Ladies, what is your attitude toward makeup?

The recent thread where the OP asked for advice as to whether she should wear makeup to a job interview got me to ask the female posters: what exactly is your attitude toward makeup? How much - if any - do you wear, and to what extent does it depend on the occasion? (please be as specific as possible: if you put on tinted moisturizer, colored lip balm or some similar product that you might not really think of as “makeup”, include that as well). Do you feel like you “need” to present yourself in makeup in certain situations, or do you see it as a fully optional accessory that you only wear when you want to, because you want to? (For instance, do you always make a point of wearing makeup to work, or are you able to, for example, put some on on a random day when you feel like it, and not put it on on another day, when you just can’t be bothered with it)?

Also, is your makeup meant to be seen, or do you mainly wear it to conceal blemishes, even out your skin, etc? (I stated in one of my last posts in the other thread that I thought I could recognize when a woman wears makeup and where she doesn’t. To be honest, though, while I definitely know what a woman without makeup looks like, I will admit that there may be times when I don’t see that a woman is wearing concealer or some other “nude” product).

This question is obviously one that doesn’t apply to me, but just to theorize a bit. I have no idea if I would wear makeup or not if I were a woman, as obviously the way I would have grown up and what societal influences I would have been exposed to (and been, or not been, influenced by) would be different. However, if I had developed the same habits and lifestyle as I have now, the answer would likely be “no” as grooming is not something that comes easily to me; I keep late hours and snooze for a long time in the mornings, getting out of bed at the last minute. I can’t imagine how I would find time for it (in real time I don’t even shave - though time is only one of a series of reasons for that). To be even more academic, suppose I somehow mutated into a woman today. I most definitely wouldn’t begin wearing makeup or nail polish, that much I am sure of (I would, however, likely grow my hair - already long for a dude - longer, and I would start removing my leg and armpit hair).

I generally don’t wear makeup on my face. The exceptions are when I’m going to be standing in front of a big audience (in such a case, lip gloss will do) or when I’m at a dressy affair and my face hasn’t been sunkissed in a while. The only facial makeup I use is lipstick and blush. I have some foundation, but I never wear it because it is way too pale for my liking.

Last summer I discovered spray-on concealer for legs. I don’t have the prettiest legs but I like to wear knee-high shorts/skirts in the summer. The concealer covers up the more visible veins and blemishes so I don’t feel as self-conscious as I would otherwise feel. I love it. But when warm weather rolls around this year, I’m going to see if a good old fashion sun tan might do the trick just as well. I’m not anti-makeup. But I became quite psychologically dependent on that concealer by the end of last summer, and I’d rather not be. My legs aren’t so ugly that I need to be inhaling aerosolized cosmetics containing god-knows-what. I also have a big ole scar on my knee from a recent scooter accident. I’d have to use the whole can of concealer to hide it. So I might as well accept my imperfections. They are only going to increase as I age.

I don’t wear makeup but I truly and honestly wish I did.

I assume most women I know wear makeup, and they look great. Some do too much and it’s cakey and you can see it. But for the most part, everyone looks better with makeup. And even if it doesn’t look good up close, it helps.

My skin is pimply (I’m 40) and red and scarred. My pores are huge. A good foundation with some powder looks awesome. And eye liner and/or mascara looks great on everyone.

But I’m lazy. And I can’t see a thing without my glasses. When I put on makeup I can feel it on my skin. It melts off. I am too cheap to buy good stuff and to keep it from expiring. Almost everything makes me break out. I hate how it looks over zits. I can’t blend into my neck. I never have the right tint for the season. I have no idea how to do eyeshadow. I hate that lipstick wipes off when you eat, and foundation gets on other people when you hug, and it gets all over my glasses. My mom never taught me (she has totally different skin and features than me). And, double the I’m lazy.

My attitude towards makeup is “you do you” and “get it, girl!” and bravo to whoever puts in the effort to look good and I hope it makes them feel just as good!

Lucky for me I have very very nice thick lashes so my eyes don’t look washed out. So I’ve got that going for me, natural beauty wise.

I don’t generally think of myself as a “lady”, but I’m certainly a woman.

I don’t wear any makeup. And I don’t think most people look better with it; if I know what they look like both ways, I’m likely to think that wearing makeup makes them look like somebody different, but I usually think the no-makeup person looks better (though I’m certainly not going to say so unless asked.)

