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You like me! Of course, you probably don't know me very well.

no makeup week

September 24th, 2010 by biscuit

I’m a little late on this whole ‘makeup free week’ thing that’s sweeping our Internets. (Huffpo and Jezebel didn’t pick it up in time to start with her either, and they have vaginapower the likes of which I’ve never seen, so I don’t feel too badly about my tardiness.)

However, it’s an interesting idea, and I’m considering joining in. I’m sure she won’t begrudge me an offset start date, right?

Rachel of Rabbit Write, the mind behind the idea, says:

The philosophy is this. Make-up is great. It is a powerful tool, a way to express yourself, your mood and interior life. But, when you canโ€™t go without something, it loses itโ€™s spark.

To me it sounds like her point is that she wants to be using makeup to accessorize, and instead it’s been moved into the category of ‘defining’. As in, I can put on a scarf when it’s handy and appropriate, but I am certainly capable of leaving the house without one – and for her, makeup is no longer like that.

To discover if participation is worthwhile, I’m trying to establish what category makeup falls into for me.

My approach towards makeup changed when I quit working as a pastry chef. When I was in the kitchen, high temperatures and 5 am commutes and flour and sweat would have destroyed anything I put together, so I never bothered. When I started working at an office, I realized that makeup was something that some women did before they came in for the day. They put together an outfit, they blow-dried their hair, they did their makeup, and then they came to work. Never one to stand out, I started copying them – sometimes, when I remembered, and almost entirely with makeup that had been floating around my various bathrooms for enough years to make a mysophobe cringe.

I thought it looked fun! It wasn’t so much that I felt a responsibility to wear it (ask Queen B – my personal style when I rejoined corporate America was … experimental). It was more that I wanted to play. For me, then, makeup was art.

Now? Now I’m the grad student who, today, spent $100 at Sephora. Sure, it was mostly on moisturizer – but how on earth did I get from there to here?

I have two gorgeous girlfriends who are usually makeup free, and I asked them to weigh in on why that was, to see if they could help me sort this whole thing out.

Laura (this was on the phone, so I’m paraphrasing):

Usually I forget or don’t have time. I have a five minute face I can do, but it’s clear mascara, clear lip gloss, and blush. Since the blush is the only thing you can really see, I don’t feel like it makes that much of a difference.

Star, my dinbff (derby-IM-new-best-friend-forever):

It’s a fact of life that we judge things based on appearance. I have never been “into” makeup. My mom has never been “into” makeup. I try every couple of years to get into makeup but I always try to dive in head first and get all glam all the time. I have realized that is not the point. That is also not me. I am trying again, but I forget about it. When I do remember, I noteice that I still look and feel like me but just a more polished version.

I realized, talking to them, that I never forget makeup. Sometimes I don’t wear it – if I’m home alone and my only plans are the grocery store? I leave it off. I don’t keep any at Crockett’s house, so nights I spend there are inevitably followed by makeup free days. I’m always aware that I’m not wearing makeup, though.

I’m still torn, you guys. I see her point, and part of the reason I’m reluctant is that I don’t want to not wear it. Am I even sure people would notice? No. I’m love my skin tone and have never successfully matched it thank-you-italian-father, somehow lipstick and I have never bonded, and my cheeks are plenty rosy on their own thank-you-irish-mother. I wear eye makeup, period.

Maybe I’ll hop in the shower after posting this and forget to put makeup on afterwards?

Probably not.

What are your thoughts? Would you go a week without makeup? Is that a normal week for you?


14 Responses to “no makeup week”

  1. Awlbiste says:

    I don’t own makeup and never have. (I’m trying to not sound judgy, I totally do not think I am better than women who wear makeup). My mom, in my lifetime, has never been a makeup lady.

    When I was younger (jr high and high school) I experimented with friends who owned makeup but I am extremely extremely a) sensitive to specific things on my skin (as in, I can only use a few types of bar soap and 2 types of laundry detergent) and b) have issues with sensory integration when it comes to how things feel. I just don’t like the way makeup feels on my face.

    Also, I like doing the bare minimum when it comes to getting ready in the morning. Hair in ponytail, clothes on, cup of coffee and out the door. My 10 minutes to get ready routine really fits in with my lazy lifestyle.

  2. D says:

    Going on a job interview this PM. What do you suggest…. since I’m kinda new to this “makeup for men” thing? Oh, and should I take my man purse (ya know, the one with the .38 snubby in it) or leave it home?

    Seriously though, I ran into a guy I sort of know a week or so ago and make no mistake about it…. he WAS wearing makeup. Now I’m wondering if it was a sexual identity thing that he was working on, or just the new, improved, 21st century man. I’m soooo confused.


  3. Steph Lee says:

    There’s a reason why I love you. I wish I could do this as one of my daily Fear Initiatives but I already abhor from makeup on a daily basis so wearing makeup would be my challenge.

    However I love makeup. I could easily spend $100 at Sephora, on eye liner, mascara, various eye shadow blends – the creamy, the powder, the tints.. Makeup makes you look so good!!!!!…that it’s hard for me to give it up entirely.

    Makeup represents a sort of security for me; I know my eyes stand out more when I ‘make them up’ and I definitely rely on eyeliner for that extra edge. A lot of my gay and straight male friends also use makeup ( as a response to the comment above ), eyeliner and concealer are very popular with them.

    I mean..make up can make you feel good. And we all need some of that in our lives. But not wearing makeup can also make you feel really good. The whole bare face thing? Has its’ merits. Especially in a sweaty exercise class/ social dance night ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Steph Lee says:

    And you look beautiful, with makeup or not ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. biscuit says:

    See, I love that this works for you. I’m still with you on the hair thing – shoot me if I start blowdrying flatironing etc before leaving the house, please?

  6. biscuit says:

    Guy-liner. It’s totally a thing.

  7. biscuit says:

    Security. That’s a really good point – it’s like security blanket for your face!

  8. biscuit says:

    You too, darlin!

  9. Laura says:

    Wait a minute, you don’t blow your hair out? A girl has her limit, and evidently mine is hair.

  10. Laura says:

    Sorry if that wasn’t clear. I may not wear make up every day, but I always worry about my hair- even when I ‘choose’ to throw it in a ponytail. Most days I blow it out. Spending a week with “natural” hair sounds like the pits. Don’t give up make- up if you’re having that same kind of reaction…

  11. kortney says:

    I went on vacation last week and my go out look was mascara and some chapstick. It was liberating, but I didn’t have any zits last week. Today I am at work and have a zit. I said “hello makeup.” Its all relative.

  12. biscuit says:

    When I saw you today I was wearing just my leftover look (preshower anything that didn’t come off last night, I mean) – and your hair looked adorable. Perhaps you’re so attentive because you have that loverly shade of red that everyone covets?

  13. biscuit says:

    By ‘vacation’ do you mean ‘honeymoon’? (I know, not the point, but CONGRATULATIONS!!!!)

  14. kortney says:

    Thanks biscuit, vacation was my codeword for honeymoon. I was using such lingo because my happiness level requires me to hand out barf bags to passersby. But thank you thank you thank you for your Congrats!

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