Do You Ever Feel Uncomfortable Wearing Makeup Around People Who Don’t? 

Published in: Just For Fun

k on phone mint top

Well do ya?

Sometimes I do, and the funny thing is…most of the time when it happens, I’m around close friends and family.

This occurred to me on the weekend trip I took to Napa with my friends Jen and Cindy a few weeks ago.


Neither of them are big into makeup. In fact, they hardly wear any at all, so when we’re hanging out together, especially when we go somewhere and stay overnight, they always seem to be waiting for me to get ready.

Like, one night that weekend we had reservations for dinner at a fancy-schmancy restaurant, and Jen and Cindy were ready to go in two minutes, but I took about 20, and that’s only because I was rushing!

And the makeup I ended up doing was minimal, too. I refrained from doing the whole rigamarole I would have normally done when going someplace nice.

It’s interesting… I definitely wear less makeup when I’m around them, but it’s not because they say or do things to make me feel uncomfortable. I mean, one of ’em might say something like, “WOW! That’s a lot of work,” but we’ve known each other for years, and they know how much I love hair and makeup.

Sometimes I just feel a little uncomfortable because I don’t want to be the one making everyone wait.

I do feel a little more uncomfortable sometimes when I’m doing my hair and makeup around family and someone says something like, “When I was young, my friends and I never wore makeup,” or “You’re such a pretty girl! You don’t need to wear so much makeup.”

Hmm… OK, thank you? But…I really like it. 🙂

I always try to be considerate and careful about what I say when I’m around people who aren’t into makeup because to each her own, right? I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so instead of getting all confrontational about it, I’ll usually just make a joke of it with something like, “A little lipgloss never hurt anybody!”

Sometimes it still bugs me a little to hear the anti-makeup remarks, but it’s not worth getting into a fight over. I’ll save that for when there are bigger fish to fry, you know?

What about you? Do you ever feel uncomfortable wearing makeup around people who don’t?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Agata says:

    I wouldn’t say I feel uncomfortable around people who don’t wear makeup but I do feel like my friends think I am crazy sometimes when they hear how long it takes me to get ready…They have never said anything to me though 🙂 And I often get comments that I don’t need to wear makeup but like you said “Thank you but I really like wearing it”.

    Hope all is good on your end!
    Agata recently posted … Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol. 8: What’s your current morning and evening skincare routine?

  2. Sarah says:

    Yes !!! I worked with a woman for 8 years who was loud, very brash and opinionated and would single me out for wearing makeup when I wasn’t the only girl in the office wearing it. This woman never wore makeup or believed in spending money on anything nice, be it clothes, bags, shoes, makeup whatever and would put me down for doing so. She said why are you wearing all the crap on your face? You don’t look any better than anybody else who doesn’t wear it !!! Talk about being hateful. I just said I like it, it’s my business, I’m not hurting anybody and that was my ‘thing’ and I don’t spend my money on things like eating out a lot, drinking or fancy holidays, that was her thing and she knew what I was getting at.

  3. Ann says:


    I know exactly what you mean. My mom was into makeup and I followed in her footsteps. But my brothers always said I “primped” too much and it would get me mad. They both are married to women who don’t wear makeup. To this day, from shower to hair to makeup, it takes me about 90 minutes to get ready. I try to be conscious of my time if I need to be somewhere, but this is me; love me love my makeup!

  4. Dakota says:

    That happens to me very often while on vacation with friends. To solve that ‘waiting’ situation, I either get up a little earlier than my friends or start getting ready earlier so that they don’t notice a difference. My close friends know that I enjoy all the colors and that I like to play around with products as well. 🙂

  5. Emilee says:

    No way… in fact I think I’m being considerate wearing makeup as my face is pretty splotchy and gross without it! I don’t want people to be grossed out when they see me, HAHA. If people don’t wanna wear makeup that’s totally their call, but for me I feel better with it on and I don’t care what anyone else thinks.

