Sara Altschule
January 17, 2015 10:00 am

I’m a girl who wears makeup. Correction: I don’t just wear it, as in because I feel like I have to, or because it smoothes out my complexion or brightens up my eyes. I actually love wearing makeup. I enjoy everything about the process of putting it on, and I will research the best products for hours. I absorb YouTube tutorials like a sponge. And it makes me that much happier when I find that perfect shade of red lipstick.

Now, there’s obviously nothing wrong with not wearing makeup. It sucks to feel like you have to spend the extra five or 10 minutes in the morning attending to your face just to look like, as Tina Fey said, a “human woman.” On the flip side, though, I’ve spent a good deal of my life feeling judged for wearing makeup and worrying that people assume things about me based upon my appearance. Yes, I wear mascara to the gym. I’ve been known to rock a red lip in the daytime. And I’ve probably spent some rent money on a Chanel nail polish or two. Perhaps, in the immortal words of Taylor Swift, “haters gonna hate,” but I’m just gonna shake it off at the nearest beauty supply store. That said, it’s not always easy being a makeup junkie. For those of you who love “making faces,” as makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin would say, here are some of the ways in which life tests us.

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Choosing a beauty product is like choosing a doughnut—they all look so good! You are Goldilocks and the lipstick is the porridge. Which one is just right? Eye shadows come in many shades, so while Motif might look exactly like Malt, guess what? It’s not! If you thought picking out a cereal was hard, try finding the perfect concealer. And even if you find the right shade, you don’t know if it will last the entire night or if its organic, and so on. This is why no one should come to Sephora with me unless they’re similarly inclined to sample half the inventory.

A little bit of side-eye

If you’re a makeup-lover like myself, you have heard your share of judgmental, or at least passive-aggressive, comments. So maybe I’ve brought my entire makeup bag with me while camping. Not everybody thinks that’s reasonable. I’ve also gotten “Wow, you look so different without makeup!” Note: Not necessarily a compliment, just an observation. I’m unsure how to take these remarks. I don’t think I’m high-maintenance or vain, but I know that’s what other people are sometimes thinking.

The fear of mishaps

You don’t know true panic until you realize you’re crying and you didn’t wear waterproof mascara. Oh, the horror! OK, I’m exaggerating, but remember that famous LC black tear moment. She made crying with makeup look good. Poignant, even. But sometimes life doesn’t care when you’ve got a great face going on. So when it rains, it’s not just the spider that gets washed out, but an eyebrow fill-in or two as well. And then there’s the true test, the dreaded moment of all: Hugging somebody with a white shirt. Whoops!

The actual mishaps 

Before you have a strong makeup game, you’re going to have a few fouls. I went through a practice phase when I was young and could get away with pink eyeshadow and blue mascara. It takes a lot of makeup Don’ts to get the right Do. You can watch countless hours of YouTube tutorials before that smokey eye looks like you want it to, and not like you’re giving yourself bruises for a movie. And if you’ve ever accidentally plucked your eyebrows to the point where your face looks nude, I’m here to say it’s OK. We’ve all had makeup mishaps. I’ve overdrawn my brows and taken a cat-eye into Kabuki territory. And I’m still learning how to contour. No matter what happens, you just have to laugh and thank the gods for inventing makeup remover.

The exhaustive nighttime ritual

It’s a late night, your dogs are barking, your body is exhausted and boy, oh boy, you can’t wait to get into bed. Your pillow is calling your name. Once you collapse and pull those covers up around you and snuggle down all comfy cozy, you realize there’s something you forgot. THE MAKEUP. It was fun to put it on for the party, but it’s a lot less fun to take it off when you’re all partied out. This is my nighttime struggle: between knowing that I should wash my face and being lazy. Being lazy wins far more often than I or my pores would like to admit.

The depleted bank account

Wearing makeup is one expensive decision, let me tell you. Even though you can find some awesome drugstore products, it still adds up at the end of the day. I mean, you have every intention of buying just one MAC lipstick, but then you walk away with a lip liner and a matching shadow. Not only is it costly in terms of the time invested (read The Beauty Myth if you don’t believe me), but when you splurge on a $28 lipstick or an $80 concealer, you feel it in your pocketbook, too. Look, everything has its price.

[Images via here]

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