actually started staring ( when they’re not looking) at women in makeup and trying to imagine what they look like without! Also, I live on the west coast, having grown up on the east, and found a stark difference in the amount that women out here *don’t* do before they leave the house in the morning. IMO, refreshing. I have been a performer, and actually have fun putting on makeup for theatrical and artistic affect, but these days when I’m not on stage, I’m loving my natural face.
    i have yet, however, to accept my naturally dark brown hair; I keep finding myself reaching for different colors/shades to boost my self esteem. Go figure! Ah, the multi-faceted ideals of Beauty!

  4. Mandy responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 11:48 am #

    You’re right about wearing makeup–I have to get used to it, and the way I look in it. When I was in my early twenties, I wore makeup regularly: eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. The lipstick got saved for special occasions, because my first husband was basket-ball player tall, and I couldn’t hug him without getting it on his shirt. That, and I had to constantly reapply it. Gradually, over time, I wore less and less. It took time in the morning to put on, and was annoying to take off before I went to bed. By the time I was going through my divorce, I was down to eyeliner and, if I was feeling adventurous, lip gloss.
    I remember when I got married to my current husband, I had to buy a whole new set of makeup for my wedding, from foundation on up. And I had to practice putting it on, because I’d lost the knack. I remember throwing it all away, mostly unused, a couple of years later.
    And then, I started reading about all of the questionable ingredients in makeup–known irritants, or worse. I started the search for eyeliner, lipstick and mascara with more benign ingredients. (Which are darned expensive!)
    So now, I rarely wear any makeup at all. The last time I made an effort, was at a friend’s wedding–and it took a lot of work to make it look natural. I find I don’t like how I look in mascara anymore, and if I decide to wear eyeliner, I only line the top lid. I carry lip balm instead of lipstick or lipgloss.
    I like the way I look without makeup. And my husband, bless him, doesn’t care either way.
    Un-roast: I love the way the grey in my hair looks like spun silver in the sunlight.

  5. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    @Mandy
    Love hearing your makeup journey!
    And the un-roast is awesome.

  6. Erin responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    I am a eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara kind of girl. As far as foundation/powder/blush….not my thing. I had tried it once and didn’t like the way I looked, it didn’t feel like me. I’m not bound to wearing makeup. (I think I get it from my mom. She’s gorgeous, no makeup required :D ). Some days I don’t feel like it other days I feel like playing around with it (Love the smokey eye look).

    My only real requirement when leaving the house, Carmex.

  7. Deanna responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    I think women look better in makeup unless they are very young or naturally beautiful. I don’t wear a lot, but I do wear lipstick and eyeliner every day unless I am sick. I look dreadful without lipstick..I’ve even had people ask me if I am sick when I am perfectly healthy just because my lip shade wore off.

    Why not wear makeup? It’s not bad for us or at least I don’t think it is. If it helps make us feel better and look better…why not? I never really understood why some women choose never to wear it. It’s sort of a throwback to the 70s feminist schtick that thought anything that was beauty enhancing was somehow bad for women and against The Cause.

  8. lisa responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    thanks, really enjoyed this. :)

  9. Alex responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    I’ll be 32 tomorrow and I haven’t worn makeup since I was about 22. I used to believe in high school that I was ugly if I didn’t wear makeup (and I hate that these cosmetic companies push that ideology on for profit). I wore it every day and wouldn’t leave the house without it. However, in my late teens and early twenties I would get a lot of whistles and hollers from guys when I would be walking down the street or stopping for gas. To be honest it made me feel really uncomfortable and unsafe.

    Also, as a woman in the IT field, I found early on that too many of my male colleagues could only think of me in a sexual way and would never take me serious as a professional in technology. That’s when I decided to try an experiment and quit wearing makeup and straightening my hair on the weekends. It was amazing that that the whistles and hollers at the gas stations and while walking down the street went away literally overnight! Slowly I stopped wearing makeup to work too… first it was foundation/powder, then eyeshadow, then mascara, then the eyeliner. I don’t ever regret that change; I feel safer in my own environment because I’m not ogled by guys and I there has been a huge difference in the way male colleagues at work perceive me.