    • Dakota says:

      I feel the same way! My friends who make the most comments about not wanting to take the time to put makeup on already have fabulous splotch-free skin already. 😛

  6. Xen says:

    Yeah I’ve had that too… But in my opinion, I look like a spotty, red-splotchy-skinned nobody without makeup. I feel better when I’ve got a little foundation and mascara on, and if I’ve got time, blush and eyebrow pencil too (minimum makeup that I’ll wear on any given day). I can’t be told by anyone (successfully) that I wear “too much makeup” or “You have such beautiful skin (lie) – why cover it up.”. Wearing makeup makes me feel good – I can’t be shamed away from not wearing it! Mwahahahahaaaa

  7. kellly says:

    Nobody says much to me about it and quite a few of my friends don’t wear any or much makeup. I go for a natural look – that only takes me 10 minutes or so to do. I roomed with a girl who took over 2 HOURS to get ready to go out, so I don’t feel so bad about the time it takes me! I think I look better with makeup on and I feel like it’s my business if I want to put it on. I enjoy the process of putting it on and think I look better wearing it. I don’t think it’s hurting anybody and I’m lucky that if my friends don’t agree, at least they keep their opinions on it to themselves!

  8. April says:

    I know exactly what you mean! I have a lot of women in my family who don’t wear make-up for religious reasons, so I always feel like they are going to say hurtful things to me because I do wear it. I also just went to an art show, and got all dolled up, and felt a little out of place (even though I looked fabulous!), for everyone else had minimal or no make-up on. I felt my false lashes were a bit too much. haha

  9. Jessica says:

    Some of my closest friends don’t really wear makeup, I do, and I have never found it to matter at all. I don’t get negative remarks at all, never have.

    However, I’m fast about it. I leave for work in the morning with no makeup…I do it at work. I do full eye makeup but not much else, and it really is only 10-15 mins. I wouldn’t want anyone waiting on me while I did my makeup. A friend of mine once was always taking forever to be ready to go ANYWHERE…not because of makeup though, she didn’t really wear it- she just took FOREVER to get out the door, and it is annoying but was just something I knew to expect. She never really cared that everyone was -constantly- waiting on her…and that’s annoying.
    Jessica recently posted … Just in Case You Were Wondering… (PRT)

  10. Amanda says:

    This is a huge conversation on the Internet these days. Some want to make it a feminist issue. I care deeply about feminist issues and will fight for the social, political, and economic equality for women; I see how the wearing of makeup can be framed as a social issue… BUT. It’s my choice, and I enjoy it. I also work in higher education, where the majority of women do not wear makeup and it’s pretty much an open secret that women who do wear makeup aren’t taken seriously. (Is your head spinning yet??) Yes, there will always be an element who rejects makeup, and some of them will unfairly shame the women who do wear makeup. Women walk so many lines these days, don’t we? So many ways to be shamed or discriminated. Oh, and that line about “you don’t need makeup”? Wouldn’t I like to tell other people exactly what they “don’t need” in their lives.

    • A says:

      I’m with you! And yes, my head is spinning!

    • Stephanie says:

      “Yes, there will always be an element who rejects makeup, and some of them will unfairly shame the women who do wear makeup. Women walk so many lines these days, don’t we? So many ways to be shamed or discriminated.”

      Exactly this – thank you for articulating it!

    • Jaclyn says:

      So well said! I especially like your last line of what you wish you could tell people they don’t need. People think the line “you don’t need it” is a compliment, but really it’s a put-down in disguise!

    • Karen says:

      Bravo, Amanda. So well said. Sometimes it seems to me like we don’t have much patience and understanding for each other anymore — people. Outrage is everywhere. Tempers flare so quickly. I just wish we could all chill out and celebrate our differences more often!

  11. Erin says:

    It’s not often I feel that way but I was meeting a friend and his new GF for drinks recently. I came dressed up and with a full blown colorful smokey eye and she was barefaced in sweats. I dressed up for the place since it’s a middle of the road bar and not some podunk hole in the wall. I could tell it was making her feel bad that she didn’t put in more effort.
    Erin recently posted … Emma Pearl 2013 Pinot Noir

  12. A says:

    All the time! I’ve had this same experience IN NAPA! None of my friends really wear makeup, none of my family – so I have to start getting ready almost an hour before they do to be ready to my liking without rushing.

    Honestly I get really offended because I feel punished for it with eye rolls, and constant reminders of when we need to leave… yet they all compliment me endlessly on how I look when I’m done with all my primping.

    But you know what? Too bad! I love my makeup and moreso I love the result. Ill always try to find shortcuts so that I’m not disrespectfully taking up someone’s time, but even so, a little respect please!?

