Today is the start of No Make-up Week

What is No Make-up Week?

I’m asking you to conduct your own experiment. To go a day or a week without make-up, to upload a no make-up photo online or simply explore the relationship through writing or whatever feels right. Make it your own.

It’s not about taking a week off because make-up is somehow bad or because not wearing it is better. It’s that by taking a week off, I should be able to understand my relationship to cosmetics more clearly. Why do I feel I need to sketch on eyebrow pencil before going to the grocery? To shellac my face before seeing a friend? And if I am going to a networking event or party, can I feel comfortable in anything less than contoured cheeks and caked on lashes?

When I think about not wearing make-up for a week, a voice inside of me screams, Noooooooooo! And this is exactly what I want to explore. I mean, the thing is this: Make-up is a powerful tool, it has the ability to transform, to incite imagination and creativity. But, when an option turns into a necessity, I don’t know it it’s still a tool. At the least, it loses it’s spark.

I won’t be spamming you with photos, because I’m sans make-up in all of my photos – or at the most, wearing a little foundation. But I thought this was a great little project, so I wanted to share it with my readers.

I’ve blogged in the past about my make-up anxiety, but I’ll probably put up another post or two throughout the week. There’s also a Facebook event, and you can follow it on Twitter with the hashtag #nomakeupweek.

For now, consider this an open thread. What’s your relationship with make-up? Do you ever feel obligated to wear it? Obligated not to wear it? How do you feel about the make-up double standard between the sexes?


  1. Karen Rustad says

    One of my (religious) friends gave up makeup for Lent, and found she didn’t need it as much as she’d felt she did beforehand, and went without much more frequently even after Lent was over.Yay for Lent actually resulting in something useful!

  2. says

    I hate makeup.I despise it. I really do. And yes, I know what a woman looks like without makeup, as compared to with makeup. I appreciate that good makeup you hardly notice. I hate it. It’s not real, I’d rather have real.I know what I see in ads, on TV, etc…I know that’s not real. I prefer to see a woman’s face, not see makeup piled on, or even stylishly used.

  3. says

    I don’t really wear makeup unless I’m getting in costume or getting very dressed up, which is really the same to me. To wear makeup once less a week would be difficult to accomplish as most weeks I just don’t.

  4. Edward says

    I have gone my entire life without makeup. It is probably dangerous because the government doesn’t check if it is safe; it could probably be made of anything short of nuclear waste.A hardcore atheist like you might enjoy this website:

  5. Moky says

    Holy crap, I’m not 30th in comments for once.I never learned how to use make-up until my mom forced me into going to modeling school for one summer(the second time I willingly went) for my intense shyness. There are times when I feel the urge to wear it, but for the most part, it’s not a huge issue. I wake up to early for college to really care to wear it. I never had someone tell me, “You should wear make up.” I certainly get more comments when I do wear it, not because I’m oh so pretty, but because it’s a change from the usual. The double standard is kind of like crying and wearing dresses, you only can if you’re a woman it seems. It’s something that was created socially and there isn’t a reason someone should or shouldn’t wear make up. I personally don’t mind when men wear make-up.

  6. Moky says

    My boyfriend says the same thing. He always tells me I’m beautiful without make up and that he prefers it like that. To be honest, I haven’t seen many men say, “The girl I date MUST wear make up.” Most men are like you I’ve noticed.

  7. says

    I put it on if I feel like it, and I don’t if I don’t. That’s pretty much it. I will rarely wear it just to run to the grocery store or another quick errand like that. Seems like a waste of time: I’m too impatient to get to where I’m going. But I do know how to put it on in varying amounts, and I will put on however much I feel like putting on. I rarely feel guilty about it either way.

  8. mrgeniusontv says

    ramen. . . if god wanted girls to wear makeup he’d have made them members of KISS.the same thing goes for high heels. . .

