On Beauty, Part II: Mommy Wears Makeup Because She Looks Like Crap Otherwise, Darling

Posted on March 12, 2012 by


makeup to feel beautiful

This is a two part series on Beauty. Part one is here.

Elke stands next to me as I make the weird I’m-putting-on-makeup face in the mirror.

“Why do you wear makeup Mommy?”

I cringe thinking of the first answer that comes to mind. “Because Mommy looks like shit otherwise, darling.”

Instead I say, “Because Mommy likes it.”

Next question: “Can I wear some of that eye shadow?”

“Sure,” I say.

This might shock some of you. I have no problem allowing my daughter (or my son if he wants) to experience play because at this age, there is no correlation between beauty and makeup. My mother let me play with makeup and at 12, I smeared it on my face like nobody’s business, a habit I grew out of by the time I was about 17.

But a 17-year-old girl walking around with a bare-naked face and an almost 41-year-old woman (yes, me) is a very different tale. According to new research, people PREFER women to wear makeup. The more makeup women used, the more that woman was deemed more competent, likable and trustworthy.

Unless of course she wore too much makeup. Well, then she’s a slutty whore on birth control just like Big Daddy Rush Limbaugh tells us we are.

I find this study annoying.

Why is that my husband can walk out of the house without any smidgen of Bobbi Brown’s bronzer, but if I walk out without my concealer, folks on the street don’t trust me. Oh, this double-standard wielding society. Miri, here’s your answer as to why Madonna dresses up as a Grecian cheerleader. Because she loves it, it makes her feel good, and people insist!

My own skin has become a growing problem as I’ve gotten older. I need more of the foundation, more of the BB cream, more of the micro-sculpting lotion, more of the alpha-hydroxy, more of the concealer and age-spot remover, and botox and fillers and tinted moisturizer and…


I need this now to make myself feel good. I’m on the roller coaster ride of beauty and too vain to just say, no, I don’t need a thing. Don’t try to convince me otherwise. It’s not much. There are 4 basics:

a) tinted moisturizer

b) under eye concealer

c) a dash of bronzing powder across the cheekbones

b) touch of black eye liner.

Apparently, I’m not alone. Dodai Stewart of Jezebel wrote in a recent article that 48 percent of women needed makeup to feel pretty:

According to a survey of 1,292 women, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Renfrew Center Foundation, 44% said they use makeup to hide flaws. The number of women who said they have negative feelings about themselves when they aren’t wearing makeup was also 44%. Negative feelings about, you know, their actual face. Which, in most cases, is relatively normal, with two eyes framed by eyebrows, a nose, a mouth and skin that keeps germs and debris from entering the bloodstream. 48 % said they preferred the way they look with makeup.

Good news is, one of my best friends told me the other day that she didn’t even realize I WORE makeup. I can’t tell if this was a compliment. Does that mean my makeup isn’t doing anything to cover the dark circles? Or that I’m so covered up and perfect that I look like a natural goddess?

I prefer not to ask.

Either way, if I want to keep my self-esteem at bay, especially as I age–then a little concealer to tighten up the red in the morning doesn’t hurt. And it doesn’t hurt giving my daughter the message that Mommy wears makeup because it helps me feel good. When you’re older, you can either choose, or choose not, to do the same.

(Images: Vivian Chen [陳培雯])

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