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Harp's avatar

Can you help me understand make-up?

Asked by Harp (19174points) June 1st, 2008

I’m fascinated and perplexed by this aspect of human behavior. Yes, I know we’ve been doing it for a very long time, but I’d love to get the personal perspective from my sister Flutherers: Is wearing make-up a burdonsome obligation for you, or something that you enjoy? Would you prefer that the whole custom just go away? Do you like how your face looks without make-up? Do you resent the fact that it’s expected of women, but not of men? Anything else I should know?

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18 Answers

Harp's avatar

In case it’s not obvious, I’m a guy.

gailcalled's avatar

Start with kohl. It is the earliest documented eye liner/make-up.

I personally wear no make-up – except for sun-block (I am a woman) and only a little (blusher, lip gloss) when I was younger. And I am very happy with the way that I look. (Of course, I am happy to get out of bed each morning and discover that I am vertical and breathing in and out.)

nayeight's avatar

I like make-up. I like different colored eyeshadows, lip gloss, and mascara. I think of it as the same thing as wearing clothes that you like. Sometimes I wear foundation if I’m going out someplace special or just feel like adding some bronzer or something. I don’t think of it as mandatory because I don’t wear it everyday but I do feel good when I wear my favorite color eyeshadow or something. The same feeling that I get from wearing my favorite dress or whatever.

LunaFemme's avatar

on a day-to-day basis, I don’t wear it. I think it would become a burden if I felt I had to wear it everyday. I love putting on make-up & dressing up when I’m going out with friends, going to a party, or special occasions. Just not everyday.

wildflower's avatar

To me, putting on make-up is like putting on nice clothes – and shoes!
I like to make myself as presentable as possible, so I add a bit of make-up because I feel it makes my face look better.
I wear make-up almost every day. Only a few essentials on regular days (for work) and a bit more for going out (when I also dress up).
I don’t wear make-up on days off, my tracksuit days.

Oh, and I don’t feel I have to wear make-up, it’s my choice and I don’t resent anyone for it.

DeezerQueue's avatar

I like makeup but don’t consider it a necessity. Some of my features seem to disappear if I’m not wearing it. People have also asked me if I’m not feeling well when I don’t wear makeup, not because they think I was too ill to put it on, but because my eyes seem withdrawn if I don’t wear it.

It doesn’t bother me that guys don’t wear makeup but I think there are some guys who do wear makeup, here are links to one of the Bon Jovi band members, one from him at some kind of ceremony, another a police mug shot. Not that mug shots are flattering, but it’s pretty clear that his shot would have looked much better had he put on a little Maybelline before the session.

Richie Sambora with makeup
Richie Sambora without makeup

Richie Sambora is the guy on the right in the first photo, just in case you couldn’t draw your eyes away from the subject matter on the left.

wildflower's avatar

(completely off-topic)
I’m going to see him next week!! (assuming he’s out of rehab) And he always looks great to me, make-up or not :)

Vincentt's avatar

@DeezerQueue – ew, men with make-up are scary. Then again, I don’t like make-up on most women either, and if I do, it’s very modest.

Seesul's avatar

I know this is not a direct answer, so please forgive me, but gail’s post triggered this memory for me. When I was a little kid, I use to go to my grandmother’s apartment after school every day. The building was ancient and so we the occupants, all wonderful characters, and I hope I age with even a smidgen of what they had to offer to me. The lady across the hall, in Apartment 1, was at least 90, had shocking red hair, and would have been a jockey had it been allowed for a woman in her day. One day, we were all going out for ice cream (yes, I was the only kid and these ladies spoiled me, plus taught me to play poker, casino, and canasta).

Anyway, all of the sudden, the lady I mentioned before passed a mirror and rushed back into her bedroom. She came out a minute later and apologized. She said she had forgotten to spackle her face.

hearkat's avatar

When I was young and insecure, I wouldn’t leave the house without making sure my makeup and hair were as good as I could get them. A quarter of a century later, I am comfortable in my own skin, and wear minimal makeup, and let my hair do what it does.

I am saddened when I am out and see young preteens with gobs of makeup and tight clothing, and their mothers are often similarly dressed. It’s almost as if they feel some cultural pressure to look 21.

