My Relationship with Makeup

Anyone that knows me will know that I am not big in to makeup. This isn’t because I don’t like or appreciate it; it’s just not really my thing. I once had an old manager (male, of course), say to me, “Why don’t you wear makeup? Is it some weird feminist thing?” My response: “I don’t wear it because I don’t want to. Why don’t you wear it?” Naturally, his answer was, “Because I’m a man!”

Women are expected to wear makeup…

Here is my number 1 problem with all of this: as a woman, I am expected to wear makeup. The keyword here is expected. I have zero problems with people wanting to wear makeup. Makeup is glorious and it can look fabulous. It really is a form of art. I just don’t like the idea of women being put under pressure to wear it if we don’t want to.

(It is important to note that as a white cis woman, the pressures on me are not even remotely comparable with women of colour and trans women – the media very much dictates that femininity = white cis women, which is absolutely abhorrent nonsense.)

…but not too much!

What women also have to be careful about is not wearing “too much” makeup. Have you ever heard a man say, “I prefer the more natural look”? They want women to wear makeup but at the same time, they want it to look like they aren’t wearing any. Of course, what these men don’t seem to understand is that women do not exist for their viewing pleasure. Well, newsflash, fellas, I am not going barefaced because of you. I don’t wear makeup because I don’t want to for my own personal reasons. If I do decide to wear makeup, I’m still not doing it for your benefit. Whether or not you think I, or any other woman, looks better with or without makeup is of zero interest to me. Unless I ask you for your opinion, it is not wanted.

What do I wear?

Now that I’ve gotten my “weird feminist thing” out of the way, what beauty products do I actually use? Most days, I don’t wear any makeup at all. On the days that I fancy putting some on, I will put on some mascara and maybe some lipstick. I also use eyeliner on occasion but my current one is so tatty that I refuse to photograph it! I am slowly branching out in to trying out more products so I am in a bit of a makeup journey at the moment. Below are my most used products:


Black Opium perfume by Yves Saint Laurent

Although I don’t wear makeup every day, I absolutely refuse to leave the house without perfume on. I just absolutely adore a nice, fresh scent. My current favourite is Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent. This perfume has a strong and distinct smell – yet it is not overpowering. It is modern and sensuous and is perfect for wearing either during the day or at night.

Sky Organics Vitamin C Serum

If you haven’t heard of face serum, you’re probably not alone. When I was at a friend’s house recently, I whipped my serum out (not a euphemism) and was instantly asked, “What on earth is that?” Basically, a face serum is something that is a little bit like a moisturiser but a lot lighter – it is water-like in texture rather than a cream. According to the experts, you use it after cleansing your face but before using moisturiser. Personally, when I use my serum, I don’t always bother with moisturiser afterwards. The serum doesn’t always dry quickly enough in order for me to wait around to put moisturiser on. It still moisturises the skin by itself so normally I just pop a few dabs on and then head out the door.

L’Oreal Paris L’Extraordinaire Molto Mauve Lip Lacquer (Shade 500) 

If I decide that I want to make my lips stand out a little more, I put this on. It’s  in between a lip gloss and a lipstick. It brings a very subtle shine to your lips without dominating the face, so I find that it is perfect for daytime wear.

KIKO Milano Purple Peony Lipstick (Shade 923)

This is personally my favourite item of makeup that I own at the moment. When you put this lipstick on your lips, it really makes them pop. It’s quite dark and gothic when put on, so I tend to wear it if I am going out in the evening. It does, however, have one slight downside: it tends to come off quite easily when I am drinking my cocktails! I guess that’s what you can expect when you only pay £1.90 for lipstick (yes, £1.90… bargain!).

No7 Lash Impact Intense Volume Control Mascara

If you are looking for good quality and reasonably priced mascara, Boots No7 is the one for you. I have quite long eyelashes, so volume isn’t really an issue for me, but to make them stand out a little more I love using this mascara. It feels really light on your eyelashes so you are not constantly aware that you are wearing it. If you are constantly tired (like I always am) and therefore rub your eyes a lot, I would recommend this mascara. Unlike other similar mascaras, this one doesn’t smudge all over the place. Hooray!

Cien Khol Kajal Black Eyeliner (so tatty that I won’t put it in my photo)

Believe it or not, my favourite eyeliner is actually from Lidl of all places. If you like cheap and cheerful eyeliner that gets the job done, this one will suit you just fine. I find that it lasts really well and sets off my dark eyes quite nicely.

What are your thoughts on makeup? Do you feel pressurised to wear it? Or are you not that bothered? Do you find it aggravating when people comment on why you are/are not wearing it? Let me know!

Mrs Helfy



8 thoughts on “My Relationship with Makeup

  1. I agree with you – I literally have never worn make up because to me it’s a faff, and any time I’ve tried to do it myself, I don’t have enough refinement in my hands to be able to make it look decent. I’ve never been asked about why I don’t do it. I think this is because I have short hair and am in a f/f relationship so get the feeling that people assume it’s a “lesbian thing” which it isn’t, I’ve just never cared for it. I have heard men at work say to women things like “oh, do you have your make-up on for the client meeting” and such and it’s ridiculous.
    The pressure to wear make-up is similar to the pressure to not have body hair. It’s not a “weird” “feminist” or “lesbian” thing to not wear make up or not shave your legs, it’s a woman’s choice. Similarly, why should I care if a man wears make-up or shaves his legs? It’s his choice.
    I have a feeling many men who say “I prefer a woman who looks more natural” wouldn’t be happy if smooth legs and underarms was excluded from “natural” HA.
    Amazingly, gender can be expressed however people want it to be presented.
    Nice read, thanks.


  2. Great blog. I do not wear make up either. Infact I think I have never had any desire to wear it – not from peer pressure of my own wishes. And then as I got older and saw how make up was tested on rabbits, I think that sealed my fate. I actually cant really be bothered to mess about with it. My few concessions are to put some kind of moisturiser on – WHEN I either remember or have time. But it I can feel it on my face, I dont like it. Plus I have a few favourite perfumes now. I am a Guerlain fan, and like the more spicy fragrances like Samsara, Shalimar and more recently L’Instant Magic. I had some serum for Christmas, so am trying to get into the habit of putting that on.

    I totally agree with you. Wear makeup for yourself, dress for yourself too. I dress for comfort, Not how people expect you to dress. You know me!! 😉


    1. Thanks Kathy. I totally agree with your comment. Animal testing in the cosmetic industry is something that troubles me greatly. I really must do some research on this but I am concerned that what I will read will be devastating. 😦


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