I don’t wear makeup. I never have, unless for a play or something similar.
Though I think people can wear makeup if they want, or do what they like with their appearance.

Don’t use it, don’t see the need. Once upon a time I rather liked doing eye makeup and I do it well but man, so much work for something that will smudge so easily and you can’t scratch an itch and oh hell no don’t rub your eyes or you’ll regret it. I’m an old woman, it took me years of effort to achieve this level of decrepitude and I’m gonna revel in it.

Time for my makeup story.

I was, oh about thirty-five or so, and my mom, my best friend, and myself were at the Civic Opera House for a performance of Chinese acrobats. It was a sumptuous place, and a special occasion, so I was wearing makeup which was not an everyday thing for me. All these years later, I can’t remember exactly what I wore, but most likely it included foundation, eye shadow, mascara, blush, and lipstick.

Well, I was with my best friend in the plush ladies room before a large fancy golden framed mirror with a little table before it. I had my makeup out, talking happily with my friend, doing a touch up job on my face.

As I applied fresh mascara to my lashes, I examined my reflection closely. And I realized something. My makeup was fine. It was how I usually wore it.

Only I looked like how my father would look like in drag.

It’s true. I resemble my father. And my father resembled Hoss Cartwright.

My attitude toward makeup changed in that instant. My friend chattered on, oblivious to the deep chill I was experiencing. I shook myself, and made the correct replies to the conversation as I capped up everything and swept it all back into my purse.

I’ve worn makeup since then, but never enthusiastically.

My chosen career path (courtroom) included daily makeup as part of the body armor. Also panty hose, heels, perfume, good suits and hair that at least pretended to be arranged. I skirted the hair requirement a bit by having a wash 'n go style, but did all else.

I had 2 early makeup experiences that shaped my use of it.

The first: I taught myself in adolescence how to put on makeup and naturally overdid it. When I visited my dad and stepmom – a former Miss Nevada – one summer, she gently suggested we try something different. She completely eliminated eye liner and employed a far lighter touch with everything else. When I went back to school that fall, everyone commented on how much better I looked without glasses. I never wore glasses.

The second: I made a bet once in my early 20s with my boyfriend at the time. If he won, he asked that I refrain from using makeup for a month. In those days, I didn’t even answer the phone without makeup. I lost the bet and honored my commitment. It was excruciating, but after going without for a month, I learned to be comfortable in my literal own skin and used even less of it after that.

So with these formative experiences in mind, here is how I have viewed the use of makeup for most of my life. For the duration of my work life and only for work days, I used everything except eye liner, applied with a light touch. ‘Everything’ is mineral foundation, blemish concealer, blush, eyebrow color brush, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick. It was to present a particular image in my professional life.

Obviously I could have used even less if I didn’t care about my appearance. But I did care, and makeup does improve my appearance – so long as I don’t get carried away.

For the past 15 years I have lived in a rural environment and dress mostly in jeans and t-shirts with Muck boots and a pocketed flannel shirt stuffed full of Things You Need on a Farm. Not a bit of makeup in sight. Still, when I attend a special event in town, I go for the Full Monty. Old habits die hard.

Two Many Cats, your story cracked me up. I’ll share one back. For a time in my mid-20s, I lived in the same town as my mother. Always knew I looked a lot like her, but didn’t fully appreciate the resemblance.

One day I was walking through the local supermarket. I had my hair swept up in a style I didn’t usually wear. Suddenly, I saw my mom at the other end of the aisle. I raised my hand in greeting… and realized I was looking at myself in a mirror. That was a bad day!

I used to wear makeup, back in the 70’s & 80’s, but stopped in the 90’s for political reasons. I recently bought eyeliner & lipstick, and have discovered hair makeup. Now I do it totally for me and I’m enjoying it as an older woman playing with color and design.

I adore makeup and always have. Have worn it to varying degrees probably since I was about 12 or 13 or so, but then it was just a light sweep of eyeshadow and some lip balm. In high school I wore eyeshadow, foundation, and some kind of tinted lip product.

Ever since my early 30s I have had some significant skin issues from a rare condition that most people have probably never even heard of, so I am always on the hunt for a concealer or foundation that will cover up the area better. I wear foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, mascara, eyebrow product, blush, and lipstick or gloss. But I’ve been trying to wear foundation with less coverage and just use concealer on the “bad” areas to achieve a hopefully less cakey overall look, especially now that I’m older and heavy foundation makes me look like the crypt keeper.

