Despite periods of self-satisfaction, I have always worn make-up. I have worn make-up since I was somewhere in my teen years, when my mother reluctantly consented, stating that I was "beautiful without make-up". Along with make-up, I used long hair and bangs to hide my self-aggrandized imperfections.
My mother was my model for this particular life decision, that is, to wear make-up. She wore light make-up and always wore lipstick. She would go to the mailbox only after applying lipstick. I can only conjure up a couple of times that I have left my home without make-up on, and I think both times I had it with me in the car to apply before arriving at my destination.
All that said, I decided to try a little experiment (no, I did not go out in public without make-up). I applied my regular make-up regime to only one side of my face and left the other side o'natural. I then approached my husband with camera in hand and asked him to snap a photo of my face. Before handing over the camera I asked him if he noticed anything different about me. At this point he was standing directly in front of me, inches from my face. He started to discuss my hair. I redirected him to my face. He was puzzled and perplexed unable to identify the change.
I informed him of my little experiment, he nodded and said something like "you don't wear a lot of make-up"
and then he took this photo:
(Does this pic count as going out in public without make-up on?)I studied the pic for a few minutes and contemplated his response. I looked in the mirror as I proceeded to complete the application process on the other side. I thought about the countless hours I have engaged in covering-up (albeit a light application). I considered the cumulative cost of products over the years. I still think I look better in make-up, but I also think I have put much too much emotional, physical, and mental energy into the "needing" to wear make-up.
I wonder if my two daughters will absorb the same "need". They watch me apply make-up every day. They have asked obvious questions regarding my daily and consistent application process: "What are you doing to your face mommy?" My response, "I'm fixing my face." The reply, "Is it broken?" I have yet to find a comfortable response to any of their questions.
Ultimately, I would like to think that my mother was right. Perhaps I can use this little experiment to focus my energy on much more important things in life, with or without make-up.