Some of the most popular search terms that lead new readers to On the Other Hand have always been related to not wearing makeup. Last year I blogged about why I don’t wear it but I’ve never talked about makeup-free special occasions in depth.
Unfortunately there is still a double standard in this area. Women are expected to spend time, money and emotional energy purchasing, applying and reapplying makeup in order to look presentable. Men are not.
So what do you do when you’re headed to a wedding, job interview, family photo shoot or another social situation that traditionally expects women to wear makeup?
1. If you’re transitioning from wearing makeup to not wearing it consider the lipgloss effect. That is, using one highly noticeable product like tinted lipgloss can give the illusion that you’ve used other products as well.
You might not be ready to give up lipstick or eyeshadow right now, but what about cutting out blush, foundation, eyeliner and mascara?
Quick, think back to the last time you sat in a meeting or had dinner with family or friends. Who in the room was wearing makeup? Which products and colours did they use?
I’ve only ever paid attention to makeup that is unevenly applied or obviously the wrong shade or colour for the person using it.
3. Don’t talk about it if you’re worried it will be an issue. Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission in this situations so to speak. 😉
In the long term it would be great if all of us who didn’t wear makeup were open about it. Just as with any other unconventional decision it’s easier for someone to better understand it if they know someone who does (or, in this case, doesn’t) do it.
But there are times when it’s better not to be the first to bring stuff like this up.
4. It’s easier to “fool” people if you’re otherwise dressed and behaving as they would expect for the occasion. Wear a nice outfit. Pick an appropriate hairstyle and some great accessories for the event.
5. Etiquettehell.com uses the term beandip to describe polite, subtle topic changes when you’re uncomfortable with where the conversation is headed . So if someone has a strong opinion on what you’re (not) wearing, ask them about the weather, their kids, or anything else to sidetrack the conversation.
Ultimately the only person this affects is you. It’s your body, your money being spent, and your time being used on applying and reapplying products. There’s nothing wrong with other people wearing makeup but this isn’t something that should ever be pushed. It’s your decision, not theirs and if you’re confident about your decision others are less likely to even see it as an issue.