One of my friends, E, recently started working at a store that sells make-up and other beauty essentials. Her pictures online after starting to work there have been gorgeous – not only are all the tubes and compacts adorable, but her face looks so sophisticated, exciting; if I saw her for the first time from across a room, I’d want to talk to her! Besides the fact that she’s also my friend and I like talking to my friends.
I have such a strange relationship with make-up – my mother never wore it, but I knew about it through my pre-teen and teenage years. At summer camps and college, I’d borrow a lip color or an eye shadow, but I didn’t own my own; I eventually bought a lipstick, a mascara… until I had my own bare-bones collection.
It makes sense, though, that my collection stayed small for a long time, because I wore it only on special occasions, or perhaps the first day of class. It wasn’t until I moved to Spain, where bold lip colors and a perfect eye were so standard that I felt weirder without them than with them. For those two years, I spent most days wearing at least a little make-up. It was the only time when there were people in my life who had never seen me without make-up but who were close friends.
When I returned to the States, there were more people who went natural-look, and I got lazy – I was in a long-distance relationship, which is uniquely good for making you think you don’t need make-up to impress anyone and you don’t need make-up to look good for a particular person. I found myself pulling it out only occasionally when there was a party or a poetry reading, but usually nothing.
I thought, when I got my first full-time job, that I’d wear make-up; I was younger than most of my colleagues, and I was working with college students, and make-up would have been a good way to make myself look older than them. I even found a bunch of great promo codes and splurged on an order from Benefit (love their products, even if I neglect them!). It didn’t last though – I’m confident that I can do my job with or without eyeliner. I wear it for big days, and when my husband and I go on dates, but not otherwise.
Part of me thinks that my love of make-up is wasteful, since I don’t follow through and wear it, and part of me thinks that being obsessed with making my face into a canvas is a little wasteful anyway; I could spend money a different way, and the environment probably wouldn’t mind if we didn’t make a bunch of face products from our natural resources.
How do you feel about make-up? Does it complicate your life or give your life a little sparkle? I find it can go either way for me, but one thing is for sure: I don’t think women should feel the pressure to wear it, even if they are having a zit day! Being who you are is an important thing, and unless make-up is part of what you want to be wearing, it should be very optional.