You can apply all these things with a light hand and look very “natural” or you can vamp it up more and I do both as I like and the occasion calls for. I apply makeup more “for me” now than I did when I was younger. I get more enjoyment out of it, especially from eye makeup, than I did back then.

I wear light make up every day, for the simple reason that it makes me look better. I didn’t used to, until I was about 40 and just had to accept that my skin wasn’t as great as it was when I was 20.

Without it, I just look a bit haggard. Not repulsive or anything. But I work in an image conscious and ageist profession, and looking good, unfortunately, matters.

I don’t go overboard, and my makeup isn’t obvious - no lipstick or mascara. Just foundation, powder, and light eye makeup. It does make a difference. But it is a pain.

I have had some epic skin issues/problems in the past. Although I tried out make up in my teens my choices were limited due to said issues. When I finally wound in a dermatologist’s office I was told that wearing make up was a Bad Thing for me and to stop doing that. As I have also had to have surgery on my face for an Epic Skin Problem I stopped using make up.

I do use lip balm. I also use super-hypoallergenic moisturizers and, very very rarely because it irritates my skin, sunscreen when I know I won’t be able to avoid the sun for extended periods.

That said, I don’t have an issue with anyone wearing make-up.

I never learned to apply the stuff properly and the few times I tried, it just took too long. For a very short time, I would wear a little mascara and lipstick, but honestly, I don’t recall the last time I did even that. It’s just not important to me.

At most, I use a little chapstick if necessary.

Like others have mentioned, I started wearing makeup at about 12, specifically eye makeup. It was years before I felt I needed foundation and concealer, etc. but there was a time it was inconceivable to me to be seen with no eyeshadow and mascara. I feel so sorry for my inner tween:o

As an adult I started wearing the whole shebang; it didn’t help / hurt that I worked for a beauty products company. These days I pretty much only wear it to work and will do the foundation / blush thing if I look particularly tired or washed out out. At minimum I will always wear a bit of eyeshadow,mascara and lipstick. It’s like I’ve come full circle, except I’m not mortified to be seen on a weekend without a trace of makeup.

I think most could benefit from a little bit of color or shine on their lips, and mascara can make a big difference to the appearance of the eyes. At the same time, I don’t even notice anymore who’s not wearing makeup. I do however notice when someone is wearing too much.

The proper use of makeup is an unappreciated art. Personally, I deem the purpose to be to delicately enhance beauty. If you make yourself look like the Joker, you’re better off without any.

I’ve always worn makeup and always loved it. It’s like a fun little project I get to do every morning before I have to go to work. :smiley: That said, I have a light touch and don’t use many products. I’ve never liked mascara or lipstick.

I remember when I was growing up, overhearing a bunch of guys talking about some girls they’d gone to the beach with. One girl had worn no makeup, and looked “sick”. Another girl had worn “full warpaint” and looked “gross”.
I always wonder how I would feel about makeup if I was a guy. When you think about it, it’s really weird that people draw on their skin, or rub it with colored grease, to the point where it changes their appearance so much you’d think they were “sick” if you ever saw their real face.However, I think if a guy were reincarnated as a woman, he’d probably decide to wear makeup. So much of a woman’s…power, for lack of a better word…resides in how she looks, and makeup can help give you that edge.

I’ve worn some form of makeup since I was 15. I’m now 58 and wear foundation, blush, light-colored eyeshadow, pencil eyeliner, mascara and either tinted lip balm or lipstick. I’ve never had skin issues like acne, but a foundation evens out my skin tone. Blush brightens my look and the eye makeup (liner, shadow & mascara) brings out my eyes. It takes no time at all - I spend about 5-8 minutes on makeup in the morning. (I timed my self once) I don’t ever have to touch it up. Why not improve your looks if you can. I feel good if I look good! I see many women that would benefit from just a little blush, mascara and a tint on their lips. They look old, pale, and bland. I don’t want to give up yet and hope I never do!

Makeup is one of those things that, when applied well, can give you good color and distracts the eye with strategically placed light and shadows.

Most people are not very good at using it, myself included. I think most of us have a love-hate relationship with makeup.

You play around with it a lot when you’re young and don’t need it. You get a little more sophisticated about it in early adulthood, but you still really don’t need it. Everybody is cute when they’re young. Everyone has time to play and experiment when they’re young.