  9. Samantha Grover says

    Add me to the ‘I hate it’ list. I am 44 and should wear it, but I just don’t. I don’t feel I ever learned how to use it correctly (because I’ve always disliked it anyway). When I do use it, I look like an old and trying to hide it hooker. It just isn’t pretty. I will put it on if going out to a fancy dinner, a wedding or a funeral. Thank goodness I don’t have to attend any of those that frequently.Sam

  10. Samantha Grover says

    Add me to the ‘I hate it’ list. I am 44 and should wear it, but I just don’t. I don’t feel I ever learned how to use it correctly (because I’ve always disliked it anyway). When I do use it, I look like an old and trying to hide it hooker. It just isn’t pretty. I will put it on if going out to a fancy dinner, a wedding or a funeral. Thank goodness I don’t have to attend any of those that frequently.Sam

  11. says

    I’ve never been a fan of makeup. I’m already slightly OCD as it is (I have to take a shower every 5 hours or I start to feel disgusting). So the idea of putting extra stuff on my face makes me cringe and immediately head for the nearest place with soap. I do however put on spf 30 moisturizer everyday and I dabble in the occasional eyeliner because honestly I like how it looks on me. It’s never caked on egyptian goddess eyeliner though. gah. I grew up in a small town where the majority of girls in high school started wearing make-up at age 12. Foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara – the whole nine yards. It completely grossed me out. Even more so that it was obviously there mother’s who were buying it for them.

  12. Danielle says

    So, I’ve got some really nice make-up sitting in my bathroom closet. Have I worn it before? Totally.I wear light make-up; light foundation and some eyeshadow powdery stuff that can also turn into blush and a colored lipgloss too!The following occasions are the only time I apply this light make-up;- work social events (otherwise, I’m a scientist, no need for being fancy in lab)- girl’s night out at clubs- fancy dinner with fiance- Conferences for scienceThat’s about it. I’ve applied make-up about 3 times in the last year. Pretty pleased about it too. I don’t wear any at all most days. Sometimes a bit of gloss, some moisturizer but no make-up is generally how I roll.I don’t mind if men wear make-up (to cover any scars or pimply bits) but only if they care. Guy-liner amuses me. In general, I wouldn’t expect a guy to put on make-up just as I don’t expect myself to. I think that if make-up completes a woman’s look for the day, or if she’s comfortable with her make-up choices, then cool for her.Personally, I can’t really apply make-up well but I don’t believe that’s the entire reason I skip it most days.

  13. says

    I’ve never worn make up either. I just don’t have the time, honestly. But I applaud this project, because I’ve had many of my age-mates say to me “But I feel NAKED without my make up!” So I hope this little experiment can help them ease out of that fear.

  14. Lily says

    I haven’t flung a dime in the direction of the multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry. Chock full of chemicals (well I guess so is our drinking water), tested on animals, million dollar campaigns on “anti-aging” products. Anti-aging? Does that not bother anyone else? Last time I checked, to stop aging is to DIE. I’m surprised more women don’t abstain, but then again, we’re all brainwashed into believing we need dozens of pointless consumerist items. I don’t understand the posting of pictures thing. What is that supposed to confirm? You’re implying that I should perhaps be self-conscious about every single picture that has ever been taken of me, considering I am wearing makeup in none of them. I challenge you to go for a year. Or maybe 25 years, because that’s what I did and I have always been happy with my appearance! I think you can be too.

  15. Quatguy says

    Given a choice, (I can dream can’t I) I have always preferred the look of women who do not wear makeup. Natural is so much better and shows that a woman has some confidence in herself and is comfortable with her appearance. Lipstick is the worst. All that sticky goo is disgusting plus most makeup is full of toxic chemicals. Just my 2 cents.

  16. says

    For my girlfriend, every week is No Make-up Week. She doesn’t wear make-up at all (unless it’s on special occasions, and even then it’s really light… eyeliner and lip gloss, and that’s it) and is absolutely beautiful without it.If you think about it, make-up really is quite silly and rather absurd.

  17. Streeaker says

    I very much prefer women without makeup. On the one hand, yes, makeup can make a woman shine (take that however you want), but on the other hand, I’d rather see a woman for who she really is.