  13. Mattie says:

    Thanks for sharing I fefinitely know the feeling. It’s the same way on my job. Everyone at my job don’t want makeup and sometime I can hear little remarks about makeup being said. But now I’m ok about it just like you stated to each of it own. I love makeup, fashion, and hair and it’s the girlie girl in me.

  14. Lindsay says:

    I am the one who doesn’t wear makeup. At least, I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis. I stay at home with my four year old and soon-to-be baby, so I don’t have anyone to impress. I love getting dolled up to go out though! I say, do what makes you happy! My preference is taking forever in the bathtub. My husband hates makeup and prefers I don’t wear it- I think it has something to do with having a sister who takes 2-3 hours to get ready and having only one bathroom growing up.

  15. Pavithra says:

    Ugh, this hits home. While my friends and family are very appreciative of my love for makeup – I do get the occasional – ‘oh, I never knew you were into makeup ‘this much” and not in a nice way. Ooh and also ‘You know, I own just two lipsticks and I never feel compelled to own more’. It makes me feel guilty and vain – but I get that they don’t mean harm, and let it slide. I’m lucky in that my sisters and cousins really love makeup and trying out new products – I feel like I can let the inner makeup monster free around them :p
    While I don’t feel uncomfortable wearing makeup around people that don’t, I do turn it up and down depending on company and occasion.
    What a great post, Karen!
    Pavithra recently posted … My Travel Beauty Essentials | New York Edition

  16. Rabia says:

    Hi Karen! I’m a long time creeper of your blog (always reading, but never commenting). I just wanted to say that I 100% get how you feel. The worst is when a person thinks that I’m wearing makeup with the intention to impress someone other than myself. For me, putting on makeup is like adult finger-painting- it’s a hobby and therapeutic.

  17. Ann says:

    Yes!!! I totally get you and know the feeling. Persons who don’t wear makeup, will never understand that it isn’t about covering up or ‘putting on a face’, but more about enhancing your beauty and that we have a genuine love for it. It’s a fun way to change up your look all the time!! and frankly because we simply…LOVE IT!!! Everyone has something that they like that another person might not and that’s just it.

  18. Stephanie says:

    Yes, Karen!!! You really get me. 🙂 In high school and college, I was the anti-makeup person who didn’t understand why people wore makeup, because wasn’t it about concealing yourself and conforming to what Society expects us to look like? Now I’m reconciling that with absolutely loving playing with color on my face, but I still mostly hang out with people for whom makeup is such a nonentity that often I feel kind of odd wearing a full face when I’m just chilling with my friends… I’m pretty sure no one comments on it, but sometimes I wish I knew what was going on in their minds, if they find me strange, cool, weird, what. It’s also part of the reason I can be pretty vocal with friends and acquaintances about how much I like makeup as a creative outlet. Because that’s what it is and it’s awesome for that.

  19. Stephanie says:

    For me, it’s all family. I’m very aware of my makeup when I’m with relatives, but only because no one else seems to wear any. And the thing is, I don’t think they’re even thinking about it. I somehow feel overdressed via makeup, even if I keep it super toned down. Maybe I’m projecting. With friends or coworkers I find that I’m with fellow makeup wearers, but I’m super self conscious about whipping out any uber expensive brands like Tom Ford or Chanel and reluctant to reapply casually in front of them. I suppose that’s a whole other topic!

  20. Cherie says:

    I hear that sometimes but it has never bothered me. I have a friend who is totally earthy and never puts on a stich of makeup ever – but boy did she go to town as a bridesmaid at my wedding! To me makeup is artistry. It started with foundation because I suffered from severe acne until the age of 26 (everywhere, not just on my face, and ya, it was baaaaad) and my brother and sister would joke that I had 1000 lotions. I was just trying to get control of the breakout and I would try anyting. Then I started to cover up with foundation because I hated getting stared at. I learned I loved to play with colors and play of features. It’s just part of who I am. No I get compliments for “looking so well put together.” I like pretty things and I’ve always been that way. I see pics from when I was around 3 years old and I had my outfit picked, accessories shoes. Guess I was just born that way! 😛