    On a side (and funny) note… In Arizona our drivers licenses are good for 40 years (no typo there). After graduating college, I had to get my drivers license changed from Idaho to Arizona. And it just so happened that I got my photo taken and drivers license issued in Arizona about 6 months before I quit straightening my hair and stopped wearing makeup altogether. I had only had the drivers license for maybe nine months when I went into a convenient store to buy something and decided to pick up a lottery ticket. Arizona had just changed the gambling age to 21 and I got carded. The young man (I’m presuming he was at least 19 because the store sells alcohol) looked at my drivers license, then looked at me, and had the audacity to say “well those days are long gone”. I didn’t say anything, but I’m sure he could feel my loathing for him at that moment as I gave him the nastiest glare I could muster all the way out the door!

    Anyway, I look back on that now and laugh… whatever… I don’t have to please anyone but myself. And I like myself au naturel. And bless his heart, so does my husband (even though he knew me before and after the change. :)

  10. Ashley responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Very interesting post. I usually wear a modest amount of makeup. Too too much but not plain jane either. I feel comfortable either way though.

  11. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    @Deanna
    First of all, I don’t like the idea that some women are “naturally beautiful,” and the rest of us aren’t. Beauty is too variable, in my opinion, to rank so simply.

    I don’t think women shouldn’t wear makeup. Or that makeup has to be a political statement. Not wearing makeup isn’t a statement for me. I just prefer not to wear it, and am also bad at putting it on. Like I said in the post, I’m jealous of the women who are good at it. It looks fun.

    But it’s also worth examining, when women feel they can’t live without it. Because that’s a pretty serious statement. And since wearing makeup is all about “improving” your appearance, I think it’s important to talk and think about why women feel that their appearances need constant upkeep and improvement.

  12. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I was intensely skeptical about $13,000/yr. It’s actually $13,000 in a lifetime. Typo?
    At any rate, that’s still a huge chunk of change. I actually spent $0 in 2010 on make-up.

  13. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    @Samantha
    Eek! You’re totally right. Thanks for catching that. I fixed it :)

  14. Ellie Di responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    I always feel like I’m doing something to stand out and be noticed when I bother to put on makeup (which, these days, is usually for my LARP group). Almost never wear any. When I do, though, I like to try to be a little dramatic and creative with it. I think it’s kinda fun, yanno? But I don’t “need” it. And it freaks me out a bit that some women wake up and put it on, not taking it off until bedtime, even if all they do is stay in the house.

  15. Me responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    My first year out of college I worked as a substitute teacher. Girls in the 4th through 6th grades thought I was pretty cool, and would sometimes hang out in groups during recess.

    I got in the habit of not wearing makeup when assigned to this age group. I just didn’t want to add to the idea that it was a requirement for grown women.

    And these stats are just sad! The last time my husband gave me a not required “you look pretty” was a day I was wearing a white t-shirt, pull on skirt, hair pulled back, and NO makeup.

  16. justine responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Great post Kate! I hate that any woman would feel that she needs to wear makeup. I’ve known women who never wear it and others who can’t leave the house without it, but I hope in both situations it’s that particular person’s choice. Not letting your partner see you without makeup sounds incredibly stressful and also like the relationship (or individual) must have problems elsewhere—I mean how do you hide your *face* from your partner??

    Putting on makeup is cathartic to me, I find it creative and fun too. Some days I do crazy things with my makeup and some days I don’t wear any at all. It’s a matter of preference, just like the clothes you put on your body and the way you wear your hair. I’ve never looked at a women not wearing makeup and thought “she’s not trying”, I just figure it’s how she feels comfortable.

    I guess the thing is, if you don’t like makeup don’t wear it. If you do like makeup, wear it, but either way don’t do it because of what anyone else thinks. :)

  17. Christin@purplebirdblog responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Working from home for the last almost 8 years made me get over makeup. My mom started letting me wear makeup in middle school, and I too got to the point where I couldn’t leave home without it. My mom would always say, “Never leave without at least a little mascara and lipstick, you never know who you’re going to run into.” I’m so glad I don’t need it anymore. I often go to the store or run errands with not a drop on my face, and when I do put any on it’s a powder foundation. That’s it. No concealer any more. No blush. Every once in a blue moon I’ll wear a light eyeshadow and mascara, but long lashes brush against my glasses and that’s annoying. I think I’m pretty without it, and it’s nice to not be a slave to the mirror everyday.