  18. says

    My wife rarely wears makeup. She doesn’t need it. I think I prefer the natural look. My mother rarely wore makeup either. They both might wear some on a special occasion, but not daily, for sure.I however can’t go a day without it ;)The double standard is interesting. I think that women’s fashion is policed by women. Most men don’t seem to think as badly of a un-painted woman as other women do.I wonder if it is a parallel to how FGM is mostly practiced by women on girls instead of by men.

  19. says

    My problems with this sentiment is: I’ve never met a guy who claims to want girls in make-up.However, I’ve also very rarely seen a guy approach a girl who WASN’T wearing makeup over one that was.I think that this is similar to people saying they’re attracted to someone’s personality or their mind. While a personality and mind can make or break the deal, the thing that makes you walk over and talk to someone is how they look. You can’t see someone’s mind from across the club.Appearances matter and when someone takes care of their appearance it creates a positive impression. Make-up can enhance this perception (just like pantyhose, ties, dress shirts or high heels). I don’t even think it’s so much what these things make us look LIKE as the fact that we were willing to take the time and care to “dress up” and make a concerted effort to look more presentable than just jeans and a t-shirt.This is just a theory. I wear makeup when I’m going somewhere that it would be appropriate and usually skip it when not (ie I don’t doll up for the grocery store, but I do when I go to a party), but I still take care that I have brushed my hair and put on appropriate clothing before leaving the house because the impression you make with your appearance is, IMO, important.

  20. says

    I use it when costuming. But that’s more along the lines of stage makeup. Looking back over my past relationships, I’ve only had one girlfriend that used much, and I found it greatly ignoring.

  21. says

    I’m a hairdresser and I rarely wear make up. I don’t hate make up, I do clean up real nice when I wear it, but it’s time consuming and it says nothing about my skills as a stylist. I’ve worked places where make up was mandatory, and i hated it. Thankfully, i don’t work in places like that anymore.I do wish sometimes that I liked putting it on more, I think it’s fun to wear, but I’m kind of in the “I’d rather look natural than fakey” camp. My boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind that I don’t wear lots of make up either.

  22. says

    I don’t always wear make-up when I leave the house. I used to, but as I’ve gotten older I just don’t have the time… because yes, when you get older you have to be more careful applying the stuff or it ages the daylights out of you. That said, I enjoy wearing it when I do. I enjoy the skill I’ve developed in using it with a light hand to emphasize the good points rather than watching it cake into every newly-forming line on my face. It’s fun.But since my husband prefers me without it, I tend to kill it all off once I get home from the office.

  23. says

    I’m 48 years old – I should probably wear makeup every day, but I don’t. For the most part, I don’t usually put any on unless there’s a probability of someone taking my picture; and only then because otherwise I look even more faded that I actually AM.That said, I’m still using the same eyebrow powder I bought 10 years ago, and at the rate I’m going, I won’t need to buy another one until probably 2040 :)

  24. AnthroChick says

    I used to wear makeup every day that I left the house. Then I had a baby. Now I wear it when I have to give a lecture or interview for a job or do something else along those lines.

  25. Julie says

    Ugh, and the comments are already hitting all the points I expected.- Natural is better.- Women who don’t wear makeup are more confident.- Seeing a woman for “who she really is.”- CHEMICALS!!!Look, women who wear makeup are every bit as if not more confident than women who don’t. A woman isn’t any less herself in makeup than out of it. And if you’re so damned concerned about au natural, then you’d better get rid of those polyblends lest you appear a hypocrite.I like makeup. I don’t wear it 90% of the time at work (I work with dogs, would be counter productive), to run errands, etc. But when I’m going out to dinner, out to drinks, to a job interview, etc. I pay just as much attention to my face as I do my clothes, shoes, and making sure my nails are clean. I also really like playing around with makeup in an artistic sense and enjoy opportunities to create a character in costume-appropriate scenarios.This doesn’t make me fake, insecure or “not myself.” I don’t feel pressure to wear makeup anytime I leave the house, as if stepping out into natural light without eyeliner would make me recoil and hiss ala Dracula. The original poster’s use of words like “caked” and “shellac” implies that she has an unhealthy and negative relationship with makeup herself, not that women in general feel the same way.

