My personal makeup regime goes something like this: wash face, apply toner, and apply sunscreen. If it’s daytime, I’m done. If it’s nighttime, I’ll go for some lipstick and mascara, possibly cover up if I’m feeling all fancy-like. Nine times out of 10, I’m likely to walk out of the house wearing nothing more than sunscreen. (Specifically, this one.) I work from home, so this is an easy decision. Still, when I heard that September 20 to September 27 was No Makeup Week, I was intrigued.
I’m not saying I’m proud that I tend to forgo makeup in the day to day. It invokes all sorts of weird feelings – do I think I’m “too pretty” for makeup? I don’t – I just don’t feel like putting it on. Or am I just lazy? Why do I love to write about and research green makeup, but I can’t be bothered to put on cover up? Oh man, my skin really needs cover up! (Rushes to mirror to examine skin, and then uses cupcakes to fill the void.)
See all the weird feelings makeup can inspire in one woman?
Curated by Rachel Rabbit White of RabbitWrite.com, No Makeup Week is a week long blogosphere project exploring women’s use and expectations of makeup. From September 20 to September 27, women of the world are encouraged to go without makeup and write about how it makes them feel. As Rachel writes, “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 its spark.”
Rachel cites a study revealing “8 out of 10 women prefer their female colleagues to wear makeup and the same number of women said they would rather employ a woman who wore makeup than one who didn’t. So when the world seems to look at makeup like a necessary mask, how does that make us feel about wearing it?” This completely rings true with me. I once had a friend/colleague tell me that I really needed to put on some mascara if I wanted to be taken seriously at work. And no, we weren’t working a runway.
And just how is the No Makeup Week going? Judging from the No Makeup Gallery, the site has amassed quite a collection of gorgeous women sending in pictures of their happy, bare faces. But comments on blogs reveal some more complicated emotions. As “Flackette Goes Retro” on Jezebel expressed, “I feel that makeup wearing is used symbolically, to show that you are “on”. We don’t tend to wear power suits or traditional corporate wear in my office, but some makeup, along with neat and polished hair, seems to transmit the message that you are together, organized, and ready to take on projects.”
Others expressed anger that someone would tell them not to wear makeup, causing “Daradoodle” to comment “I’m surprised by the [negative] way this post has been received. I didn’t read it, in the slightest, as criticizing women who wear makeup, but people seem to be up in arms about a post telling them not to.” “Lucysnowe” shared that she looks at makeup as “war paint and fashion.” “Hiding in Canada”threw out a simple “What the f*** is wrong with everybody?”
It brings to mind Mae West, American actress and sass sex symbol extraordinaire. As she famously expressed, “Kiss and make up – but too much makeup has ruined many a kiss.”
Which leads us to one, final question. How do you feel about makeup?