It’s as second nature as brushing my teeth. Wherever I go–whether it’s to the supermarket, out to lunch with friends or picking my kids up from school–I always make sure I have some sort of makeup on. A swipe of gloss, concealer to hide my dark circles, mascara to make my eyes look more open. My name is Robin and I’m a makeup-aholic. I’ve been addicted to the stuff ever since watching my mom get ready for work when I was in the single digits. I used to sneak black liner and frosty pink lip gloss with me to the skating rink on Friday nights before I was even allowed to wear it in public. Once I was given the parental ok, I never looked back. In the beginning, it was all about how much I could pile on. The more, the better! Thick, bright blue stripes along my eyelids, cherry pink blush and lots of foundation. Like I had anything to facially hide at 13, but at the time, it was all about excess. And apparently, I was color blind to that orange ring that formed around my jawline.
As the years went on, makeup was just part of me. Kind of like how my iPhone is part of me today. I feel naked without it.
So last week when I went to a new dermatologist for the first time, I was shocked and totally at a loss for words when the first thing out of this strange woman’s mouth was, “Do you like the way you look in your makeup?” Not “What brought you here today?” or “Sorry I made you wait for 20 minutes before being seen.”
Um, excuse me? Obviously self conscious now, I put my hands to my face and asked her what she meant. She asked if she could remove my makeup to see my skin better. I had plans to meet my husband for lunch right after this (it happened to be Valentine’s Day), but reluctantly, I gave her the ok. Why was I so insecure about having my makeup taken off? It was crazy.
Once she swiped off my foundation and blush, she stood back and said, “Now, that’s better. You have beautiful skin and you shouldn’t hide it. You look much younger without it. Your friends won’t tell you this, but I will.”
What it came down to was that I felt my skin tone was uneven and that by covering it up, I was evening it out. The result, however, was emphasizing my fine lines. She told me that, too.
The reason I felt inclined to write this blog is because just after this happened, I read about a recent study that polled American women and their makeup habits. Nearly half of all American women feel less attractive when they’re not wearing makeup. This, according to a Harris poll conducted on behalf of the Renfrew Center Foundation, an American non-profit organization dedicated to the treatment of eating disorders.
Ever since my appointment with this dermatologist, you bet I’ve been keeping my makeup to a minimum. However, I can’t get myself to go cold turkey. When I asked my husband if he could tell the difference? Of course not. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother at all!!!