One Guy’s Thoughts On Makeup


It doesn’t matter if it’s a night out, or a day at the park, women are always wearing makeup. Sometimes they look better than they do without any, and sometimes it’s a bit too much for my tastes. Yet, I have a strong feeling these women don’t care what I think.

In my decade or so of general attraction to, and subsequent creepy watching from afar of, the female gender, a question continues to nag the back of my mind.

Is the application of makeup more of an entertainment/self improvement hobby, or is it for attraction purposes? While I’d answer both, I think the former is the predominant reason, in which case, I support and reject it on different grounds.

I’ll push my preferences on you (you may skip the next two paragraphs if you’d like) to define where my later convictions come from. I like girls without makeup. And I mean without makeup. I don’t make the mistake of saying “you look great without makeup!” to a girl that has foundation or cover up on (admittedly, that I know of). I think the natural look is best because after applying too much, you are essentially masking yourself. If a girl deals with the pimples that I get from not showering immediately after a trip to the gym, I can deal with your blemishes too. 

What I (and other guys I know) am not a fan of is when makeup resembles tribal war paint. Not only is it a tad off-putting, but that much gets messy if you become physical with a guy. He won’t care if he’s taking you home, but at least for some it will elicit a subconscious groan.

Again, I don’t think my opinion matters much because I believe girls mainly apply makeup for themselves. I asked my sister, a high school senior and local makeup aficionado, and she agreed. Cosmetics are an extension of fashion, and are fun for girls much like the way watching sports is fun for me.

But the entertainment value of application comes at a price, both figuratively and literally. In applying so many products to the face, one loses sense of their natural look, and that look becomes foreign. While still serving as a fun and creative outlet, makeup can turn into somewhat of a necessity to quell a girl’s growing discomfort with her natural appearance sans support. This problem is complicated further should a girl start to believe that makeup is the reason she can sport a natural look. When the idea of a more “perfect” natural appearance with outside help manifests itself, the definitions of natural and unnatural switch. For a guy who loves a girl’s natural healthy appearance, this is unfortunate.

And what of the skin, the largest organ of our body? Habitual cosmetic application must suffocate it, clogging pores and messing with natural oil production and circulation. My sister was well aware of it, and acknowledged the dangers. She then pointed out the large number of cleansing products available, and that despite how this may seem like an added chore, she (and I assume many others) views it as treating herself. I read: spa day!

So I say, what about the money? Not only are you shelling out for every different kind of facial application, but now you’re buying products to negate the effects of your previous purchases. Not only to a guy, but to most people viewing this from the outside, that’s a lot of cash. I can appreciate that there are more cost-effective ways for skin care, and that not all makeup is expensive, but the name brands are. And the name brands didn’t get as big as they are if a lot of people didn’t buy their product in the first place.

What’s more, this sometimes seems spawned from noticing how other girls look in makeup from a young age. Small insecurities embedded in youth are triggering a landslide of choices and consequences. I omitted the word bad here for a reason; this issue is obviously not black and white, and neither are the causes and effects.

For the camp that claims confidence is sexy, what does the use of makeup say? This is not intended to insinuate those that apply are insecure, but it is not alarming when some actually admit to it.

From a guy’s vantage point, I’d have to say that a girl’s situation with makeup, no matter how fun it can be, kind of sucks. For the females attempting to save money, it seems like makeup, especially if you’re really into it, is a concession that at this point is non-negotiable. Adding in time spent nullifying effects and the possible mind games you may end up playing with yourself, the outlook is not good. While the makeup itself stays superficial, it appears to spawn problems much deeper.

I like a natural look, and lots of other guys do too. While this may be less about our preferences than we know, should you opt to leave the house without a single drop of the stuff, I think you will still look great. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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