How to destroy a woman's virtuous image, Pt 2

It's simple, really: just lay the makeup on with a trowel:
I didn’t realise until quite late in life that some women don’t just wear make-up, they wear a full-on disguise – the sort you might adopt if you were evading capture. At university one of new flatmates came downstairs late one night and I thought we were being burgled.

It had been obvious before that she wore a lot of make-up, but I naively hadn’t realised that without it she would look like a completely different person. On a later occasion I overheard her, in unpainted form, opening the door to a guy who knew her quite well and having to overcome his puzzled expression by saying: “John, it’s me!”

Surely, if taking off your lady-mask means having to continually provide voice recognition to people, this would be some kind of sign. Not for her, she carried on as before. And according to a new survey it seems that the only unusual thing was that she allowed other people to gaze upon her unmade-up face in the first place.

Apparently half of women admit to doing their make-up at least four times a day and a whopping 67 per cent only go bare-faced twice a month.

These findings are presented as part of a campaign to give women the confidence to “pare back the amount of make-up they wear” and to let their “own natural radiance shine through”.
It is not quite as simple as a binary choice. It's not just a case of "wear makeup" versus "go natural". There are grades in between, and it's important to recognise this.

As a starting point, let's see the difference between wearing no makeup versus wearing too much:

Left: Well, not too bad. Right: Dear God, that's Heath Ledger's Joker, someone get Batman!
Now I'm not saying that women who always wear no makeup look great. But there is something to be said for women who wear no makeup, or at least minimal makeup, most of the time, and don't go overboard with it when they do decide to add a few cosmetic touches.

My own mum, for instance, is very much of the minimalist school. Most of the time she never wears any makeup, of any kind, at all. She has never once dyed her hair and proudly wears her grey streaks as a sign of dignity and graceful ageing. There is a picture of me and my extended family that was taken about ten years ago, when my mum had lost a lot of weight and looked really good. In it, she is wearing a particularly well-made outfit, is smiling slightly, and is standing quietly behind my grandparents.

In that photo- one of my personal favourites- she looks beautiful. Yet she was wearing hardly any makeup other than lipstick, and had made no major effort to get her hair done or anything else. She simply looked great.

Another personal example. A very good friend of mine from back when I was working in Singapore, again nearly 10 years back, has never really worn much makeup. She stays fit by running, a lot, and eating Paleo. She's short, skinny, very Chinese, and very funny. But she almost never wears any makeup, of any kind. And she looks great.

As I've noted before, Susan Walsh wrote an interesting article on the subject- back before she turned into a Manosphere one-liner and became almost universally known as Aunt Giggles. In that article of hers, she provided a list of pictures of female celebrities and contrasted their "natural" or "minimalist" looks with their caked-up, fully-powdered looks.

Take a look at the contrast:

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that most men generally preferred the photos on the left to those on the right. And it's really obvious why. The women on the left look like real women. The ones on the right look like... well... clowns pretending to be hookers. Note, however, that the women on the left are NOT wearing zero makeup. They are wearing some, but it is not overwhelming.

The lesson for any young woman out there is pretty simple. Try to look as natural as possible. That is not to say that makeup should never be used- it is useful as a mating strategy when used to cover up small imperfections. But there is a fine yet definite line between "natural" and "applied with a trowel".

What is that line? Very simple. If your man looks at you without makeup and has to do a double-take- or, worse, doesn't even recognise you- then you've gone way too far. If, on the other hand, he sees your "morning" face and doesn't recoil in horror, then you've done it right.


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