Being Made Up?

Written in May

Ihe Times of India carried an article in its Sunday special edition about how an author ditched make up for an year and her experiences.

Frankly, at the risk of sounding highly conceited, they could have just interviewed me! Gah!

I mean Jeez! someone didnt wear make up for an year and they are in the front pages of the newspaper, and here I am , not having used make up all my life, except during the marriage ceremony and dance programs, and I dont get interviewed hmpf!

But on a serious note, the article touched upon a lot of aspects including the pressure women have on them, to look good.

If you come to our office wash room in the morning, you will find loads of ladies in various stages of making up including applying compact, foundation, lip stick, eye liner, etc etc. I think, I must be the only one who washes her face and runs away.

Does make up make a woman more beautiful? I personally have noticed that most women I know look the same to me with and without make up. Does beauty really get enhanced with make up? I dont know.

I only know, that as someone from a chemical background, I shudder to think of the chemicals that go into the making of make up, whether its lipstick, or eye liner or the compact powder. Thats one of the reasons why I avoid using make up. Of course, the first and the foremost reason is I am L.A.Z.Y. I cant imagine undergoing the rigmarole of make up everyday.

And I really admire women who do have the patience to do that.

A lot of women in my office I have spoken to, often mention that their spouses like it when they apply make up. Or it makes them feel more professional. Or that they themselves like their faces with make up. There are loads of reasons why make up has become an integral part of a woman’s life, and I dont want to judgmental and say this is right and this is wrong.

If one applies make up for one’s own satisfaction, thats great. But if someone does it under the pressure of the society or for the need to ‘catch up with the Joneses’ thats where I think may become an issue.

To use make up or not is one’s individual choice and it should remain like that.

Personally, I dont like wearing lipstick because I end up eating it anyways. But I like wearing kajal because my goblin eyes (Thats what RD says they are gah!) seem to look a bit decent if I wear them.

Whats your make up mantra? Do you leave the house without make up? Does an average Indian woman spend time on make up at all or is it just left for occasions?


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73 Responses to Being Made Up?

  1. Sapna says:

    Here I thought I am the only girl who goes out without make-up. Esp. after watching even Amy from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ using make-up these days πŸ˜› Nice to know I have company.

    However I do apply compact and wear a lip-stick once in a while. That just makes me feel nice πŸ™‚

  2. Sapna says:

    Posted a comment here but can’t see the comment. Just checking if it is in a moderation queue or not published. If you can see the earlier comment please delete this.

  3. Archana says:

    I thought long and hard about this!
    Well, yes, I apply make up – compact+ eye-liner, and 60% of the time, lipstick… in office and for weddings & events. For shopping etc, obviously not. I really can’t pinpoint as to why I do – but I am sure, it is for my self-gratification. I like looking like I have put in some effort in my appearance, and haven’t just crawled out of bed. I like looking meticulous, which in effect makes me feel so. I like looking professional and a no-nonsense girl ( I am neither, but it feels good to think that I am). πŸ™‚
    So, I guess I apply make up for myself – to make myself happy and in a way, to prepare myself for what’s ahead. Which is why, I don’t need any while going grocery or clothes shopping!!

  4. Seema says:

    My makeup mantra is Kajal and Lipgloss anyday! I apply only these two be it while heading for work, or some outing or any occasions. Like you, I end up eating up the lipgloss, at times even before leaving home and I never apply it back again!!

    This reminds me of a friend who would always pray to God that whenever and wherever she dies, she should be in her make up. I have had a few friends who are so conscious about the way they look, you would spot them checking themselves out at every reflection-able surface they spot. But I kind of find them cute πŸ™‚ Coz I, on the other hand cannot look at the mirror for more than 10 mins a day.

    I would just say ‘To each his own’.

  5. I am your soul sister in this respect. I dread putting make-up on my face and body, because I know it is full of chemicals. I haven’t ever used make-up except during my wedding ceremony and the receptions of a couple of cousins. I am not at all aware of what cosmetics are available in the market these days… at the most, I use a lip balm, a light lipstick (on occasions), an eyeliner (occasionally, when I feel like dressing up), a normal moisturiser and powder.

    Another reason I don’t use make-up is because I don’t know how to apply it skillfully. I have met very few beauticians who use make-up the right way, and make a person actually look beautiful. I think my beautician made me look horrible on my marriage day (sigh!). Yes, I do think make-up makes a person look more beautiful, provided it is applied right. Also, it is about how you carry it. Someone might look horrible in a bright red lipstick while someone else might look wonderful in it. It needs to be age-appropriate, too.

