There is a dichotomy of opinions men have about women and their makeup. On one hand, men complain about makeup and wanting a woman with natural beauty; on the other hand, we go gaga for a woman with a full beat. On one hand, we loved you glammed up, on the other we have a slew of jokes about going swimming on first dates so that we know what you really look like under the makeup.
Considering that we simultaneously live in the midst of the natural movement and the Youtube tutorial movement, where it seems like everyone is a makeup artist/Instagram model and they’re able to completely change their looks. With all of the things we’ve seen women do and know they can do with makeup, men have mixed emotions, opinions and darn right confusion about what we’re attracted to and desire. For women, makeup may be a simple thing and not a big deal, but for men, makeup is a touchy subject. We want to be supportive, but we want to have a valued opinion, but we also know better than to try and tell you what to do. To be honest, there are things we like, things we fear and things that just puzzle us.
- The Cost – I don’t know how much we men expect it to cost, but it’s way pricier than we could have ever imagined. Men are completely clueless about how much it costs and how much you invest into doing your faces. To some men, it’s pricey and a waste of money– especially if he thinks you don’t need it. The average man’s jaw would drop if he saw how much a simple compact in the local drugstore costs. Don’t even let him go into a mall and see prices, have you seen the prices of just what a brush could potentially be!?
As Adassah stated, “The eye shadow palettes and bottles of foundation may seem so meaningless to men, but to us women, it speaks volumes.” This is absolutely true, because any man that has ever looked in a woman’s makeup case or bag knows that it’s just as serious and important as her shoes. If you’ve ever seen how a woman almost break down because her bag/case was missing or something broke, you know the severity of the situation. We also don’t understand why you need so much. I mean at these prices there has to be something that does it all.
- The Amount You Wear – Why do you put on so much? Have you ever watched a video or watched a woman get dressed, and every time you think she is done she starts a new step or covers that with something else. It’s like FML, this is still going on. Watching a woman put on makeup is one of the most frustrating, confusing and intriguing things a man can do all at the same time.
- How Much Time It Takes – Both to shop for it and to apply it, why does it take so damn long?
Honestly, we like the outcome, but hate the process because there are so many steps, preparations, and options. And the waiting for you to finish is torture, especially if we’re in a rush or we’re already fully dressed and just waiting on you. And if you’re a woman that practices, experiments with looks or is trying to get a particular look; the time investment can be ridiculous. Oh, and lets not even get started on how we have disdain for the cleanup/removal because even that has a process. Nothing aggravates men more than makeup all over his clothing or his sheets.
“I just don’t care either way. If you want to wear makeup, that’s your business. If you want to go the natural route, that’s your business. Just don’t think you gonna be all up on me getting all that makeup on my suit or shirt. Not happening at all!” – Zayd
We know that you can’t leave the makeup on too long, but contrary to our popular belief, you don’t just wipe it off or quickly wash it off. Nothing might ruin the mood after a fun night out of being dressed to the nines, like waiting for a woman to take her face off. It’s a necessary evil that we hate.
- The inconsistency – A lot of times when you hear men talk down on makeup what they are expressing is the fear that you’ll look one way one day and another the next, or even later on that night. We all know of a woman that looks really good in makeup and cleans up really well, but in her everyday life, we wouldn’t pay her much attention. Men are usually like why doesn’t she look like that all the time. Then we know someone that doesn’t look good in makeup. The reasons why she doesn’t look good in makeup can be numerous. It could be how it’s applied, the color, it could be too dramatic, or too clumpy; the technique and skill in which it is applied determines how we feel about it.
“I’d rather you be cute without makeup than disillusioned with you wearing it. Let me love your bags and dark splotches first before I fall in love with your perfect nose, faux cheekbones, and sun-kissed skin.” – Fred
We also don’t like or understand how drastic it can change your appearance; like to where we don’t recognize you, you don’t even look like yourself. We’ve all seen a woman make a huge step up, like from a six to a dime. Or you look much younger, older or extra sensual. We don’t understand the techniques, terms or concepts.
As Erica explained why women call it a beat: “Powder is literally applied (if you’re applying heavily like for a photo shoot or to hide blemishes, etc) by beating yourself in the face with the powder puff. Watching women put on makeup is kind of like watching a horror flick sometimes. Things are pulled and twisted and smashed and pounded and beat and pinched. It’s crazy! And the ‘natural’ look is still makeup. She wasn’t born looking like that. That’s concealer under her eyes, mascara, some powder to even her skin tone, light lip color, etc. That’s still like 10 products going on and she’s got people fooled like #NoMakeupQueen….please take several seats! It takes a lot of makeup to look natural.”
