My friend Paula, who is a makeup artist, had this to say about wearing makeup after she read my No Makeup Challenge posts. I asked her if I could post her thoughts on the blog and she said yes. Thanks, Paula!
"Being a part-time makeup artist, I believe it is expected of me to wear makeup while doing that job.
So why, some might ask, do I wear makeup daily, to my retail grocery store job? It is not expected of me. Rather, it WOULD not be expected of me...had I not presented myself that way, so consistently, from day one.
I do not wear makeup in a way that screams, "I am a makeup artist!". I wear varying degrees of makeup, depending on my mood, time I've allowed, and how good I look naturally, that particular day (yes, we all have daily differences). Some days it's really not much, but the bare necessities (which for me is mascara, lipcolor, blush or bronzer). To some, that IS a full face of makeup. My "bare necessities" may be different than yours. Either way, the energy I put into it is, both, obvious, and obviously up to my discretion.
But the truth is, when I do not wear makeup at all (and am seen about- shopping, running errands, etc.- which I sometimes do), people do not ask me about, or comment on my LACK of makeup- instead, they ask me if I am sick, or "...doing ok?"
It's their perception that something is wrong. It's not consistant with how I present myself.
My point here is, applying a small amount of makeup to accentuate your best features, will automatically DE-EMPHASIZE less desirable features (which we all have- just ask us- ex. dark circles). How does that differ from wearing the cut of jeans that flatter our shape, or clothing colors we know we look good in? It doesn't.
I believe people probably DO notice when you are not wearing makeup to work- but because you wear makeup very lightly, when you do wear it (as in your with/without photos), it is not a dramatic difference- and either way, you still look like yourself. My lovely friend- people may not always ask why you AREN'T wearing makeup- but I can assure you, they recognize when you look good.
Often, with subtle makeup, they will assume you are just "having a good day", or ask if you've "done something different with your hair?". That means you have been successful in flattering your naturally good features, when you do wear makeup. They can't tell exactly why... but they can see the difference. You look good.
Thankfully, people are more inclined to comment on when you look good, than when you don't!
Doing "the bare necessities" can be different for all of us- but be assured- it can make us look healthier, happier, more polished, and ready to greet the world...and I believe looking that way is the first step to FEELING that way :)
I hope you find Paula's thoughts on this as interesting as I do. Makeup has been a big part of Paula's life and she is frequently hired for professional makeup jobs.
First of all, Paula did my makeup once and it looked amazing! She made me look about 4000 times better than I normally look, and the makeup lasted all day even though it was hot out, and I felt comfortable in what she applied. She's really good at what she does. And, as you can see above, Paula looks great every day. Her makeup is tasteful and doesn't draw attention to itself.
So, two things stuck with me from what Paula wrote. One is that we each set the bar for what we're going to do every day. Two is that makeup is a tool and that's all it is. How we use that tool is up to us.
We Each Set Our Own Bar
Paula wears makeup to work everyday, as I used to, and that sets the norm. When either of us deviates from that, people are likely to notice. None of us can do anything about that except perhaps become slightly less predictable. No Makeup Monday, anyone? Still predictable, but moving one step away from always wearing makeup. I'm happy to report that at least one of my Instagram friends posted a "no makeup" pic since I blogged about this.
Makeup Is a Tool
According to Paula, makeup is a tool, and you should use it for good. I completely agree. Now, when I do put on makeup, I try to use it to accentuate the positives. We've all got flaws - well, maybe not you, but I do - but I'm not sure focusing on them helps.
Also, if you happen to know a makeup artist, I suggest asking for advice. Paula's given me a lot of great suggestions over the years I've known her. She got me back to using inexpensive pink blush and she introduced to me Maybelline SuperStay lip color (not to mention she helped me find the best color - Perpetual Plum). When I do wear makeup, I look better thanks to Paula.
Update on my Makeup
I did not go back to wearing makeup every day after the challenge ended.
I wear full makeup (which for me isn't a ton to begin with) a few days a week: my first day back to work, sometimes on the day in the middle when I'm most tired and it shows, and if I have a doctors appointment or we go out.
On the other work days, I wear either nothing or mascara. When I'm home and we're not going out, I wear nothing on my face.
The challenge continues to have the results I hoped for - I no longer feel like I have to wear makeup every day.
And here's a fun song you may have already seen (that pretty much sums up how I felt about makeup for a loooong time):