Written by: Shani Fowler
Lipstick on your collar told a tale … of a laundry nightmare! Not quite the same ring as the song but true enough though eh? Are women wearing too much makeup? Applying make-up is a daily routine that most of us ladies must adopt before even considering stepping a kitten heel out of the front door – even if it’s just to put the rubbish out! Perish the thought someone might catch a glimpse of us au natural! Make-up should enhance our natural looks but quite frequently we can get a bit carried away and it can leave us looking less Coco Channel and more Coco the clown.
The history of make-up dates back as far as the Egyptians. We never see an image of Cleopatra minus her war paint. It may not have been made from the same ingredients used today, but its use was prominent and the reasons for it were essentially the same. Techniques and types of make-up have changed throughout the years, becoming more sophisticated, such as sculpting, the art of creating illusions of shades and contours.
Lack of confidence or self-esteem can often drive women to head for the cosmetic counter, and whilst it may have the effect of making us feel better (28 per cent of women state they lack confidence without their make-up) studies actually show that two thirds of British women apply make-up for the benefit of the opposite sex. However, it seems that being a little heavy handed with the mascara wand may be in vain as three quarters of men admit to preferring the natural look, with 40 percent actually thinking most women are too eager to slap on the contents of their make-up bag. Half of women said they fix their make-up around four times a day and only have their make-up free skin on show around twice a month, with a Sunday being the most likely day to do so.
Top turn off
Wearing too much make-up is a top turn-off for the gents closely followed by fake tan. Bright red lips and those false eyelashes complete with glitter mascara that can leave us looking like a camel in a sandstorm, also feature on a no-no list for guys. Lydia Bright of TOWIE says her ex-boyfriend James Argent (Arg) used to hate her wearing red lipstick because it meant they couldn’t kiss. Quite counterproductive if making herself more attractive to him was one of the prime reasons for wearing it!
Age is a consideration – no doubt as some women age there is an appeal to over compensate, but too much make-up, especially foundation, can highlight the creases we are attempting to hide and have the adverse effect by actually making us look much older.
Self-assurance and correction
Wearing make-up can be a little bit like wearing a mask, it is something we may hide behind. We can feel we reveal a little less of ourselves through make-up and it can make us feel a little less vulnerable. It also presents us with an opportunity to be able to correct what we can’t help like hiding those dark shadows, or covering up spots. It can make us look younger and fresher, and that might help us feel that way too!
Enjoyment and expression
Of course many women (me included) simply enjoy wearing make-up. It can make you feel better, feminine more confident and you can undoubtedly express yourself through it. Is there any harm in wanting to feel good about ourselves? We can let it help – but not take over. I don’t think Max Factor need quake in their boots worrying about lack of future sales; but maybe each time we apply our makeup we should consider what we hope to achieve. I think there is a fair point that we can sometimes go overboard – and looking a bit more natural does generally look better. Make-up application has to be a classic case of less is more; so next time you feel like adding one more coat of lipstick, challenge your inner Lily Savage and keep it moderate. Maybe stick with nude colours and mute tones to flatter and enhance. Don’t go for over-kill – accentuate not obliterate!