Salena weighed in: “All the highlight and contour, is just a play on lighting.”
For guys that’s like a “Wait, what?!” moment. It’s a mind-blowing revelation, it’s like nothing is real. The sound of all of that is overwhelming to most men, and the fact that you can make all of those things just disappear leaves a lot of men speculative and distrustful of what they’re really getting. We fear the wizardry that can be done and the possibility of being tricked. Hearing about or actually watching how things like lighting, angles and concealer can change your appearance, bothers us.
“If she is attractive with it on and is not attractive with it off, I’m gone!” – Pierre
- What’s The Purpose? – We hear a lot about enhancement and hide imperfections, but honestly men don’t quite understand what that means. Men don’t completely understand the purpose of women wearing makeup.
“Women wear make-up for different reasons. They want to feel good, look good, be happy, & look younger. 1) It could be for medical reasons, like if they’ve gotten burned, have a scar on their face from surgery or even a birthmark that they want to cover up; 2) Social Media. Being in front of the camera you have to be “camera ready.” And hair and makeup is a must. Nowadays, the camera is so HD it picks up on every single detail. So a lot of people are in front of the camera and vlogging more via YouTube, IG, or FB. Also, being on the social scenes where people will be snapping photos; 3) Makeup is power…Yup, I said it. It has the ability to transform people. Literally!!!! From physically or emotionally. Someone could be feeling down but once you put a little something on their face, their whole attitude changes. It’s an ego booster. Sometimes you just want to feel good about yourself (some people just do it more than others), and makeup has that power to do so.” -@Monaycius, Instagram
“Makeup is an accessory – just like jewelry, shoes, a belt, etc. It enhances/adds to your outfit. I love nothing better than to walk around naked-faced. HOWEVER, there are times when a transformation is warranted and times when you just want to do a little something extra. There’s nuance.” – Gail
“The misconception of makeup has gone too far and has become a misunderstanding of what makeup really is. Makeup has many levels to it. You have editorial makeup, glamour makeup, theatrical makeup, beauty makeup and so on. Beauty makeup is made to only enhance and embrace the beauty that is already there. As a pro makeup artist of five years, I’ve seen men that have told their significant other that they don’t like makeup, but after I was finished they loved it! The misconception with men and makeup is the fear of women not being themselves! What I love most about being an artist is to actually see a man say he hates makeup and to turn around and say, ‘Yeah I like your makeup this way!’ The key is to embrace your features and not hide or cover them or try to convert yourself into something you’re not. When a woman can embrace her natural beauty with makeup and not too much she’s a winner!” – @Dollfacebeauty_mua, Instagram
“Makeup is essentially, art. Enhancing my natural beauty is an adventure. Bringing out my cheekbones and highlighting is a thrilling moment. Keep in mind, it’s not hiding behind the canvas, it’s a matter of increasing the canvas. There are those who figuratively hide behind the foundation and concealer. Adding a layer of foundation, hides their discoloration marks that they’re so embarrassed to share with the world. In this day in age, it seems as if the pressure is at an all-time high for us women. We have to have a small waist, flat stomach, and flawless skin. It’s amazing how a woman can switch up in a couple hours. I can literally be the girl next door and transform into the glammed up girl you’ve always dreamed of. Get you a girl that can do both….CONFIDENTLY!” -@sheisroyalty, Instagram
“Some misconceptions are that we are all dealing with low self-esteem or we don’t like our ‘natural selves’ when we wear makeup. Makeup is something that’s for fun. Makeup is even a stress reliever at times. There should not be a generalization/stereotype for women who put it on. Makeup is not put on solely for the purpose of looking good for men.” – Becca
All we know is, we like whichever way makes you look best. If it takes you from a 7.5 to a 10, do that! For instance, if you look like two different people we don’t like it, but if you don’t really look that much different, then we don’t understand why you need it at all. We don’t understand makeup because we usually like you how we met you. If you can improve upon that sweet, but don’t mess up the base image. Most men have never thought of makeup as art, or a confidence booster and the enhancement part is still going to go over most men’s heads. Ultimately, men want you in a good mood and happy and if wearing makeup or not puts you in that happy place, then so be it. If your man has a problem with your makeup, I would say let him know what about makeup appeals to you, how it benefits and ultimately how it benefits him. If he doesn’t like or accept it, it’s his problem and his lost.
Written By: Johnny Brownlee II
Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath