23 July 2009

What do men want?

Today our post is about makeup. But don't go running off, boys. You all can do womankind a great service if you answer my questions.

I got to wondering what men want when I started cutting my makeup requirements to nothing. My mama wears makeup every day. Because she has no eyebrows (allergic reaction!), she figures she may as well do the rest of her face after she draws on her brows. But I just can't do that full-face full-coverage start-from-scratch routine anymore.

For one thing, it's so blasted hot lately. Sweat and makeup don't mix. Well, actually they do mix, and then they run down your face and into your collar. Then - skip this line, guys - there's menopause, when some days power surges raise my body temperature to about 110 degrees F.

These days my makeup practices run somewhere between none at all and about one minute of color. I hope that my wardrobe of earrings will draw the eye away from my lack of makeup. If not, I'm out of tricks.

Here's the most I do: Moisturizer is a necessity when you get my age. I'm really pale, so blush is good. I have little bitty eyes, so a smudgy dash of eyeliner makes me a little more defined. I don't have any eyelashes to speak of, so mascara is a farce. And I love lipstick.

Some women wear a lot of makeup. And usually the complaints I hear are from men. They always say they don't like for a woman to wear too much makeup. But how much is too much? A lot of guys I know don't wear makeup, so how do they know what's too much? Let's get a definitive answer about the quantity.

Okay, everybody pick the appropriate question for themselves.

So, boys, what do you really want? Do you want a woman who wears no makeup at all and just goes around with her little bitty eyes undefined and her lips a nondescript flesh color and her cheeks pale and wan, but oh, so natural? Or do you want a woman who wears makeup but doesn't look like she does, thereby saving you from looking at the flaws and imperfections that we think you don't even know are there? Or do you like your girls a little slutty and fast, with blue eyeshadow up to the brow bone and nails to match her lips? Do you like that sparkly party makeup that we have a lot of fun applying for festive occasions?

Women, how much is too much? How long does your everyday makeup routine take? Do you care what your partner thinks about your makeup? Do you know what your partner wants to see? Do you look better with makeup or without? Do you sparkle up for festive occasions?

While I'm on this topic, I have a few more words about makeup.

We have these ghoul mirrors at work. They make your skin look sallow and your eyes look sunken and your hair look like it's barely covering your skull. You can look perfectly fine in your makeup mirror at home, and you go to work and see your zombie self looking back at you from mirrors that are probably as old as the building, which is old. Somebody needs to do something about that lighting (they won't) before some woman in a PMS rage breaks every last mirror with her shoe.

Another thing. Don't ever tell your friend that she wears too much makeup. I have done that twice, and they will not believe you anyway. I had a friend who wore make up that looked as though she applied it with a trowel. People were suggesting that I gently push her in the direction of the fresh-face look. I had to practice what I was going to say; it's not an easy thing to tell someone.

I screwed up my courage and blurted something out. I really don't remember now. But it didn't matter, because she just frowned at me and said, "Get outta here."

The second time I had to do it, my victim shook her head at me and said, "I do not wear too much makeup."

Yeah, I know. I should have learned the first time.

P.S. I have some friends whose lifestyles don't fit into the questions above. I'm sorry I couldn't figure out the wording to include you properly. You can answer any of the questions you want.


Leslie Hanna said...

Well done! I love your writing.

I am a no-makeup gal. When I get hot, I wash my face and I feel better; no need to reapply any paint. I am sure I would 'look' better if I took the time, but - like with my hair - it is what it is. This is ME, unadulterated, unaltered.

Sweet Pea said...

I love makeup. Mainly buying it. I guess it's the artist in me that draws me to the colors. I have so many eye shadows I never wear because the color doesn't suit me but I'm drawn to them. I have a few tried and true favorites and I'm trying to pare my arsenal down to include just those basics. I like to look natural just better so I wear soft colors with what I hope is a light touch. I try to put my face on in natural light and check everything out with a 5X mirror after. As I've matured, I am going with the less is more in every area as I'm trying to age gracefully. I do resent the time makeup takes but without any I look and feel tired and drab. Sometimes just moisturizing and putting on Burt Bees Rhubar lip balm is all I need.

Viviane Schwarz said...

Oof, yes, I know exactly what my "acceptable beautified subtle sophisticated" look should be, and I hate it.

I get the impression that men are often of the opinion that a woman they fancy is "not wearing any make up at all" even if she's totally pancaked and re-touched while another lady who is wearing nothing but lipstick has put on "too much". It's just silly.

When I paint something, I want it to look painted, that's my opinion... Sometimes some guy tells me "men don't like makeup", then I point out that I'm not a man.

My Make-up time varies wildly according to mood...

Lydia said...

I like Viviane. I'd like to be friends with her. She's sassy.

I don't have a lot of great features, but my eyes are the best of the lot. I love liquid eyeliner and curling my eyelashes and putting nice fluffy black mascara on them.

