Some reasons why I don’t wear make-up

I feel required to, like I “should”
And “should is bullshit
I can feel it on my face*
I worry about it smudging
So I freeze up and walk like a doll, and can’t touch my face
I like to be able to touch my own self if I want
It takes ages to put on
It takes time to learn to put it on
Fear of becoming lessgood “without my face on”
Contrary refusal to cave to peer pressure during highschool
Lack of inclination on the day-to-day
Pride in my barefaced face
Fear of misrepresentation by presenting not-my-face
So unispired at EYES! and LIPS! being “the set”
Make-up is expensive
If a person cannot like my bare face, they don’t deserve my effort
So bored of make-up being marketed “to me” whilst I’m not in the market that the whole shebang has a hardened appearance
Apparently if I wore it I would “look my age” and not be mistaken for a callow youth; it is absurd and infuriating that to be an adult woman one must be made up
I want to be proof that it’s a thing that happens, a (young?) female wearing no make-up
A young female who still does some obviously gender/hetero normative stuff, I guess
My skin dries so easily, make-up probably wouldn’t help
(And if I wanted to search out gentle ones that would take too long and be too expensive, and annoying)

Perhaps more.

How about you?

I wrote these all down after reading this yesterday.

*I have worn it in my life; occasionally during teen times, last year at halloween, glitter eyeliner two weeks ago on a whim to watch television. Shruuuuuuuuuug

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About Claire Napier

Real cool gal
This entry was posted in bitterness, bodies, BOOO HIGHSTREET, character design, children are the future, feminism, hatred, inspired by, me, STRONG OPINIONS, themes, things i hate and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Some reasons why I don’t wear make-up

  1. Jean-Paul says:

    I realise it is entirely different as I am not socially bullied and shamed into wearing makeup, but –

    “I can feel it on my face
    I worry about it smudging” – both concerns I have, but the main reason I don’t often wear makeup is due to the fear of Street Hassle or people even just looking at me (what with someone as male-looking as me not being socially ‘allowed’ to wear cool shit). Is it society to blame, or my cowardice? Both, really.

    I also worry that as I don’t often wear makeup, my application of it’ll be poor and the sorts of people that dig men in makeup’ll roll their eyes at how useless I am.

    I realise it’s all about confidence but I so rarely have any.


    • illusclaire says:

      When people say they have no confidence I always want to say PRACTICE! So I will swallow the possibility of offending you by patronising and say PRACTICE!

      Like, wear it alone at home, and stuff! In your room, right before bed, whilst you eat, before you wash, around people who love you and/or you know wont judge you, etc. Then you will both improve at application, and accumulate naturalistic confidence because it will start to seem so normal and a non-issue that fear just wont be able to keep up. That is how I have gained the amount of armpit confidence that I have, which is not LOADS, but definitely some.

  2. Georgia Rose says:

    I feel the same way! All your reasons are excellent and I absolutely agree. Like, power to anybody who wears makeup and wears it confidently, that is awesome. But I know that if I start wearing it I will become reliant on it and grow to dislike my face without it. Also, I have gone 20 years without it and still have lots of friends and a boyfriend and really high self-esteem so… I don’t know what I could possibly gain from starting to wear it. Also I don’t understand how to apply it or anything, and it is so expensive and time-consuming.

    • illusclaire says:

      Thank you! I couldn’t really think of a real “reply” other that yes exactly, but: it’s real nice to have people who think similarly on important topics.

  3. Cynthia says:

    My skin eats makeup. I put it on, it does not stay on. By the end of the day it’s as if I never bothered. So why bother?

