I Don’t Wear Make Up

I’ve posted this statement on a couple of online discussions lately. Sometimes people have engaged with me about it; other times it’s been ignored.

I don’t wear lipstick, blusher, mascara or eye shadow  Ever. I used to but it made my face feel heavy and I was never very good at applying it. I didn’t like it; I just did it because everyone else did.  And I only wore it for nights out; I’ve never considered wearing it for an ordinary day at home or at work. I only ever wore make up to enhance my face, not to cover up my perceived imperfectations.

It’s not because I think I look fantastic without it. I don’t think I look fantastic at all. But I know I look like me, and that’s fine. I don’t need make up to be me. I’m okay as I am, despite what the cosmetic industry tries to tell me every day.

Me. No make up. grey hair

I don’t need longer lashes, blemish free skin, unnaturally coloured lips, or artificially reddened cheeks.

What horrifies me is that so many women feel they do.

No doubt some people will be looking at my photo and think ‘oh a bit of powder/mascara/ foundation/lipstick would make SUCH a difference’ . And I don’t doubt this, but why should I bother? I haven’t noticed people running away from me screaming when I walk down the street. Some people even smile at me and say hello. Others even stop and talk to me.

I’m not a terribly observant person, so I don’t usually notice if someone is wearing makeup or not unless it’s really obvious. But from reading various threads on internet forums, I can see that  an awful  lot of woman, maybe even the majority, wear make up every day no matter what they are doing. Some people talk about getting up before their partners and kids  do and putting their ‘face’ on. They joke they would scare people if they didn’t wear make up. Oh, come on!

Some of these women I don’t know from Adam, but others I have met many times and the vast majority of them are intelligent, strong, confident, educated, women.  Who apparently can’t leave their houses without a full face of make up.  I find that really, really sad.

I don’t wear make up  for many reasons. I don’t like the feel of it. I don’t like the tests they do on animals. It’s money I could spend elsewhere. Sourcing  ethically produced make up and applying make it takes time I don’t want to waste, and skills I don’t see why I should acquire.  I’m not against makeup though. I can see why people do it when they are going somewhere special. It’s a part of dressing up.  I’m sure no one will be surprised to hear I’m not into that either.

But I’m not hearing about make up being used as decoration in these threads. I’m hearing that women use it to cover up their ‘faults’. Their short eyelashes,  freckles,  blotchy skin, bags under eyes, thin lips; all these perfectly natural things that are part of our bodies at we live and age, have been declared undesirable by the cosmetic industry.

I have three daughters  and a son who are going to grow up and  may want to experiment with make up. I know this and am prepared for it. But if I am going to be truthful, I have to say that I would be upset if they felt they had to wear make up every single day of their lives. I hope they will understand that they are simply enough as they are.

I accept I am very much in the minority here but am interested to hear about other people attitudes towards make up.  Are there others out there like me? Do you wear some every day or is it only for special occasions? And what kind of attitude would you like your children to have when they are grown?

32 comments on “I Don’t Wear Make Up

  1. I wear very minimal make up – usually just concealer on the bags under my eyes and a little eyeshadow. I only wear this on days when I am working – I consider it part of my ‘costume’. I hate the feel of anything on my face or hair. I only use very light mineral make up. My mother also wears very little in the way of make up and I think that has been a major influence – that and my lovely Dad who has always held the opinion that women are more beautiful in their natural state and regularly told me that I didn’t need ANYTHING extra to make me beautiful. I think it is no surprise then that I place very little importance on make up. Friends who do wear a lot of make up tell me, ‘but you’re lucky, you have good skin.’ but they don’t seem to see the link between caking stuff on your face and skin break outs.

    • Interesting about your mother not wearing much makeup either. I can’t remember with mine. I think she does wear some, but my sister definitely wears it. Not sure if every day but a lot more than I do.
      My skins not great but I’m sure it would be much worse if I wore makeup all the time!

  2. Wow! Tell us how you really think… What’s wrong with wanting to look good. I don’t hide from my husband or my kids or my friends… I do go out without makeup and don’t wear a ton. But I do wear it everyday. I like to look good. Not for others but for me. I don’t try to hide any imperfections, I only want to enhance what I have. I have nice eyes. They’re even nicer with eyeshadow and mascara. I also brush my hair everyday, wash it almost every day, get it cut once in a while, buy nice clothes (well couldn’t work if I didn’t wear nice clothes!!). All for me. Because I like how I look, I like taking care of me. Just because I’m getting older, married and have children does not mean I shouldn’t care about my appearance. Nothing sad about it. Just as there is nothing sad about not wanting to do all these things.