  18. lyn responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    It IS worth examining when women feel like they can’t live without it. Because I can’t, and I have a suspicion that my reasons are both different from and the same as others who feel like that, too.

    I wasn’t very aware of myself or my looks when I was younger. I never wore makeup almost all the way up through college. I didn’t know how to put it on, and I didn’t care. But then year after I graduated from college, I walked into a Sephora and asked them to show me how to put it on. This was also around the time I started using products in my hair and trying to learn how to style it. A far, far cry from the old days of rolling out of bed, putting on clothes, and walking out the door. But I was learning about myself. I was growing. I had shrugged off a bad long-term relationship and I was trying to like myself again. Or like myself for the first time, even. I was trying to find ways to make myself feel pretty, because I never had when I was a kid.

    Now, it’s so strange — these days I feel like the fussy one when I’m around other women. I was visiting friends this weekend, and I was amazed that they could just shower and go. Me? I had to put on eye makeup and blow dry and style my hair. I had do. I don’t feel like myself without it. Even when we go camping and we’re surrounded by similarly unwashed, unbeautified people, I can feel my confidence level bottoming out. Because my getting-ready routine is inextricably tied to the parts of myself that make me feel the worst: my eyes and my hair. When I was in third grade, I went through this phase of anxiously picking at my eyelashes, and they never really grew back. I can’t stand how sparse they are without makeup. And my hair? It’s very fine, thin, and limp, and looks awful if I leave it untouched. I’m so embarrassed about these things, and I always feel a pang of yearning when I see others with thick hair and lashes — they can go without eyeliner and hair product and look gorgeous.

    My eye makeup and my hairdryer are my crutches. They are what help me hobble past negative feelings about myself. They help me feel more confident. Without them, I feel like I’m that shy, awkward, goofy-looking kid again.

    I wish I could let them go. I don’t know yet that I can.

  19. Leslie responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I remember so clearly my parents telling me that I had *finally* grown up because I had some makeup on my face (at my sister’s wedding). It was fun to wear it for that day (it felt like “dress up”), and it made my sister very happy to have someone do my makeup, so I thought of it as a gift to her. But, I also remember asking my parents why it didn’t make them happy that I looked in the mirror every day and simply liked what I saw (and that my husband felt the same way!) and didn’t want to change it. Didn’t THAT make me a grown-up?

  20. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    @Leslie
    Well said!

  21. B1 responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I wear make-up when I go out on the town, for special occasions, for interviews, etc. I don’t wear it daily to work though. I have been blessed with great skin that doesn’t have any blemishes and even at my eyebrows, the skin is lighter making it look like I have make-up on without actually wearing any. I have known girls that have birthmarks across their faces, issues with acne, pox scarring, and other issues, and make-up made them feel comfortable in the world so that people wouldn’t stare at their ‘imperfections’.

    So, where do the issues really come from? My opinion is the media… or man is more accurate. Men ran most of the companies and they sold women a bill of goods of what some man considered beautiful. In today’s society, that is starting to change, but women do not take to change very easily where their self-esteem is concerned. Foundation, originally for those with skin issues to cover, became a standard for ALL women to look ‘flawless’.

    Everyone’s skin is different but the only thing that is similar is its need for water. We can wash, we can moisturize, we can peel, we can botox, we can face lift… but because we have been sold a bill of goods that says, ‘you aren’t beautiful unless you’re flawless’, women wear make-up. Make-up that can dry out your skin, that doesn’t allow your skin access to the sun to produce needed nutrients, that clogs your pores and that may make you look flawless for a while… and then will make you cringe when you take it off.

    I like my imperfections, that no one else notices but me.
    I like that I get compliments about my skin all of the time.
    I like when I tell people that water is my drink of choice and their next comment is generally, ‘that’s why you have such great skin’.

  22. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    @B1
    What a good ad for water! You actually made me thirsty!

