It’s so funny when I look at old bios I wrote for myself for this blog. I first started it back in 2006, and I have changed so much in terms of where I am in my life and what I’m like as a person.

Back in 2006 I still felt like a girl. I was coming into myself as a grown woman. I was in my twenties, and I could best be described as a former tomboy, recovering from my days of stubbornly only ever wearing pants, hardly wearing any makeup, and not knowing what to do with my hair. This blog helped me learn so much along the way.

Flash forward to 2013 and I have changed. A lot. I’m a woman now. Now I totally know what works for my hair and what doesn’t, in terms of products and ingredients. I know what looks good on me and what doesn’t, in terms of fashion. I know my way around a make up kit in a way that would’ve made 2006 Patrice very proud. Bronzer and concealer, blush and eyelash curlers – I know how to use all of them now! Not only do I know how to use them, but I enjoy playing with makeup. Makeup is a stress relief for me. It is fun. It’s something that picks up my spirit and makes me feel better about my day. Mastering makeup has been a lesson in truly putting my best face forward (not to be corny, I swear).

But there is my dilemma. In learning all about makeup and becoming a blogger known as Afrobella, I’ve come to realize that I have also become dependent on makeup. I’ve gone from being a person who struggled to put on a basic face in order to go out for a special event, to being somebody who gets ready like it’s a special event every day.

Who, me? I'm just going to the supermarket

Who, me? I’m just going to the supermarket!

I’ve had moments recently where I realized that my makeup loving ways are in fact, at times slowing me down. I’ve had moments recently where I realized my makeup loving ways may not be entirely healthy. I’ve had moments recently where I realized, you know what Patrice, you might be a person who now wears too much makeup. Sometimes. Here’s how I realized I was wearing too much makeup. Maybe you’ll have the same realization after answering these five simple yes or no questions.

It’s the Afrobella “do you wear too much makeup too?” quiz!

Answer yes or no to the following six questions.

1. You are going to the grocery store to pick up items for dinner. You are heading there in the middle of the afternoon, when nobody else will be there. Are you wearing a full face of makeup including concealer, foundation, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, blush and bronzer? Yes or no?

2. Lately it’s like your favorite mascara has turned on you. Instead of being the awesome mascara made your lashes look 2 inches long and super thick and lustrous, it’s become clumpy and when you wake up in the morning sometimes your eyes feel irritated and goopy. It’s time for a new mascara. Do you take a break from wearing eye make up for a few days to let your eyes rest? Yes or no?

3 Do you willingly leave the house without wearing makeup? Yes or no?

4 Has putting on makeup for an event ever made you late for that event? Yes or no?

5 Has anyone in your life ever complained that you sometimes wear too much makeup, or take way too long to get ready (because of your need for makeup)? Yes or no?

6. Have you ever put on your usual full face of makeup to go somewhere, only to find that everyone else there is wearing little to no makeup? Yes or no?

If the answers to questions 1,3,4 5 and 6 were yes, and the answer for question number 2 was no, you might have the same struggles that I do. I have done all of these things.


These are my confessions:

– I put on a full face of make up just to leave the house to go to the grocery store.

–  I have found myself late for events because it is taken me so long to get ready for them in terms of putting on my makeup.

– I have found myself being the only one wearing make up any room full of women that have gone out with, because they do not wear as much makeup as I do. In my personal everyday life, I don’t know many women who wear as much makeup as I do, so this happens often.

– And just recently, I found myself putting on eye liner and mascara even though I knew I had a slight eye infection from wearing too much of it. That was a kind of wake-up call. Waking up in the morning with goopy eyes that are irritated and red because of my own overuse of a product is clearly a problem that I need to contend with.

Recently my husband all but forced me to go to the grocery store with him without makeup, and my worst fear was realized – I was totally recognized by an Afrobella reader. And I found myself feeling shy and embarrassed and unwilling to go over and greet this person who so clearly recognized and wanted to meet me. And then I felt really bad about it. Then I had to ask myself all of these introspective questions. Le sigh.

