In general I like to think of myself as a person who is not easily offended. I understand all people are human and sometimes they make mistakes. They might slip up and say something they don’t mean in the heat of the moment or even just on an ordinary day. If something offends me, I tend to take it with a grain of salt – until it’s repeated to me multiple times. Such is the case with the title of this blog “your makeup looks good today.”
Now – I know what you’re probably thinking. “Chels – it’s just makeup! Why on earth would you be offended if someone told you your makeup looks good today?” And perhaps offended is too strong of a word here – thank you for noticing that my makeup looks good today. Is it only the makeup that looks good? I’m not one to fish for compliments – I’m more of the “please don’t let me be the center of attention” kind of person, but when my makeup is the only thing you’re noticing, I question if that’s even a good thing to begin with.
I should backtrack. Let me start by giving the brief history of “Chels and Makeup.” Around the time I was a teenager, I developed a small interest in makeup. However, given that my mother never wore any, I didn’t recieve an allowance, and I was too young to have a job outside of babysitting, the interest was short lived. Add that to my dad instilling in me that I was beautiful without makeup and I never felt a need to put any on. Around the time I was 21 or so, one of my friends offered to do my makeup for me after I expressed interest in it once more. I remember being mortified at the thick line of black eyeliner on my eyes and she immediately took it off my eyes before I would leave the house. I didn’t touch makeup again for four years. Towards the end of last year, the redness in my face started to bother me. Maybe I grew more self aware, maybe I was just growing up, I’m not sure. I slowly started to notice beauty gurus on YouTube and began following some. When I started using makeup, I started with just BB cream and concealer. As time went on, I started to try new things – foundation, powder, mascara, eye shadow, brow color, lipstick, color correctors, blush, and undereye corrector. Now, I don’t use all of these things on a daily basis. I still prefer to go makeup free, but I like knowing that after months of practice (and a lot of YouTube videos to teach myself!) I have gained the skills to successfully do my makeup when I need to. When I have a meeting at work, I tend to put more time and effort into my makeup for the day. If I’m going to be sitting in my office all day then I stick to BB cream, concealer, and mascara.
Over the last few weeks (around the time I added blush into the mix) my boss has commented multiple times that “your makeup looks good today.” I shrug it off and just tell her I’ve been playing around with it. As I’ve said before, I don’t like to draw attention to myself, which is why I subtly over time started adding things to my makeup routine. She mentioned it multiple more times after that. Part of me wanted to tell her it bothered me, but I tend to let a lot of things go. Whereas most people would compliment someone by telling them they look good or that color of shirt looks goods on them, she had zoned in on the one thing I’m most uncomfortable with – the one thing I feel I don’t need and only wear when I’m feeling like it.
That was all fine and dandy until we were talking about a job I want, but was told I wouldn’t get. That’s okay, I’m a big girl, I can take it. However, then she started talking about things I could do to get ready. While I agree with some things – I know I talk fast – other things I felt weren’t as necessary. Appearance was brought up. I always make sure I’m dressed up for meetings, but the majority of my days consist of sitting in my office alone for eight hours and some days I don’t even see anyone. On those days, while I still dress appropriately for work, I tend to dress down – these are the days I’ll do my simple makeup routine. She made sure to point out that she wasn’t saying I should run out and buy new clothes – something I wouldn’t do anyways because I don’t plan on fitting into what I currently own in a few months.
Then came those words “I’ve noticed you’re wearing makeup, that’s good, it shows you’re putting some effort into your appearance.” It took every ounce inside me to not roll my eyes. Why am I, a girl, being held to a different standard? I’m never one to get political, but I couldn’t help but notice the irony that she wouldn’t have made the comment to a boy. It takes me a solid 45 minutes to get out of the house in the morning, and sometimes an hour if I’m putting extra effort into my appearance that day. A boy can typically wake up, do his hair in a matter of minutes, throw on something to wear, and be done in a fraction of the time it takes me to get around. Why does it matter if I choose to spend 10 minutes on my makeup or not? Why does it matter if I spend 10 minutes straightening my hair or if I spend one minute to French braid it into a nice up-do? There are so many other things I could be doing with that time. I’m not saying appearance isn’t important – you should always dress correctly for your job and even dress for the job you want instead of the job you have. But when people start making a big deal out of if I’m wearing makeup or not, it bothers me, especially since I was taught that I don’t need it to be beautiful.
Maybe it’s a generation difference. I’m transitioning from who I am to who I want to be. She’s already who she is. But if you’re going to compliment me, please tell me that I look nice, that means a whole lot more to me than telling me that my makeup looks good. Maybe it’s that I’m still self-conscious about my appearance some days and people pointing out the one thing I’m most unsure of doesn’t help. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of makeup or I wouldn’t wear it to begin with. I’m not a fan of people implying that I only look good when I’m wearing it. Tell me I look good on a day when I’m wearing BB cream and some concealer. Heck, tell me that you trust my judgement. Compliment my brain. Ask me about life. In a world with a thousand different opinions, there’s so many other things to say to me at work other than my makeup looks good. Say something if you must, but please notice everything else about me too.