Thoughts About Makeup When Walking Around Paris

During my study abroad in Paris last year, I walked around the city quite a lot and one time, I decided to focus on one certain aspect and put down my thoughts about it. The topic I chose was Makeup.

Make up. An industry. A lifestyle. A hobby. Nonsense.

Everyone has a different opinion about it. Why do people feel the need to make their eyelashes longer, dark circles brighter, contours stronger and lips redder? How did it happen that it became almost a woman's thing? Why are women expected to always be top-notch, but when a woman puts on makeup, she is still directly judged.

"She's only putting on makeup to please the men."

"She's only putting on makeup because she would be ugly otherwise."

"She’s only putting on makeup because she is so insecure with herself"

"Take her swimming on the first date to see what she really looks like!"

The list of prejudices against women who put on makeup goes on. Nevertheless, there are always studies that report that women wearing makeup are received better at the workplace. Where would we go if women suddenly had dark circles underneath their eyes?!

Paris is a city of fashion and beauty. There is a reason, it is "L'Oréal - Paris", "Chanel - Paris" and many more.

I tried walking around in Paris for an hour to keep track of whether women (between the ages of 13 and 55) wear make-up or not. This is not so easy. I already know a lot about make-up, but even so, sometimes you cannot tell if a woman's eyelashes and pure skin are naturally like that or if they just have very subtle makeup on their face. The "no make-up makeup look" is a thing - it's about covering up so-called "mistakes" or "impurities" in a way that does not look like it was covered up, but just naturally does not exist. 

When I think about makeup, I have to think of two pictures from the internet. One showed a woman holding her newborn baby in her arms while she was wearing a full face of makeup. Oh, how did the people in the comments get upset that this woman only thought about her beauty during the birth of her baby. Of course, they did not know the whole story. The woman was in labor and wanted to distract herself. Make-up was one of her hobbies and she knew how to do it well. The trusty hand gestures of putting on eyelashes and eyeshadow soothed her; she could distract herself from her pain.

The other picture shows a young girl of 18 who proudly uploaded a selfie of herself with the caption: "Yes, that's me. Without foundation. Without make-up. "She then wrote a little bit about the fact that she had previously never dared to upload such a picture of herself because she was not satisfied with herself. But when I took a closer look, I noticed two things: her eyebrows and eyelashes. Her eyebrows were treated with the so-called "microblading". That is, her eyebrows always look like they are filled in with an eyebrow pencil because she basically has a temporary tattoo. Her eyelashes are not even her real eyelashes, but just look so long and full because she has eyelash extensions. Nevertheless, she writes in the caption that this is how she looks "naturally". Is that the right message for young people who see this picture? When treatments that cost several hundred euros are presented as "natural"?

In my opinion, Paris plays a big role in the makeup industry. I'm sure my tally would look very different in a small village than in this particular big city. It would not surprise me if it would be different from city to city again.

Meanwhile, I walked by one of the really countless pharmacies in Paris. Even here, creams are recruited to help wrinkles disappear and smooth skin. Of course, on the advertising photo, there is the face of a woman. Who needs wrinkle cream for men? Of course, on my one-hour walk through the fifteenth arrondissement, I did not see a single man with makeup. Makeup is, of course something that is only for girls, right? Not correct. Fortunately, this is currently changing. Make-up is something that you can and should have fun with - no matter which gender you are.

All in all, as I had expected, I now saw many more girls with than without makeup. Where is the difference between the two groups? The only one is that one group had makeup on and the other did not. It in no way means that one group is dumber / nicer / more superficial / more down to earth / more ambitious / more insecure.



Girls with makeup: 72

Girls without makeup: 27


Maybe it's time to accept that some women (and men!) wear makeup out of pure joy. Not to please any men (or women?) who could not tell Mac from Urban Decay, even if they tried. You should let other people live the way they want. It does not matter if the face has makeup on or not. As I said, it does not say anything about the character.