Makeup: how I really feel

Ok, fine, I haven’t figured out exactly how I really feel about makeup. I struggle with it like I do with several things.

On the one hand: ooh, look how it makes me not shiny, and under my eyes is less blue, and dude! You can see my eyelashes now!

On the other hand, it’s time-consuming, it costs money (sometimes a lot!), it takes time to remove it. Or it doesn’t, and it ends up all over your pillowcase.

And then there are the other issues I have with it. Why is it expected in our culture (with which I have many, many beefs that I don’t wanna get into today) that women should paint their faces to go out in public? What is that about? But men don’t have to. WHYYY???

Sometimes I want to wear makeup. Other times not. It kind of goes in phases. I do tend to wear it if I think my picture is going to be taken. I often wear it when I feel like I’m supposed to look professional. What the heck is so wrong with my face–the one that God made with the colors that He made it–that I have to paint it to look professional? To look “put together”? To be taken seriously? Like, I’m just supposed to be wearing sweat pants and a hoodie if I go out with no makeup? It disgusts me. And yet I give in to this cultural expectation. Because it’s pretty. I do like pretty. But what does that say about how I feel about my natural face in all its blue, shiny, no-eyelashes glory?

When I used to wear makeup once in a blue moon, all it took was one day of wearing it for people–like, all the people–to go, “Oh, Jennifer, you look so pretty today!” Um, thanks. You mean, now that you can’t see my actual face? Ouch. I know they meant well and were complimenting me…or at least my ability to camouflage my visage, but I still didn’t like it. The converse is true for everyday makeup-wearers. One day without any on, and everybody will go, “Honey, are you ok? You look awful!” Why would you say that?! That is her face you are talking about!!

All of this is still swirling around in my head, and I haven’t really landed in a completely anti-makeup camp or anything, but it gives me pause. I don’t want to wear makeup out of societal pressure. And nor should you. Not to say you shouldn’t wear it. I just think we should all consider our reasons for wearing it. And we should all consider how our words and attitudes about the state of women’s faces affect the way they feel about themselves. Men, this definitely includes you.

And for the record, if you see me with or without makeup, you can tell me that I look pretty. Just do two things for me: try not to sound surprised, and don’t add “today.” Thanks.

 

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3 thoughts on “Makeup: how I really feel

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  1. I love this! I’m definitely a “special occasions only” makeup wearer. I’m talking weddings and funerals, if I even wear it then. I have nothing against people who wear it every day. It’s just another way people can express themselves and feel good about their image.

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  2. You are awesome! I loved the “livelihood” part. ☺️ I have many thoughts after reading this. First, I am very much in your camp. As a Mary Kay consultant, I don’t always feel like I’m cut from the same cloth as my beauty consultant counterparts. I refuse to believe that I must always leave the house made up in order to “advertise” my business with my face. When I leave with less, I’m advertising the skin care products, right?! Second, I definitely went through an “anti-makeup” season in my life, pre-Beauty Consultant status. When God called me to Mary Kay, I was actually concerned about the temptation of vanity that could come with a beauty business. What I have found, however, is that my vanity, or at least my focus on my appearance, was greater before Mary Kay than after. During my no makeup season, I sinfully thought more highly of myself because I was willing to show my imperfections (pride), but I was also constantly comparing myself to other women, thinking how much better they looked than me. My insecurities crept into my thoughts every time I was around other people. That’s a lot of wasted thoughts. Now, when I leave the house with a little makeup, I’ve found that the temptation to compare myself with others holds little power over me. When I feel confident, when I’ve covered my imperfections, I don’t think about how I look as often. It’s actually decreased my vanity. Third, I’ve used the word “imperfections” a couple of times, and that was not by accident. The Bible teaches that I was knit together in my mother’s womb by God Himself. I firmly believe that He chose every single detail about me that He created. His design was perfect. I also believe, however, that the body I was born into is imperfect because of sin. It began dying as soon as I was born. In fact, it’s so imperfect that to all those who believe in His Son, God’s promised the coming of a new, redeemed, perfected body. If we need a new one, then this one must not be perfect. All of that leads me to the conclusion that at least some of my physical characteristics actually are imperfections, imperfections that resulted from the very first sin in the Garden of Eden. In God’s perfect design, we were never meant to be tired, or old, or riding hormonal rollercoasters, which means dark circles, crow’s feet, and acne flare ups were not a part of His perfect design. They are ways our bodies now malfunction, similar to the malfunction of breaking a bone or catching a cold. But we set broken bones and treat the common cold, so maybe wearing makeup to cover imperfections isn’t that different. Even so, a woman shouldn’t ever feel pressure to make up her face. It is for freedom that Christ set us free; there is no freedom in pressure from others. So now, sometimes I go to the grocery store with makeup and sometimes without! Ok, after all of that heavy mental load, I have one final, lighthearted thought…you know how everyone always says how beautiful a pregnant woman is, you know, the pregnancy glow? (I loved that glow, btw.) Well, makeup provides a way to achieve that same glow without the morning sickness, backaches, and added college tuition! 😜 😂

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    1. Love hearing your thoughts! It’s all down to personally taking captive every thought for Christ, whether your face has makeup on it or not. And your final thought reminded me: during my brief stint as a BeautiControl consultant, I thought that the BC products had radically improved my skin. As I continued my regimen after giving birth (yeah, I was greatly pregnant when my skin started looking so good), I realized that no amount of skin care could fix my skin like that. Only pregnancy had caused my lustrous face. Oh, well. It was good while it lasted! 😉

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