It was kind of a wake up call for me that I’m letting my love of makeup affect my better judgment. When I mentioned this to my mom, she thought I was crazy for writing this. I come from a line of women who don’t leave their bedroom on a morning without “putting on their face,” so she can’t relate to me here. Some women are fine with their makeup habits. Some of us struggle along the way.

I’m trying to tone it down a bit, especially for the summer. It’s too hot to be rocking layers of product right now! I’m cutting down to a BB cream (more on that in an upcoming post), and rocking a bold lip instead of a ton of eye product for a while. And as I get ready to go to the grocery store today, I’ll try to remember everything I just said and go for a less-is-more look. Winking smile

Am I alone in this? Are you a chronic makeup addict who wears it every day? Or are you usually a barefaced beauty?


Nicole says:
July 11, 2013, 1:52 pm
I answered yes to all of the above except 2, but I embrace it now. I am 35 and believe that dark circles should be concealed. I like to look awake! I used to love color, but now I am doing more neutrals because this is my solution to the question you raised today. I asked myself this some time ago. My answer was to keep wearing the makeup, just go neutral and do bright color sometimes. My husband thinks I do too much but I just cannot go around without at least some concealer!!!
bella says:
July 11, 2013, 2:20 pm
that's how I feel! I need to cover my hyperpigmentation. My skin needs to look flawless when I'm out of the house!
Six Twenty Seven says:
July 11, 2013, 2:22 pm
My mother is someone that has worn a full face of makeup and fancy outfits my entire life. She will NEVER step outside the house without a red lip, and to her that's the norm. She is 58yo and old school... she believes in waking up and getting dressed and putting yourself together, full face of makeup included... and by no means does this mean looking like a clown. There is an easy way to rock a nice, everyday face of makeup to look polished without overdoing it. Personally, I've scaled back my makeup routine over the years. I probably only wear foundation twice a year... instead opting to wear Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer daily, filling in my brows, some mascara, blush and gloss. It takes less than 5 mins, looks natural, and doesn't overwhelm me during the day. My boyfriend loathes makeup... but more so an overly made up face. I've realized that anything more than a cat eye liner can be what makes me look "done"... so, usually it's a nice compromise to have a natural look for day, but then for special occasions I can do it up a bit more with full shadow or liner on my waterline. Wear your makeup... don't let your makeup wear you :)
Allie says:
July 11, 2013, 2:39 pm
Hey Patrice! Long time no talk! I just wanted to chime in. I used to be totally dependent on make-up. I refused to ever be seen without it. I even went to the gym with make-up on! And I started feeling like I was hiding who I really was, like I was always wearing a mask. Not to mention it couldn't have been good for my skin. So I decided I needed to detox from make-up, and I haven't looked back since. These days I just wear a bit of concealer, tinted moisturizer, mascara and lip gloss. It's a big improvement over the concealer, foundation, powder, blush, mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, and lipstick that I wore EVERY DAY. I only wear that much for my weekend outings and special occasions. I feel way better about being bare-faced in public now. You shouldn't look great with and without make-up! I remember the NT days when you would ask me how I applied eyeliner, lol. Anyway, hope you're doing well!
Lisa says:
July 11, 2013, 2:49 pm
I went from wearing no makeup, to dabbling a bit in makeup, to taking ridiculous amounts of time putting my face on in the morning. I had to stop because really, it was becoming a crutch. My everyday makeup is about 5 minutes: BB Cream, bronzer, eye-brightener, eyeliner, mascara and some type of lip (gloss, lipstick or just moisturizer). And some days, usually the weekends...*gasp*...I just moisturize and go! Some days, depending on my sass-factor, I'll do a little more and on special occasions, I go all out. I've come to this because I have a boyfriend who tends to be spontaneous; like, "I'll be there in 30 minutes" and I'm agreeing knowing full well that I'm lounging in my PJs. LOL So I HAD to pare down the hair/makeup/#alphet rituals so I don't miss out on all the fun!
milaxx says:
July 11, 2013, 2:49 pm