  23. Elizabeth Bartley responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Interesting.
    I am a blue eyed blonde that has “no” face without some make-up. I have noticed in multi ethnic Houston that the girls in middle school wearing the make up are the blue eyed/blondes. The darker haired/complected girls aren’t so much. I frequently go out without make-up but sometimes I will catch a glimpse of myself and go “uggh”. Mostly because I am in my fifties and now without make up I just see my father’s face staring back at me. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a handsome man still at 88 but I don’t really want to look like a handsome man. But- a little lip color, a little mascara so my actually-pretty-long-but-translucent eyelashes can be seen- that can make my day.
    I have teenage girls and they LOVE make up- play in it, with it, experiment. And then they go out and play soccer like little demons with their hair in big pony-tails on top of their heads and not a stitch of make-up on. And you know what? They are absolutely beautiful either way!

  24. B1 responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Oh, one other thing… I like the imperfections of others too. It is our imperfections that make us unique and make us stand out in the world.

  25. Sona responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    I think makeup can sometimes be empowering for some people in a very weird way. When I got my diagnosis for PCOS and hypothyroidism, I definitely got depressed. My body will never be the same, no matter how much I diet or exercise. I went through some traumatizing months – months where my hair fell out because of the fluctuations in my medications. It took me a few years to find ways to make myself feel perky and happy when some days I was just very sick and tired with my whacked out thyroid.

    It took me awhile, but I realized that I have some beautiful features – so why not show them off – even if I don’t and never will have a “better” body. I have long eyelashes, thick eyebrows, pretty lips and perfectly straight teeth (and no braces). For years, I was bashing myself every minute (and still do it) for a medical diagnosis that I couldn’t take away, and now, I just try to live a healthy life and show off my pretty. Sometimes you need an exercise in ego to get back your self-confidence.

    Also, I have a very loving husband who was dating me before and after this, and he has never not told me a million times a day about how beautiful he thinks I am. However, I have a secret. The attention of men or even my husband isn’t what makes me feel good about myself – what I feel about myself makes me feel good about myself. Honestly, you could tell me I’m beautiful everyday, but if I don’t believe it, it doesn’t matter. So for now, I’ll be wearing lipstick everyday. I didn’t wear makeup for years, but now, I’m just really enjoying it.

  26. rachel responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Today I decided to put on make up. Not just the squirt of tinted moisturizer and swipe of mascara that I do once or twice a week, but the whole shabang – powder, blush, lipgloss, eyeliner, shadow, mascara and brow pencil. Every month or so I think, ‘Hey, I own a bag of this stuff. I should use it.’ It took about 5 minutes.

    I then spent the next half hour on my drive to work looking in the mirror rubbing at my face, blending, closing one eye at a time to check for smudges – very unsafe.

    How’s that for a reason not to wear it? ;-)

  27. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    @Rachel
    Hilarious.

  28. San D responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I think makeup is a personal preference, and one shouldn’t be judged for using or not using makeup. Nor should one worry about being “addicted” or perhaps “less confident” because they wear it or don’t wear it. Geeze, as women we can be very judgemental on the silliest of things. When recovering from chemo and cancer I wore it just to get rid of the perpetual green look of my skin. Being that I have rosacia and am heat sensitive, sometimes I would wear it so that I wouldn’t look flushed all the time (with an SPF which also shielded my skin from the sun). I am actually good at applying it, minimally without the mask effect. My generation has gone from full on makeup to the hippie stage of no makeup, to now where we are older, to light makeup or no makeup. I don’t wear it anymore, because I am rarely out in the sun without a hat, or am not at work anymore where a perpetual flush would alarm anyone. I chuckle though at men’s responses to makeup. When asked they generally (from my informal survey) say they prefer their women sans makeup. Then, if you ask them to point out a woman whose skin they think looks great, they will always (again, my informal survey) pick out a woman who wears makeup (women know these things). Cracks me up.