  4. Tirzah says:

    I wear makeup a lot, I consider myself a pro, haha. I use it as a way to express myself and how I’m feeling that particular day–like if I’m feeling all sex-kitten Brigitte Bardot, I can channel that with a heavy black cat-eye and a nude lip. I can and do forego makeup on occasion, but for work and whatnot, the norm is makeup a la “professional face”. I don’t feel that my face without makeup is unattractive or less pretty than my made-up face. It’s just my face without makeup. It’s kind of like…you know in all those romcoms, the nerdy secretary girl takes her hair out of the ponytail and takes off her glasses and she’s suddenly OMIGOSH PRETTY? but we, the audience, react in total disbelief towards this bullshit: “she was pretty all along! she just had her hair in a ponytail and wore glasses! Like no one could see she was pretty before? Really?” it’s like that with makeup–putting it one doesn’t make an “ugly” person “pretty”, and taking it off doesn’t make a “pretty” person “ugly”. An attractive person is an attractive person, whether or not they’re wearing makeup. Makeup just highlights someone’s “good” features–like beautiful eyes or a well-shaped mouth–and hides “bad” feautures such as a scar or pimple. So I hope that made sense? It got a little longwinded there…

    • illusclaire says:

      Oh sure it makes sense! No, I understand that a lot of people use it to their hearts’ content, and that despite the dominant corporate message being “make yourself OK to look at, ugly” the dominant alternative theme is “woo! expression!”

      It’s just that I rarely/rarely enough to register as “never” hear no make-up touted as a viable option, especially a viable option for someone who cares about expression and presentation and beauty. I needed to tell MY truth, that make-up is not on my side, because if I don’t represent myself then who will?

      I also think that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ features are too easily simplified into normalised versions of good and bad. Have you ever seen make-up applied to amplify someone’s cleft palate, or someone noticably blind in one eye using eyeshadow on only one of their two possible eyes in order to draw attention to their interesting asymmetry? If you have, I would assume that it was probably in the context of performance art, which goes to show how facial policing is a part of day to day life and I do think that make-up and make-up coventions have more than nothing to do with tightly held notions of “how a face should look”.

      Of course, I hope that my post doesn’t read as instructions on how OTHER people SHOULD feel about make-up and/or their own faces. I purposefully designed it to relate only to my own psychology.

      I’d far FAR rather that your way of expression be the usual way, the way that everyone expects make-up to be used, the mainline narrative of make-up marketing. So thank you for continuing to tell your own story!

  5. Megan says:

    I noticed that when I started a new job and just wore foundation for a while when I wouldn’t have time, my coworkers would comment on how tired I looked and how I should get more sleep, which tried to make me feel inferior in my own face. I still enjoy it from time to time, but I make sure to put in a lot more makeup-free days so I don’t feel like I’m putting on a false front.

    • illusclaire says:

      That sounds like a huge bummer! Cowboy shoulder punches for having the fortitude and moxie to go for less make-up and not more; I hope your co-workers (and all people) learn where to stick their noses!

  6. Rose says:

    Huzzah and three cheers. As another youngish (mid-twenties) woman who virtually never wears the stuff, I loved your list. I’m quite feminine, but spent my childhood and teenage years too busy climbing trees to care about my face.

    The bit about acclimating people to your made-up face and thus looking drab/sick/less good without it was something my mom told me when I was young. It stuck with me, and it (along with laziness and contrariness) is one of my main motivations for avoiding face goop in the face of general social pressure. Now when I *do* put the stuff on, for super special occasions or stage performances, I get to look extra awesome.

    Rock on!

    • illusclaire says:

      That illustration.. let me find it.. nope, I got nothing. The illustration that went around tumblr a while back that had three versions of the illustrator’s face with three levels of make-up on (from lots to “natural look” to none) and the reactions she gets from people at each of those levels (from lots to none: bad, good, bad). I cannot STAND the idea of having to put on a natural look every day.. and I have I suppose the facial privilege that allows me to not get negative commentary when wearing my own naked skin.

      Rock on right back atcha! :]

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  9. Nada says:

    I dont like make up i like being myself I can go out anytime I want without being late because wearing make up take lot of time and energy.I am so aproud of myself and iwant that other like me the way I am.I dont like to betray other and show them the wrong face a face that dosen’t mine.

  10. 'Becca says:

    Nice article! You have a really good point about the absurdity of “having” to put on a “natural look” every day.

    Here’s why I don’t wear makeup.

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