How the dudes feel about the makeup.

Guys have a funny relationship with makeup.

And before I go further, I should state that I absolutely hate blog posts that make gross over-generalizations about the opposite sex.  I mean it.  It’s like, my very least favorite.  Because no, nice guys don’t always finish last, and yes, there are actually some women out there who don’t obsess over chocolate and babies.  And ladies, believe it or not, sometimes you are the dense one.  And so, just let me say this: I write the following based only on my experiences with guys and their understanding of makeup.  These conclusions are based solely on what I’ve learned during my short time in my own teensy slice of the universe, and if I were to meet someone who defied the following conclusions, I would fail to be surprised.  So anyhow …

I’ve been a careful observer of how guys respond to makeup for years, and not necessarily for the sake of seeing what attracts the most positive attention.  Some makeup features seem to go completely unnoticed, like bronzer.  Other things, however, can garner every kind of strong opinion (as one guy I know feels like red lipstick makes you look like “a clown”, and another I know feels it makes a girl look all kinds of 1940s awesome).  There’s one thing through this that I’ve found to be certain, though: it is difficult to find a makeup item that’s universally praised and appreciated by guys.  In fact, it’s difficult to determine if makeup is universally praised or appreciated at all by the dudes.  Shiny, healthy-looking hair is universally appreciated by malefolk.  Skin that appears well cared for is, too.  Makeup, however, seems to be different.  It somehow doesn’t attract the same amount of attention from guys as something like glowing skin or pretty hair, and yet ironically, I’ve found that it attracts criticism much faster than the topics of skincare or hair.  The opinions, overall, are fewer, but the ones that exist are quite deep-seated.

leg

I’ve known too many guys who’ve felt that the application of makeup is equivocated with a desperate desire to change yourself.  Coloring your hair is coloring your hair, but creating a different look for your face means you are having a crisis of insecurity and identity.  It means you want to cover yourself up.  It means you hate your features.  And now, I’m beginning to feel that I’m exaggerating.  Again, this hasn’t been the case for all guys I’ve known, but it’s honestly been the case for a great many.  I can’t recall how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “I want a girl who doesn’t wear makeup”, or “I want a girl who doesn’t think she needs to cover herself up”, or “I want a girl who doesn’t spend so much time on herself”.  Let me ask you this, gents: Do you even know when a girl is wearing makeup half the time?  I mean, I have a feeling you may have something more like this in mind when you think of the word ‘makeup’.  But tell me, when you think of the subject, do you ever think of this?  Or this?  Or this?  No?  All of the three aforementioned looks involve a great deal of makeup and an even greater deal of time and effort in order to make the look a natural one.  It’s quite ironic, you see- most wouldn’t be able to keep their jaws from hitting the floor if they realized the amount of product application, blending, and highlighting it takes to produce a truly high-quality “natural” makeup look.  Next time you suspect a girl of wearing no makeup simply because she looks “natural”, leave room for the possibility that she may, in fact, have put in a little bit of effort to look that “effortless”.  There’s a science to it.  Trust me.  And the millions of other girls that are “natural” makeup scientists like me.

Now, I suppose we can all agree that there can come a point where one reaches “TOO MUCH MAKEUP!!!!!”.  Where exactly that line is, however, is tough to pinpoint.  If you knew just how much makeup Natalie Portman was wearing at, say, the 2012 Academy Awards, you would certainly scream TOO MUCH MAKEUP!!!  However, because it doesn’t necessarily look like “too much makeup” from our point of view, we don’t slam her for it.  My guess as to where the line between “too much” and “acceptable” is lies somewhere within the judgment of whether or not the makeup begins to obstruct or alter one’s natural features.  But it’s even hard for everyone to agree when exactly ones comes to this point.  It unfortunately seems to be a subjective case of “I know it when I see it”.

There are those gentlemen, however, that don’t abide makeup in any quantity at all.  Long ago, I knew a guy that, upon accidentally coming into possession of my makeup, literally refused to give me my makeup back.  There was no negotiating; it was his now and he did not want me to have it any longer.  It was the strangest, most alarming thing- he just hated it when I wore makeup, almost as a rule.  I realize that such an attitude is probably fairly uncommon among guys, but I have to say that my husband’s first comment on the subject of makeup put to ease any fears of male makeup hatred- “Hey, you know, if the barn looks good red, then why not paint it red?”  Now there’s a cheerful spirit!