I think women wear makeup for themselves, not for boys. Makeup is fun. I'll keep the rest of that thought to myself. It's not ladylike. :D

The Green Stone Woman said...

I have one color eyeshadow, light brown, one mascara, black, one eyebrow pencil, brown and a lightly tinted moisturizer. I also have a lipstick that I never wear in a quiet shade of red and matching nail polish that I also never wear. I feel that I'm overdone when I wear them.

I like to apply my make up lightly, so that it looks as if I'm not wearing very much at all if any. My eyes are my best feature and the mascara does the most for me.I have my own eyebrows, but they are blond, so I need the eyebrow pencil. I have red cheeks of my own, so I don't need any blusher.

powdergirl said...

I ten to stick with a tinted moisturizer and some lip-gloss.

If I'm 'doing the town' I use a little more color, but not too much. I like to look like myself most of the time.

Sometimes I play with make-up just for fun though. Like painting.

The husband prefers less make-up on me and is prone to messing it up if I over-do it anyway.

gary guetzlaff said...

at your request: "So, boys, what do you really want?"

Men usually can't tell the difference whether a woman is wearing makeup or not. If there's so much makeup on that it tips off a man's awareness of it, that would be too much makeup. Examples: Bozo the Clown, Boy George.

The reason for this is that men have an elevated sense of perception. They see beyond a woman's outer appearance, and perceive instead the vixen within. Excessive makeup affects this sense aversely.

'scibim', 'mibics' spelled backwards.

The Green Stone Woman said...

Hi Sugar, there's an award for you over at my place, please come and get it.

Woodsman said...

As SugarCain could tell you there was a girl in high school that we always said if you hit her in the face it would crack. That is too much makup.

I am of the school of less is better. A little goes a long way in improving the project. Any more and you wonder what they are hiding under the stucco!

Charse - what happens when you sit on a chair with bare skin. Your arse becomes a part of the chair.

Patti B said...

Haha Charse.

I am and always have been "beachy" even in this damn desert that I find myself in. I put stuff on my eyes if it's night or I'm going to a party. I prefer a more natural look. On both men and women :)

amy grace said...

Yay! I don't wear makeup unless I'm going to an event where I expect my photograph to be taken. I'm lucky that I have strong features and decent skin, so I don't need much even when I do wear it. I barely know how to apply the damn stuff; I just learned some really cool tricks about eyeliner this year.

I also don't ever shave or wear a bra or nylons or perfume. Women have body hair and floppy boobs and they have odors, too.

Any fellas who don't like a real woman can shove off, don't want 'em. My fella thinks I'm sexy in all my stinky, hairy, un-made-up and frequently unshowered glory.

Also, I don't think there's really such a thing as too much makeup as long as it's applied correctly. I've had some of my cosmetology-trained friends make me over with what felt like pounds of goop on my face, and it came out stunning. Some of my girlfriends, I could say, wear way too much makeup compared to what they NEED to wear (to me, they're just as gorgeous without any), but I can't fault the result; they know what they're doing.

Gabrielle said...

I have a friend that I work with (a man) that constantly jokes around with me and says I wear too much makeup. He only tells me this on days when I actually decide to wear eyeshadow. I will admit, my average make-up application time runs anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour. It all depends on what I'm doing. When I'm getting ready for work in the mornings, I use foundation all over and cover stick under my eyes bc I have freckles that I can't stand and permanent dark circles that I despise even more. Then I just use some natural colored eyeshadow (a light shimmery brown and a shimmery off-white type color) as my "blush/bronzer". I don't have any blush or bronzer and I've been too lazy lately to go out and and get more bc it's really not that important to me. It creates definition for my cheekbones that don't make as much appearances these days as they used to before my daughter was born. I then put on black mascara, bc I'm naturally blonde and so are my eyelashes, it looks a little goofy without, haha. If I'm feeling up to it, for work, I'll put some brown in the crease of my eye to make them pop a little more and some eyeliner. If I'm feeling really frisky, I'll look through my collection of over 120 colors and figure out a nice combination that's normally pretty stunning...I've done that maybe 2 times since I've had this job. It just takes too much time, bc I am an admitted perfectionist and can't stand if it's not blended properly. Most of my own techniques for my application have come from noting other womens' flaws in theirs...I make it a point to spread my foundation as thin as possible while achieving the best coverage possible...hence the cover stick. I used to use powder foundation on top of that, but the same with the bronzer, I have none and it's no longer that important to me, so I've been fine without.
I'm with Viviane, though...I see men out there with women who I can SEE the cake line on the edge of their faces and they'll be the same guy that complains that I wear too much, just bc I sometimes like to wear colorful eyeshadow. I'm broke, haha, I have to make my stuff last as long as possible...how much is YOUR lady going through in a week?