The moment I felt her eyes on me, I knew I was busted. The rest of the church service I tried to shrink back into my seat, hoping my mom couldn’t differentiate between the flush of my skin and the contraband makeup on my cheeks.
Such stress at the ripe old age of eleven.
Contrary to my expectations, our conversation that afternoon resulted in one rule: I could wear makeup as long as no one could tell.
Well, duh. I mean, my mom taught me that rule when I was seven or eight. She’d only caught me due to a failure on my part. (I blame it on the poor lighting in my grandparents’ bathroom, where I’d gotten ready that morning.)
I’ve worn makeup pretty much every day since.
Sure, there have been a few exceptions, like camping, spring cleaning days…childbirth. I think that’s about it though.
I love makeup.
However, I don’t love it like my sister Jak. She LOVES makeup. As in, her pulse quickens when she’s within five miles of a MAC store. (I’ve never actually been in one.)
But still, I love makeup because it helps me be a better person.
You think I’m kidding you here? Allow me to explain.
I wear makeup to increase productivity.
Yeah, you read that right. Productivity.
When you’re a workaholic you love your work, it’s tempting to jump out of bed and dive into the adventure of the day. But decades of experience have shown me that I’ll get way more done if I take the extra 30 minutes required to shower, dress, and fix my face and hair.
Sometimes I try to go without makeup, if I have serious cleaning to do, or if I plan on working outside (which happens once ever four years or so). By midway through the morning, I can tell I’m not giving the day my all. For some reason that morning makeup routine gets me on track to get stuff done.
I wear makeup so people take me more seriously.
It’s weird, right? That makeup affects how people respond to you?
Think about it. When someone “puts her face on,” it shows that she cares. Sure, vanity might be part of the equation. None of us is perfect.
But self-care is one way we put our best foot face forward. It shows the world that we are serious about the mission of the moment, which in turn causes them to take us more seriously.
This is me turning the tables on my mom here, but as a young mom she didn’t always fix her hair. But she always—always—did her face. That’s how we knew the day was on.
My mom is beautiful. She’s in her mid-60s and could pass for 15 years younger. She can totally rock a bare face. But she doesn’t, because she knows the power of makeup.
Here’s my philosophy. When we respect ourselves by how we care for our bodies, others will respect us, as well.
I wear makeup so I don’t scare myself.
This phrasing is—I believe—stolen from FlyLady.com. She also favors daily makeup wear.
You know how we aaaaaallll primp and check ourselves when in a public bathroom? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you might do the same thing at home, at least occasionally. Or at least those times where you’re not peeing and then running to prevent yet another household fire.
Life is filled with enough dangers and stressors without adding the shock of an unmade face.
Recently my sister used the changing table in Cassidy’s room for her son. It’s a vanity-style dresser, which boasts a (usually filthy) mirror. While the mirror is there because I never thought to take it off the dresser, it helps entertain the child during diaper changes and grooming.
“How can you handle looking at a mirror every time you change her?” Shaina asked.
Well, for one thing, I don’t. You can barely see your reflection through the many gooey fingerprints and lip marks. Yes, I clean it regularly, but my kids seem to be little narcissists. They insist on kissing and high-fiving their reflections.
But if I do happen to catch a glimpse of myself, no biggie. By 7:30 am, I’m good to go. This routine can go anywhere from a light dusting of face powder and mascara to the whole shebang. Just enough to get by…which leads me to my last reason.
I wear makeup so I’m ready for anything.
According to my husband, I don’t need makeup. (Do they get coached on this in Husband School? Because I really think I do, but whatever.)
Here’s the thing though. You know how you always—always—run into someone you respect or want to impress or who just makes you feel insecure whenever you look less than your best?
If I’m wearing makeup, at least I know that my face is presentable. There might be stains on my shirt, my hair could be drenched with sweat, and my shoes might not match. But if my face is in place, I can look that person in the eye and hold a decent conversation.
Or how about those times you receive a spur-of-the-moment invitation to go out with a friend? There are many ways to disguise less-than-perfect hair, but the face? That’s harder.
I wear makeup, but that doesn’t mean you must.
These reasons are true in my life, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be true in yours. One of my friends is a fitness instructor, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her wearing makeup. But she rocks the bare face, and she possesses the confidence to do so. Which is lucky for her, because makeup doesn’t really work with her lifestyle.
Maybe a different tool helps you be more productive, get taken seriously, and so on. If so, I’d love to hear about it. We can all benefit from another trick we can use.