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emmanation

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Posts Tagged ‘it’s hard being a girl’

no makeup week

Friday, September 24th, 2010

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 can’t go without something, it loses it’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?