    • R's Mom says:

      Awww..its sad the marriage day make up was not up to mark..I think most people think, the louder the lipstick, the better it is! It doesnt work that ways!

  6. HereandNow says:

    Hi R’s mom,

    I never used make-up all my life up till first year at work. Never felt the need to use make-up except on special occasions .I started to wear make-up only a year after I joined work and the WR make-up scene you described is same at my workplace too in the mornings and I now I too am part of the make-up bandwagon.

    I personally feel using make-up gives me a more ‘professional’ look when I compare to the no-make-up look during the first year at work and the difference is notable and now I simply cannot do without basic make-up .I think wearing make-up enhances looks, but loud make-up works reverse on me ,gives me a gaudy doll look. Of what I observed there can be little to huge difference in the way one can look with or without make-up ,depending on minimal to heavy make-up styles.

    • R's Mom says:

      oh so you feel, it did make a difference is it…and makes you look more professional..I think thats awesome..but in my experience, I wouldnt figure out the difference!

  7. Jay says:

    I dont wear make-up too, R’s mom. Not even eye liner to work!

  8. Aakanksha says: know what… my office wash room is same as yours…including myself in that crowd.
    so in office I do makeup to look presentable.

  9. Ramya says:

    My mantra? Leaving house without make up? My mantra is use mascara, kajal and eye liner when I feel like doing so… When I want to get my own mood peped up πŸ˜‰ as on leaving house without makeup, I always leave home even without combing hair. Everything done after dropping thej at school on time n then at office rest room πŸ˜‰ That morning hurry will tell me whether to apply mascara kajal n eyeliner or jus comb hair n leave πŸ˜‰

  10. I hate make-up, with a capital H! Anything right from lipstick to kaajal, I use nothing at all. Even for any occasions, I am the most un-made-up person you can ever spot. The only exception to this is my own wedding, of course. Apart from that, I’ve never worn even a face powder. I somehow think make-up makes my (anyone’s) face look a lot distorted. Most of my friends who look really really beautiful without make-up look very ‘different’ with the make-up! I don’t like the difference! Yes.. I am weird that way. And no.. I don’t comment upon appearances unless asked for! πŸ™‚

  11. DI says:

    What are Goblin eyes? I want to see your pic now!
    I find make-up a lot of hassle myself, but I do not judge anyone who does it either, its about looking good. I do not even put kajal (laziness) and I think make up will make me look ‘made-up’ and hence never ventured. All these years.
    But then it has to do with our def of looking good I guess. I think wearing good clothes, keeping your hair in place and generally giving a well turned out look is looking good. I read once that professional do not take people with no make up seriously, because they are not trying enough.
    Anyway, I do not know why I am ranting on.
    Bottom line – to each his own. πŸ˜€

    • R's Mom says:

      Goblin eyes are eyes which are large and look larger behind a soda bottle kanadi :):)

      I read about the no make up no professional thing as well..guess I am pretty unprofessional that ways eh?

  12. I didn’t wear make-up for a long time and then few years ago started wearing eyeliner every day and lipstick for special occasions/going out. I do wear make up now for work too…that includes eyeliner, mascara, lipstick and very little foundation. It is time consuming but I like the way I look dressed up. I do it for myself and not anyone else. I don’t however feel the need to wear make up everywhere. I never wear it to the gym (like I’ve seen some women do!) and when I go hiking or to the shops, all I’ll do is eyeliner because otherwise I think my eyes look very tired.

  13. Smitha says:

    Most days, I just about have time to put on a moisturiser.I use a lipstick, once in a while, and if I want to get really dressy, eyeliner, but that is very rarely:) Lazy as I am. I’m fine with people wearing whatever works for them, but use what works for me:) I did my own make up for my wedding. Never liked what beauticians do to people:)

    • R's Mom says:

      Laziness seems to be the main reason why most people dont wear make up eh?

      Wow! I cant apply a lipstick correctly and you did your own shaadi ka awesome is that!

      • Smitha says:

        I did the makeup, but that doesn’t mean I’m an expert, it just means that I felt comfortable πŸ™‚ The only time I had a professional put on make up was for a family photoshoot. We got a discounted deal which involved make up before the photo shoot, and believe me, I looked horrid. And felt horrid, with all that stuff on my face.