  26. Kitsunechylde says

    It’s a love-hate relationship… and the dogs honestly don’t care how I look at work, so I have a hard time justifying it, but I still enjoy wearing it. I hate that it can be a huge time sink, but I love looking healthy. (I’m in a lot of pain and it takes its toll on a complexion)

  27. April says

    You are right, appearances do matter. I just don’t agree that makeup=taking care of yourself.I see makeup as expensive, time-consuming, bothersome (you can’t touch your face or sweat or cry or scratch or anything!!), uncomfortable and an infection risk. I feel like I’m taking much better care of my appearance by not wearing it. The sexual double standard frequently requires women to do things which are unpleasant and harmful in order not to be accused of self-neglect. Makeup is an arms race, where you continually have to put in more and more effort just to be considered normal! It’s fun for dress-ups, but it’s not your actual face.Good on you, to any women who are prepared to critically examine their relationship with make-up!

  28. Allison says

    I understand that some people might not like makeup, but I have terrible skin, and I don’t like to go without. I do try to give my skin a ‘break’ once a week, but I refuse to believe that people would prefer to see me without makeup. I guarantee they would not.

  29. Ryanlangford says

    if I was female, I would never wear make a general rule, I find effort to improve physical appearances to be superficial and a waste of time I could spend doing something more productive….like reading, or playing computer games.You know….more important things.

  30. says

    I enjoy makeup – for me. I enjoy the process of applying it, the creativity of designing it and the fun of wearing it. However, I work at home and I don’t wear it that often – and I don’t have a problem going out without makeup.I had some great artists teach me how to use makeup when I was performing. Sometimes I wear a lot and sometimes I wear a little, but I wear what I feel like wearing.That goes for my clothes, too. :)

  31. says

    Makeup is good for your face in that it protects it from sun and pollution, both of which can cause irreversable damage. Also, I never have a problem sweating, crying, or anything, if you do, maybe you’re not applying right. You probably shouldn’t scratch or touch your face with or without makeup. There is almost zero risk of infection if you keep your applicators clean or new. Someone could easily get an eye infection from a dirty finger or debris blowing in it.I also think to say you have to wear it to be considered normal is false. I know a lot of incredibly beautiful and well liked women who don’t wear any or very little. I wear as much as I want for myself, no one else.

  32. says

    I might wear makeup twice a year, if that. Besides the feminist tirade of double standards, oppression by the kyriarchy, etc., that I can easily slip into, I like sleep. Sleep is my friend. I would spend 4/5ths of my life in my bed, if I could. (I don’t, but on weekends, if I’m out of bed before noon it’s a flippin’ miracle.) So when I’ve got 20 minutes to get out of the house because I’ve hit the snooze button for the fifth time, stopping to put on deodorant, brush my teeth, and run a brush through my hair is about a miracle (I’ve been known to forget one or more of those things. Thankfully, there’s a drug store across the street from work, so I can dip in grab what I need. I have a desk drawer dedicated to personal hygene). Makeup? Who needs it when there’s sleep, glorious sleep?

  33. says

    I may have to try this. I’m an ‘almost-every-day’ wearer. Yeah, light foundation, eye make-up, gloss. I admit it. I work in an office so I *could* say that I have to in order to appear ‘professional’ but that’s a cop out.I like it. Is some of it tied up in self-image issues? Quite likely. Moreso though, I enjoy playing with it. I enjoy making different looks and personas for myself. Vamp today? Yes, please. ‘fresh-faced-girl-next-door’ tomorrow? Oh maybe so. Let’s see what my mood is.I’m not afraid to leave the house without it (most weekends I dont’ bother with it) but I don’t apologize for liking to decorate myself. However, this is an interesting idea.. I may have to run with it.

