Why Guys Need To GTFO Of The Natural Beauty Vs Makeup Debate

by Ariel Sullivan

Nothing bothers me more than people commenting about my makeup. Recently, I was at a concert, and I was meeting a friend's boyfriend. I have a twin sister, so I am normally introduced as “Savoy's twin” so I can be easily identified.

The thing about me and my sister is, we don't look alike. Somehow she got more of my mother's strong features (the round-shaped head, the adorably constructed dimples), while I acquired more of my father's (the pointed nose, the narrow head, the higher cheekbones). Aside from having practically no features in common, we also wear very different levels of makeup.

So when someone instinctively goes, “You guys look nothing alike!” upon seeing us for the first time together, I mention that yes, we are fraternal. But, our biggest distinction lies in the fact that Savoy uses her Too Faced natural eye palette simply to fill in her brows (Um, what?) and her Bare Minerals powder lasts her nearly two years.

On the other hand, I am a VIB Rouge at Sephora. This means I spend at least $1,000 dollars a year on makeup, which is especially crazy considering I work there and get a discount. So, that $1,000 dollars is more difficult to obtain.

So here I am, the makeup fanatic, while my sister maintains her beauty in a more modest sense. At the surface, our differences certainly lie in the amount of makeup applied. So when someone says, “You guys look nothing alike!” I am more apt to reply jokingly with, “Yes, we wear our makeup differently.”

I said these exact words to him, to which he replied, “Well, your face does look more … shiny.” While my understanding as a makeup artist is that “shiny” often means greasy, I was quick to assume that in this sense, it was meant to be synonymous to a perfectly highlighted cheekbone.

So, I took his response with a little more understanding than I normally would. He's a guy. My boyfriend has called me shiny before. He didn't mean it offensively; he was just wondering why my face was more sparkly than it was the day before. That's understandable. Makeup is basically magic, anyways. And for him to even notice means I did my shadow versus light technique right that day.

It's also true that men who don't wear makeup have a limited vocabulary when it comes to the proper adjectives to describe the way makeup looks. So, I got it. But then, the guy said (because apparently he works at a spa), “You're going to clog your pores with all that makeup.”

All. That. Makeup. All that makeup. That's like saying, “You wear too much makeup,” or even worse, “Makeup is bad for you.”

As I was trying to hold back my boiling rage, I politely responded, “I wash my face regularly.” I can't tell you how many amazing skincare products I use in combination with my regular makeup routine to keep my skin healthy. And even if I didn't use any of these, how is this a concern of his?

This conversation is similar to many conversations I've had in the past, but also ones I've had even more recently. And it's concerning. I made a joke to some people about how much makeup I wear. It was something along the lines of me sarcastically saying, “I wear a lot.” And this nice, but very confused group of people, said “Maybe you should try less makeup.” There are so many things wrong with this statement, but I'll detail the abridged version.

I don't wear makeup to bed. I don't wake up with makeup on. I know what my face looks like without makeup because I'm the damn person who puts it on. So, it's not like I don't know what my life is like without it. I just choose a life with it. I choose to put it on. I choose to apply the amount I put on. And I look damn good.

Makeup is an essential part of someone's style. Whether it's purple lipstick, a pink blush or mascara that is meant to volumize your lashes, these things are meant to enhance your appearance. As such, makeup should be granted the same recognition as an accessory, like jewelry or hats. Not everyone wears a watch or a fedora. Not everyone wears foundation. But, these varying degrees of foundation quantities are suited to fit a person's ideal “look.” And who are we to question that person's look?

I don't wear makeup because I'm insecure. I'm not trying to hide anything. Maybe I'm covering up the dark circles under my eyes, the veins on my eyelids or a blemish or two. But, I'm not trying to compensate for a lack of confidence you think I have when I'm not wearing any makeup. I feel good both ways. But, I like to represent myself and my style through winged eyeliner and a contoured face. And if bare skin is how you want to represent yourself, that's cool, too.

My sister looks amazing with the bare minimum. That's who she is. However, I feel great every time I walk out of my house with all my layers of different colors and products. As I always tell my make-up clients, you look great with whatever you feel comfortable in.

So, if I want to wear purple lipstick and I feel fantastic, it doesn't matter what someone else thinks. Some days I want to look natural, and on others, I want to feel like a vampire queen. So, I'm going to base my decisions around what makes me feel comfortable, and I refuse to hear it from anyone else.