  14. i don’t do much ‘make -up’ ing because I am not used to it.When I was a kid my mon used to tell me that extra care given to looks might distract you from the….i know..very weird theory of her…so i grew up being a behenji….I don’t use it even today and grow a little conscious when I go to a funtion where most of the women look well groomed….To add..i do use Kajal…Kajal acording to my mom’s manifesto is not a makeup :)….My daughter sometimes go to my friend’s house and as her if she can ‘dress her up’ obviously because her mom is a novice

  15. Sreetama says:

    I’m too lazy to wear proper make up. At work all I wear is face powder (to avoid my skin from getting oily), kajal & lip balm. I do like the made up look and reserve it for special occasions where I wear foundation, kajal, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, lip colour. I don’t do the elaborate make up on regular day as there would be no difference then! However the most vital factor is time. I hardly get enough time to do make up in the morning rush!

  16. seema3 says:

    Kajal was my only make-up for a long time. Laziness and no interest basically was my mantra for no make-up. But lately i saw my pictures in functions and they look very pale whereas all the rest of the make-uped ladies looked very fresh so I started using a little compact during functions and I really look more pretty.
    As i grow older maybe I’ll use more πŸ™‚

  17. V says:

    I am a lot like you. I often joke that my husband spends more time than me getting ready:-). He puts moisturizer, powder, after-shave, and I put absolutely nothing. Occasionally, I put talcum powder. I have a chemical engg. background too but the main reason is only laziness. Plus, my colleagues are mostly male & the places I worked in are small start-ups, so no one bothers. What makes me feel really good though is if I do some exercise: that really makes a big difference in my attitude & confidence levels.

  18. Ashwathy says:

    I do comb my hair once I reach office, because the journey makes it look all scruffy. But that is more from a neatness perspective than make-up perspective. I use my moisturiser everyday and then sunscreen. And that’s my usual mantra for going out. Eyeliner and kajal for the eyes. That’s about it.

    While going to functions, I do apply some amount of makeup. And promptly remove it diligently once I reach home, no matter what time it is. I guess I am more practical than vanity oriented πŸ™‚

    • Ashwathy says:

      I mean Jeez! someone didnt wear make up for an year and they are in the front pages of the newspaper, and here I am , not having used make up all my life, except during the marriage ceremony and dance programs, and I dont get interviewed hmpf!

      Why on earth would you be interviewed for something that you have always been doing all your life? This woman changed her routine, hence got interviewed. There is a significant difference πŸ˜›

    • R's Mom says:

      Amma keeps telling me to use sunscreen..I have one in the bag, but I keep forgetting to use it..gah!

  19. I have a post to write now. Not just a comment!

  20. Comfy says:

    Is wearing makeup not part of social conditioning? I remember Maa used to put on lipstick when she got dressed for special occasions. I think that is what I associated makeup with. Then when in college, eyeliner was a big thing and a lot of girls started applying eyeliner daily. A lot of times we don’t even realize when we start to do certain things, don’t we? πŸ™‚ In that sense I don’t thing we even realize social pressure, we give in to it to be part of the group and don’t even realize when it becomes part of us.
    I think makeup applied well does look good. It adds color to the face, enhances ones features, brings focus on certain part of the face. But I also think that a lot of people don’t really know how to apply it well and that is what comes from trying to learn from others rather than figuring out what works for your face.
    My daily routine is moisturizer and out the door. No makeup touches my face. I do apply lipstick and eyeliner on special occasions but those are very few and far between and that is mostly because I don’t like my face with makeup on, I don’t have it in me to spend the time to learn it and I hate what the cotton looks like when I take it all off (scary that).

    • R's Mom says:

      No I dont think wearing make up is a part of social conditioning..havent seen my mom ever do it infact, except wear her bindi diligently..which I dont becuase I dont like bindis too much!

      I never used make up in college, more to do with the fact that I studied among 30 boys πŸ™‚

      I guess you are right..the more I read the comments, the more I have realised that

      1. people avoid make up because of laziness
      2. due to lack of time
      3. Do use it on occasions…

      hmm..interesting na πŸ™‚

  21. pixie says:

    I don’t wear make-up on a daily basis. Just moisturizer and Vaseline.
    But, I love wearing make-up once in a while and going all out and looking extra sparkly! πŸ˜€
    I do wear lipstick/lipgloss whenever I’m going out. (even to the library!) It just makes me feel good πŸ™‚

  22. Shweta says:

    LAZY is one of the reasons…but you may be surprised if I confess that I do not know how to apply make up 😳 I mean I lovveee Kajal and a little bit of lip gloss…but if try using compact, foundation and other 100000 stuff that my friends apply…i end up looking like a scare crow πŸ˜†

    Picture this, On day 2 of The Great Indian garba, i tried applying a bit from the stock i had purchased during my bridal shopping, (owing to the layers of pancake I saw on girls on day 1) After the garba session was over, sweat mixed with weariness made me look a mixture of colors….. 😦

    So I am happy not trying to ape others and without make up!! πŸ˜›

    • R's Mom says:

      Arey baba I am not surprised at all…I cant apply make up myself..thats why went to the neighbour to get R dressed for her annual day!!

