Had a conversation that is as old as the Max Factor female beautification lab earlier today, during my lunch break.
Women always ask men what we think of make-up. Do we like when women wear it? Do we not like it? And if not, why not? When is too much too much? Cosmetics matter a lot to women, even women who don’t use a whole bunch or none at all. Make-up, well applied and skillfully rendered, is the great female equalizer. Make-up can turn a hideous chick into something not half bad (especially after a few Martinis and amidst bad smoky lighting). Women know this and they can expertly turn a drab and tired face into a glamorous snapshot of an image that never was. Make-up is smoke and mirrors and the smart women use it well. Men…we don’t have such a thing. All we can do is keep our skin clear and clean and groom our hair well. We need to avoid the pitfalls of manly traits…zits, scraggly, oily hair, oily skin, bushy unibrows. For men, it’s a ploy of avoidance. It’s what not to do. We have very few tools available that are “proactive” (so to speak). There are not many active measures men can take to alter their appearance for the better. I know some “men” are not averse to using make-up, but let’s face it, they are fags. No…a man lives and dies by his natural appearance. Covering shit up and enhancing false features is a woman’s game. A man lets his actions and words and body do the talking. He doesn’t need to disguise his craggy appearance beneath layers of blush and colors and other superficial pomp and circumstance.
So I told my lunch partner that make-up is fine.
Too much is tacky and embarrassing.
Too little or none is plain and dykish.
Certain personality traits accompany a woman’s choice in personal “dressing.” A woman who overdoes it is usually possessed of superfluous and attention whorish traits; a woman who uses too little is conversely possessed of tomboyish, misandrist, femocentric traits. Our appraisal of make-up is extremely relative. Some guys like girls who look like clowns. Some guys like girls who look like the girls they knew in 4th grade. Most guys fall in between.
Due to this broad range of personal preferences when it comes to make-up, I think it’s difficult to cast any “rules” or generalizations about cosmetic practices. However, there is one point I can safely make that is a timeless and irrefutable summation of cosmetically-enhanced beauty. This is my benchmark for judging a woman’s application of make-up. One must examine the discrepancy between her stage face and the crawling-out-of-bed morning face. Is the gulf between her fiction and reality impossibly vast? Is one unrecognizable from the other? Does a woman’s make-up transform her into a beautiful alien spawned from the ashes of her true haggard state of existence which you can glimpse before she takes the hour to put her mask on? This is my sole criteria. If a woman’s face looks nothing like her fancy masquerade, I’m turned off. Physical dichotomy’s are horrendous. There is nothing worse than a woman revealing her unglorified face and realizing that she is an amazing make-up artist who can turn water to wine. I prefer the woman whose face doesn’t span the extremes of appearance based on the presence or absence of painted oils.