Monday, January 24, 2011

Make-up- Friend or Foe?

I’ve been thinking a lot about make-up lately. Stephanie’s post last week on the price of beauty prompted me to put some thoughts onto digital “paper”. I love makeup. I remember the first piece of makeup I ever bought like it was yesterday. In celebration of my rising womanhood, my mom decided to let me go to the cosmetic’s department of Nordstroms and get a mini-makeover at Stilla, and select 4 of my favorite products. A beautiful violet, and silver eyeliner, black mascara, and shimmer power seemed like treasure in my 12 year old hands. I never doubted my appearance, but these new toys were so fun and sparkly-who wouldn’t love them? I went through stages of blue eye shadow and rancoon eyeliner in middle school, and experimented with winged liquid eyeliner in highschool. Eventually tinted moisturizer and black eyeliner became my staples and it began to feel strange to see my reflection in the mirror without those two. It was a grown-up extension of playing “dress-up” with the ability to enhance features and cover up flaws.

But I also am trying to learn that it is ok to go without makeup. I skip it when going to the gym (don’t want to clog those pores) and linger on Saturday mornings without “my face on.” But it is a learning curve, especially in a culture where beauty & perfection is so idolized. The Daily Mail is reporting that a survey of 3,000 women has found that 1/3 of them wouldn't not go out to the grocery store without make-up on. One in ten women said they wouldn't allow their boyfriends to see them without makeup. Your boyfriend who is supposed to love and care for you and you wouldn’t let him see you without your makeup on-ever?

Alexis Wolfer of The Beauty Bean has started a movement called Makeup Free Monday which basically describes itself-going sans make-up on Mondays. She says that it’s “ about empowerment. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about being beautiful just the way you are. It’s about doing all of this on your own terms. It’s about promoting confidence.”

So on this topic I try to ride the line of balance. I enjoy getting made-up, playing with new beauty products and having fun with it. Today I swear by bare minerals, love my Benefit BADgal mascara, and adore tarte’s long-lasting (and paraban free!) eggplant eyeliner.But I also remind myself that I don’t need make-up to be me, that I am still Elizabeth without foundation, mascara and eyeliner. True radiance comes from inside. (oh and fyi- vegetables make your skin glow more than tanning, just so you know!) I will never burn my brushes and swear off makeup forever, but I am learning to be comfortable in my own, bare, skin.

The Glamour article that highlighted these results received over 100 comments of women fighting both sides-never without, never wearing and everywhere in between. What are your thoughts on makeup? Makeup Addict, Artist, or Abstainer?


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on make-up! I believe that make-up can be fun and make you feel good. But I also think it's important to go out 'bare faced' once in a while! Loving yourself in every and any version is the goal!
    Thanks for sharing the article on veggies and skin glow. I saw that a few weeks ago and I think it's important.

  2. It's interesting to analyse your own relationship with makeup. Are you Dependant or do you just enjoy it? For me I think I enjoy makeup but I can go to class or to bumm around at a friend's place without it, even though my skin has a few break outs. That might just come out of laziness and being an athlete where it is impossible to have makeup on all the time.
    I agree makeup is fun and I love to put on my face and a cute outfit and feel girly and special.

  3. Thank you so much for your input Stephanie and Mariel! Lots to think about re: browsing the make-up aisles!
    xoxox stay warm in chilly boston!

  4. I think that if you want to go ahead and run your errands in your fresh faces, you should! As a 26-year-old lifetime acne-sufferer, who NEVER left the house without some concealer on, I was always so envious of all those women who probably had no idea just how beautiful they were with just their nice clean skin. To me, that was all anyone ever needed to be beautiful. Now that I’m free and clear (many many many thank you’s to Obagi ClenziDerm, the only thing that ever worked for me, introduced to me last Spring), after years and years of hiding I find it completely and totally liberating to leave the house with my skin squeaky clean! But, maybe since I have always worn it I feel like it’s weird to not put at least a little something on for work or whatever. I might run some errands without it, but in general, if I shower and do my hair, I put on make-up. I like to! I'm not trying to hide anything anymore, so it's more fun than ever!I’m taking care in my appearance but I don’t feel ugly if I’m not wearing it. It truly is what’s on the inside that counts anyway!

  5. I am somewhere in the middle--I definitely am no goddess with perfect skin, but I will also leave the house without makeup. Some days I just don't feel like wearing it. I guess I was never girly enough in my adolescence to be truly dependent on makeup. I'm much "girly-er" now and love browsing at Sephora. I find that as I age this is something I think more about though.

    This is such a relevant issue for women and thought-provoking--thanks for the post!

  6. while I generally go for a pretty natural look, I almost never leave the house without makeup. unfortunately, hereditary dark circles under my eyes (heightened by periodic insomnia) results in many, many "You look so tired today!" comments if I don't at least put on concealer. few things bring me down as much as walking into work feeling great and being told I look exhausted.