What is Appropriate Makeup?

Appropriate Makeup

What is Appropriate Makeup? I always get miffed by people who judge women based on their choice to wear makeup or not. The feminist in me says that every woman should be allowed to do what she wants. That said, I firmly believe that there is a time and place for everything and anyone exercising a choice needs to be thoughtful about things. This applies to wearing makeup as well. That is why I want to talk about Appropriate Makeup today.

I saw an Instagram pic by my blogger friend Zainab who was dressed for a wedding. She said she was never into loud makeup. That made me think. What is loud makeup? Bright colours? A full face? Too much glitter? Is there a definition? Nope. What we call loud makeup could be one of the two things:

  1. More makeup than you are comfortable with
  2. More makeup than the occasion demands

The reverse corollary makes the makeup understated. Less makeup than one is used to or what the occasion demands. By less or more makeup I am not referring to the amount of product. I am referring to the amount of visible makeup. Lisa Eldridge has a 15 minute video tutorial on how to do a no makeup, makeup look. Clearly, the amount of products have no bearing on the visibility or rather the detectability of makeup.

Appropriate Makeup takes into account your own comfort level and the reason for you wearing a particular look.

Appropriate Makeup – Importance of the Occasion

If we do not take the place and occasion into account while doing our makeup and always do the same look or just what we know, our makeup can be out of place. A funeral in India expects one to turn up bare faced. Some people get away with mlbb lipstick and maybe kajal but anything beyond would be frowned upon. People around you will judge you as being insincere and even disrespectful to the departed. A wedding on the other hand is where you are expected to look all dolled up. Skipping makeup at a time like this can again be interpreted as a sign of your displeasure at the wedding! Think about a more complex corporate environment where the amount of dressing up of down depends upon one’s industry, level and aspirations. Well, here makeup becomes even more confusing. I know of a beauty blogger friend who was called Makeup ki Dukaan at her male dominated IT sector office. People with jobs that make them well known are worse because they are constantly in public scrutiny. I too am guilty of judging talk show hosts and news readers’ makeup looks.

Is it any wonder then that women are constantly worried about being over or under madeup? Is it any wonder that even men who are generally not concerned about makeup form opinions about women who wear it? Is it any wonder then that it we are constantly asking our friends or the internet about what is appropriate makeup for a particular occasion? Don’t tell me you have never googled things like makeup to wear to an interview or makeup to wear for a first date.

Appropriate Makeup – Your Comfort and Preference

While there is nothing wrong in statement makeup and I immensely enjoy the instagram looks, my own preference is to keep my makeup slightly understated. I wouldn’t want my lipstick to do the talking or the only thing people remember me for is the colour of my eye shadow. So my comfort level veers toward the understated. How did this preference emerge? It was through a series of experiments – some disastrous and some successful that I was able to find what I liked on me. An example would be a dewy look and my first FOTD makeup post on the blog. These experiments with makeup need time and patience.

I feel that it all begins with understanding the purpose of makeup. Yes, it is a medium of self expression. Yes, it is a showcase of creativity. Yes, it is the route to having fun. All of these are secondary.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”The basic purpose of makeup is to enhance your natural features #AnksWrites” quote=”The basic purpose of makeup is to enhance your natural features” theme=”style5″]

To be able to enhance something, we must first understand it. If we women understand our faces and study makeup techniques, then we can figure out what looks good on us and what looks better. These trial and error situations will cause our preferences to emerge and establish our comfort level with makeup. We can then tune our look to suit the occasion and the time at hand.

Appropriate Makeup – The Tricks

The trick in appropriate makeup is trying to find a balance between what the occasion demands and what you are comfortable with in about makeup. A few points that have helped me find this balance are

  1. Knowing where I am going, what I am going to do and what impression I want to give off to the people I meet. Then figuring out how makeup will help me do that.
  2. Keeping myself updated about makeup trends and products. Trying out new stuff and and figuring out what works for my skin and face and what does not. If this means walking around with bright lipstick and eyeliner at home on a Sunday, I am not complaining
  3. Learning makeup techniques and deciding what my skills are for everyday makeup as well as for special occasions

To conclude I must admit that I am no makeup guru. I am just a regular girl who loves makeup and has bonded with many others who do too. Next to reading, it is my favourite thing to do. In fact, I even wrote a poem about it and expressed what makeup means to me in verse. These are my thoughts on appropriate makeup and I would love to know yours.

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25 thoughts on “What is Appropriate Makeup?”

  1. Absolutely true. Makeup and dress depend mostly on the occasion we are getting ready for. Although there is no hard and fast rule to it, we must be comfortable to carry it.

  2. It is utmost important to be make updated. You need to know what;s trending and the latest techniques to apply makeup. The look that is done with less products but speaks volume about your look

  3. I too believe in occasion wise make up. Most of the time for outings or parties i have a natural make up with a bright lipstick. Weddings are good for little brighter makeup. I loved your tips on appropriate make up.

  4. I understand where you are coming from but I think if someone is comfortable and she carries it off confidently then that is good enough. I’m not into make up too much and most days I walk or with just lip gloss or not even that much.

  5. you know this is a very interesting post – a very appropriate discussion of the hour. As a young girl, eyeline was prohibited because it was too much make up. Now as a result i dont know what or how to do things like a primer, or even a base. a lot of times for my projects i feel under-make up and with ageing i wish i could hide some of my marks and spots but well, that for another time

  6. I loved how you expressed your thoughts. I am not a makeup person, never owned a foundation. So getting dressed for weddings make me umm… frustrated and sad. I feel it’s a matter of comfort but people around me urge to apply something. Coming back to your point, there is definition of appropriate makeup true. It is based on perception. A person who loves makeup would love to see beautiful faces, discuss shades of lipstick.one who is far from makeup might see things differently.so appropriate word would vary with people. I loved how you made me think about this topic.

  7. Your post is so aptly loaded, Ankita & I quote reflect on those.

    I too prefer optimum or no makeup. And I so agree with you when you say makeup ultimately is supposed to enhance your good features. Earlier, till even some 6 months back, I had developed under eye circles that made my face look sick without eyeliner. And it ALWAYS had to be on me to prevent people from asking me if I were unwell. 🙂

    However, I’ve upped my water intake to more than usual & now I don’t have to wear the kohl every single time. The circles have kind of disappeared. Touch wood!

  8. I think i love makeup and can play with colours too depending on my mood and occasion. I love wearing brights mostly these days it really depends on the personality how you carry it

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  10. Thanks for being inspired by my make up quote!
    For me as long as you are comfy you are good!
    I remember getting decked up for a wedding at a parlour – and I think it was loud according to my standards…and I was so conscious all the time;)

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know your thoughts :)