Why I Don't Wear Tons of Makeup Even Though That's Apparently What Men Prefer

God, I am SUCH a rebel.
Publish date:
August 15, 2012
makeup, maybelline, dowatchawant, men's stupid preferences

I’ve never been that into make-up, especially on a daily basis. Sure, I rarely leave the house without mascara and blush, but my general rule is that if it takes longer than three or four minutes to apply, I simply don’t have time for it.

I’d rather sleep for 10 more minutes or stare blankly out the window at the fog and wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life than suffer in front of the mirror while trying to steady my hand enough to magically make liquid liner morph into the perfect cat eye.

There could be several reasons for this attitude, and frankly I’m not sure which one it is, but I’ll present my hypotheses nonetheless:

1. My mother put make-up on me when I was three years old. Nothing crazy, just a little blush before a photo shoot (I was hardly a child model, but there were a few sporadic moments).

However, it wasn’t the blush that traumatized me; rather, that honor was given to the eyelash curler, the most terrifying torture device ever forced upon a toddler. (I’m not actually sure if three qualifies as toddler, but just go with me.)

I’m sure at this point you’ve all used an eyelash curler (I recommend Shu Umera, although Sephora’s knockoff is also pretty good). Because you’re a grown-up, I assume you’re smart enough to realize it’s not going to instantaneously chop off all of your eyelashes. Daisy, age three? Not so much.

Oh the tears…

That's me in the middle. Luckily, this was a short-lived experiment.

Fast-forward to my late-20s/early-30s when my (well-meaning) mother constantly suggested I use foundation (something I’ve never ever used) despite my protests that I didn’t want that crap on my skin.

“Well, maybe just when you go out at night,” she’d say, as though my freckles and sun spots were simply too much to bear. Pair that with the fact that she suggested I put lipstick on nearly every time I showed up without any (so, almost always), and the 14-year-old in me who despises being told what to do just had to rebel.

Plus, what was so wrong with being confident enough to go out on a Friday night without lipstick?

2.I’ve had jobs as both a Style Editor and a Beauty Editor, which, obviously, involves writing about makeup in a way that makes people want to buy it.

When I wrote for Sephora, people would ask, “How can I trust your review? Isn’t it your job to sell this stuff?”

Ding ding ding ding! You CAN’T trust my review. Someone gives me something for free and I write about it in a way that makes them happy in order to maintain a healthy working relationship (and get more free stuff, obvy). If you try hard enough, you’ll find something to like about almost any product out there. My reviews weren’t lies, per se, but I certainly don’t think you actually need to drop $75 on PeterThomasRoth Laser-Free Resurfacer even despite the Dragon’s Blood Complex. I just wanted to tie Harry Potter in to a beauty review.

Mostly, those jobs, much like being a copywriter for major retail brands made me kind of sad. I was convincing people to spend their money on crap they simply didn’t need and that just wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.

Am I saying all beauty products are useless? Of course not. But if I have 10 lipsticks, I probably don’t need another one. Yes, mascara needs to be replaced every couple of months, but after years of spending $30+ on mascaras that vibrated and rotated and did everything BUT make my lashes look long (or give me an orgasm), the best one I’ve found so far is one Julie told me about: Maybelline Full 'N Soft Lash Mascara. It’s like nine bucks.

(I mean, I also use Latisse because, again, I’m not anti-beauty products; I’m anti-excess. For me. If beauty products make you happy and you can afford them, go for it.)

I've tried 'em all. Right now, this is by far my favorite.

3. Red lipstick, crazy nail art, and fancy hair-dos are high maintenance in a way that’s not compatible with my lifestyle.

Again, a lot of it has to do with time. Your adorable polka dot, zigzag nails with 17 different colors of polish on them? Amazing. I will totally admire those and think they’re super cute. But I will never sit down long enough to have that done to me. I can barely justify a regular manicure/pedicure to the point that I recently suggested to my therapist that he bring someone in to do my nails while we talk so that I can more efficiently multi-task. (That’s a million dollar idea, by the way, if someone wants to grab it.)

But also, I hate that red lipstick and hair that’s perfectly coiffed mean you can’t be touched. Okay, yes. I hate touching. Unless it’s my boyfriend (fictional, sigh) in which case, I don’t want to be the bitch who’s like “Um, you can’t kiss me. It’ll smear my lipstick.”

Wearing red lipstick out on a Saturday night effectively means going the ENTIRE night without even a smidgeon of tongue action. Listen, I hate PDA, but stolen kisses are one of life’s biggest pleasures.

And though I’ve been the girl before who gets mad when my boyfriend affectionately tousles my hair, “Ugh, YOU'RE RUINING IT,” I’d prefer if I’m never ever that girl again. Unless I’m at the Academy Awards in which case, hands off, buddy.

So those are the three reasons I think I tend to have a more low-key beauty regimen, but I’m totally screwed according to a poll of 1000 men taken by Escentual.com:

“73 percent of men would prefer their partners to wear make-up at all times – with smokey eyes their favorite look.”

First of all, I don't even know what "at all times" means. Like even when I'm sleeping? Working out? Snowboarding? Doing my laundry?

But Emma Leslie, the beauty editor from Escentual.com, did not find the results shocking at all, due to the fact that she associates makeup with confidence. “There's nothing more sexy than a confident woman, and make-up - even if just a bit of mascara or cover-up - can make a woman feel so much more empowered.”

You know what makes me feel empowered? Intelligence. Wit. A good night’s sleep. Not paying $200 to replace sheets that look like a two-year-old colored all over them because some dude wanted to fuck me before I washed my face.

You know what (fictional) dude? If you don't want to see my nekkid face, we can totally just do it doggy style. And you can leave right after. No big deal!

I did my own incredibly official survey yesterday on Twitter and Facebook and found that of the 20 or so guys who responded, not ONE of them said they’d prefer a woman to “always” wear makeup. In fact, the majority said they’d prefer women to wear makeup “rarely” and when asked to clarify, almost everyone said they prefer a “natural” look.

“Too much makeup is gross. And it makes the pillow look like a smothered clown.”

“All of the time would be aggravating. But she also has to be okay with my 'sometimes' guyliner.”

“It depends on the situation, but most often: the less the better.”

And of course: It depends on how naked she is. Once the boobs are showing I don't care if she's wearing clown paint.”

I think the lesson here is a pretty obvious one: We’re empowered women. If we want to wear makeup, we will. And if we don’t, we should feel perfectly OK with skipping it. And if you’re doing your makeup twice before noon? Just throw on a good hat. No one will ever notice the difference.

Camping: No makeup allowed, but who cares when you can wear a hat?

I'm on Twitter @daisy if you want to follow me.