When I was college age, I wishfully hoped that my kids would grow up where the girls could be themselves the way the guys of my generation were… unfortunately, the opposite has occurred and now more and more boys are anorexic, and concerned about their appearance. How disappointing.

DeezerQueue's avatar

@Vincentt I think anyone who wears an excess of makeup is scary. You know you’re wearing too much makeup when it takes you longer to take it off than it does to put it on, or if your removal supplies consist of cosmetic cleanser and sandpaper.

nocountry2's avatar

Make-up is an accessory – it can be as plain or fancy as you like. I wear some basics daily, which is a habit from high school when I would painstakingly cover up as much acne as I could. So now its fun, rather than feeling obligatory, and the only thing I resent is the double standard when it comes to hygene expectations between men and women, which is slooooowly starting to even out.

syz's avatar

I had acne from the age of 13 and so started wearing makeup to cover it. Now (in my 40’s), I have the acne completely under control but I have melasma, which causes splotchy brown areas on my face. I can’t win.

lifeflame's avatar

I used to think make-up = for people with something they need to cover up, like wearing a mask. In fact, when I was feeling particularly shit I would put on make-up, as if to privately proclaim, “you think I’m beautiful but you don’t really understand me…”

It was until I got to theatre school in Paris and started making masks that I really started to “get” what make up was doing. I noticed that if you paint the mask in certain ways the features would stand out more. Ah-ha!

I also learnt in theatre school when we did “quick changes” of characters that actually, the quickest way to change your character is through hair (wigs) and glasses. So since then I’ve realised how important a haircut is and how it can actually change the shape of your face… one very easy solution for someone who, in general, is way too lazy to put on make-up except for the occasional fun dress up. (Or when required on stage)

But yeah, I learnt in Paris that beauty is actually largely an acquired art, that most beautiful women are people who take time to develop a second sense about what looks good on them.. and manage to make it seem effortless.

themherme's avatar

I can tell you I personally love my face all natural! But I do feel somewhat glamerous with a little bit of bare essentials on. I can also tell u from a cosmetologists point of view that make-up for some of my clients can really make them feel a lot better about their self image. I mean you think about the woman who is covering her scars, or birth embarassing birthmarks, or the one who has sunken in eye sockets, or maybe her eyes are very close or even widely set. Maybe she has an oversized nose or tons of rosacia or acne. There are so many amazing techniques that we can use to improve our outside beauty, which can really bring out a whole new person in you. Make-up can sometimes be a wonderful tool. Now for someone who over uses that’s a whole different ball game. If you want to try some great natural make up, bare meninerals (aka bare essentials, I.D.) Is a kick butt line! It is very natural, easy to use, hard to cake, good for the skin, lasts forever, and is really an all around good product to use.

hearkat's avatar

@themherme: Bare Escentuals clogged my pores, and I’ve heard other women complain of the same problem.

Carol's avatar

I try to put my makeup on in the dark so I can’t see my face before its made up. The face I would see in daylight without makeup would give me a coronary. While I’m at it, I’ll also reveal that I have no idea what my hair color is and I’m proud of it. Thank god for makeup, nail polish and hair dye.

Its my personal preference to look at men without makeup, and guys, leave the men’s cologne at the store. Ditto for the jewelry.

I delight in our gender differences. We have time enough at the end of our lives to look neutered.

Tumerica's avatar

Resent it! Find it unfair and bothersome. Procrastinate using make-up as much as I can get away with. Can’t wait to wash it off. Skip it altogether whenever I can (except for lipstick and sunscreen). But I tell you what, when there’s an event to go to—a party, a wedding, a trip out of town, something entirely new—I enjoy taking the time and sprucing my face up up. Then, it’s a fun ritual.

To be perfectly honest, I admire natural beauties who need no make-up—like my five-year-old. Long, black lashes, blushed cheeks, vermillion lips, dewy skin, and a constant smile. That would be ideal. To wear make-up means to be self-conscious, too—ooooh, I can’t cry, I’ll get the dreaded black streaks.

Make-up is both a blessing and a curse. Better not to get too hooked in by it. But probably good not to ignore it altogether unless you are genetically blessed and have equal aplomb.

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