  34. LS says

    I’ll be spreading this around. If for no other reason than because I find makeup terribly unattractive.

  35. Gloria says

    I actually wish I wore make-up. But I have bad acne scars, and I have no skills. It’s nerve-wracking going out every day with my bare face.

  36. Moky says

    Not really because you’re blocking your face from ‘breathing’ by blocking pores, it doesn’t protect from UV damage as much as sun lotion does, the amount it does protect isn’t even a major amount.

  37. Mischieveiouslymysterious says

    i think maybe the posting picture part is to invite comments and help you realize that even without makeup you look fine…

  38. Joshv says

    As a guy, the only makeup I own is concealer/foundation. I use it infrequently, when I’m going out and want my complexion to look extra good or want to hide a blemish/pimple. The other occasion is for an interview or similar event. Also good for the (hopefully very) occasional unexpected hickey. :)Girls who do eyelashes, lips, etc every day have my sympathies – I can’t imagine doing that much, especially on a daily basis.

  39. Jeric_synergy says

    Those of you who’ve never had skin ravaged by various skin conditions can just shove their “I want real” up their asses, sideways.

  40. says

    Is there a challenge for those of us women who already don’t wear any make-up. Should we try wearing make-up for the week?

  41. Slacker says

    I hardly ever wear make-up anyways. It just takes up valuable sleep time in the morning. I sometimes get up in the mood for it, but I generally think women over- do it. Some wear it to the gym!

  42. kendermouse says

    Meh. I rarely wear makeup, too much effort to deal with for everyday stuff. If I’m doing something special, I’ll make the effort, but otherwise, nah.Also, I’d like to note that /I/ think some guys look good in makeup, too. Johnny Depp’s eyeliner, anyone?

  43. says

    Not to be a braggart, but I get pick-up attempts quite frequently, and without the aid of make-up. I can get dolled up w/out gooping the schlop onto my face.

  44. says

    It’s a good idea, especially for women who rarely leave the house without the “full works”, but it seems there’s a danger of equating make-up with “bimbo”. I’m all for the natural look – but I’m also someone with skin problems (acne as well as dermatitis), so I wear a light powder on most days (especially to work). Not much else, like foundation (unless I have really bad excema which I luckily I haven’t had in a couple of years) or blush, but just something to hide the worst of it and make me feel less self-conscious. Yeah, in a perfect world I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable showing my flaws, but in this reality I don’t feel “natural” with red spots on my face.

  45. Julie says

    Actually, there are many non-oil-based, SPF 15 foundations, powders and lipsticks/glosses these days as well as some that fight acne.

  46. Julie says

    Makes you wonder how many of the men here professing to like “real, natural” women would date a woman who doesn’t shave her legs or armpits?

  47. Diatryma says

    I’ll just chip in my 2 cents and second each of your 3 sentences :). I’m 47, and the only makeup I occasionally wear consists of some eyeliner and lipstick.

  48. says

    I don’t think that any person approaches another for a relationship. At the moment of approach, you can’t know if this person is relationship material. You know what they look like and you know you are attracted to them – in order for there to be a relationship, you need to get past the approach point and into the “getting-to-know-you” point for there to be real relationship potential, IMO.Regardless of whether the person just wants a “quick fuck” or is hoping that there might be some grounds for a relationship, the thing that draws them over to talk to the other person is whether or not they find them attractive and I believe that, at least subconsciously, the more their appearance reflects their care in it the more it projects an image of self-confidence and makes them appear more attractive. This is not to say that you must wear make up to be attractive, but only that makeup can be one way in which one can project this aura of care and, therefore, self-confidence.

