What is makeup, really?

Is it a way to enhance your face, especially for women? Is it a way to transform your face into something you finally love about yourself? Is it still your face if it’s covered in makeup?

We all (hopefully) realize that we’ve been forcing women to look a certain way. We should all dress up with a face full of makeup to look presentable.

Why do our brows have to look full, fluffy, and arched? Why do our eyelashes have to be thick and curved? Why does our face have to look slimmer than it is? Why do we color our eyelids and lips? Why do we have to change how our face looks in order to feel beautiful and presentable?

Men and Women

If your day job mostly involves meeting new people, you’re definitely required to look presentable, groomed, and maybe professional.

What does that mean for men? Wearing a suit? A nice pair of shoes? A beard and a moustache that’s taken care of? Gelled hair? Maybe foundation and powder?

What about women? A blouse and a pair of pants? A dress? A pair of heels at least 5 cm in height? Full-face makeup of moisturizer, foundation, powder, eyebrow gel, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, highlighter, bronzer, lip tint, and lipstick?

I’m not making this up. Look around you.

Working, professional, and adult women are expected show up with makeup.

First impression does matter

If you’re a woman, imagine if you go to work or a conference wearing a nice dress and a nice pair of high heels, but with zero makeup on. What do you think will happen?

Your makeup is a (major) part of your look. And as we all know, when we’re meeting new people, our look is the first thing that they’ll notice about us.

In the next split second, they’ll judge us by our appearance, whether you like it or not.

But this is where it’s messed up (at least for me).

Our judgement is formed by our society. We’re used to seeing women with face full of makeup. And men with no makeup at all, at least here in Indonesia.

So if you show up to a conference or your work with zero makeup, you’ll be judged as incapable of looking professional, let alone working professionally.

As a woman, you’re still expected to use makeup to look put together.

My experience with makeup

I recently learned how to wear makeup, because I joined this personal and professional development course. Makeup is on their curriculum for women.

Before this, I only put BB cream, loose powder, and lipstick on my face.

After the makeup class, for a month or so I felt the urge to wear makeup everytime I went out. To fill my brows, color my eyelids, and add some blush on my cheeks.

Oh no.

I used to be OK with my face without any makeup on. But now, I feel my face is too pale and ’empty’, it can use some colors.

This is not good.

As long as you’re happy with yourself

I don’t want to feel that my face is not enough as it is. I don’t want to feel that my face is incomplete without any makeup.

I looked in the mirror, and to be honest, I still love my face, especially after I finished washing it. Why do I need makeup if I already feel beautiful and enough without them?

My original face is beautiful enough for me. But from I know, it’s not enough for the society.

From then on, I tried to keep my daily makeup usage to a minimum, especially when I’m only going out with my close friends and family.

Dating tip: I’m not dating anyone right now, but when I dated people in the past, I wear my usual minimal makeup. I sometimes even go without makeup at all. Don’t surprise him/her with your real face after 1 year together 😉

How do you feel about makeup?

I know I’m pretty lucky to have this option of not having to wear makeup everyday. I hope someday this will be the case for everyone. I hope someday people will accept women as they are, so it’s easier for us to accept ourselves.

Makeup should be an option, not a social standard.

Published by Ascencia Fike

Hello! I'm an affiliate specialist at Ninja Forms. I love books, food, and yoga. You can find my writings here and on Medium.

One reply on “Makeup: Is it empowering women?”

Comments are closed.