There are many reasons for women to put on makeup: to accentuate certain features, to display their mood, or to portray themselves in a certain way. There are as many reasons to wear–or not wear–makeup as there are women.
In a recent Cosmopolitan piece by Maggie Sheehan, “I Don’t Let People See Me Without Makeup,” she explored her reasoning behind applying foundation and mascara before leaving the house. As she explained, “It’s not so much that I look different with makeup on–it’s that I feel different.”
So, in honor of Surface Week, some women of BTR weighed in on the feelings below the surface when donning–or not donning–makeup.
Although I probably began my makeup journey with the typical lip-gloss and roll-on glitter (remember that stuff?) of preteen girlhood, I’d have to say that the first real makeup I began to wear was black eyeliner. It quickly became as integral to my daily appearance as clothing–and I’ve never truly stopped wearing it.
Of course, as I grew up, the amount of makeup I applied on a daily basis changed; I actually wear more now, though I am still fairly tame in my application in black eyeliner, mascara, and occasional lip color. I don’t think I was ever someone who refused to go out without makeup, but I certainly would avoid it if at all possible. Now, I won’t put on eyeliner to go to the store, but you won’t catch me dead at a party without makeup.
However, like Sheehan, it’s not necessarily about how I look (although I do want to avoid any embarrassing Facebook/Instagram photo situations), but how I feel. I know that eyeliner brings out my eyes; I know that lipstick makes me feel powerful. So, as a generally anxious person, knowing my makeup is on point is a comforting beginning to my day or night.
It was about the middle of fourth grade when girls in my class began donning sparkly lip-gloss and body glitter. However, makeup was still a forbidden fruit in my world. My parents were strict. My nails were to be bare with the exception of clear polish, my lips moisturized only with Chapstick, and pretty much any other makeup was out of the question.
Still, I remained enchanted by my mother’s beauty routine, often poring through her vanity when she wasn’t around and dreaming of the day when I would own a collection like hers.
When I was finally permitted, I dove into the world of makeup with utmost enthusiasm. To me no eye shadow was too bright, no lipstick too bold, no Seventeen magazine tip too far-fetched.
Nowadays, my makeup routine is a lot more casual: neutral tones, a quick liquid line on my upper eyelid, and some mascara. I find the whole process fun, especially in preparation for nights out when I can experiment a bit more.
Although my boyfriend and close friends have told me that I basically look the same without it, I think I use makeup on a regular basis to make up for all those years I missed growing up. That, and no girl likes being told she looks tired when she forgets to put her mascara on (stop doing that people!).
Once upon a time I counted myself among the “I never let anyone see me without makeup” camp. Grocery store? Eyeliner. Park for frisbee? Lip-gloss. Swimming? Water-proof mascara. End of my block? Foundation and blush.
Then I hit the point of no return. Some people calling it becoming an adult, I call it having more responsibilities than there are hours in a day. I was faced with the choice of waking up at 5am to work in my usual beauty routine, or doing away with it completely for the chance to “sleep in.”
Quite the dilemma, right? Well, no, actually, as the best thing about adulthood is no longer really giving a shit what other people think of you. These days I’ll still get dolled up if I have a date with my boyfriend (he’s super handsome, I have to keep up), but otherwise I’ll roll out of bed, throw on some deodorant and yesterday’s t-shirt and call it good.
I have a basic knowledge of makeup; I know that mascara needs to be applied to the eyelashes and blush brushed on the cheeks. But when it comes to contouring, highlighting, or perfecting a fierce cat eye, I end up looking like I got ready in the dark.
What little I do know about makeup, I use to help me most days. Before work, I put on a touch of concealer to hide the sleep under my eyes, and I coat my lashes with mascara to make me appear livelier. With that being said, I refuse to spend more than 10 minutes applying the few products in my arsenal. Makeup certainly helps to boost my confidence on my not-so-great mornings, but I don’t need to wear it at all times. Some days, having the courage to face the world without makeup enables me to feel radiant–more so than any bronzer I have ever used.
Featured image courtesy of Nikita.