  21. Shannon says:

    Totally. I feel like it’s more of a “fitting in” thing for me, though. It mostly happens if I’m wearing a *lot* of makeup, like lots of eye makeup in totally-unnatural colors, and I’m at a gathering where all other girls are completely bare-faced. It’s worse if I don’t know anybody, too. Then I get social anxiety about feeling like they’ll think I’m fake or superficial because I’m wearing a lot of obvious makeup. It’s a little ridic. In those situations, I have to remind myself that I’m wearing lots of makeup because I like it, and that my eyes are blended to perfection, so THERE. 🙂 lol.
    I don’t get many negative comments about makeup anymore, really. I don’t know if it’s just because people know that I like it? Not sure. But I do notice that I’ll make self-deprecating comments when I’m not wearing makeup (like “oh gosh I should’ve put on mascara, I’m going to look like [insert scary monster here] in these pictures”) which I don’t love. When I do that, people often say “oh stop, you look great without makeup,” which is sweet and I agree with them, but there’s definitely part of me that wishes I hadn’t thought/said what I said in the first place. I love makeup, but to talk about needing it is another thing. I feel like I’m unconsciously giving in to the idea that women need to be perfect when I do that. I think that’s my struggle – loving it, but not wanting to feel like I *must* wear it.

  22. ericca says:

    I do not wear makeup around my parents or their friends on a day to day basis because growing up I was raised in a very conservative christian home (old habits dies hard). Although, now as an adult my mother likes some light makeup (foundation and brows) but if I came out with a bold lip she would call it hookerish. The friends who dont wear makeup are usually are amazed of the skincare that i use before I put on makeup. So, they usually dont say anything about my routine when I wear it.

  23. Jean Clare says:

    I’ve been fortunate not to run into too many people who comment negatively about makeup. My mom didn’t wear too much makeup growing up but my sis and I both grew up to be makeup addicts. I still love taking my mom shopping for new lipsticks when I visit. I think it’s all about wearing what you love and feel comfortable with, and not shaming others who do things differently. If I want to put on false lashes today, damnit I will! 🙂

  24. Sarah says:

    I have occasionally felt this way when I lived back in Portland, OR where my friend were super crunchy. It seemed like the only makeup that was acceptable was the rockabilly red-lip hipster chick look. I just owned it though. I love makeup and didn’t hide it.

    I now live in cleveland Ohio where wearing makeup is very normal. I have one friend who literally wears no makeup and I find it so odd. I was once at SAKS with her and when I wandered over the makeup counter she started making these comments like I was doing something super weird or ironic or something. I was getting an eyebrow pencil and black liquid eye liner from Chanel so she decide to try an eyeliner. She put the tiniest, thinnest line on her lower lash line- it looked great! But she acted like she was dressed up as KISS for freaks sake. She also makes a point to mention how this one girl at work, who she hates, wears “tons of makeup”. I don’t get it. Especially because she gets Botox and restalin injections. So clearly it’s not an issue regarding vanity! I guess she really believes that wearing makeup is trashy somehow? Like you say, a little lipgloss never hurt anyone! (Or some primer and tinted moisturizer. My friend has HUGE pores. I guess she doesn’t see it)

    • Jessica says:

      in my non-professional opinion, I think your friend is projecting her own self-image issues. Or there is a deep issue there of some sort which has nothing to do with you, for hat reaction to be so strong. Anyone who puts that much focus on what someone else is doing, hating it, judging it, is in denial of something or not facing something. People wear makeup or don’t wear makeup- it isn’t normally a big deal either way and people shouldn’t care so much about what others are doing.
      Jessica recently posted … Just in Case You Were Wondering… (PRT)

      • Sarah says:

        I agree. She suffers from an eating disorder and low self-esteem. Which is why I would never actually say to her “hey a little makeup would actually do wonders for how you look”. At some point, perhaps the next time she makes a comment about makeup I might ask her why that particular thing bothers her.

  25. No I don’t. Of course making people wait int nice, so I try to avoid it, but other than that I couldn’t care less if people think I am under- or overpainted as long as I like it. if they aren’t into makeup themselves they probably cant even tell whether I am wearing a lot or very little makeup.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … How many aspects of your personality are there? – Glasses by GlassesShop

  26. Lulle says:

    Yup, quite often. Most of the people I hang out with wear very little makeup if any at all, they’re the type that shop for clothes at REI. So I often feel overdressed (and I’m not that much of a fashionista really) and over “madeup”. But I won’t let that feeling stop me from having fun with my makeup when I know I’ll be going out.

