I do love makeup. I come from the generation that put that extra line above the eye-socket. You’d think that was rather reminiscent of a clown, wouldn’t you, but then it was the absolute thing.  Before that, just as I got into my teens, there was Bridget Bardot with her pink lips and black-lined eyes framed with masses of mascara. Do you remember spitting into a block of black stuff to make it work! And over and above all this, there is the image of my mother, not going out, not starting her day, without putting on her face. She was the epitome of femininity, and I wanted all the trappings of that. And although I rebelled against many of my mother’s values, I never rebelled against the idea of putting on makeup.

But last week I didn’t wear much makeup as I had a large molar at the back of my mouth extracted (with just local anaesthetic). Geez (apologies) but really it was fairly ghastly.  End of moan, as it’s all so minor, and the symptoms of post extraction will pass.

The lack of makeup though made me feel not quite myself and I so looked forward to wearing it again. Interesting – you could have a debate on what is the self? Why do you need makeup to feel your self ? And funnily enough a friend had sent me an article Why do girls wear makeup?

To be honest, I received it with a heavy heart, as I always get slightly annoyed when I read this type of article. You know where it’s going, and the journalist’s argument can be summed up with her last two sentences:

“Why do women wear makeup? You could say it’s a pinch of patriarchy, a dusting of sex, a smattering of fun, and a whole, caked-on layer of misplaced insecurity.”


For goodness sake – why don’t people/journalists leave us women alone to do as we damn well please.  Insecure, speak for yourself!  But not for others, thank you!!!!!

Really, I cannot stress this enough – there should be no rules for what you wear, and what you put on your face. If you don’t want to wear makeup that’s fine, if you do that’s fine. Just don’t listen to people who want you to conform to an ideal – especially an ideal that women shouldn’t be wearing makeup because of some idea that they’re insecure without it.

OK, if you’re talking about ideals I do think that you should look in your mirror and be realistic about your face. For instance, I can see that over the past couple of years my wrinkles have increased.  (I shall write about this anon.)  But hey, I’m getting older.  And then I note my skin tone – it’s quite pale and pasty. So I need colour.  And then I put some makeup on. Note the ‘some’. To give the article its due it does say that a study at two UK universities found that both men and women thought some (but not too much) makeup was the most attractive. I’d go with that.

But what do you think? And apologies if I sound annoyed. I am. I can’t abide faux feminist journalists pontificating about us being our own worst enemies in wearing makeup. Oh, for heavens sake, and if you listened carefully I didn’t actually say that as I’ve totally taken on board Helen Mirren’s approach to life now I’m nearing 70!

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. At some point, I think I might do a before and after (makeup) vlog – watch this space!






12 thoughts on “Wearing makeup – is this another thing??

  • 2nd November 2015 at 9:27 am

    LOVE the new blog look!

    • 2nd November 2015 at 10:32 am

      I agree with all you say! I haven’t worn stuff on my face since I was in my twenties – hated the feel of it. But I would feel naked without eye make-up! That’s me saying ‘I have nice eyes. Look at them!!!’ Sometimes lipstick too, but nowadays less often except in winter when my lips get dry.

      • 3rd November 2015 at 8:12 am

        Hi there and thank you for your comment! And I agree with you, where would we be without eye makeup! But you might find that today’s foundations are very much lighter than the makeup of our early years. Personally, I like a tinted moisturiser which both feeds the skin and hides some of the flaws & blemishes (like the spider veins) – but not at all heavily. Also like you I always wear something on the lips – for the dryness.

    • 3rd November 2015 at 8:08 am

      Thank you so much, Lorna!

  • 2nd November 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Putting on make-up every morning is one of my favourite daily routines. I don’t wear much – a light CC cream, mascara and lippy – but it’s five minutes of peace and quiet before I go out and face the day. And I wouldn’t be without it!

    Thank you for your blog, I love it – and am still an avid charity shopper too!


    • 3rd November 2015 at 8:17 am

      Hi Ruth, so nice to know another avid charity shop shopper! And yes, I don’t wear much on my face – just a tinted moisturiser or LookFabulousForever’s Base No 1 and, always eye makeup. But I do agree – it’s a routine that I always do and if I don’t do it you can guarantee I’m not feeling 100%, like last week.

      And always good to get feedback – thanks so much!

  • 2nd November 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I too am 69. I love your blog and especially this one about make up because I love make up.

    • 3rd November 2015 at 8:19 am

      Hi there and thank you so much – yes, makeup is both a fun thing to do and just a good routine to get into. Personally amongst other benefits I think it also protects the skin from the sun.

  • 3rd November 2015 at 12:27 am

    Penny. I swear to you, I have the kettle on for a nice cup of Barry’s so I can relax whilst replying. I LOVE YOUR POST!!! And yes. I remember being a young teen and having the Maybelline cake mascara and spitting into it to get it all clumpy. Spit rules! I remember my Yardley of London and my Mary Quant cosmetics. I’ve loved my cosmetics and makeup ever since I was a young girl and now, as an old lady, I STILL love me my makeup and cosmetics! When younger, my makeup enhanced. Now, my makeup hides flaws. Back in the day, I could wear the darkest lipstick–now I have to stick to neutrals. Trust me. I NEED makeup. Here’s a little post I did some time ago–I think you will enjoy reading it and I think you will “get” where I’m coming from:

    I could go on and on–but I’ll do you the favor and stop! Seriously. I love this post!!!

    • 3rd November 2015 at 8:33 am

      Oh, Catherine, I’ve just watched your link and laughed out loud – but noooo, nooooo, that guy must have been very short-sighted. How could anyone say that to you, no way! And great blog post on all your makeup. I’m definitely thinking about doing a vlog on makeup as I have a Mac and it should be quite easy doing it – methinks – but it might be quite a challenge at the same time to keep chatting without saying something daft. My friend Tricia of LookFabulousForever does both professional videos and personal vlogs on makeup for older women – even if you don’t want to buy her products her advice is really really good. But if I do a vlog it will be really amateurish in comparison, but I think, hey why not try it!!!

      And I loved your comment above – who can ever forget Maybelline cake mascara – oh yeh!! In those days on went the mascara, blue eye shadow and pink lipstick – of course, I had rampant acne at the time but that’s another story!!!

  • 3rd November 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Loved reading this item about make-up. I too will be 69 very soon and I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without putting my ‘face’ on. It is so much a part of who I am and is something I have done since I was a teenager. I have informed both my daughters that I want to go to my grave wearing my make-up, afterall, when I get to the other side I want all those that have gone before to recognise me xxx

    • 5th November 2015 at 8:33 am

      Great to meet you, Pamela! Yes, like you, putting makeup on is just something I do every day. And I won’t be changing that ever and especially not for a much younger journalist! Thank you so much for your comment.

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