  29. Liz responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    I’m completely addicted to lip gloss. Lipstick and chapstick don’t have what I need—it’s the feel. My lips feel so soft with lipgloss, and I feel dry without it. It’s not necessarily the aesthetics of it. Now having said that, I am also a big fan of foundation. Not where you put it everywhere, and your neck and chest is a different color of your face. No. They type that covers up my rosacea that I inherited from my mother. Once, someone told me that my mother looks like an alcoholic because of her rosacea. Umm excuse me. Did that person just say that!?! How rude. (I hope my mom never reads this.) When I put foundation on that area of my skin, it amazingly feels less itchy and irritated. I’ve tried medicine. It doesn’t work for me. Also, I have to admit: I like playing up my features with makeup a little. =) I think it’s okay to like either way – no makeup or makeup.

  30. JJgal responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Just thought of something funny. A few years ago, when I was working at my last job, we dressed up for Halloween at work. Our patients got a kick out of it. I dressed as a witch. Did my makeup as usual, but put on some very dark lipstick (a deep, purple-ish berry shade – too close to black for me), thick black eyeliner and too much very dark purple eyshadow. You wouldn’t belive how many ppl told me, “Wow. You should wear eye makeup more often” or “you look really great today.” Really? It was a Halloween costume, people. I wish I could attach the pic here but I don’t know how. It did not look good. It looked like Halloween.

  31. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    @JJgal
    I wish you could attach the pic, too! Maybe just send it to me, if you have a moment, since I’m now dying to see.

  32. JJgal responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Just sent it. It’s not THAT over the top – I’ve seen way wackier Halloween makeup, but the situation struck me as odd and made me chuckle.

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  34. Tabs responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    This is something I struggle with too. I go back and forth between wanting to wear make-up (which for me consisted of mascara, and then, this past year, lipstick) as a way to add a funky, subversive punch to what I wear, but then I felt like I was just doing what I was supposed to be doing because I’m a girl and eventually, I got too used to my face IN make-up that I was weirded out by it without.

    Now I just don’t wear any. Sometimes it’s too exhausting to try to figure it out.

  35. Miriam Martin responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Wow, “Superdrug” is a TOTALLY creepy name for a makeup distributor! There do seem to be some women out there who use their fashion, hair and makeup obsessions in creative ways – to make a statement about their individuality. I’ve often thought, I wish I had the time, energy and money to commit to “that look”, but it really does come down to “time, energy and money” for me, and I just can’t rationalize the expenditure when there’s so much else out there to be done and enjoyed. Oh well.

  36. Just Josie responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    1) Wolverine hair sounds fabulous!

    2) Superdrug is indeed a very scary name.

    3) It blows my lobe when enforcers of the Beauty Industrial Complex — capitalists — try to tell women it’s about EMPOWERMENT. Har! No, it’s not! When has capitalism EVER been about the well-being of the people? Getting diseased from all those chemicals is most certainly not my idea of “empowering”. Being told you must wear/do something and that when you do you’ll feel all empowerfulized (I realize that this is not actually a word) isn’t, well, empowering. But I don’t blame women. IBTP instea.

    4) I’m like you in the respect of “feeling naked WITH makeup”. People occasionally tell me that I must be so confident to go without, and I’m always kind of flabbergasted by that remark. On the contrary, to actualyl wear it would make me feel very un-confident. Also I think it would feel like a layer of grime and muck on my face, and I like for my face to breathe. I like for my pores not to be clogged up with stuff, lol. With that said, I have plans (in one and a half years, because then I’ll be seventeen) to do a blog project called, “It’s Fun to be Seventeen! (Or is it?)” in which I live for an entire year according to Seventeen Magazine’s guidelines, adhering strictly to their rules of teenage girldom. I think it’ll be a little soul-crushing, to be honest. I’m inspired by Jamie Keiles’ one-month project. : )

    5) This is a little bit off-topic for the post, but on the topic of Yahoo — have you seen this article on Shine? I threw up a little. My main points of concern were 1) why are you in a relationship if you can’t communicate? Isn’t “no, sorry, I’m not in the mood,” enough? 2) Throwing a bottle of saline solution on your bedside table just seems so… sterile and, and chemical and cold. :s 3) Why are you with this guy if he’s just going to flop over and go to sleep if he thinks you’re crying?! and 5) Why do women still need excuses to not consent to sex? A “no” will suffice, thankyouverymuch!

