How Much is Too Much Makeup?
While we all share some very obvious traits (traits which are greatly appreciated by most men), no two women are really alike. There are athletes and geeks and rebels, just like there are with men. And just as some men are ultra-masculine Alpha types, some women are ultra-feminine “girlie girl” types. These are the women who care about looking pretty, and aren’t afraid to put in a little (or a lot of) extra effort to achieve it.
Natural beauty is a wonderful thing– and many women have plenty of it. But for those of us who are merely mortal, there’s nothing wrong with using a splash here and a puff there to accentuate our features and display them at their best.
Unfortunately, it’s all-too-easy to go too far. Just as most women wish to be naturally perfect, most men prefer women to look as natural as possible (“she shouldn’t wear loads of makeup” is something you’ve probably seen on plenty of internet dating profiles, after all). So whether you want to look your best just for yourself or for him, you generally want to look as natural as possible. After all, have you seen a photo of Christina Aguilera lately? There’s definitely such a thing as “much too much”– even on a girl as pretty as Christina.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for the hot guy you met on an internet dating site to tell you that you look like a clown to know you’re wearing too much makeup. All you need is to take a peek at your makeup bag… and look for these five blinking neon signs that you go too far.
The Five Signs
1. People are unaccountably awkward. Some people –especially men– find women who wear too much makeup unattractive and strange. And so they hold them at arm’s length, unable to focus on what a woman is saying because they’re distracted by how she looks. This is actually true; a guy friend once told me he always feels this way when chatting with his brother’s wife– her makeup is so extreme that can never quite figure out how to talk to her.
2. You have to replace it often. Some women can use the same tube of mascara or the same eyeliner pencil for months. But if you’re on the other side of the scale, it may be time to wonder if you wear too much. If you can empty out an entire tube of mascara in just a couple of weeks, it’s undeniable: you wear too much of the stuff.
3. You re-apply often. Think of your typical work day. Of course you get up in the morning, get ready, and fix your makeup. But if you find yourself lugging your makeup bag into the bathroom every hour or so to re-apply a bit here or a bit there, it generally means you’re wearing too much… especially if part of touching up means layering on more mascara and wiping away smears of black from under your eyes.
Most women can apply their makeup in the morning, then touch up a bit once or twice during the day. If you’re applying more than lipstick more than twice a day, you probably wear too much makeup– and you definitely need to switch to some longer-lasting products.
4. It gets on things. Another sign that you’re wearing too much make-up (and too much foundation in particular)? You find a layer of it on the phone after you’ve been talking only five minutes. You see smears of it on your clothes. And you touch your face and your fingers come away with a thin layer of the stuff. Foundation isn’t like pet fur– it shouldn’t be all over everything in your home.
5. You can’t feel yourself. When you touch your cheek or your eyelashes, you should be able to feel, well, you. If you run a finger across your lashes and feel only a prickly and inflexible wall of blackness, it should immediately tell you that you’ve put on too much mascara. Likewise, if you touch your face and feel only the creamy layer of foundation you’re wearing, you’ve put on too much.
It’s okay to want to cover what you don’t like or accentuate what you do. But if you have to put on layer upon layer of foundation or mascara, it generally means that you need to find a new product. Nothing works miracles, but sometimes better products can make a huge difference in how much you need to wear.