      LOL on the garba incident…thats so cute πŸ™‚

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  24. The Bride says:

    I wear light make-up to work everyday and for nights out and make it a point to not wear anything on weekends (to let my skin breathe, though not sure that actually happens). I definitely think I look better with make-up and because I live in a very superficial society, I can tell people are nicer to me when I’ve got make-up on. The reasons I wear it are 80% because I like how I look in it and 20% when I want to get something done – like an important meeting.

    My essentials in order of priority are foundation, as it evens out my skin tone, kajal as it makes my eyes look more defined, and lipstick, mostly gloss. It doesn’t take me extra time to do as I make it a point to do the kajal and lipstick in the lift or lift lobby. In fact, by HK standards this doens’t even count as make-up. Sometimes, for evenings out, I want to do more and play wiht eye-shadow in different colours. I say ‘play’ because I haven’t mastered the art of application.

    I think I got fascinated with make-up after my wedding, when I looked like an entirely different person due to the make-up. While I might have preferred to look a little more like myself, the face-painting and performative aspect of it appealed to me. Hmmm i should do a post as this comment is super long.

    That said, I don’t think people should be obliged to look beautiful or their best. There are days when I skip the kajal and my eyes look like I spent the whole night crying, and I couldn’t care less. Once my friend in office, who takes great pains over her make-up, skipped her eye shadow an asked me if I could tell the difference and I couldn’t.

    • R's Mom says:

      I never realised that people can be nicer if you wear make up..thats really news to me..I have read somewhere that when people see you with make up, they take you more seriously..but being nicer? Thats really interesting!

      you can apply kajal and lipstick in the cool is that!

      LOL on HK standards, not counting as make up..thats even more interesting..I wonder how people in HK get time to put on make up πŸ™‚

  25. Pepper says:

    I actually do think eyeliner/kajal makes a world of a difference to many people. So no, people do not look the same to me when they do wear it πŸ™‚

    I do not wear it everyday to work because I am too lazy and short of time in the morning, not because I don’t care to. On work day mornings, I don’t even use any moisturiser or sunscreen 😦

    But when I am going out (does not have to be a big outing, even a random trip to the mall), and I will make sure to wear kajal. I have a husband who absolutely loves kajal on me, so he ends up pleading with me to wear it. For him, I try and make sure I do, even if I feel lazy myself πŸ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      oh you think Kajal makes a difference is it? May be it does…often the problem is I dont notice!

      Thats nice, that Mint likes you in Kajal and you wear it for him..thats really sweet

      I wouldnt do that to RD πŸ˜‰

      BTW, you do have really beautiful eyes πŸ™‚

  26. freakyveggie says:

    Powder is the only thing I ever use (apart from simple jewellery), for work or for special occasions, whatever be it, and I find myself more comfortable that way πŸ™‚

  27. Nidaa says:

    I started using makeup (Kajal) for my first job becz it makes one look fresh. Inspite of taking bath twice a day (typical Keralite) I always look real un-fresh, as if just woken up from sleep. Kajal helps to look alert during meetings. But then I couldnt use it when I had to stay with someone else for a few days and forgot it at home (strictly against borrowing makeup stuffs). People at office asked me if I’m sick. One even asked if I’d started taking drugs bcz my eyes looked sooo lifeless. I was almost in tears. Everyone said that my twinklish eyes r my best feature ( a silver lining in the doesnt-look-good inferiority complex of mine).
    Tht was the end of my makeup stint.
    Now I just use wet-tissues to look fresh all the time :D…

    • R's Mom says:

      LOL Kajal helps look alert in thats a very very interesting thing :):)

      So are wet tissues, I never thought of them as freshners honestly..thats interesting too

  28. Amit says:

    It is a very personal choice I think. Geet too applies bare minimum of makeup even though she has truck load of stuff.

  29. ashreyamom says:

    I have fascination towards shades of lipstick and eyeliners.. but i rarely get time.. sometimes, i comb my hair only after coming to office, and dry my hair in hand driers fitted in toilet.. :).. if i am really putting these things, then i had woken up early or i need to meet someone in office, or there is a meeting.. or else i would be hunting for bindi in my handbag or office drawer.. :).

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