A pertinent image from an article on TheGloss.com
I'm the woman who never leaves the house without makeup. I guess you could say that I'm not entirely at peace with my looks, even now, but I was deeply uncomfortable with them growing up. I could look in the mirror and see a girl that I thought was cute, but no one else seemed to agree. I didn't date, and I didn't have a lot of friends, and in the way of teenagers everywhere, I thought it was mostly because of my appearance.
My mom didn't wear makeup, so it wasn't like I had anyone to learn from. It wasn't until college, when I could go into a department store and have them show me the ropes, that I started to figure it all out. I looked pretty ridiculous for a while - I would wear mascara, but not fill in my blonde brows; blush was either in poorly blended circles on the apples of my cheeks, or streaked up to my hairline. I had a penchant for very glossy red lips, which I'm sure went very well with the rest of the mess going on on my face.
These days I've got things down pretty much to a science. There are about 10 products that I wear almost every day, and getting them on, start to finish, takes about 30 minutes. It's a significant chunk of my morning, and sometimes I think it would be nice to skip it and sleep in, but even if I was running behind I'd find a way to do some of it.
Slightly different makeup, drastically different results. At least to me, but I'm way more aware of changes in my face than anyone else is going to be.
Reading those articles made me question the way that I think about wearing makeup. While I have never really thought of makeup as armor, which is how I've heard some people describe it, it is me choosing how I want to present myself to the world. People look at my face all day long, and I don't think I could deal with that if I wasn't wearing concealer, or mascara, or didn't have my brows filled. I am, literally, covering up things that make me feel vulnerable, which I guess is the textbook definition of armor. I wouldn't refuse to leave the house without it on, but my bare face just don't feel like my face.
Most of my normal makeup, but no eyebrows. I feel like I lose a lot of my expression by not having visible brows.
Practically speaking, the ladies who wrote these articles have hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes that are all the same color, which I don't. Am I just being pragmatic in "fixing" that, or am I giving in to something? Really, if I'm not some hideous troll beast with makeup on, why do I tend to feel like I would be so unattractive without it? And why is being attractive so important to me in the first place? Am I really just doing this for myself, or is my effort directed outward? There are a lot of questions that I really don't have the answers to, even though they're about my own feelings.
On the other hand, I like wearing makeup. I put it on even on days when I don't leave the house. However questionable the reasons are that it makes me feel good, comfortable, and confident in myself, the fact that it does all those things for me is something that I can only regard as good. It may not be the most empowering thing to redraw your face, emphasizing some features and playing down others in order to better conform to some ideal of beauty, but I do find it kind of empowering that we have that ability.
Blue lips aren't really what I'd call man bait, unless the man in question is a necrophiliac.
The articles themselves are pretty great, but I did find the end graphics a little glib and trite. Sometimes, makeup does make you a little more beautiful, at least in the sense that things like smooth skin and large eyes and plump lips are considered beautiful. While confidence is a feeling and does have to come from an actual person, wearing makeup so that you don't have to feel bad or worried about some perceived flaw can certainly give your confidence levels a little boost.