By Andrea Cirillo
As I was sitting in Starbucks, doing my usual weekly research of man candy and makeup products, I “couldn’t help” but overhear the conversation from the table of guys next to me. (Okay, maybe I was eavesdropping, but I had my reasons!) Once I heard one of the macho men mention the word “makeup,” my senses were tingling and my radar was going crazy; I just HAD to know what was being said.
“Dude, she looks like she fell in a can of paint,” he scoffs while the three other … boys? men?.. guys? … laugh along in agreement.
For a second, I had forgotten that we were in Starbucks and not in the girl’s bathroom at the high school down the road. While listening to this conversation, it dawned on me that not only do guys really hang out at Starbucks just to chat over some coffee, but they also sometimes believe that we were born with shimmery eye shadow and blushing cheeks and then make a big deal when we wash it all off. Is it our fault for “deceiving” the opposite sex with products to enhance our beauty, or is it some men’s fault that they think that’s how we really look?
After this, I could hardly keep my composure; I had to dive right into the uncharted, messy, and sometimes questionable minds of men as it relates to the realm of makeup.
One thing I’ve noticed is this common misconception that women wear makeup just to impress men. This belief is oozing sexism from every nook and cranny, and I can’t help but ask where this misunderstanding came from. Some men feel they are being lied to, which isn’t far off from the other ways they see things, but for the sake of this topic, I have to apologize for not feeling bad for the guys that are turned off by a female after she takes her makeup off. Why does the woman have to feel bad about enhancing her natural beauty? Did you think she was born with pink eye shadow on? These are the questions that were running through my mind throughout my research.
As I dug deeper, I didn’t realize how messy this was really going to get, both literally and figuratively. A fun little experiment commenced around ten o’clock in the evening one night a few weeks ago. I had gone back to a male friend’s house and began to settle in. I started taking my makeup off and, let me just tell you, there is nothing greater nor more satisfying than seeing the freaked-out and incredulous look on a guy’s face in the midst of pulling your false eyelash off.
“How rude of me. Do you want to try?” I ask, with an eyelash flapping half-way off my eye-lid.
“No thanks, I’ll pass,” he responds, not even attempting to hide the look of disgust on his face, but I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“Come on, just try it. It’s kind of like that gratification you get when peeling that fresh piece of plastic off your new phone screen,” I declared, and that was all it took for this guy to really rip my fake eyelash off.
I must admit it was glorious, albeit a little awkward. In his defense, maybe having him remove my falsies wasn’t necessarily the best approach to easing a man into the truth behind looking good and feeling better, but who said I couldn’t have a little fun with it?
I continued to remove my makeup as I felt the heat of his eyes beaming on me. Was he curious or just completely disappointed with how I look under that full-face of makeup? For a second, I doubted myself, but only for a second because why on earth would I let the opinion of another human being make me feel so terrible? How silly.
“Wow, you’re really beautiful…” I heard coming from behind my right shoulder.
I swung around so fast that I whipped myself in the face with my untamed hair. He was standing there in bewilderment.
“I thought girls wore makeup to change how they look, but you look better without it,” he stated.
At this point, I was a little confused, a bit insulted, a tad impressed … and actually pretty hungry, but that last one isn’t really relevant to this.
“He doesn’t like my makeup?” I think to myself. “Or he just likes my bare face better?”
I was having a tug-o-war with my inner being. I had to keep reminding myself of the kind words he was saying and that he wasn’t insulting my makeup. It was actually really sweet BUT YOU BETTER LIKE MY MAKEUP, please?
After traumatizing the guy, I had gone full detective mode and wouldn’t stop until I found the answers to my questions. “Let me put makeup on you” are not some of the words that a guy wants to hear when he’s trying to eat pizza, cuddle, and watch Netflix (side note: there really was pizza, and he actually does have an active Netflix account)….