  49. says

    As was said above, there are many makeups on the market now (most of them, in fact!) that are not a problem for your skin. I have to be really picky with what makeup I do buy because my skin is very sensitive, so I understand the problem with getting makeup that is uncomfortable and problematic!Makeup is merely one way that you can show that you take care of your appearance. Other women might wear pantyhose with their dresses/skirts (I hate them – I always end up with a run before I even leave the house!) or just dress nicely and style their hair. Men also have to do things to take care of their personal appearance if they want to project a positive image – keeping facial hair neat, wearing ties, etc. I don’t think that the point necessarily is your medium, as it were, but more that you have taken the time and effort to make your appearance as nice as you feel it can be for the occasion.I’m sure we can all agree that there’s a big difference between throwing on a pair of jeans and a baggy shirt while tossing your hair back into a pony tail when you just need to run out to get the mail and don’t want to flash the neighbors and what we’d do if we were going to work, or out to a party or a club. For some women (me, included) that differences includes makeup. For others, it doesn’t. I think that making any woman feel that she MUST wear makeup (or shave, or cut her hair, or grow her hair out, or wear a dress, or whatever) in order to look good is wrong. But I also feel that there are plenty woman who choose to use makeup as part of their “dressing up” and that this shouldn’t be looked down upon either.

  50. says

    I actually think that this might be a really good idea.Get some of the men and women who wear makeup frequently to give tips and tricks to those who feel completely befuddled by it, but want to learn (or want to just give it a shot). We could all talk openly about when we feel wearing it is a good idea, how to handle the problems that arise when applying and/or wearing it and de-mystify the whole process.You are onto something here, I believe.

  51. says

    Being married for 20+ years the question is academic for me but — no, I wouldn’t. Purely irrational I know but the preference/predjudice is too deeply ingrained & visceral for me at least. I know it’s different in Europe among other places. But even most of the 1st Wave Feminists of the 60s & 70s in my youth who eschewed makeup & shaving are now probably dutifully shaving legs & pits if this aging white bourgeois Boomer’s experience is any guide. And I think we live in a much more conformist milieu than the 60s, (though not so much as say the 80s) so women taking the all natural route are probably even a smaller % now vs. then.IMO, YMMV and all that.

  52. JenL says

    Same here. I consider makeup part of getting dressed up for some special event. Every now and then I get into a phase where I’ll wear it to work for a couple of days. And then I sleep later than usual one day, and that’s the end of makeup for a while.Not currently dating, so no guy to opine about it at the moment. My ex didn’t really care one way or the other. He didn’t complain if I didn’t wear makeup, but neither was he one of those guys who hated it when I did wear makeup.

  53. JM says

    I was one of those Last Wave Feminists and men claimed they didn’t care about makeup and shaving. That’s probably fine for young women. Now, however, if I don’t put on makeup, lots of people ask me if I feel OK; I look pale and tired. That’s not how a 60ish woman wants to look. I still stop shaving my legs in cold weather, but wear long skirts and jeans and boots. So I’m not brave anymore.

  54. Liz says

    I agree that men say one thing but in reality behave differently in the wild–I, too, wear a little foundation, and maybe a little natural eye shadow (my eyelids are naturally dark). Male friends have actually referred to me as “someone who doesn’t wear makeup,” but if I actually go without any makeup, all day long I get, “are you feeling okay?” and “you look tired.” The simple truth is, we’ve all gotten used to a ‘natural’ look that is anything but. Fer sher it’s a gender norms issue, but it’s one in which we’re all implicated. A man with sunspots or blotches is just a man; a woman with the same “has bad skin.” We react to it even if we think we’re better than that, politically.

  55. Liz says

    (I mean, my eyelids are kind of purplish if i don’t put anything on them. thus the “you look tired.”)

  56. Gwenny says

    I majored in Theater in college and spent several summers doing’ repertory theatre. I got well and truly sick of makeup when I got done. Plus, I have mild allergies to a lot of cosmetic ingredients, so once I was out on my own, I decided I didn’t want the work or expense of makeup. That was 30 years ago. Three husbands later (just to prove men will consider you as a mate if you don’t don mating adornment) and any number of jobs later, I still don’t wear makeup. When I think how much many I saved that I could spend on video games and books, I smile to myself.