I used to be. Once I stopped having an office to go to full time, I stopped putting on a full face daily. Then after I got sick in 2010, I felt the need to wear foundation to cover the facial scars. Since I go to the gym more, and I have slowly come to terms with my facial scarring, I've once again cut back.
Rolake says:
July 11, 2013, 2:53 pm
I relate. Completely. I realized that I was wearing A LOT of make up this past year. I couldn't go anywhere without it. In February, my boyfriend's brother came into town. I had just taken a shower and we were going to go to the Auto Show. I started to immediately put on some makeup and he stopped me like " what are you doing? Do you ALWAYS have to put make up on?" I was like what do you mean? He was like " Can you even look at yourself in the mirror for a long time" He forced me to start at myself for more than ten seconds and I couldn't do it. I never even realized I couldn't do it. I was so shocked I almost cried. So he challenged me. We are both Catholic and Lent was coming up. So he said for Lent, I need to give up makeup. And I did. 40 days It changed me really. It made me realize that makeup and its not a necessity. It's an accessory. I felt alot more beautiful by the end. He certainly helped as well. Now, I can definitely go out without tons of makeup. I can tone it done when need be, go out bare faced, or go full glam and know I look beautiful in each way. It was a humbling but necessary experience.
desiree says:
July 11, 2013, 4:31 pm
i feel i HAVE to wear face breaks out and scars so easily! i can go to bed and wake up with new scars/black marks from nowhere!!! my face gets a complete make over with some good foundation; so for me i always feel justified (and more confident) in wearing it. i don't always wear mascara- only on "special occasions" put on eyeliner & eyeshadow. it is just the foundation and eyebrows that are a requirement for me (--yes, half of my eyebrows are permanently missing and won't grow back, so i have to paint those on....smh). so i literally put on "my face" in the am. :/
pets says:
July 11, 2013, 6:55 pm
Great post - what about having a makeup artist respond to "what levels of makeup should be worn when? and insert your above scenarios" and have that reposted. I wear BB cream and a thin film of loose powder, some pencil eyeliner and lipstick most days and only put on serious foundation and mascara and blush when I have an important event. Bottom line is that your face needs to get to breathe some days :)
Idi Ogo says:
July 11, 2013, 11:06 pm
First off, I think a woman should wear or not wear as much makeup as she pleases. I grew up in a "granola" town where pretty much no one dressed up for any occasion ever. In those years I liked to dress up quite a bit and if I was trying to fit in I would have been stuck wearing baggy sweat shirts and brown jeans - no way! (I am a woman, not a potato, and I like my clothes to show it) I did however notice that when I went out without makeup I felt ugly. Without mascara I was just a ghost. Realizing I thought my bare, mascara-less face was actually ugly, I understood something had to change. So I decided to go out at least once a week sans my usual face paint. I had to teach myself how to see my natural self as good enough and separate my looks from my true worth. It takes practice but it's oh so liberating! I think makeup should be a fun and playful addition to our overall look. Wear as much (or as little) as you want. Just don't let the makeup suck your valuable time, infect your precious eyes or trick you into thinking you're any less beautiful without it!
Brown Eyed Girl says:
July 12, 2013, 2:34 pm
I have always been the type to wear minimal makeup - usually blush and lip color. If there's a special event (whether day or evening) I'll add mascara. In just the past week I've been experimenting with eyeliner. I rarely wear all four of these items at once, and most often lately I keep my eyes free of makeup because menopause has rendered them more sensitive. Today I'm wearing red lipstick, eyeliner, and blush. The one item I hate to go without is lip color; I think I look too bland without it.
sandy says:
July 12, 2013, 5:42 pm
There's no one answer; but I found as I got older my overall style changed. On the weekends I tended to wear less makeup and it was more compatible with my style. What started this was when my hubby asked why I wore the same amount of makeup with casual clothes as I wore with dressy attire; at least that is how it appeared to him. But he wanted me to make the choice for myself. That's when I started doing more of the "Bobbie Brown" natural look for more casual clothes and then taking my makeup up many notches for more formal timed. And, you know what: many people thought the casual chic makeup looked the best. But, do you. What makes you comfortable? One thing you could try is using more neutral colors and nude looks for your casual days. This will give you some other style alternatives.
