Hello from the Project Vanity team! Thanks for dropping by.

Reader question: Do you ever go out without any make up?

I'm just wondering if you still go out without any make up besides skin care? Any of you feel 'incomplete' without any color on? I know it's pretty personal, just wondering how the rest of you would react. - Tin

This sounds like a simple yes or no question but it's more complicated than that, for me. Women who rely on makeup to feel polished are often looked down on. "Wow she needs all that makeup to be pretty?" "Kapal ng makeup niya!" Everyone's all "natural beauty is the best!" but how many people do you personally know wake up looking "perfect" (as defined by society) in the morning?

Humans are built to appreciate physical beauty in others; it is theorized to be linked to evolutionary instinct, where a beautiful person is considered to have a lesser chance of having genetic or acquired defects. The concept of beauty has changed over time, but each culture has always had one - an ideal, an image of perfection that we hold up for worship.

Women and men are pressured now (more than ever) to look perfect because (1) someone is always watching what with the prevalence of social media (2) wider, instant, and insistent distribution of materials that proclaim what is beautiful and (3) better and more affordable access to information/ products to beautify oneself.

So, with that pressure to look beautiful, how can average women like us possibly be celebrated in a society that expects us to be perfect? Quick answer: makeup. Cosmetics that can enhance what have and hide what we don't like.

It sounds so sordid. But that is the reality we live in. We can all try to change it by refusing to acknowledge this expectation, but in the meantime you can't show up looking to a client meeting like you didn't sleep or care about how you looked. At least, I can't, not in my line of work. Other industries might not be that concerned with physical appearance as the one I move in, but it still pays to look as good as you can if only to show people that you feel they are important enough for you to make the effort.

I'm not saying that your self-confidence and self-worth should be defined by how much makeup you have and how many tricks you know. Makeup is simply a tool that can get you to places - the same way a car can take you from point A to point B, or how a spoon and fork can get your food to your mouth. You don't need them, but your life is easier because you have them.

Cosmetics can also be a fun hobby, something you collect and do just because it brings you joy.

So do I ever go out without makeup? Yes, I don't wear makeup if I'm just buying snacks or walking the dog downstairs. But if I'm going to the grocery or the bank where I need to deal with other people, then I at least wear eyebrows, a lick of concealer, and a tinted balm. I wear more makeup depending on where I'm going. :)

Whew that was long. How about you, do you go out without makeup?

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