Makeup: How Much Is Too Much?

by Indu Partha, @indupartha,
Photo by @katienashbeauty

I admit it.  I am an addict.  After dinner is done, the kids have holed up in their rooms, and the hubby is distracted by CNN or “House of Cards,” I power up my laptop, go to YouTube, and let out a sigh of pleasure.  It’s my time to watch the makeup tutorials of my choice.  Makeup?  Yah, I don’t get it either.  A working mom of three, with more iffy hair days than not, is a bit obsessed with getting makeup tips and insider product reviews that will never be put to use.  Maybe it’s my midlife crisis.

The funny thing though is, that even while I admire these young ladies’ artistic skills, I can’t help but wonder, “Does the rest of the world realize that she doesn’t really look like ‘that?’ “  I mean, what do their husbands or boyfriends think when they spend the day with Barbie but wake up next to someone missing false eyelashes, extensions, concealer, and foundation?  Is it like having a relationship with two different women?  Maybe more important to me as a mom–how are other girls supposed to “compete” with these primped and primed girls who can present flawless exteriors with the help of all of these “falsies” and filters?

Growing up, I didn’t wear makeup until I was a junior in high school.  Even then, it was a little bit of eyeliner and mascara. And that was it.  Other, more daring girls, rocked the 80’s look with flare: Perms held in place with Aqua Net, blue eyeshadow, and bubblegum pink lipstick.   As my daughters entered teenhood, it became a question.  At what age would the girls be allowed to wear makeup, and how much was too much.  What’s the harm of makeup, I wondered?  It couldn’t really be “too revealing” or “show too much skin.”  It was just an expression of fashion sense, enhancing underlying beauty, right?

I finally came to a conclusion, and fortunately, the girls agreed.

  1. The best makeup of all when you’re a teen. It’s youth. Nothing can replicate that.  If at 16 one is going to depend on 8 different makeup products, hair extensions, and eyelash extensions, what is going to be needed when she hits my age, and is closer to a sheen from menopausal hot flashes than the glow of youth?
  2. A little bit of makeup is sometimes the perfect amount.  Artfully applied concealer or powder can be a teen girl’s best friend as she fights her battle against acne. A little eyeliner or mascara can liven up a face and add a pretty spark.
  3. Save the glam makeup for the glam events.  Let youthful skin have the spotlight. Use makeup for special ocassions, but don’t try to transform into someone you aren’t.  If you start doing that now, you may never be able to stop–people may not recognize you with #nofilter.

Makeup.  How much do you wear?  Do you think that the fashion world, social media, and You Tube have given our girls a skewed view on beauty? Share with us in the comments section!


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