    • I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing makeup to enhance your features and if that’s what you do, then that’s great. There is nothing wrong with choosing to look good, just as there is nothing bad about you if don’t care about looks.
      My point was if you ever read any of the ‘makeup’ threads there are always a lot of people who say they ‘can’t’ go out without makeup on because they would scare people and I do think that is sad because it obviously isn’t true.

      • I think the comment about scaring people was meant as a joke!! I’m pretty sure it was tongue in cheek!

        • I’m not sure which thread you were referring to; If it was one of the FB group ones then yes, I think that probably was a joke there.
          Unfortunately on a couple of the forums I go on, there are some poor ladies who really do seem to believe that wearing makeup is as essential as wearing clothes.
          Some of them say that they look revolting and hideous without makeup.

  3. I’ve been someone who always wore make up and am now someone who rarely does.

    It was part of my identity as a teenager – and a ritual – concealer, green correcting cream (to hide the redness in my skin), foundation, powder, pre-eyeshadow cream, eyebrow pencil, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, blusher, pre-lipstick primer, lipstick – set the lipstick with powder then reapply.

    these days i don’t tend to put much on even if i’m going out.

    Daughter is already very keen on make-up and seems to have taught herself (at 10) how to apply it pretty professionally. i am not keen on her wearing it as a matter of course though – she seems too young.

    Son not keen! Laughs at pictures of his father gothed up from years ago.

    My mother would rather i did wear make-up i reckon – she sees it as your duty to ‘make the best of yourself’ and is rather disappointed that i don’t.

    i do like nice nail varnish though – and have recently discovered new polish that lasts for a good 2-3 weeks even if you do the washing up etc

    • I’m quite happy that none of mine are that fussed about it yet, but I know they will at some point.
      It’s not going to become an issue I don’t think. At least they won’t be nicking my stuff ( as I don’t have any) and the worst that will happen is that they will all steal each others!
      All the girls like nail polish already though, actually DS likes it too. It’s too much bother for me but I do like looking at some of the amazing designs on pinterest. Make up I can’t even drum up a little bit of interest in!

  4. I *love* make up! I like to make the best of all my assets, whether its my appearance or my brains! A plain canvas is just fine, but so much more lovely to look at with paint on it! Clearly my comments about scaring small children in the street are meant tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes I do think you can take life a little too seriously. Not everything has some great, hidden meaning. Trust me, I know I’m fabulous!

    • It’s not all about you ;)
      I’ve seen some discussions where people have been deadly serious when they’ve said this kind of thing.

      • I can’t imagine anyone saying that seriously, it’s a figure of speech!

        I love make up, love having different looks, love being able to jazz up and coordinate with accessories etc. it’s not sad jacq! It’s like someone assuming that you don’t because you don’t think you’re worth the effort or something… People like different things, why the need to judge?

        • I’m not judging, people are entitled to do what they want to obviously, but it does make me sad to think that so many women consider make up to be an essential.
          It suggests that they don’t think they are good enough without it and I do hope my children will know that they are.

    • I’m nearly 17 and I don’t wear any makeup and it really upsets me when my mum says “make an effort” meaning that to make an effort and to look acceptable I have to wear makeup. But you know I just think why do I need to make an ‘effort’ what’s wrong with my face just the way it is? Nothing. She used to say it a lot when I would go see my boyfriend but she doesn’t get that he loves me and my face just the way it is and I like my face just the way it is :D

  5. I wear make up every day as you know and I do use foundation to cover up my flawed skin but because I want to. I wear the basics most days, will add eye make up on work days, and heavier make up if I’m going out. I enjoy make up like I do clothes. I am quite happy if L wants to use make up and have bought her proper stuff. She only uses it for fun currently. I hope we have brought her up to believe that she is beautiful and make up is an enhancement and not a necessity. I do agree that it becomes sad in situations where women won’t even let their partners see them without their face on.

    • I have you in mind for when I need advice on the right makeup to buy for teens/ tweens. You are definitely my goto girl for that :)

  6. I’m sorry but the tone of your post comes across as a little bit judgemental. I am a member of S*** H***** beauty forum and is a wonderful web site full of very strong women. They are women who have been brought together by a love of make up. Some wear it every day, some don’t. Some buy the really expensive stuff, some don’t. They experiment, they have a laugh and they have fun with it. They don’t just post about make up. They post about many different topics. Some of the women using the site are house bound due to health reasons but they have found something they enjoy in make up and people have struck up lasting friendships through the site. I don’t buy into all the looks that people try out but people share their tips and it’s a lot of fun. The cosmetic industry will of course tell people they ‘need’ something in the same way the baby industry tells us mothers we ‘must’ buy their new products.
    Personally I like the theatrics of make up. I like that by applying a different colour blusher or eye shadow can make a difference to my look. Not because I think I’ll be scary if I don’t but because I want to.