    I hoped it was satirical, but alas, no…

    It’s blog-worthy stuff, it is. ;)

  37. Just Josie responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    *instead (Stupid sticky keys! >.<)

    Also, I realized that silly me forgot the link! Oops. Here: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/crocodile-tears-the-new-get-out-of-sex-free-card-2438603

  38. camelshoes responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    I am always surprised that this is a thing too.

    I would love to see a pic of your hair styled like wolverine!!!

  39. Tamar responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    What I think is interesting is that makeup is required professionally even if it does nothing for your self-esteem. I have been assured as such by many people who know what it takes to get hired or promoted, etc., and they all agree that it is unprofessional not to wear makeup. Not just to the interviews, but to work every day. Not just business people, but teachers, doctors. Not wearing makeup has become the equivalent of a man not shaving. Pretty crazy.

    I wear makeup to work every day, and never in my apartment. Let me tell you, should you need to buy mascara ever again, this one http://www.maybelline.com/Product/Eye/Mascara/the-colossal-volum-express.htm is the only one you should ever need, and it’s bright yellow so you can pick it out fast if Bear is with you haha. It even washes out in the shower so you don’t need makeup remover. (I’m even more annoyed by the idea that I should have to make a ritual of taking makeup OFF as well as putting it on.)

  40. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    @Just Josie
    Oh wow. Shine is an awesome source of relationship advice. I try not to react, but articles like that make me furious practically every time. And yes, GOOD QUESTION– why indeed are you in a relationship if you can’t communicate?

    (There are actually a lot of answers to that question, but none of them make the situation good for either party.)

  41. Kate responded on 20 Jan 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    @Tamar
    That’s helpful. Especially the bright yellow part and the washing off part. I agree– the whole taking makeup off thing is way too much effort. I think I might be incredibly lazy, but I still reserve the right not to have to spend more time in the bathroom every night than it takes to brush my teeth thoroughly.

    And that’s exactly right– for so many women, makeup is required in the workplace. As though it’s a tie. It makes me uneasy.

  42. Wei-Wei responded on 21 Jan 2011 at 3:32 am #

    Last year in freshman year, my friend always wore makeup (eyeliner, whatnot) and she has been since middle school. This year, she comes to school everyday with a naked face, and I have to say, she’s a lot prettier and more natural. She’s a lot more bubbly this year too – I don’t know if that goes hand-in-hand?

  43. Sarah responded on 21 Jan 2011 at 7:10 am #

    Superdrug is a high street pharmacy/Walgreens kind of shop here in the UK. I can remember a friend’s younger brother thinking we’d been buying illegal drugs when he saw a carrier bag from there! Dodgy name indeed.

    I enjoy makeup and tend to wear tinted moisturizer (basically invisible but seems to take some of the super-pink out of my completion), some mascara (due to otherwise invisible lashes) and really bright red lipstick. I love the punch of such a madeup lip on an otherwise pretty bare face. However, I’m totally fine with going out sans make up, especially at weekends. A few weeks ago I needed a replacement for the tinted moisturizer and so ended up having a different brand applied for me. The sales lady asked if I had any makeup on already and when I told her no she commented on how brave I was! I realise that this might be damaging if you felt there was something wrong with how you look but I just found this hilarious. Brave? No, just relaxed and a bit lazy today! How sad is it that going bare faced like most men is seen as brave?!

  44. Janell responded on 21 Jan 2011 at 11:37 am #

    I’m totally with you. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn makeup in my 24 years. It’s not that I think it’s stupid or un-feminist or anything, I just didn’t ever start wearing it. I can also relate to feeling naked when I do wear makeup. Even if it’s something small, like a little mascara or eye shadow, I feel completely noticeable and not myself. It’s weird. The closest thing to makeup that I wear everyday is my Burt’s Bees chapstick.

    P.S. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but have never commented. So…hi.

  45. Kate responded on 21 Jan 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    @Janell
    Hi! Thanks for commenting!