Amber says:
July 12, 2013, 5:43 pm
Back in high school, I used to refuse to leave the house without foundation, then the summer before I went to college I stopped wearing it all together because it was too hot and I never went back. Now I HATE wearing foundation or anything heavy on my face. However, I do still go overboard on the eye makeup! I need to learn to tone it down. As for the quiz, I have been late to things multiple times putting on makeup and I have felt awkward wearing makeup around other women who don't have any on. But you live and you learn!
Kimberly says:
July 13, 2013, 9:38 am
ohhhhhhhhhhhh cool. so i am total opposite. dont wear any makeup at all. some lip gloss. but i envy those that do. i havent even bought anything only on special events will i attempt to wear makeup, it looks nice, but i dont continue with it. i am very allergic and irritable when it comes to my skin. especially the face area. so because im always wiping eyes, nose,etc. i go without. i love the see woman with nice makeup, and always tell myself i am going to invest one day into learning this art. lol
Cosmolude says:
July 13, 2013, 6:03 pm
When I was younger, I was terrified to leave the house without makeup. I didn't wear very much makeup, but I didn't want to be seen without it. I forced myself to get over it when I had to leave in an emergency or if I didn't have time to apply my makeup. On special occasions I usually wear more makeup, especially if I know I'm going to be taking pictures. I know about how long it takes me so I try to start getting ready earlier. Most days I just wear BB cream, concealer, a light powder, mascara, and eyeliner; if I have time and am in the mood, I'll do eyeshadow. The only thing I have to do is my brows. I feel like an alien if I don't fill in my brows.
Tia says:
July 14, 2013, 2:48 am
Makeup for me has been linked to my self esteem. I always felt ugly without makeup when I was younger (I am now 36) and even though I had no clue on application, I wore all kinds of stuff. As I got older and worked in corporate America, I had to wear something to look like somebody! LOL! Now that I am no longer in that environment I wear very little makeup. Foundation maybe 1-2x a week and at all other times, I must have my black eyeliner and lipgloss. Nothing else! And you know what? I feel just as pretty now with a full face (that I can now do very well) as I do with just eyeliner and gloss! It is all a matter of trying to accept oneself. I am trying to get better.
Nick says:
July 14, 2013, 7:00 am
I really don't wear anything but gloss, eye brow powder, and eyeliner. I think I should wear a little more or just update my everyday look. I suppose we all could refine our looks:) But heck I am a tomboy.
Rethea says:
July 15, 2013, 11:05 am
This post made me chuckle. Caused I have seen the women looking so glamorous in their full face of makeup in grocery stores etc... and wondered how they found the time to apply all of that. Through your blog and certain you tube channels, I became more interested in makeup. I generally would only wear a bronzer or tinted moisturizer, eye liner, lipstick. I started wearing mascara, eyeshadow, concealer, the works. It only lasted for a minute. I found out I'm way too lazy for all of that. I'm back to my regular routine. I have to tell you, y'all look good tho. I still marvel at the full faced make up wearers.
phillylove says:
July 18, 2013, 4:34 pm
My mother never wore a ton of makeup so growing up I never felt it important to wear it. As I got over and started making friends I started to venture into makeup. Early in my discovery I would wear a full face for everything, but now I have scaled back to basic makeup and keep the full face for dates and special occassions. My mom told me early on makeup is made to enhance not create what's not there let your natural beauty come through and I have always lived by that.
Izzy says:
July 23, 2013, 4:03 pm
I prefer a natural look and wear very little foundation. I use the eyebrow powder, black eye liner and some gloss and that's it. Now for special occasions I will sure do the shadow, and blush etc but I still try to maintain the look of "oh she is barely wearing any makeup and still looks beautiful". I guess it's also not hard because I have very good skin and no dark spots and the like to cover. I just think too much makeup makes you look older and I'm all for looking young! lol
Glenyse says:
July 28, 2013, 9:00 am