    I’ve never had the condescending remarks though. I guess people around me either like the diversity I bring into the group with my painted face, or they realize it’s nothing but my business! I can be a dragon too if someone attacks me, maybe they’re afraid, lol!
    Lulle recently posted … Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Lily: a new summer liquid blush!

  27. Nadia A. says:

    Hi Karen! I have been wearing makeup since I was in high school back in the ’90’s. After I got married in 2002, my passion for wearing makeup and buying makeup highly increased. I am now a stay-at-home mom and wife and don’t wear as much makeup as when I was working outside of the home. However, I don’t feel uncomfortable wearing makeup around people who don’t. I also tend not to judge people who don’t wear makeup because I know that not everyone is into wearing and buying makeup as much as I am. I will give makeup/beauty advice to my family and friends when they ask. I have even started posting “trial makeup blog entries” on my Facebook Profile because my family and friends have told me I need to start my own makeup/beauty blog.

    The one thing that I do dislike is that society still judges those of us who do like to buy and wear makeup. We are seen as being “shallow” and that “we only care about our physical appearance”. I had a “friend” criticize me because I said that I had a full face of makeup when I gave birth to my two children back in 2009 and 2010. I had to then defend myself by stating that I had applied my makeup long before I had to leave for the hospital and that I never reapplied my makeup at all once I was in the hospital because my focus was clearly on my labor and my giving birth to my children.

    To me, makeup is much more than just buying it and applying it on my face to enhance my features. Makeup is my artistic, creative outlet. It helps me feel more put together and confident. I feel like I can better conquer anything when I wear makeup. For those reasons, I will never stop buying and wearing makeup. I will also never apologize to anyone who feels offended by me buying and/or wearing makeup.

  28. Jane says:

    Sometimes if someone says something. My brother seems to think he has the right to criticise me for wearing makeup, but I don’t care. It’s my face ahd I can paint it how I like! I have been wearing makeup since I was a young teenager and it has helped protect my skin – I am 47 and I have no crow’s feet whatsoever and only minimal fine lines on my forehead. My friends who have never worn makeup look about 10 years older than me. I know that might sound cocky, but it is true. Above all else I love putting on a face and changing my look according to my mood, it helps me express myselfyand where’s the harm in that?

  29. Jaclyn says:

    This is so timely as I’ve been thinking of a similar issue! I’m in the minimal makeup camp because 1. I don’t have time and 2. I hate the idea of wasting money on product only to find out it doesn’t work for me and 3. There is just SO MUCH to learn and it’s daunting. But, I do like makeup. However, I’m confused by current trends like contouring like a kardashian and wearing falsies for every day. I see some girls that obviously have it on so thick they don’t look like “themselves.” And I wonder if we are sending a message to young girls that the face they were given isn’t enough. Is heavy makeup the American equivalent of a burka? Are we hiding under it? Why is wearing makeup expected for women but not men? Why do women feel uncomfortable or even unprofessional without makeup on but men don’t? I have so many questions! And do know I ask from the perspective of someone who likes and enjoys makeup who’s just trying to sort out the answers like everyone else. Thanks for bringing up a very interesting, thought-provoking topic!

    • JM says:

      I love this! I barely wear any makeup, and I don’t have anything against girls who love it and enjoy it as a hobby. I read this blog, after all. But I think there is a difference between being into makeup to enhance your natural face and have some fun, and being into makeup to the point where 1) people don’t recognize you without it and 2) you’re actually afraid to go anywhere in public without it.

  30. Prerna Dua says:

    Oh yeah! I used to get the same remarks from my family a lot, till I got married. Then ppl stopped bugging me, as if being married gave me permission to doll up, and as if wearing makeup while I was single would reflect badlyon me and affect my marriage prospects. I mean, come on! My mom did say that wearing makeup or talking too much about it would bring me across as vain or a show off and as a spendthrift for wasting money on makeup. Conservative Indian society has so many rules!

  31. LisaMcC says:

    I’m not uncomfortable wearing it around friends/family. I’m definitely aware of what it takes to get myself ready. If I’m with my sisters, I always start early so I’m ready to go on time and they don’t have to wait on me, and in doing so, I still hear “Why does it take you so long?” The hubs even tries it sometimes: “You don’t need all that makeup.” I tell him, “Yeah, if I didn’t wear it, you would have never stepped to me.” LOL! It’s okay though, I’ma be me. I love how makeup makes me look and feel, and I will never stop wearing it. I have never able to do a 5-minute makeup job. 45-60 minutes is more like it!

