Your Makeup Looks Good Today

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. 


3 thoughts on “Your Makeup Looks Good Today

  1. First, be careful to limit and ultimately lower your expectations of how people will react to your actions. Instead, try to understand their meaning behind their statements. On the surface, why did your boss make that comment? To hurt you, or to make you feel better? Now digging a little deeper, what was their intent of their comments, whether appropriately delivered or not? What can you take away from their message? Delivery?
    Secondly, how would you feel if no one responded to you wearing makeup? Would you have been disappointed that no one noticed or cared for your “added efforts”? Why DO you wear makeup? Does it make you feel good? WHEN do you choose to wear makeup? Is it when you want to have people take notice of you? Is it when you are giving yourself a little bit of love and attention? Or is it when you are trying to make you feel better about yourself?
    Again, do you do it for you? Or for others? You say you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, but when you change your look by wearing makeup, did you expect no one to notice and comment, negatively or positively?


    1. She didn’t make the comment to hurt me – I know that she would never say anything to purposely hurt me. I believe the intent of her comment was to show me that she noticed I was changing and the change was not bad – not that makeup is necessary, but that I was putting more effort into my appearance and she noticed I was. I realized that when I make changes, people who see me almost every day will take notice because it’s different than how they’ve ever seen me before – the same way someone would notice if my mood changed, they also noticed when my appearance changed. And change isn’t a bad thing – it’s a reflection of a person, in this case me, as I grew out of a college-age appearance and into a young woman who wanted to go the extra step regarding how I present myself to others. Although I do disagree with the delivery, I know she never meant to hurt me in any way, shape, or form – and instead, I can use it as a learning experience for how to communicate with others.
      I started wearing makeup slowly and in phases. It started one October when I noticed that my cheeks were very red and I wanted a way to tone it down, not out of self consciousness necessarily, but just wanting to even out my skin tone on the days I had meetings or wanted to put more effort into my appearance – similar to how I want to learn to curl my hair – I wanted more options with my appearance.
      I wear makeup because I like it – I didn’t grow up wearing makeup and literally everything I know about it I’ve learned from YouTube and Pinterest. If no one had noticed that I started wearing makeup, I would still wear it because I developed an interest in it. I think given the environment I grew up in regarding makeup, and that I developed an interest in it later than most girls, I wouldn’t have been bothered if people noticed or not. However, it does feel nice when someone compliments my mascara or eye shadow or lip stick – there’s a difference because complimenting someone and saying it shows they’ve putting effort into their appearance.
      I wear makeup because as I grew, I developed an interest in it – first as a way to hide some of the redness in my face and then because I realized that it was a way for me to express myself without doing anything dramatic i.e. if I’m having a rough week, I may only wear BB cream all week or maybe I feel like experimenting with eye shadow – I can have fun with it while also getting to take a little extra time in the morning to reflect on life while I do it. It allows me a little extra time in the morning to think. I choose to wear makeup when I have something important going on that I feel I need to look more professional for – the same way I choose to wear a suit jacket that day. But I also choose to wear it when I want to try out a new product or if I want to pamper myself a little bit more. I don’t feel I wear it to feel better about myself – I could wear it one day, wear nothing the next, wear BB cream the next and feel the same way about myself each day. Of course there are times I’ll change it up to try to impress someone, like if I have a date or something, but in daily life, I want my actions to speak more about me than my makeup.
      When I started to wear makeup, it wasn’t that I didn’t expect people to notice – I knew they would, but it was so new to me that I slowly started using more products as I learned more about the different kinds of makeup. And most comments I heard didn’t bother me one way or another, it was just the particular one – that I don’t think she meant any harm by – that stuck with me and caused me to rethink.


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