I guess that’s the one thing I’d want to pass on to any malefolk that are feeling extra suspicious of makeup- to perhaps see it not as a means of changing oneself, but rather a means of enhancing.  We like the canvas, and now we just want to have fun with it.  I like lining the inner rims of my eyes because of how it makes my eyes look.  I like filling in my eyebrows a little bit because of how it frames my face.  No, I don’t want to change my face or cover my face; I want to enhance and make the best use of my face.  Of course there are always exceptions to this, but I’d say that for the most part, makeup really is just a means of having fun with another artistic media.  Trust us, it’s safe in our hands.

However, it is not always safe in the hands of a dude when he’s curious about trying his own hand at a set of brushes.

matt

And furthermore, it’s even less safe when you allow him to attempt his version of a “smokey eye” on you as his first go-round with said brushes.

joker

He expressed a desire to line my lower lids with shadow, but I think his precision was a bit off.  Maybe just a little bit?  Oh well.  If you can’t achieve a Keira Knightley-level smokey eye, at least you know you’ll end up with a female version of Heath Ledger’s Joker.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever looked better.  Matt, you’ve made me proud.

And I must say you don’t look too shabby, either.

drag

I’m pretty sure he’s wearing MAC’s Ruby Woo, if you’re interested.  xo, MR

Oh now THIS is the kind of thing I LIVE for!!

Oh how thoroughly disappointing the SAG Awards were tonight.  The Golden Globes had been somewhat of a bore for me as well, and so I’d truly been looking forward to tonight’s red carpet with the hopes that someone … anyone … would put on a dress to make my jaw drop.  But alas, my jaw remains fully closed and in fact a little clenched in frustration.  Nights like this kill me.  I mean, yes, it’s great to look all boring kinds of sexy in a column dress so everyone can see that you can work your curves and blah blah blah, but let me tell you- I will continue to throw this at you until someone tops it.  When you, as a celebrity, have access to literally every great designer’s atelier on this planet and each one of those designers would give their right leg to dress you, thou shalt NOT waste my time with another monochromatic mermaid gown on the red carpet.  Grow a pair and actually take advantage of the fashion that’s at your over-privileged, perfectly manicured fingertips.  I mean seriously!  Do I have to rely on mah boo Marion for EVERYTHING?!

And so we’re moving on from this discussion to something else that’s fascinated me lately.  Oh, and how!  So, I purchased the latest issue of Self magazine for the purpose of motivating myself into a more regular gym routine.  I’d initially inserted about a million jokes here when first writing this, but I have to admit this is a completely true desire, void of any irony.  No, I’m not looking to Instagram pictures of my Fergie abs while I frolick around in a bikini at Stagecoach.  But I am looking to take seriously the idea that man cannot live on Cheetos alone, and if one does, a price must be paid in copious amounts of running and veggie consumption.

But I stumbled upon something funny while perusing this latest issue of Self, and it did nothing short of fuel the fires of Mount Doom in my Fergie tummy.

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Well, well, well, what have we here?!  The kind of article I live for- the kind that asks what guys really think of the stuff we do with our hair, face, and body, and how we should take such opinions into account when we get ready to bring our ugly selves out of our Hobbit holes and into daylight for presentation!  Excellent!

So, I guess the deal with these is that you’ve got some panel of highly qualified dudes (guys that know lots about the wiminfolks, cause they haz a Y-chromosome and eyeballz) that look at various celebrity photos and rate YEAH, BRAH! or NAH, BRAH! while throwing back a can of mildly-flavored pee Coors Light.  Totes fersh, breh.  And so above we have our first exhibit- Jessica Biel demonstrating nail color and ombre’d hair.  The verdict on nails?  Well Lord bless ’em, the lads say they don’t care!  Sweet relief for us!  “That’s something only girls notice”, dude-breh-number-one says.  Oh, but notice that dude-breh says those nails had BETTER NOT be chipped, lest we be perceived as someone who has a life doesn’t have time to keep her nails perfectly manicured!

