When my best friend got married, she hired a makeup artist to do our makeup for her big day, which was a blessing for someone like me who is makeup-illiterate. The makeup artist did a lovely job, or so I was told — I wasn’t wearing my glasses when looking in the mirror nor when I was walking down the aisle.
I remember sitting in the chair as still as I could, the makeup artist and the other bridesmaids chatting around me. At one point, the artist mentioned how she wasn’t “going to touch [my] eyebrows, they’re full and arched perfectly.” While I thanked her for the compliment, I heard a voice in my head that sounded suspiciously like George Costanza from Seinfeld:
“Who cares about eyebrows?”
Despite growing up in a household with only sisters, makeup was never a big topic at home. There was nothing wrong with it, but my sisters and I never spent time doing each other’s makeup or watching one another put it on while getting ready to go out with friends for the night. Our mother uses light makeup, nothing substantial that she would take the time to teach us about. Even now, the only beauty routine I do is washing my face and putting on some moisturizer.
Yet, this is all despite the bombardment of beauty ads constantly surrounding us. Even today, I noticed an article titled “Beauty Tips for Women Who Don’t Like Wearing Makeup.” Exfoliate, use bold lipstick colors, use an eyelash curler…
(Incidentally, the makeup artist at my friend’s wedding used an eyelash curler on us, and it looked lethal. A pair of tongs with a giant clamp at the end that, once it’s shut on your delicate eyelashes, effectively renders you motionless. The makeup artist even commented that she, “has complete control over you,” for if you move a centimeter, that curler’s grip is ripping the lashes from your eyelids. But I digress.)
Why is all of this focused at women? Why has society deemed that beauty for women is equivalent to makeup helping them to look younger, to not have blemishes? Why isn’t that previously-mentioned article titled “Beauty Tips for Anyone Who Doesn’t Like Wearing Makeup?”
And why have I missed the memo?
I enjoy being makeup free. There have been brief periods of time in my life when I attempted to wear makeup on a regular basis — or at least going out with friends — but it ended up being a hassle to me to be sure my eyeliner was straight or my skin rejected certain makeup in the form of a small allergy. Considering my penchant for getting ready to go to appointments at the last minute and just making it to my destinations on time, not having makeup as part of my morning routine is a blessing.
However, there are times when the idea of wearing makeup again creeps up on me. Being a small young woman, a touch of makeup may make me look older, perhaps more professional despite men not being told the same. Being interested in the arts, I am always impressed at how gorgeous those who do regularly use makeup look (including men — try to tell me you disagree that guys in eyeliner don’t look great!).
I will most likely not go shopping in the makeup aisles for myself anytime soon. It is not me. I, for one, do not care about eyebrows aside from keeping them neat and clean. While there are always makeup trends that I don’t agree with, especially the one that specifically tries to tell women that they cannot age naturally, I respect those who do care about eyebrows.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the most important beholder is how you view yourself.