When I was a teen, I went through a virulent and outspoken anti-makeup phase. This lasted for all of two years and was reflective of my mental state at the time (I was also dealing with general teenage angst and unhappiness, and an eating disorder I’ve thankfully managed to leave behind). I kept myself busy acting like I didn’t care about makeup when I REALLY DID. I secretly wanted to master the art. And then I went to college and got super way into makeup. That’s a summary of my emo makeup journey. But I know SO many women who legitimately aren’t into makeup and it has nothing to do with their emotions.
Image via Shutterstock
They just aren’t that into it, and there’s a variety of often valid reasons why they shouldn’t be. I grew up to have an obsession with hair products and cosmetic items, but I totally get it. Through my years as a beauty blogger I’ve encountered so many women who choose to never or hardly ever wear makeup. Here are the top reasons I always hear.
– Because makeup seems like a lot of effort. That’s the number one explanation I hear when I meet women who don’t wear makeup but engage me in conversation about it. They’re Sweet Brown to makeup. Ain’t nobody got time for that! If you’re not used to wearing makeup, the whole thing seems to be an exercise in too much to do before you have to go somewhere. Based on personal experience I’ll say this – practice makes perfect in everything in life, and I’ve totally mastered a 5 minute face through the years, for occasions where I’m running out the door and need a little makeup. I’m just saying it CAN be done if you want to learn, and there are so many great YouTube videos and blogs to answer your questions. But hey, everything isn’t for everybody.
– Because it creates expectations. This is Luvvie’s reason for not wearing makeup. “I can’t have folks be used to me rocking makeup allatahm. Cause when I don’t, they’ll think I’m sick,” she explained when I asked her about it. And this makes sense to me. When I started wearing makeup everywhere I went, I felt the pressure to keep that up. And especially now that I write a beauty blog, I feel even more pressure. Now when I go down the street to the grocery store or post office, I rock foundation, powder, eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss, just in case. And if I don’t, I feel like I don’t look like myself. It totally has created that weight of expectation for me, but it’s my fault because I took that burden on. This is definitely a reason I can understand.
– Because that isn’t for me/ not my style. Maybe you’re a free spirited hippie at heart. Maybe you’re low maintainance and casual. Whatever the descriptive box that fits you, makeup doesn’t belong in it. But it’s possible that your style will change over time. Maybe makeup isn’t your bag now, but it might be someday. Reserve the right to be as free as you want to be!
— Because my skin is perfect au naturale, thanks. Another valid reason for not wearing makeup! I know many women who have absolutely gorgeous skin sans foundation or concealer. Sure, maybe I’m one who’d suggest that a little blush and bronzer would bring out your cheekbones or eyeliner would make your eyes pop – but why mess with a good thing? If you have flawless skin, I understand your hesitation to start covering it up with makeup. But please know today’s cosmetic products are lightweight and noncomodogenic, and you CAN find products out there that will benefit, not damage your skin.
— Because I don’t believe in it. Some shun makeup because of religious reasons, or personal beliefs — I know many who’ve got a cultural bias against it, or see the cosmetics industry as an evil construct meant to oppress us all. I try not to argue against any of that. The only time I engage in pro-cosmetics arguments is when I notice people judging other people’s choices.
– Because I don’t know what to buy or try, it’s overwhelming. THIS, I get – and I sincerely hope that you all know if you’re looking to learn more about makeup and it feels too intimidating and too much, your friendly Afrobella is always here to help. But I feel you. Completely. Walking into a Sephora, Ulta, or even your nearest department store can be an exercise in torture. Too many sales people with too many questions, offering to randomly spray you with stuff. Conquering the fear of the makeup counter is an essential step if you DO want to wear makeup. And you’d be surprised at how many of the customers in there feel exactly the same way you do. You’re certainly not alone in that hesitation.
– Because I don’t know how. And that’s so often the main reason, right? I said earlier the number one explanation is “makeup seems like too much work,” well…it’s gonna seem like work when you don’t know how to use it, right?
I can honestly say that makeup is now a kind of therapy for me. It is FUN. I love playing with it and creating new looks for myself. But as a former tomboy, I get it — makeup used to intimidate me out of using it. I think in the beauty industry we’re set up to encourage every woman to wear makeup, but like I said, everything ain’t for everybody. There’s a lot to be said for respecting other people’s choices. If you’re adamant about never wearing makeup, then your opinion deserves respect! But if you actually do someday want to wear it, know that the information you need is out there, whenever you’re ready to try.
Do you wear makeup? Tell me your reason! And if you have a question, please know you can ask me!