And the verdict on ombre’d hair?  A resounding “Hell, no!” from dude-breh-number-two.  His reasoning?  “She looks like she didn’t make it to the salon for a year.”  Right.  Because like the dude-brehs always say, they definitely don’t want a girl who looks like she “tries too hard” or “wears makeup”, but we can’t be having a woman looking like she doesn’t try hard enough either.  MAKES SENSE.  I’m sorry Patrick Bateman, but it’s been hard trying to find that right balance between J. Lo and Jennifer Garner for you, or excuse me, that right balance between CAN’T and CAN’T for you.  If Jessica Biel’s hair looks “un-maintained” to you, look forward to seeing me looking nothing short of BEAT next season when I get mine re-ombre’d.  Consider it my gift to you.

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Let’s see, the next victims- Blake Lively with her fishtail braid, short-haired girls, the how-much-makeup question, and a few others.  Of course, that braid is a no from the dude-brehs because “it probably took three hours”.  No, you dum-dum.  It took three minutes because the thing’s probably a bloody extension.  And even if it isn’t (considering Blake is known to have Rapunzel hair), bear this in mind the next time your girlfriend has nice, blown-out, shiny hair that’s left down and casual with soft, “effortless” waves- that probably took three hours.

Oh and take note- NO SHORT HAIR.  DUDE-BREH WILL NOT APPROACH YOU AND OFFER YOU A JAGER BOMB FROM HIS ED HARDY-ADORNED SELF IF YOU’VE GOT THE SHORT HAIRS.  But we are told, quite graciously, “If you look like Halle Berry, then you can go short”.  Oh thanks man!  I mean, I know that Halle spends literally thousands of dollars to maintain her looks each year alone and that if any of us did that you’d immediately judge us for being “too high maintenance”, but it’s a free pass for Halle and all her look-alikes!  Oh wait, there are no Halle look-alikes?  And even Halle doesn’t look like Halle without her Revlon to make her Photo-Ready?  Woops.

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Here are a few more.  We’re given the green light for glossy lips because  apparently they say “a girl wants to make out”, and we’re given a thumbs-down on sleek hair with this astute observation- “Bet she’s wearing really uncomfortable shoes”.  But have hope!  Here’s what we’re finally left with as a conclusion:  We’re told in the Editor’s note on the right that “Confidence trumps all, and they want to sleep with you no matter what.  Like what you see in the mirror.”  Oh, I see, so back-track on this entire article because you know it’s the most misogynistic thing you may have ever published in your sorry magazine, but be SURE to validate us in the best, most helpful way possible- by reassuring us that every guy wants to sleep with us just because we’re … girls.

I can’t even begin to delve into the devastating moral and spiritual implications of this article, but I’ll attempt to be brief in my commentary.  Magazines like Self claim to celebrate you as you, and yet they’re fraught with quiet-yet-somehow-explicit suggestions on how to make yourself better, more desirable, more worthy of that celebration.  Some of these suggestions, as in ones pertaining to diet and health in general, are genuinely helpful and sometimes necessary in our lives.  Others, however, are backwards and hypocritical to a degree that has the potential to lay waste to anything helpful a publication may previously have done.  It is frustrating that this article was found in a magazine written for women, and by women, but features like this truly do a disservice to both sexes.  Women are once again subjected to depthless, crude evaluation that leaves them insecure and anxious, and they’re fed the lie that the ultimate compliment a guy could possibly pay you is wanting you physically.  Men, on the other hand, are portrayed as animalistic, thoughtless jackasses that could not care less about the content of one’s character because they’re solely interested in sex.  It’s a bloody shame, it is.

Here’s what I’ll leave you with- Try the weird hair-do.  Put on the red lipstick that may cause a couple guys to say you look like a clown (true story in my life).  Wear no makeup.  Wear too much makeup.  Make “mistakes”.  And extend the same grace to the dude-brehs when they wear too much Tim McGraw cologne, when they’ve got an awful case of the neck-beard, or when they think it’s cool to look like this.  We’ll all keep up with our same weird beauty and grooming habits, and I’ll keep blogging about all of it.  Do this for fun.  Do this because you like it.  And if it bothers you that I don’t like your sock-bun, just do it anyways.  You know you love that hairy donut on top of your head.  Don’t let me take that love from you.  xo, MR