On make-up

A couple of have things collided again prompting this post. This article on a new fad for only wearing make-up five days a week and heading off to see Bianca Del Rio at the Arts Centre in Melbourne last Monday. While Bianca Del Rio was here for Mardi Gras, there was a little spring-off tour featuring an abbreviated version of her ‘Rolodex of Hate’ tour. For those of you who have no idea who Bianca Del Rio is, you’ve probably heard of Ru Paul (at least I hope you have?) Well, Roy Haylock aka BDR was working as a drag queen and compering the evening event filmed as one of the last events in Ru Paul’s Drag Race; hired to keep the evening moving, one of the queens was a bit disparaging (putting it mildly and politely) asking ‘Who is she? She is nobody!’, so BDR decided to enter season six, and won.

I originally found out about her when I watched one of the last ‘In Bed With Joan‘ podcasts Joan Rivers broadcast online. In full make-up, a jersey onesie and bouffant wig, drinking red wine with one of her heroes, both of them have the same assumption: that funny is funny, while you will offend some people all of the time, but most people none of the time, the two of them were filthy, and hilarious. I did some more digging around online and got a bit excited when I found she was coming over here to tour. I went with two girls from work, it was the best night out I’ve had in a long time, so much fun, so much laughter and not at all for the faint hearted.

Anyhoo, during a Q&A section, it was revealed that it takes 45 minutes for her to get ready.




Both pictures are from @TheBiancaDelRio Instagram account. Bearing in mind, there are five sets of false eyelashes involved too! To get that amount of make-up on and looking that good in 45 minutes to an hour is amazing.

Where do I come in? I don’t wear make-up every day. I don’t take the make-up off that I do wear, so wake up with smudged mascara the morning after. I will wear it for fun, because I feel like it, because I want to. But I won’t wear it when it’s impractical. Like when I know I’m going to be running at lunchtime, because I get so hot and sweaty, there’s no point in putting it on. The make-up I do wear on a ‘daily basis’ consists of primer, concealer, powder foundation, blusher and mascara. I use lip balm during the day as I drink so much tea/ coffee/ water, again if I put lipstick on, it comes off again in a matter of hours. When I go ‘out out’ (you probably need to be British to understand the difference between going ‘out’ and going ‘out out’ but I’m hoping you’ll catch my drift. If not here’s Micky Flanagan to help), I add eyeliner, eye-shadow, lip stick or lip gloss. Sometimes, I even change my earrings.

I can put make-up on in three minutes, or thirty. I can put make-up on in the car and frequently do. Don’t worry, only when Hubs is driving, but we’re both aware that it does look like he’s screamed at me: ‘WE ARE LEAVING NOW!’ instead of me making the best use of my time and applying my face when otherwise I’d just be sitting there staring out the window. I used to apply it on the train to work, or on the way home again if we were going ‘out out’ when I got home. I’d never touch it up at my desk though, if I do need to reapply (rarely) I go to the bathroom.

I love that make-up can make you feel better about yourself when you’re feeling a bit wobbly. I love that when I put it on for a special occasion, going ‘out out’, my husband tells me I look lovely. Most of all, I love that I am now happy enough in my skin to leave the house with nothing on other than moisturiser and a smile.

But I hate that if I wear more make up than usual, I get comments at work. I hate that if I wear make up, men feel they have a right to comment on how I look. I hate that if I don’t wear any, I can get told to cheer up. I hate that there is a whole industry telling strong, intelligent, beautiful women they look like sh!t if we don’t get this miracle cream, or that amazing anti ageing elixir. I hate that in my first full time job my manager said ‘You’re an amazing looking girl, but sometimes you can look like sh!t when you don’t wear make-up’. Word for word, engrained in my memory. Thanks. Inappropriate much?

I hate that teenagers think they need to cake themselves in it. I hate that they think they need to be orange too. I wish I was braver to gently speak to them and tell them that they’re beautiful, they do not need to wear so much. And they really, really, really do not need to do duck face to take pictures of themselves.

While we’re here talking female empowerment, BBC Woman’s Hour have just done a series of programs in and around the Woman of the World festival, including an illuminating, raw and honest discussion on whether p0rn can empower women. If that’s step too far for you to cope with, please at least listen to the phone-in with Philippa Perry. If nothing else, it should help shape how we talk to children about what they can find online and what actually sex is like i.e. nothing like what they can find online!


6 thoughts on “On make-up

  1. A girl after my own heart! 2 mins is about how long it takes me to apply primer, mineral foundation and mascara. If your lucky when I go out, I too, will apply eyeshadow and maybe blusher!

    I love Micky Flanagan, has me in stitches every time I see that sketch. ‘I’m just going out, not out out!’ Brilliant.



  2. You are gorgeous just the way you are! A hint of mischief or a sparkle in your eyes and a beautiful bright smile. From someone who until the last several weeks never wore make-up at all to wearing a tinted BB cream and some lipgloss and am looking for the right sort of 2min foundation. I still will only wear a quick job to work and put more on when i’m going out or out out. Make-up is a huge industry and it should be a choice not pressed onto our kids from preteen.


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