I'm more of a natural. I wear makeup (and sunscreen) to work everyday, to even out my sunglass raccoon eyes. Hooray for Smashbox BB's! CC's and BB's has made my life easier. For the weekend its always sunscreen, and maybe mascara and a little bronzer, and I am ready to go.
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Nadia says:
September 20, 2013, 9:52 pm
I have a make up routine for normal days, which includes foundation, powder, eyeliner, mascara, slightly fill my eyebrows and lipstick/gloss. I try to make it look the more natural as possible, so it's about covering my blemishes and scars, defining my eyes with a black liner and usually a pink lipstick/neutral gloss depending on my mood. If I'm going out, I want to look different and fabulous, I do a full lace make up with bright eyeshadow, maybe smokey eyes, false eyelashes and a good blush. I think it's about you feeling good on your own skin. My family, friends and boyfriend know my face with and without make up and they are fine with it. Of course there are days that I just don't care, I will only use some eyeliner, correct my eyebrows with pencil, wear some lipgloss and I'm out!!! I use make up, I love it and I don't think I over use it. If you use it right and not let it affect your relationships and your life it's ok.
Melinda says:
January 6, 2014, 7:05 am
Happy New Year, Bella! My thoughts on this...the notion of "too much makeup" is subjective. I believe that only you can define that for yourself. I like what Nadia had to say about it, too. IMO, it should be about finding a balance. Some people feel better with less makeup, some feel better with more, and some feel fine with none at all. It all depends on the individual. I grew up being harassed by people simply for wearing lipstick/gloss because they deemed that as wearing "too much makeup". Honestly, that was all I wore most of the time but some people really seemed to have a problem with it. People are entitled to their opinions, but I find their behavior and comments disrespectful because it is MY face...I have the right to wear makeup if I want to. I've never pushed my beliefs onto anybody else, so my choices should be respected as well. Some people definitely are addicted to wearing lots of makeup but I won't judge them for that. Me personally, I wear very little makeup besides mascara, concealer, and gloss. I have very sensitive skin and a very limited budget so I can't afford most high-end makeup. And I don't know anything about applying eyeshadow or contouring or any other complicated beauty skills, so yeah...I keep it simple because that works for me. Now to answer your six questions... 1. The only makeup I wear to the grocery store is mascara, concealer and gloss. When I'm running out to the store I prefer simple makeup and clothing because I live in Florida where it is extremely hot. 2. My eyes are VERY sensitive, but mascara has never done that to me. I tend to wear mascara that is gentle to my eyes. But eyeliner has definitely caused some irritation and I don't wear it as a result. I wish I could, because I love the look of "cat eye" makeup. 3. I went through a phase where I stopped wearing makeup for a while. It was OK, but I feel better with a bit of mascara and concealer and a touch of lipstick or gloss. I just prefer a little bit of makeup. The only time I leave home with a "naked" face is when I'm working out, because sweat will be streaming down my face and it isn't a pretty sight. 4. No. I haven't really been to any significant events in a long time. Putting on makeup has never made me late for anything because my beauty routine is so simple. But I worry a LOT about my hair. If my hair doesn't look right, then that might make me late. And finding the right clothes/shoes is difficult sometimes, too. 5. Yes, believe it or not...I'm not sure why. My husband is just a very impatient person and he doesn't understand what women have to do in order to look good. The funny part is that I don't spend a lot of time getting ready but he is always in a rush. And like I shared above, some people have made rude comments in the past just because they noticed me wearing or applying lip gloss. To them, that was "too much makeup". 6. Maybe when I was younger, but I didn't care whether other people were wearing makeup or not, as long as they didn't judge me for wearing mascara and lipstick/gloss. In high school I was pretty much the only girl who played with bright colors...most other girls came to school either completely bare-faced or wearing the neutral nude makeup that was popular at the time. Which was fine, but it annoyed me when people would talk trash because I was more creative with my makeup.
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