2nd February 2017: Day 14 - The Painted Lady
I’ve never been one for make-up – a bit of eyeliner, mascara and lipstick is enough for me but only when I’m going out. I do use foundation and powder and blusher, but only if it’s a big occasion like a wedding or an important birthday. A long time ago, in my early twenties, I knew someone who would wear quite heavy make-up every day, until one day she arrived at work with a bare face and spent the whole of the morning fielding questions about the state of her health (and her mind). People saw something was different but interpreted it to be something wrong with her. That settled it for me, I would rather people remark on how good I looked with make-up than how awful I looked without it so better to wear it less often and make a positive impact.
Another reason could be that I started out performing in theatre and had to wear quite heavy, grease-based make-up each night – and remove it - so maybe that’s why I’m not that interested. Or maybe because as a teenager I wasn’t really taught how to apply make-up who knows and does it really matter?
I know there are women who wake up before their partners so they can apply their make up or go to sleep without removing their make-up because they can’t bear to be seen without it. And I get that now, I didn’t understand why someone would feel the need to do that until I went to Lagos last year and had my face done by a make-up artist (it’s the new thing). The first day I looked okay – no I’ll say I looked really good but it bothered me because I didn’t think anyone I met that day would recognise me barefaced. The day after I had it done by another person who it seemed has a secret yearning to be a plastic surgeon because she contoured my nose, did something with my eyebrows and who knows what else so that when I looked in the mirror I did a double take because I couldn’t recognise myself and not in a good way.
Each night it took about half an hour to remove the make-up because they had applied it to every bit of skin from my neck up (yes including on and in my ears!!!) So I do understand the plight of the aforementioned women – can partners sue for misrepresentation in this country?
Fast forward to December when I was crewing at a seminar in Thailand. On the first day, my roommate, Aemy from Malaysia encouraged me to put on at least my basic eyeliner, mascara and lippy each morning. We were there to support the participants who would appreciate a made-up face, she said, even when you had to get up at 5.30am. I ended up doing that each morning for the 5 days we were there. I realised today that I haven’t worn make up since.
And so to today. I decided to challenge myself to put on a full face of make up; foundation, eyeshadow and liner, blusher, painted-in eyebrows, lipstick and powder. I decided to do all this because I was going – nowhere. Yes, I put on a full face of make-up just for myself to wear in the house. I wanted to see how it would feel. Would I feel better for it? Would I be more productive for it? Would I want to keep it up as a part of my daily grooming?
Ifelt quite good - initially. It made a change and I was pleased I had done an okay job. But as the day has worn on I’m getting a bit fed up with forgetting as I rub my eyes and finding my hands covered with eyeshadow. Removing my make-up is the first thing I do on arriving home after a do so my skin feels a bit strange, clogged up. I’m not totally averse to the idea, but not at home. Maybe I’ll make more of an effort when I go out from now on – not the full thing, but at least a bit of mascara, liner and lippy or maybe just some powder. I’m writing this up earlier than usual today because I’m dying to take the wipes to my face and clean it all off. I’ve had enough now.