  46. Suzanne responded on 21 Jan 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    wow. okay look. i am 38. i am a mom of four kids. i am 5’3″ and weigh 185. i am, for all intensive purposes, fat. and my husband prefers the slim athletic type. and my mom was verbally abusive. she told me all the time what a piece of sh!% I was. so clearly i have issues with my physical self. i have been working through all my issues and am feeling better. not all the way better…but damn close. and reading your blog (especially posts like this one) is soo inspiring. i cut off all my hair many months ago. i made the decision to not wear makeup. and trust me, i looovvveee makeup. i enjoy playing with it and admire makeup artists who create amazing looks with it. i’m just too damn lazy to bother. and i want to let go of the whole body image thing. i want to know that i am enough just as i am. i am embracing all of my…as is. so i appreciate your liberating approach to things. i feel MORE powerful showing the world ME. and honestly, after giving up on doing what i THOUGHT others wanted from me and listening to my own ideas and thoughts about what i should be…i’ve managed to let my inner awesomeness shine. i know it’s cliche that women over a certain age stop caring about what others think…but i do believe that if you work at it and grow as a person you realize that all that matters is who you are. real true good people don’t give a darn about what you look like; they love you for WHO YOU ARE. Thank you soooooo much for reinforcing what I’ve begun to believe about myself. You are truly an inspiration and one of a kind. :)

  47. threegoodrats responded on 22 Jan 2011 at 10:38 am #

    I love this! I’ve always been awful at makeup. I have no idea how to apply it correctly. I own a little which I put on for special occasions, but it makes me feel like a child playing dress-up. Makeup seems like a fun creative outlet (like clothing) but it makes me sad that so many women think they need it. Sometimes I envy women who are good at it, but I can’t be bothered to learn myself.

  48. Deanna responded on 22 Jan 2011 at 11:01 am #

    I am really impressed that so many women on here don’t wear make-up. I know it can’t be most women since the cosmetic companies do make a lot of money and like someone posted, Sephora is always crowded.

    I tried not wearing make up the other day as I had just read all the posts and I thought I’d give it a try. I took one look at myself in the mirror before running out the door and realized I looked pretty sad. I have fair skin with a hint of olive and no color at all on my lips. My eyes are okay…although with some eyeliner I do bring them out more, but without lipstick I look drab. I put on a bit of color…and I was fine. I am motivated now to use less…but there is no way I will feel attractive without my eyeliner and lip color.

    Also…it’s true about make up and work. When I had a corporate job they told us we had to wear professional looking makeup. One of my co-workers objected to this but she finally gave in. She would have lost her job if she hadn’t agreed. This was awhile ago so I figured things may have changed, but maybe not.

  49. Deanna responded on 22 Jan 2011 at 11:03 am #

    …one more thing. For those of you who say you can’t apply makeup. Try using mascara. It’s so easy. Just brush the wand on your lashes. The only really hard thing in make-up is eyeshadow and blush. There you need to understand color and contouring, but everything else is pretty easy. Even a sheer lip gloss adds some color to your face and you just put it on. Very easy.

  50. Cyndie responded on 22 Jan 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I love makeup. Two summers ago I decided to stop wearing it and didn’t wear a lick of it. That was weird. I started to feel like I was wrong if I WANTED to wear makeup.

    Gradually I started wearing it again. I go in phases. Sometimes I go dramatic with eyeliner, sometimes I wear only mascara. When I wash my face at night, I sometimes hide my face from my boyfriend. But he always tells me how beautiful I look, fresh faced AND with makeup. I like that.

  51. Emmi responded on 15 Mar 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    I did a lot of theatre back in the day and am a fair hand at applying stage and effect makeup (age, character &etc). I can also do a dandy beauty makeup. Times I’ve worn makeup in the last 5 years: once. My wedding. So I’m with you on this one. Fun, but kind of silly to me. My skin is also ridiculously sensitive so I try not to anger the epidermis demons overmuch.

  52. maria responded on 18 Mar 2011 at 12:52 am #

    There is a substitute for makeup . use petroleum jelly for replacement of mascara and lipgloss and good cream to even out skin tone (but i realized eyebrow makeup cannot be replaced but if you have good eyebrows use petroleum jelly for stray hairs . This did great on me . I used to wear makeup because of skin marks but i managed to get rid of it

  53. Eat the Damn Cake » all of the things that are killing us and our unborn future children responded on 12 Sep 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    [...] Our hand soap. Our diet soda. The bottles it comes in. [...]

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