Confession of a Hypocrite: I Still Wear Makeup


(This post is in response to my last post, “Why I ditched Shampoo.”)

Becoming a mother has made me more aware of many of the things I do.

One of the ways motherhood has done this is by encouraging me to narrate what I do. (All the books tell me I should narrate what I do to help my baby acquire language, and to do it in the third person since pronouns can be confusing for tiny brains. You know me: I do what the books tell me to do.)

So as I go about my daily business, I hear myself saying things like:

“Mummy’s gonna put a new shirt on you.”

“Let’s go to the potty.”

“Mummy’s just gonna put you down so she can wash her hands.”

I had to pause the other day, however, when I heard myself say, “Mummy  just wants to put some makeup on.”


I hate that I wear makeup.

I don’t wear much any and I don’t wear it often – only when I go out, and normally only a bit of concealer, sometimes a little eyeliner. I only go all out with the mascara, blush, and eye shadow for weddings and Christmas dinners.

But still. I own it, and Lydia has to see me apply it, and I don’t know how I’d justify its use if she ever asked me about it.

Makeup is problematic for me on a number of levels.

1. Putting on makeup in front of my daughter sends a confusing message.

I don’t want her to think we need to fix our faces – that our faces aren’t good enough just the way they are. I want her to know that her face is perfectly gorgeous just the way it is. But how to I communicate that if I think I need makeup? Why do I need it but she doesn’t? Just because she’s a kid? Is there a point in time at which your face becomes not good enough and in need of artificial improvement? If so, when is it?

2. Most cosmetics contain harmful ingredients, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxics, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants.

eyeshadow compact

Using cosmetics therefore puts my health at risk, as well as my daughter’s, who first grew inside my body and now feeds from my body.

3. Makeup is generally heavily packaged.

There is twice as much plastic as product in a typical eye shadow or pressed powder compact. After the product is used, the container gets chucked, to sit in a landfill for a few millennia. If I avoid shampoo in order to minimize plastic waste, it would make sense to stay away from all other cosmetics as well.

4. The whole cosmetic industry is based on selling the idea that we’re not beautiful enough the way we are.

I hate to give even a dime to these manipulative, multi-billion dollar corporations.

* * *

I’ll probably never completely forsake makeup, though. The truth of the matter is, I want to be pretty by the world’s standards, now matter how unrealistic and unimportant those standards are. I know that I am fiercely beloved by the Creator of the Universe, but dang it, I want my fellow humans to think I’m attractive.

You can bet I’m wearing makeup in any picture I post on this blog. I justify it by saying, nobody wants to look at an ugly face on their computer screen. I want you guys to think I’m attractive, trendy and cool, so that you’ll like me and keep reading my blog. I guess I assume you’re all as superficial as I am. (If I’m being honest here).

I’m glad that I’ve managed to keep my makeup use to a minimum, but ideally, I wouldn’t even have any in the house.

How about you? How do you feel about makeup use?

(Whenever I can, I try to explore ways that I’m a hypocrite.)
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