Make Her Up.

It is hard to picture a woman’s world without the never-ending array of cosmetics surrounding it. Women have been using various types of makeup for as long as mankind has existed, whether it is to paint their faces whiter or to outline their eyes darker. The ancient Egyptians produced the world’s first range of cosmetics by burning matches to darken their eyes and crushing berries to stain their lips. The ever-popular kohl – a jet-black liner that was used to frame their smoldering eyes and elongate their enticing shape – was originally created in Egypt. The primeval Indians and Persians had their own version of the antique eye-liner, which they called kajal. Ancient Greeks and Romans used chalk for whitening their complexions, whereas the English used white lead powder. The Japanese geishas painted their lips with crushed flower petals and applied rice powder to color their faces, while the French wore bright red rouge on their cheeks and lips. Today, we use commercial tubes of lipstick, wands of eyeliners, and pots of foundation and blush to produce the same effect.

Women have always regarded make up as a form of adornment – a way to accessorize the features they are born with. Whether they are brushing on a smooth layer of pressed powder across their cheeks or swishing a gradient of colors across their eyelids, they are conscious of the fact that these cosmetics will heighten their natural look. They deftly coat their puckered lips with their favorite lipstick and brush their eyelashes upwards with their dramatic mascara, knowing that every sweep of cosmetic enhancement is taking them one step closer to ravishing beauty. Their makeup outlines the striking shapes, accentuates the soft curves, and highlights the natural shades, coming together to illuminate the inherent beauty of a woman.

Beauty is personified by the female form. There is nothing more alluring than the brightness of a woman’s enchanting eyes, the arched angle of her strikingly dark eyebrows, the lusciousness shape of her full lips, or the smooth curve of her soft cheeks. The magnetic appeal comes from her feminine features – both seductively supple and precisely defined. When the eyes are outlined with dramatic black eye-liner, other eyes can’t help but sneak an admiring look. When the lips are painted with glossy tints of pinks and reds, other lips catch themselves giving tempted smiles. There is something bewitchingly powerful about a woman’s beauty that has been exaggerated by these bold cosmetics.

But what role does makeup really play when it comes to a woman’s beauty?

I believe makeup does not create beauty; instead, it enhances beauty. Makeup does not give confidence; instead, it has the potential to augment a woman’s self-assurance.

It is instinctive to deepen the depths of a woman’s inherited beauty with cosmetics, but that doesn’t mean the natural beauty would be non-existent without cosmetic alterations. Elevating a woman’s beauty is not to say that she isn’t beautiful without makeup; she is beautiful in spite of her makeup. After all, makeup can only build on what is already present in the original canvas. Painting one’s face in vain attempts to hide all impressions of one’s natural appearance will only result in an artificially overdone mask. And, quite honestly, there is not too much beauty to be seen in that. And makeup does not last. When a woman is splashing off her makeup at the end of the day, where does her confidence go? Down her mascara-streaked cheeks? Down her scrubbed naked lips? Down the sink with the rest of her melting makeup? Will it only reappear tomorrow morning, when she looks in the mirror and carefully reapplies her daily cosmetic regime? Or should she consider a more permanent method – chemical skin peels? Botox? Collagen injections? A surgical facelift, perhaps?

None of these methods can create confidence out of thin air. She either has it, or she doesn’t.

It has to bud from the inside, before it can blossom bigger on the outside.

A woman’s ceaseless desire to enhance her beauty has its reasons.  It could be the “feel good” factor – every woman wants to feel beautiful, both on the inside and the outside. It could be the attention it elicits from others – every woman wants to feel attractive, whether it is to turn heads when shopping at the mall or to be subtly admired across the table by her partner at the dinner party. It could just be simple curiosity – every woman has the right to experiment the options within her cosmetic playground.

But, no matter what role makeup plays in a woman’s life, her feminine intelligence should remind her that true beauty comes from within.

All the makeup in the world cannot enhance a woman’s beauty if it does not already exist inside of her.




29 thoughts on “Make Her Up.

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  1. “I believe makeup does not create beauty; instead, it enhances beauty.”

    I agree with you there.

    The only science I have ever heard of on this issue was a single study done by John T. Malloy that found make up on women younger than about age 50 is generally considered by men to be less attractive than no make up at all.

    On the other hand, over age 50, and the men thought the women looked better made up than not made up.

    Of course one study does not a scientifically demonstrated fact make. But it is interesting, no?

    I suspect women of nearly all ages will continue forever to wear make-up, in large part because of its ability to enhance confidence.

    As for women’s right to wear make up — I am glad that is firmly established nearly everywhere. A woman’s ability to attract potential mates is key to her ability to exercise reproductive choice by picking the individual or individuals she prefers. More power to her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is indeed interesting (regarding the scientific study). Thanks for sharing that.

      I also know a lot of women who enjoy makeup just for the sake of it. They like playing with colors and shades and are curious to experiment with different looks. It has nothing to do with the end product or the ability to attract another, or even to increase self-confidence. It simply is fun! 🙂

      As someone who naturally wears minimal makeup, this isn’t really an area of expertise, but I wrote this post anyway, because of what I’ve observed from other women and my desire to include my thought that, at the end of the day, makeup does not create beauty. It simply enhances what is already there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think if I were to wear make-up, I’d be in it for the fun, too. That’s my motive for dabbling in portraiture, and also for blogging. So it most likely would be my motive for make up.

        Actually, Sindhuja, it does sound like fun, now that I think about it. Hmmm….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree make-up is not what beauties but enhances. It’s the radiance of a woman’s mind that attracts!

    On a different note have your read about the no make up campaign? Alicia Keys had decided to give up make-up two years ago as an act of self empowerment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a very interesting conversation with my sister about the power of makeup. She said something along the lines that she feels more like herself after she applied her make-up.

    I like to wear make-up from time to time, mostly subtle but also sparkly stuff like highlighter or lip gloss. I like how my lips look, when they are wet and shiny.

    Black Eyeliner doesn’t work well on my, but a colleague gifted me a rose gold eyeliner, which is really nice.
    I usually only wear make-up to special occasions (such as pride week) But sometimes I feel like I could add just a little sparkle to brighten up my day and sometimes I do just that.

    Good post.
    By the way drag queens are using make-up in a completely different approach, they don’t want to enhance, but hide certain features, it is all about transformation. But now comes the interesting part: They are also trying to bring out their inner feminine beauty. So to me it makes total sense what you are writing, if even my viewpoint is (naturally) a queer one. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for adding your (very valuable) 2 cents! It’s great to see this topic discussed from so many angles, and by different audiences. 🙂

      Makeup is in itself a “transformational” tool, isn’t it? Regardless of who uses it, the aim is to transform, enhance, and change what is already there, in some way or form, either subtle or obvious, but still, it’s an alteration to being absolutely “naked” without it. There is undoubtedly some power in it then, and I think it comes from the ability to transform the canvas, in whatever way it pleases you.

      (I must admit, I’m enjoying my post even more after reading the interesting comments!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I mean also what those artists at theatre productions or film productions can create with make-up is beyond comparison. It’s magical, really. And they put in so much effort (and undoubtedly love) for their craft.

        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s indeed a great spin on the idea of cosmetics, Sindhuja. I’ve never found anything wrong with women using makeup. It’s certainly not something I look down on.
    “All the makeup in the world cannot enhance a woman’s beauty if it does not already exist inside of her.”
    I couldn’t agree more!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a well written post and I absolutely love it! I’ve always seen my makeup as art, because I love creating different looks with makeup. I couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote here, especially about confidence. You either have it or you don’t, regardless of one’s makeup.

    Liked by 1 person

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