Monday, June 21, 2010


When ever I become unhappy with my life, I start doing three things: I lose my desire to eat anything but junk food, I get this sudden urge to move somewhere else, and I start wanting to wear makeup. The appetite thing is easily explained by the food-serotonin link; the moving thing has to do with a desire to run away from my problems; and the makeup thing is just bizarre. Sometimes I think it's my subconscious saying, "I'm pissed off—here's the war paint to prove it!" Or maybe it's just another desperate bid for change.

In any case, I never actually do it--but since I'm constantly arguing with myself about whether it's time to give in and purchase a tube of mascara, I think it's a good time to make my stance on makeup perfectly clear.

I don't object to makeup. In fact, for most of my adult life, I had a reasonably respectable collection of it. However, I threw it all out a couple of years ago, when someone I was in love with told me I didn't need it. I wish I could say I've never looked back, but I do. Frequently. Especially during those times when I want to start wearing black and run away to New Mexico to eat cheesecake all day. It's just that, all things considered, I think makeup is something better left unworn.

Like so many of the other things I shy away from, I believe makeup breeds dependence. According to my book, makeup is something you should wear for decoration. That's why my collection of old had nothing practical in it such as foundation, but mostly consisted of an assortment of colorful eyeshadows. However, for the average female who has graduated from 7th grade, makeup is something you put on to make you look beautiful.

You understand the distinction, right? According to me, makeup is something beautiful you wear. According to convention, it's something that alters the perception of what you are. For those of us who are naturally beautiful (*bats long, luscious, unpainted eyelashes*), such artifice is completely unnecessary. But those who buy into the belief that makeup can make you beautiful soon find that they only feel beautiful when they're wearing it. And when they're not, they feel ugly. Thus they are forced to wear it all the time to keep up the image they've established for themselves. I choose to keep my face looking plain, because if people get used to seeing me with my natural look, they won't think I look like a corpse when they see me with my natural look!

Of course, there are other reasons (mostly having to do with laziness) that I choose not to paint my face. I'm pretty happy with my ability to get ready for work in 15 minutes every morning (and that includes styling my unmanageable mane, which will be  a topic of later discussion), and I don't see why I should slow myself down with unnecessary preening. Nor do I see why I should have to go through the hassle of washing it all off every night. I don't put soap on my face, period, and I see no reason to change that.

And then, of course, there's the simple argument that wearing makeup is actually counteractive to most of my goals. I maintain that makeup makes you look more gorgeous—only if you're already gorgeous to begin with! For my part, makeup is not going to hide my chubby cheeks, nor is it going to bring my eyes out of those hollows they're sunk into, nor is it going to straighten my deviant nose. Honestly, wearing makeup only makes me look old and mean, which doesn't seem the best strategy to combat a discontent brought on chiefly by loneliness.

So, while sometimes I have the urge to splash some color onto this waxen face of mine, I think for now I'll just refrain. But you ladies out there who disagree with me, go ahead and keep doing that thing you do! That way, I can compare myself to you and feel liberated, and the cosmetics industry will stay in business should I ever change my mind!


Amy Shipley said...

I never wear makeup, as I'm sure you've noticed. One time I let someone put it on me, and I looked like a clown. I've tried mascara, but it clumps up. I've tried eyeliner, but my hand is not steady enough and it looks very messy. I also never use soap on my face :)

Geoff said...

Sounds like someone should do a picture blog: with make-up, without make-up.

Valerie said...

But accomplish that, I would first have to have makeup!