  57. says

    I haven’t worn makeup for years. Luckily I take most of the pictures in our family. The only thing I will wear is some super pigment concealer to get rid of the zombie smudges around my eyes…and only if I know I’m going to be in pictures (like family outings with my kid).

  58. Katy says

    I wear makeup almost every day, because that’s how I like to present myself. I use a powder foundation and I do eye makeup, but usually no lips because it comes off too easily and then my boyfriend won’t kiss me… But to me, it’s the same as wearing cute clothes. I want to look cute, so I enhance what I wear to make me look a way that I think looks good. I also dye my hair. And I don’t feel bad about any of it. Just like how I decorate my house to give it a feel instead of leaving it plain, or I put salsa on my scrambled eggs to give it more flavor, I choose to “spruce up” my appearance usually, instead of just putting on whatever clothes are convenient and leaving my face just as it is when I wake up in the morning (hormone induced brown pigmentation around my eyes, the occasional zit). I think it’s ok, and I don’t think it makes me any less of a feminist. In fact, I appreciate that it’s my right to do what I want with my body, whether it’s use birth control, wear makeup, have sex, not wear a veil, etc.

  59. says

    I have some makeup skills due to theater experience, but I can almost never be bothered to put any on unless it’s Halloween or Rocky Horror. I like the idea of a Messing With Make-up Week instead; whatever you normally do, do something else! It’s none (or full theatrical) for those who wear some all the time, and trying different effects for those of us who don’t. Now those pictures I want to see.Seriously, though, this is a huge gender conformity issue. Women are still walking a thin line between too much and not enough makeup-wise, and in some places can get disciplined and fired if they dare to perform femininity “wrong”. And look at how commentators treat Johnny Weir, who is marvelously flamboyant but also incredibly talented — he gets zero respect as an athlete because he paints his face, despite landing his jumps better than any male skater out there. It’s pretty messed up.

  60. says

    FWIW, I don’t think makeup looks good on anyone — any gender — and I never have.Philosophically, I’d say it only takes away from whatever you are, and tries to cover it over with something mass-produced — but that’s an after-the-fact rationalization; I apparently just instinctively don’t like the stuff.Edit: if you’ve got a skin condition that you feel you need to cover up, I’m sympathetic. It’s all very well for me to say I’d get used to it and would rather you didn’t spend the time covering it up, but (a) that might not stop you from feeling unattractive, and (b) there will be idiots people who will judge you downwards because of it, and I recognize that this is something you have to deal with.Just please don’t count me as someone you feel you have to do it for, because I won’t downgrade you for “looking odd” or whatever label other people might apply. Thank you.

  61. The Ratty Atheist says

    I have really bad cystic acne/redness on my back and my face, so I wear makeup pretty much all the time when I go out (only foundation, though- I hate lipstick). As bad as makeup is, I would rather have it on my face and be confident rather than have the fear the bullying I had when my skin started acting up. If my skin eventually clears up, I’d love to go without makeup, but for right now I just feel less self-conscious if I have it on.

  62. JennP says

    I’m another in the group who doesn’t normally wear makeup; I used to only wear SPF 15 lipstick. I recently challenged myself to wear at least mascara everyday, and now keep forgetting the lipstick! Part of me thinks maybe we should try a “Look Smokin’ Hot” week (daytime and nighttime looks each day) ….sadly most of me is a little too lazy to make this work right now; maybe closer to the holidays when its cooler..?

  63. says

    I have a mixed reaction to this “experiment”. On the one hand, every little bit of subverting the patriarchy helps. On the other hand, this seems to further highlight how “deviant” not wearing makeup is, which makes me feel slightly alienated as a regular non-user. Oh well, baby steps.

  64. Carlos says

    Don’t really know where the “its different in europe” but in the part of Europe I’m from and the parts I’ve visited women shave/wax/laser/etc. a *lot*. And quite a lot of men do it too.

