I (almost) never wear makeup to work.  A whole lot of it is that I simply can’t be arsed, but it’s also a specifically political decision: men don’t have to, so why should I. I recognize that, as a knowledge worker who’s valued for my brainz, I’m honestly privileged not to have to focus on my looks, which even in 2015 is often an expectation for women in management, client-facing positions, and in the service industry. For many working women, presenting a “polished” appearance is a condition of employment, and just being clean and clean-shaven doesn’t cut it; you have to present with just the appropriate level of femininity, no more and no less, and among other things that means makeup.  But not fun, self-expressive makeup.  Makeup that pretends it’s not there, makeup that tries to naturalize your role as decorative object without calling attention to all the work you put into it – because working on looking good means you’re vain, right?

So much fucking bullshit.

So the other day a colleague commented on my lack of makeup. I told her I have a whole drawer of the stuff and know how to use it, but I don’t like to. She dared me to come to work all made up one day – and not goth. So I did, just to prove I could.

Here’s the total of my normal beauty face regimen (plus moisturizer and/or sunscreen if it seems warranted. Usually it doesn’t. )

cetaphil

My normal workday morning routine is pressing the snooze button until Arb threatens to physically throw me out of bed, then leisurely drinking coffee, checking social media, eating breakfast, and packing my lunch. Then I brush my hair and bun it, throw on some clothes, and rush out the door.

In order to make it look like I wasn’t wearing makeup, I had to skip several snoozes; there was no coffee drinking, social media checking, breakfast eating, or lunch packing; and I still barely made it to work on time.

Here’s what I had to use to make it look like I wasn’t wearing makeup:

concealer

Concealer – to hide the dark circles under my eyes

BB cream - to even out my skin tone and make my pores and wrinkles less obvious

BB cream – to even out my skin tone and make my pores and wrinkles less obvious

Powder - to create a matte finish and absorb oil that would make me shiny

Powder – to create a matte finish and absorb oil that would make me shiny

Eyeliner - to make my eyes look bigger and my eyelashes look thicker (I stabbed myself in the eyeball with it because I'm out of practice)

Eyeliner – to make my eyes look bigger and my eyelashes look thicker (I stabbed myself in the eyeball with it because I’m out of practice)

pupapeach

Eyeshadow (two colours) - to make my eyes look bigger and brighter

Eyeshadow (two colours) – to make my eyes look bigger and brighter

Mascara - to make my eyelashes look thicker and longer

Mascara – to make my eyelashes look thicker and longer

Blush - the concealer and BB cream covered up the red tones in my skin, so I have to put pink back in my cheeks or I'll look dead

Blush – the concealer and BB cream covered up the red tones in my skin, so I have to put pink back in my cheeks or I’ll look dead

Lipstick - because the natural pink of my lips is insufficiently pink

Lipstick – because the natural colour of my lips is insufficiently pink

Setting spray - to make sure that the makeup doesn't melt off if I sweat or secrete oil or am exposed to humidity

Setting spray – to make sure that the makeup doesn’t melt off if I sweat or secrete oil or am exposed to humidity

And the only person who noticed, was that particular colleague, and I’m not sure she would have noticed if I hadn’t said something.

So much bullshit.  Expensive, time-consuming bullshit.

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