    • I’m glad you wear make up because you want to, not because you feel you ‘have’ to. That’s got to be a good thing doesn’t it?

  7. My mum wore minimal make-up – powder and lipstick for ordinary days and mascara, etc.for going out. I wear the mascara and leave the lippy for evening time. I think people generally look good with a light coverage but if you watched the Apprentice last night (or Google) you can see how awful the women looked caked in make-up (esp Uzma who had the wrong foundation on entirely and it rendered her corpse-like).
    I actually wish I was better at applying make-up so I could look better with it on!!

    • No, I don’t watch the Apprentice but women who wear heaps of makeup scare me a bit. I think it’s this clown thing I have going on…
      When the girls/ kids? start showing an interest in makeup I think I’m going to find someone to teach them the *right* way to apply it. I never learnt myself and I think that’s why I always found it so awkward.

  8. I don’t wear it. I like my natural look, I wouldn’t feel right ‘made up’ I’m happy with my skin tone, lashes, lipstick must feel odd (I’ve never ever worn lipstick) I definitely don’t need blusher, LOL, ;).

    I don’t think I need make-up to look good, I do need some new clothes though!

    • Even when I wore make up I really didn’t like the feel of it.
      I need new clothes too. I can’t veto those and I hate shopping :(

  9. I do wear it, not every day and not always the ‘whole hog’ but I always moisturise my skin, and use a tinted moisturiser now. Possibly this is a hangover from years of having acne and hiding behind make up.

    Now I wear it as I like the way it looks, and accentuates my eyes and hides my old acne scars and oily skin.

    You have beautiful eyes that really stand out – you don’t need mascara etc. to draw attention to them! Plus you are outdoors a lot – make up and the elements don’t mix!

    I think the answer is that we should do what makes us feel more confident, ignoring convention and the media and be ourseves.

    Like clothing, make up is a way for me to show who I am(or want people to think I am!), it’s just decoration.

    • Make up for decoration(if you want to) is surely what it should be all about. It’s when it is considered essential that I’m not sure about.

  10. I think it’s all about the reasons you wear it. I wear it most days (although not every day)

    I have horrible acne and scarring from it and it makes me feel better, you can still see the acne through the make up, but I feel more confident.

    However a few weeks ago when the monster said she needed to wear make up to be pretty like mummy because she was ugly, that stopped me in my tracks and I’ve been wearing it a lot less, since! The monster is 2 nd a half, and I really have no idea where she’s picked that up from. i always talk about how it makes mummy feel when she asks why I’m wearing it, never beautiful, ugly etc.

    It makes me very sad to think shes picking thisn message up from me or the world.

    • You make an interesting point. I’d be interested to know if kids of mothers who wear makeup all the time feel like they need to to look attractive too.

  11. I’ve rarely worn make up over the last 20 years but acknowledge that I look at lot more attractive with it. I wasn’t wearing any when I met my H but I do make up when I feel like it and tend to for weddings, funerals and interviews as I feel more comfortable in more formal clothing with a more formal face (not keen on formal clothing!). H notices when i do but isn’t bothered but my mum and BFF would rather I wear it (hence the occasional gift of Clinique makeup from my BFF :)).

    I don’t colour my hair – interestingly I’m one of only two women at work who don’t dye (from over 50 women). A few don’t wear make up though – or maybe only wear very subtle make up!

    • As you can see, I don’t dye my hair either!
      Make up and hair dying are definitely ‘the norm’ in today’s society. It certainly seem to be expected that you do these things.

  12. Hey you ;) You know what? I think you give way too much time to thinking about what other people do, and what their motives might be *potters off to apply mascara*

  13. I wear less and less. It’s gone from foundation, concealer, powder, blusher, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, eyebrow pencil… to a tinted moisturiser (sometimes) and a tube of some sort of lip and cheek stain which barely does anything and occasional mascara. I put it down to being more comfortable in my own skin.

  14. I’ve just watched The Apprentice on iplayer and was astounded at the amount of make up. I thought the women looked like a joke, all of them. The heels, the short skirts, the long dyed hair…c’mon, have we learnt nothing in the past 40 years?

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