Like many women, on an average day – in other words, pretty much every day – I don’t bother wearing make-up. I turn up for work with my blemishes unconcealed, my cheekbones uncontoured and my eyelashes unlengthened. I do the school runs and the supermarket slogs with unglossy lips and without any light reflecting off my under-eye shadows. My eyes don’t “pop”. A bit of moisturiser and I’m good to go. Some days I go mad and use the one containing the “skin firming complex” that promises to “reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles”. But that’s usually it.
That’s not to say I’m without vanity; far from it. But for me, make-up is all about dressing up, glamour and escape from the workaday routine. I love its transformative power. I get a real kick out of the positive reaction and comments I get from people the first time they see me in full-on slap. If I wore it all the time, I would miss that element of surprise.
What fools we’ve been, we ladies who choose to venture bare-faced into the world. Because according to this, people have been judging us all along. As less competent, less trustworthy and (sob!) less likeable than our made-up sisters. A Harvard University study has found that people make more positive value judgements about women who are wearing even minimal make-up, compared to those wearing none. And they can make these judgements based on a glance lasting just 250 milliseconds.
Am I going to change the habits of a lifetime and start getting up earlier to wield the makeup brushes? Probably not. I fit squarely into the ‘Not A Morning Person’ bracket. I’m just left to ponder on the undreamed-of success and popularity I could have achieved in my life if only I’d worn mascara and lippie every day.
Thanks to @CanuckJacq for posting the link to the NY Times article on the Tweet machine