  32. Erika says:

    I don’t think I have any close friends that don’t love makeup! 🙂

  33. Kelly B. says:

    The only time I get uncomfortable is when people try to tell me stuff like “boys will still like you with no makeup on” or “you don’t need all that makeup to be happy with yourself”. I wear makeup because I’m an artist and I enjoy playing with texture and color and I wear it for me-not to impress anyone else!
    Kelly B. recently posted … Get Your Peach On with the Maybelline Pink Wink Eyeshadow

  34. Rachel R. says:

    I grew up in Oregon: Dress here is SUPER casual, and most women wear natural, minimal or no makeup. I’ve never felt uncomfortable for wearing a full face of bold makeup or dressing nice. It’s what I like to do. Really, I’ve gotten very few negative remarks in my life about my makeup. I think it always helped that I knew how to apply it properly and I have a good sense of color and what looks good on me.

  35. MonicaP says:

    Nope .. I’d do the same as you .. minimal makeup and try to hurry. But I’m not giving up my makeup because someone else isn’t into it or doesn’t wear it .. 🙂

    MonicaP recently posted … A blazer, jeans shorts and heels

  36. Dawn says:

    YES! My female relatives – mom and grandma have both passed on – were never into makeup. My aunt and cousin aren’t into makeup. I’m the only girly girl in my family, and I’ve always gotten some mostly good natured crap about it – as in, “you take forever putting on that stuff”, or, “how much money do you actually spend on that stuff?!” I’ve always pretty much blown it off, since I feel my best WITH makeup, and I frankly don’t give a rat’s a@s what anyone else thinks! I DID work with a woman once who made snarky remarks like “Who wears pink lipstick to work?” and “Who gets up an hour early to put on their face?!”. She was a well known gambler who was living with her daughter because she lost her house. I said nothing for a long time, but one day, I’d just had enough and I said something to the effect that yes, I do wear pink lipstick to work sometimes, and yes, I do get up early to “put on my face” – but I also pay my mortgage, without fail. Couldn’t help myself, I swear to God.

    • Jane says:

      Priceless! Good for you, I’m glad you put her in her place. Wonder what her objection to pink lipstick was, there’s nothing wrong with wearing that to work. I used to wear Rouge Noir lipstick to work!

  37. Erica says:

    I’ve never been uncomfortable wearing makeup around non wearers. Quick story – My Grandmother died in June so I had to go South for her funeral. Most of my family doesn’t wear makeup or wear minimal makeup (mascara and lipstick). Exception: my Mom is a makeup addict which is why I acquired the addiction. Prior to the funeral, My Mom and I both got up early to give ourselves time to apply makeup. My Mom is 75, I’m 52. We each toned down our makeup due to the occasion and the heat, but girl we still looked good. My dear Grandma who was 96, still loved a good moisturizer and a little lip gloss (lol). I’m sure, if prompted, my cousins and nieces would love to sample some of my stash. I think they are daunted by the process. I always tell them to call me when they are ready to take the plunge. I will never stop wearing makeup.

  38. Jennifer says:

    Geez a lou sister, what a hot button issue, I had no idea.
    When I was really little and we lived in Az. I had a really glamorous babysitter named Lola who sat at her kitchen table every morning with all her makeup out and a giant mirror and “painted her face” as she called it. It was So Fascinating to me. I just sat and watched in amazement. At the time, my mom was a big hippie who wore no makeup (it was 1974). So I’m grateful to Lola for jump starting my fascination.
    Jennifer recently posted … I’m Not Addicted to Coffee

  39. Divina says:

    You know, I never understood why women bag on other women for any reason. If you have something constructive to say, that’s one thing — even constructive criticism — such as “Um, just wanted to let you know you have a little lipstick on your teeth.” It’s never good to be hurtful just for the sake of being hurtful, even if the other person doesn’t hear what you’re saying. Those types of people are just unhappy and need to take out their insecurities on someone else — someone who they are probably envious of.

  40. Tatiana says:

    Actually, it’s the other way around. When I’m not wearing makeup one of my friends used to nag me about not wearing it. The thing is, I wear makeup, just not when I’m exercising. Nothing worse for me than mascara running into my eyes when I really need to see a distance or where I’m going, so I don’t injure myself. Lol.
    Most of the grief I get is for wearing perfume. While my husband thinks I have a little too much makeup he definitely thinks I have way, way, way too much perfume.

