On painting faces.1

I’ve only recently discovered I quite like make-up. Every now and again I go through a phase of wearing it every day, but never for more than a few weeks at a time; my default go-to look is still without. It also took me a very long time to realize just not not-normal my non-made-up face was; mum didn’t do makeup either, so I just assumed most women didn’t. And… all just had naturally flawless skin. As opposed to me. It was only when I started looking more closely at the texture of skin–rather than the overall color–that I realized everyone really did have just as much acne and scarring as I did, they just knew how to paint over it.

So I learnt. How to cleanse and moisturize, how to put on concealer, and blush, and powder. I’m still rubbish at eyes–I can’t use eyeliner to save my life–but I know how to do just enough of the “non-makeup makeup” look to pretend I, too, have a perfect flawless complexion.

It was a surprisingly liberating feeling.

But I still don’t do it every day. Most importantly, when I feel that applying makeup moves from the “fun ritual” into the “ugh, again?” basket, that’s when I stop for a while.

It’s worth noting that I have a job where I can choose to do this; I’m not in a service industry and I’m not usually on public display (though I do usually crack out the makeup for when I am). Not everyone does.

  1. As an aside, as this is an older article, it also serves as an… interesting historic reminder of the little ways the press used to get stuck into Clinton. []