If you have kids and a job and have to figure out how to be in 3 places at once while being unable to find 2 socks that go together and then the baby throws up on you as you’re about to leave the house, you start to simplify. A little well-blended concealer, a quick dash of eyeliner and mascara, some low-key color of lipstick to moisturize your lips, and off you go.

Then the forties and fifities start to hit. Eventually, sun damage and aging start to catch up to you. Your makeup looks more like you’re trying to hide something because you ARE trying to hide stuff. It looks a bit clownish. You’re not a kid anymore.

In the meantime, all of those fancy products cost a crapton of money and you can’t afford to make too many mistakes. How much money do we spend on products that we absolutely hate and will never use again? They sit there looking pretty in the wrapping or are flawlessy applied in a youtube video, but you can never quite replicate the success. These products rarely seem to live up to their promises, not to mention their price tags.

By the time you’re in your 50s, presbyopia has set in. It all looks good in the mirror because you can no longer see fine details close up. Everything looks good when it’s fuzzy. Why do you think they film all of those aging actors with light-diffusing lenses that blur the details?

Then you put your cheaters on or get out into bright sunlight and catch a glimpse. Horrors! I look like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!

That eyeliner is kind of close to the lash line. Mostly. Wait. What happened there? Or here? What the actual hell color IS this foundation? It’s not right. Why is it settling in the pores and the crackly skin? It makes my skin look like 5 miles of bad road, and it cost me $80 and I used that fancy primer and the expensive applicator/brush!

This is why women give up on it. Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford a live-in professional, nor hours of practice. We eventually figure out that we don’t want to spend time and money on something that doesn’t give us much value.

I’m glad I work from home and don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis. When I do go out, it’s very minimalist - enough to make me as presentable as possible with the least amount of investment (and the fewest possible mistakes). The last time I put on makeup was Christmas Eve. I’m ok with that.

I think Dung Beetle put it perfectly: “It’s like a fun little project I get to do every morning before I have to go to work.”

With the caveat that this is all my personal opinion:

I have never seen a woman who did not look better with makeup. (And I can probably extend that statement to men, as well.) I have seen women who did not know how to apply makeup, and therefore looked worse. But makeup, applied properly, is well-blended and is in colors that flatters the person’s coloring. It defines the eyes and lips, and smooths and brightens the complexion. No one looks bad because they have well-defined lips and a healthy looking complexion. But a person wearing the wrong lipstick for their skin tone, or big, poorly blended blotches of color on their cheeks will certainly look worse.

I have a smooth, even complexion. I have light skin and dark hair, so my brows and lashes are well-defined with zero effort on my part (well, except for brow waxing), and my lips are totally fine, too. I would not say I “need” makeup to look good in any sense of the word; however, I do think I look better with makeup on (if the previous paragraph didn’t make it obvious).

Whether or not my makeup is meant to be seen depends on too many circumstances (how I’m dressed, where I’m going, who I’m seeing, the impression I’m trying to make, etc.). Both my current boyfriend and my ex-husband loved when I wore dark, dramatic makeup, so I do a bit of that. Honestly, with my light skin and dark hair, dramatic makeup almost looks more natural than me. Soft pinks and peaches look stupid on me, but dark smoky eyes or black lipstick almost seem to belong on my face, to even out my dark hair and brows.

But I honestly enjoy seeing how different types of makeup affect the overall look. I do my makeup far more than I do my hair, even though doing my hair does just as much to improve my overall appearance. But doing my hair is nothing but sitting in front of a mirror moving a wand through sections of my hair. That’s boring. Matching five different eyeshadow colors together so that it all looks seamless, then figuring out the perfect lipstick color to pair it with, is art. It’s fun! At least in my opinion.

I’m not a morning person and luckily I work in an industry that doesn’t “require” makeup, I live in a part of the country where women tend to wear less makeup, and I inherited pretty decent skin so I don’t often wear makeup on a daily basis. It’s just one more hassle before going out the door. I generally do have lipstick or lipgloss on me & occasionally that gets applied at some point during the day.

But I do look better with it on. So, when I need to look “nice,” I will wear at least some makeup and often full (primer(s), foundation, concealer, blush, shadow, liner(s), mascara, lipstick &/or gloss) makeup. And I definitely look better. I still have not mastered the smoky eye nor fake eyelashes, but someday.

It’s also fun to play with. I will sometimes end up in the bathroom on a weekend afternoon futzing around with stuff to see what happens.