  41. Jessica says:

    I actually don’t. I don’t think about it too much. BUT I do notice if they are wearing half assed makeup. Like bad liner or just plain unfinished-ness. Like why wear liner and shadow but not curl and mascara your lashes? Or lip liner with no other lip color to fill it in? WHY?! But a complete bare face? I think nothing of it.

    I was at a wedding, and most of my friends don’t wear makeup, even the bride didn’t. That’s fine, she can do what she wants. One friend commented that my lashes were too much, and another commented that she bets I use brushes. Um yes. Am I supposed to blend with my finger? HAHAHA no.
    I’m like the overly made up one of the bunch.

  42. Marilyn says:

    Most people at my work don’t wear makeup so it makes me feel better about sleeping in some mornings and coming in without it!

  43. kwmechelle says:

    Yes, totally! I don’t get a ton of comments bc I’m a total girlie-girl & I’ve pretty much always been this way. Makeup is my creative outlet & a form of self expression. I have, however, come across the negative Nancys who occasionally make snide remarks because of their own insecurities. I try not to let them get to me & I’ve been known to say “don’t push your insecurity issues on me!”. I don’t try to change people & I don’t want anyone trying to change me. Other times, I try to let folks know that I’m much more than a made up pretty face. I’m also a kind person. Usually, this puts folks at ease & their less inclined to continue judging me based on my makeup. Great question, by the way!

  44. Maggie says:

    To be honest, I’ve gotten WAAAAAY more unkind comments about my appearance from makeup-wearing people than people who don’t wear it.

    How about the other way around? Are you ever uncomfortable not wearing makeup around people who do?

    I sure as hell feel very uncomfortable. I get nervous about whether or not I color-corrected all my blemishes correctly. Whether my foundation is separating or going patchy. Whether or not I blended something in perfectly. Is my lipstick feathering? My mascara giving me panda eyes? Too powdery? And let’s not get into hair or clothing. I find I need to check on my appearance at least once every couple hours–or I’ll go nuts.

    Also, that line about “not needing makeup”? I think that’s quite mild. In fact, I take it as a compliment–much better than hearing I’m only cute when I have my “face” on.

    And to address the original question: I moved back to the town I grew up in–which is a makeup-optional rural town. It took some time but I eventually stopped wearing glamorous or very colorful makeup–unless for special occasions. Why?

    “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” right? And if you don’t, well, people tend to notice things that stand out (by the very definition of “standing out”) so they’ll likely comment on it. It’s annoying but natural and expected. And because it’s expected, I take preemptive measures–I either brace myself for the comments as I apply my makeup or apply my makeup to “fit in.”

    Also, people judge each other. Period. We have evolved to judge each other–just like a lot of other social animals. It is natural. That said, we should know better and can do better–people aren’t excused from their actions in alienating or marginalizing others.

    • Karen says:

      “…hearing I’m only cute when I have my ‘face’ on…”

      That would just break my heart, Maggie. In my lifelong love affair with makeup, both prior to starting MBB and in the 8 years since, no one has ever said anything that callous or inconsiderate to me in public when I chose not to wear makeup — or, frankly, when I have worn makeup while the people around me weren’t.

      To a degree, I try to be oblivious to it all. I just go about my business, wearing what I want, or not wearing what I want, with a smile, and if/when I’m judged for standing out, one way or the other, maybe I just don’t notice it most of the time, and for me in those cases ignorance is bliss. 🙂

      For now, makeup brings me joy, and it doesn’t feel like an obligation, or like I’m doing it, or doing it a certain way, because of social pressures. I mean, I’m sure I am to a degree — choosing to wear more reserved, subtle makeup to professional functions and more wackadoo makeup to informal functions — but the choices don’t feel like work, so they aren’t a bother.

      I think there are so many real worries in the world and in daily life nowadays that I kind of refuse to acknowledge/accept makeup as one of them. It may also be different out here near San Francisco, where fashions and styles are pretty varied and casual.

      Thank you for the thought-provoking comment, Maggie! To heck with anyone who tries to make makeup an issue! Everyone (nice and considerate) is welcome here. Have a great Thursday, and happy pre-TGIF.

