So Why Do We All Wear It Anyway?

by Lori Dwyer on May 17, 2010 · 10 comments

A fresh faced good morning to y’all,

Wasn’t Friday’s Bloggers Without MakeUp Day just a resounding success? Yes? Yes. What a brilliant idea, and so many willing participants. I’m quite proud to say I was a part of it. It felt like… a movement. No, wait. That sounds a bit wrong. But you know what I mean. It felt like we were doing something worthwhile, something good for the women of the world.

I think we were.

It’s funny, as I was trawling around, checking out all our gorgeous piccies, one distinct thought kept occurring to me…

If we all look so bloody good without make up, why do we all wear so much of it?

And it seems the Tweeps agreed.

A conundrum, no? There were over 100 women on Jodie’s linky list. All of them liberated, fresh faced, scrubbed bare. Every single one of them gorgeous, just as they are.

And it felt liberating. I went the whole day sans make up. Two people said to me “Wow, you look really tired!” (thanks a lot, girls). But other than that, no one even noticed.

Except for me.

Liberating, yes. There is something Amazon-woman-ish about facing the world, bare and nude as God intended. I felt like Germaine Greer. Kind of. Without the attitude and the drinking menstrual blood and stuff. Whatever.

But I also felt tired. And… well… kinda ugly.

I was OK, until I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Without mascara, without eyeliner. Without eyebrow pencil. So, in reality, without eyebrows.

Eyes still blue. But not as blue as they normally seem.

And, yeah, the girls were right. I did look tired.

So I’m not at all ashamed to say- the make up was well and truly back on Saturday morning. But while I coated my lashes with sparkly navy blue mascara, I had an epiphany of sorts.

I was doing this for me.

I wasn’t putting this make up on for anyone else. I didn’t need to. I have 35 comments I can look at, at any time, proving just how damn gorgeous I am without any gloop on.

So, today, as of now, I wear my makeup for me.To make me feel better. Less tired. Still somehow attractive, despite my tracky-daks and ugg boots. To make me feel like a lady.

Has anyone heard of the Lipstick Effect? Nutrimetics uses it shamelessly to suck in new consultants when the economic stratosphere is looking shaky. But it is a theory based in fact. Women will, no matter how tough times are, always find a spare $20 to buy a new lipstick.

Because it make us feel pretty. And, truth be known, every one appreciates a little bit of beauty. Even if it just the effect of painting middle aged lips into a pink passion flower.

And the point of this post?

Make up. Wearing it. Or not wearing it. In today’s society, both those things seem to be a big deal. There is really no escaping it. For grown adults, coloring in with pretty hues is still a big deal. We just do it on skin, rather than paper.

It’s amazing stuff. It has the power to uplift women (and, if we’re honest, the occasional man). To bring out a smile. To open up eyes. To erase five years of worry. To add five hours of sleep.

Going without it was liberating. But make up is still pretty freaking cool.


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

lori May 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

I agree with you – I wear it so I don't go "Gaaaah!!" when I pass a mirror. It makes me feel better. And I have to admit that I didn't post a no make up pic because I couldn't manage to take one of myself that didn't look like I had 3 chins. So maybe that makes me shallow…I'm not sure.


Ratz May 17, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I am never in makeup at home…. That is just the best part because there can never be never a moment when i would not feel comfortable about my skin….

But sometimes what we believe in is just beyond others' perception. So when we have to prove a point, we gotta do it….


kate May 17, 2010 at 9:22 pm

i quite like make-up free days -if only to feel even better when tghe make up goes back on :)

isn't it funny how people seem so willing to tell others they look tired. i mean, there's rarely any malice involved but still, it's not exactly encouraging.

i think you and everyone who got involved should be very pleased with yourselves. well done


Kakka May 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Interesting post and you are right it should only be for you – no one else. Me on the other hand just don't like wearing makeup and never have really, so au natural is how you always (well 99.9%) get me. Which is why I didn't do the link thing – I did however change my profile pic to the now me instead of the kid me. Way to go women of the world.


Nelle May 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm

It did occur to me that perhaps only those who managed to take decent photos of themselves ended up putting them up online…is that very bah humbug of me?


Thea May 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Yes, great point and so true!
I wear eyeliner every day because I feel better about myself if I happen to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.


Jodie at Mummy Mayhem May 17, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Love this post, Lori. Great points! Yes – women should wear make up for themselves – not for anyone else. We've all shown the last few days that we have nothing to prove.



Brenda May 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

We're women that's why. We're complicated cahrazy creatures. Love yah with or without gloop. So there.XO


Wanderlust May 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

You know what? I like wearing just enough make-up to make it look like I'm not wearing make-up. Which for me, is a light coat of foundation to even out my skin tone and a bit of lipstick. No eye make-up. Then I feel great. I'm sure it all wears off by noon, but what the hell. Like you, I do it for me.


Lucy May 17, 2010 at 7:49 am

Lori, you know what? Your posts, your blogging, your approach, your style? It just gets better and better. Gloop or no gloop.


PS I wore lots of lovely slap on Saturday night for an evening out….and felt fan-fucking-tastic. But not one compliment. Meh!


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