  65. Anne says

    I keep seeing this “It’s different in Europe”-thing everywhere.I do not know exactly how bad things are regarding shaving of body hair in the USA, but in Denmark most women shave their armpits and their legs. It is rare to see a women with bare, hairy legs, and many people have that same reaction as you do.

  66. says

    But those are just weak countermeasures to say “we are not totally unhealthy”. The HEALTHIEST thing would still be not to wear make-up :) and use the occasional cream and lipbalm as per your skin’s needs.

  67. says

    The comment about Europe is mostly moot. Europeans shave and wax probably as much as Americans do. At least the younger generations, definitely. Personally, I took a break from shaving my armpits for some months. It felt quite good and my partner was quite “meh” about it. He protested a few times but that’s not really his decision to make. I thought a lot about whether I would do it if I were looking for a boyfriend – and I think that I would probably be afraid. But maybe I wouldn’t be. I probably wouln’t want to be with a person who is incapable of letting go of their social programming. Also I usually shave my legs and pubic area about once a month in the colder months. I don’t give much of a fuck and hair won’t make my vagina less awesome-feeling.

  68. says

    Actually quite sensible. I live in Europe so I have a bit less to worry about, but in the US makeup is dangerously uncontrolled. The FDA who should be checking what goes in makeup is not doing their job – they’ve actually banned a few things, whereas in Europe the list of banned ingredients is massive compared to the few US ones.This is true almost everywhere: if a corporation *can* get away with it, they will want to. Unless you restrict and mandate very specific regulations, the money-making apparatus does not give a shit. This does not make me trust makeup, among other things :) and you’re probably fairly right in your fears.

  69. philliphelbig says

    Yes, it is different in Europe, but not as much as it used to be. A little history (ignoring for now stuff more than 100 years old): The idea of women shaving armpits and legs is the result of probably the most successful advertising campaign in history. This is well documented; look it up. As a result, practically all women in the US shave. Until the early 1990s or so, most women in Europe, at least in northern Europe, didn’t. Yes, some did, but it was one variation among many, like, say, a Mohawk hairdo, a tattoo (then not very common) or whatever.In the last 20 years or so, in most of Europe probably more than half of women shave, but it depends on age, lifestyle and many other factors. It seems to be more of a general fashion trend than the really strong social pressure in the States. Genital shaving is now quite common as well (perhaps easier to notice in Europe since public nudity (sauna, nude beaches etc) is more common), many men shave their armpits and other parts of their bodies, piercing and tattoos are on the rise etc. However, if a woman doesn’t shave (I know many who don’t), there is really no sort of pressure at all, either openly or behind her back. In the States, this is a different matter. In Europe, the pendulum seems to be swinging back towards less shaving, in line with the idea that this is just another fashion trend.

  70. says

    Not that you can really compare two people, since we all differ genetically… but it’s always seemed a little telling, at least to me, that my sister cakes on the makeup and has terrible problems with acne, whereas I don’t wear any, and have never had a problem with my skin, other than the occasional dryness in winter.

  71. Ana says

    Hum. I would enter, except for me every week is no make-up week. And being a college student in an Engineering college, I don’t even stand out for it. I can even toss a few justifications – whether it’s the aggression I already suffer from the chemicals in the lab (and have you tried keeping perfectly-polished nails when you wash your glasswear with 100% acetone?), my sensitive skin or just my healthy addiction to the snooze button, the most I do is pass some eye-liner maybe once or twice a month. And I like it, because it means when I really feel like it, make-up is just a fun thing to spice things up, not a requirement.Actually, I spent last year in Italy and it was startling how every girl, at any time, had full-on make-up. Even at 8am in the grocery shop. And how cheap the stuff was there – I actually bought quite a lot of stuf that now I almost never use…

  72. says

    I haven’t worn makeup in years. I don’t miss it at all, and my husband thinks I look better without it. My skin certainly appreciates it!

  73. says

    i try to live by a non-makeup rule for my day to day and I use it for dressing up to feel special and fancy. It keeps me from getting addicted to the look and insecure behind the mask. I have way too many friends who wont go anywhere without makeup on.

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