Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why are some Women afraid of Makeup? A question that tugs at the heart

This question came to me as I went to do a demo at a business place during the recently concluded credit union week.

I met an older woman there approx in her 50s and she was very critical of makeup and what it stood for and stated that she didn't need it nor like it. Let me quote one of her statements: "it's like mud".

I thought that her stance was kind of harsh. I must be honest, I started to get hot under the collar over her comments but my more rational side (yes I have that :)) quickly came to the fore and told me that ‘there is more in the mortar than the pestle’ here.

I engaged her with more enthusiasm because I wanted to find out the real reason for her apparent dislike and she said that she does lots of research and was convinced it's neither good nor needed.

Now that piqued my interest.  I asked her what was her skin care routine and she noted that it consists of just toner and moisturizer.  A simple and honest assessment of her skin would be that it doesn't appear to be well taken care of as it looks ruddy and heavily shadowed with dark circles and marks although she swears differently. 

I then asked her about her makeup experiences in the past and came to realize that they were few and far between and the overall results damaged her impressions of makeup on the whole. 

It made me wonder what did makeup actually do to her, that she could carry such a conviction for so many years and not want to try again? So this leads me to the subject of my topic. I had this on my mind for a while and I have realised that a lot of women of different ages tend to think this way. 

Can women really verbalize this and answer my question?  I am not sure but I’ve noted previous articles before where its been stated that makeup application and purchases have can be arguably tied to the clients’ emotions.  I can see the authors’ point as the clients want the tool – makeup – to make them look beautiful.  This now assumes that the clients are not.  Incessant product marketing is also to blame for this as well…

As a makeup artist, I don’t agree with that sentiment at all.  In fact, I have seen and worked on myriads of women of all colors and I can categorically say beauty comes in all forms.  To me, makeup is just a tool to pinpoint and enhance the face.  That’s it.

Unfortunately, there are those that like it too much...I have seen abuse of makeup application on some faces where I can actually take a spatula and scrape it off.  I have had a friend like that and she actually said that she never even felt the breeze on her face (lol!).

This type of woman tends to feel comfortable with this amount and may be saying to the outer world 'I have something to hide' or 'I don't want to show my true face to everyone'.  

Conversely, there are women like the one I noted in the introduction, who just may have been given very bad advice, had disastrous results and decided ‘to hell with it’.  

In the first case, that may be harder to solve because it goes past makeup application and goes to self image and confidence issues.  That takes time and willingness on the client’s part to see the natural face as beautiful.

Whereas the minimalist is much easier to guide as I can always tailor a makeup application that she can accept without much challenge.

Is there any easy way to deal with people like these?  No, but for each one that I meet, I try to explain what I do and why and try to compromise so that the client always feel involved and comfortable.  If you want to try and experiment with it, I would suggest just a couple tips for now:

Tip 1:
Start slowly and use one product at a time.  If you feel comfortable with just lip gloss and mascara, then just use that.  If you want to go to something else, like lip stick, use a shade that is close to your colouring so it won’t be dramatic or uncomfortable. Plus the lip gloss will tone down the colour further if you’ve made a mistake in your purchase.

Tip 2:
If you don’t want to use foundation all over but just want a little colour, then take a pea size of your cream or liquid foundation and mix with your moisturizer and apply it on your face.  This works well as it will thin out the foundation and you will have made your own tinted moisturizer!

Tip 3:
If you want to try your hand at foundation, then just take a pea size of it and apply only where needs coverage.  I changed my own routine to doing just that and its so much better and it allows the skin to breathe.  I then apply a light dusting of powder all over and blot during the day for shine.

These situations make it even more imperative for potential clients to use good judgment and go to makeup professionals, that are good at their craft, for advice because there are those that sadly are not knowledgeable and can ultimately give makeup a bad 'rap' by giving the wrong information.  Thus continuing the cycle....

If you want to post your own experiences/comments, feel free to do so.  I would love to hear from you.

BTW - In the end, the woman and I were quite friendly afterward and she was willing to hear what I had to say about makeup and its application.  To me, I saw that as a triumph, yaay!



  1. Hi, I found your blog through Brown Beauty Bloggers. I've really enjoyed this post. It is filled with great tips. I often run into women who tell me "they don't need any paint." for their faces. It is really frustrating. I agree with you that makeup is just meant to enhance your features and not completely cover it! I think alot of women are afraid to experiment and have a little fun with it.

    I am your newest follower and will definitely be back to visit your blog again!

  2. Thanks so much for the kind words and for the follow!!!

  3. Great post D! girl i get that so often, thanks for bringing it forward

  4. Wow!! such a geat post, a lot of people are ignorant about makeup, which I do agree that it is for enhancing your natural beauty not creating one for you. I am a new follower. Definitely love your blog. Pls check out mine at The adress will be changing on 10/27 to