I rarely wear makeup these days, but I would never have believed I’d be a no makeup mum. There was a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead without makeup on. From the minute I was allowed to wear mascara to school in Year 9, I would paint and shade my face into a enhanced, better-than-me mask. Going out, I would pile it on. For over 10 years I did a full face of makeup every single day. To hide my freckles, to make my eyes brighter, to puff my lips, to draw on eyebrows, to lift my cheeks. I was a razzle-dazzle beauty queen.
And the whole time, I felt unattractive, uninteresting and unworthy.
I went travelling in my late twenties and packed an overflowing bag of cosmetics into my backpack. Somewhere between Rome and Ravello, I ditched it. I was too busy feeling the sun on my beautiful, fresh, happy face to bother with my mask. I learned not to worry about the pimples and imperfections. I learned not to care about hiding the way I really looked and to just be proud and carefree to be me.
Over the years, and especially since becoming a mum, I have worn make up less and less. I still enjoy prettying up for a big night out and I actually love applying makeup and experimenting – or special occasions, it’s magical stuff – but, in general, it’s rare for me to ever worry about it.
I just don’t make the time for it anymore. We all know that you can’t fit everything in when you’re a mum, and makeup is something that I just haven’t bothered to schedule into our busy mornings. I know it only takes 10 minutes or so to ‘put a face on’, but that’s 10 minutes I’d rather spend doing something else. Like sleeping.
I know it only takes 10 minutes or so to ‘put a face on’, but that’s 10 minutes I’d rather spend doing something else.
There’s such a lot of pressure on us mums to be all the things. Being a good mum isn’t enough – apparently, you have to look good while you’re doing good. What’s worse, looking good these days demands that a woman wear makeup. You can be well-groomed and cared for, but if you are bare-faced, you don’t look ‘finished’ anymore. People don’t see you as putting in enough effort or caring enough about your appearance. These days, it seems you have to wear makeup to be considered a ‘real woman’.
I guess I just refuse to subscribe to that theory. My kids think I’m gorgeous whether I’m all dolled up for a night out or whether I’m fresh-faced out of bed. Lucky for me, my husband feels the same. I’ll be honest and say that if Bart ever told me that he prefers it when I wear makeup or wished that I wore it more, I probably would. He’s really the only person in the world I feel I need to be attractive for, so I’m happy to cater to his individual preference. So far, though, he’s been completely neutral about the makeup thing. He loves it when I wear it, he loves it when I don’t.
He loves it when I wear it, he loves it when I don’t.
I wonder how many women continue to feel like they have to wear makeup because they feel like their partner prefers it. Is that true for you? Do you think more women would stop wearing it if they felt like they wouldn’t be judged or looked down on? Or do you simply enjoy the creativity and fun of using makeup?
I do feel like some people judge me harshly for being barefaced in public. There’s a feeling that I’ve somehow ‘let myself go’ and I do wonder if that’s aging somehow. Lately I’ve been wondering if I should take up the makeup brushes again, because people may say that I’m unpolished, unprofessional and ungroomed.
They may say that I’m unattractive, uninteresting and unworthy.
But I say, I am beautiful, fresh and happy in the naked skin I’m in. So I’ll stay a no makeup mum for now.
Do you wear makeup a lot?