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Post in Besides Beauty

Why do we put on make up?

Sephora Beauty Talk has a really vibrant and encouraging make up, skincare and hair care community of thoughtful individuals. I've been asking myself this question as soon as it occured to me to put make up on, and I've been doing it on and off for years. And it just occured to me to pose the question the community. My regime has stabilized in the past few years, and I'm not racked with the guilt that I once was when I was in art school in Montreal, and wondered if I was participating in an anti-feminist attempt to conform to an unrealistic ideal for female beauty that disempowers us.

I no longer feel that way, but I'm unsure as to how I feel. My friends and I regularly joke, when we shop for make up or clothing together, about how our boyfriends and husbands don't like certain things we buy and wear. We say "Yes, but this ____[insert highlighter yellow nailpolish, tangerine lipstick, black and white checkered pants, etc. here]____ is for girls, not for boys." I feel as though there is an alternative and aesthetically oriented community of individuals who take clothing and make up tremendously seriously, not because they're trying to make themselves look more like a disempowering ideal of Photoshoped beauty, but because they are a part of an alternative community that takes this seriously and competitively in the same way that one might take videogames, basketball, or politics seriously (but of course, this doesn't bar us from taking any or all of those seriously as well!).

For me, sometimes make up does become an unhealthy way of labouring over a dismorphic notion that my undereye bags are crippling. Sometimes it's a way of making myself conform to unrealistic ideals I have for how my skin or my hair should look. It does give me confidence, but does that confidence simply steel me against my own sense that I only inadequately match up to ideals of beauty that I didn't contribute to or create? More positively, I often feel that I wear make up because I enjoy it, it spices up my day in a way that isn't related to beauty or ideals or confidence, and I'm not doing it to be a more spicey sexual object, but for purely aesthetic purposes.

Well... that was rambling. What do you all think?

Re: Why do we put on make up?

It was actually refreshing to see a question from an educated perspective and not the usual product placement Q&A's. Smiley Happy

Re: Why do we put on make up?

Thanks! That's very sweet of you!

Re: Why do we put on make up?

Sometimes I feel like I'll never be pretty enough. Everything I am being sold is to cover up a problem, or make me look different from the natural me. But then I realize there are a ton of things that just say hey ladies, you're gorgeous...let's highlight that cute thing about you for the world to see. At the end of the day it's for me, not one other person. I put on makeup when I am home alone and playing videogames in sweats. It just makes ME feel good, so why not?


Re: Why do we put on make up?

That's a really interesting question to think about.


It's true that everything I buy from Sephora is for aesthetic purposes.  But for me I think it's more about enhancing what is there than it is about trying to make drastic changes.


Sure, I use undereye concealer and make an attempt to even out my skin tone, but most of the other products I use are with the intent to highlight what's there.  I don't think that that's something to feel bad about.  


Could we all live without it?  Sure.  But like another commentor said, I play around with makeup (and fashion) mostly to have fun, express myself, and highlight what I consider to be my good features.


I dont know if that really answered your question, but you definitely got me thinking about it.   Smiley Happy

Re: Why do we put on make up?

My personal opinion is that makeup should be used to enhance your features and make you feel more confident in yourself. 

Re: Why do we put on make up?

this is a very good question, for me I don't put makeup on ever day because I think that god gave you this amazing face/body and it doesn't matter what size or shape color or ethnicity god doesn't make ugly people so you should never have to feel that you have to cover up what is yours. I do wear makeup on occasions to enhance my features like glossy guru said but I don't believe in covering up and giving your self a whole new face.

Re: Why do we put on make up?

I have always put on make up, for the longest time. Never missed a day.
Even on sick days I put it on.
For me, I think I have to, I am too pale and dead looking, without it, people
would think I am zombie. I like it and well it's routine for me.
It's a necessity. Smiley Happy

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