    • Rachel R. says:

      That’s terrible people said that to you. Makeup wearers get it, too, when not wearing makeup: “Are you sick?” or “You don’t look good, did you sleep?” If we’re heavy, people tell us how gross we look; if we’re skinny, we get called anorexic. Other women are as bad or worse than the men. I don’t know why anyone thinks it’s OK to negatively comment on anyone’s looks or style.

      Donald Trump recently said that Heidi Klum was no longer a “10.” Her response was that every woman was a “10” because of all the are, do and accomplish (I’m paraphrasing). I’m with her!

  45. Honi says:

    Honestly, never. For me that would be like saying I feel uncomfortable around people wearing skirts cause I’m not wearing one! I understand the practical side of it (Being ready on the same time) but I just allocate an extra 15 minutes and I enjoy every second of it! Whether I wear or don’t wear makeup one day, in the end it’s up to me and what makes me happy (Sleep or mascara?) 😀
    Honi recently posted … NOTD – H&M “Purple Aura”

  46. Pola says:

    It happens to me all the time in college, only 1 out of 15 women of the campus wear makeup, and that 1 in 15 gal wears mascara and lipgloss, eyeliner max, so with a full face of make up I’m kind of a freak. Winged eyeliner, some eyeshadow and lots of mascara it’s my thing since I’m 14 so do it anyways, but I have to confess sometimes I wonder if they judge me or think I’m trying too hard. On the other hand women who wear make up (at work) usually don´t believe I spend at least half an hour every day and even apply blush, bronzer and highlighter, so I guess I´m doing it right.

  47. Aditi says:

    I don’t care much. When I was not into makeup (it’s a recent thing for me 😀 ) I didn’t care or mind people wearing makeup; now that I like doing my face and makeup I don’t care what other people with no makeup would think. I like it so I do it, you don’t like it or you don’t know how to do it hence you don’t do it! Yes, I try to be considerate when I am around with people who don’t wear makeup by getting up early so that I am at par with them, or I try to be quicker than usual just so that they don’t have to get irritated because of my makeup! 🙂
    Aditi recently posted … Sabudana Kheer aka Tapioca Pudding | Indian Dessert

  48. Paddychat says:

    I used to wear make up since university, and my nails were allways painted since highschool. All my friends were less, really less, make up than I ( I’m born in the 70s…make up wasn’t “à la mode”) and I sometimes earded some unpleasant words, but that’s my way…I doesn’t like red nose, bad skin, cinderella look, so I go on !!!

  49. I never feel uncomfortable wearing makeup around people who don’t, but if I’m on vacation with someone that gets ready in five minutes, I will ususally do something minimal so that I don’t keep them waiting too long, just like you.
    Carol in a Page recently posted … DO or DON’T: Dark Lips in the Summer

  50. Kelly says:

    YES. This post is perfect in every way possible! As a beauty lover, I hardly EVER, (maybe even never) boast about wearing makeup to other people. Yet for some reason, many people love to tell me that they don’t wear makeup. It usually goes like this:

    Them: “Oh my gosh, I love your lipstick! It’s such a pretty red.”
    Me: “Thank you so much, it’s Dragon Girl by Nars.”
    Them: “Oh, I don’t wear makeup. I don’t feel like I need to plaster my face in products just to feel good about myself. I prefer going “au natural”, if you know what I mean.”
    Me: “….(*crickets chirping*)…good for you..?”

    I mean, how do you even respond to that? It’s ridiculous.
    Kelly recently posted … Lush Cosmetics Halloween 2015 Products?! Say whaaat?

    • Paddychat says:

      Oh, we met the same ( rude !) people !!! 😤

    • Pola says:

      Luckyly most of people I’ve met that comment something about my make up say they don’t wear makeup or very little because they don’t know how to apply it, but they would like to and ask for some tips.

  51. Renee says:

    I’m a long-time creeper, too, this is only my second comment. I’ve often been on the other side- the one not wearing makeup. I’m not very girly, and having been in law enforcement, just didn’t wear it much. If I was around someone who had makeup on, I felt lazy. Now that I have a different job, I wear it almost every day- the whole nine yards- and get lots of compliments. If I’m around someone who seems uncomfortable or feels bad that they don’t have makeup on, I usually find myself trying to ease their discomfort and say something about just having got off work or something…lol

  52. Sally says:

    Yes, yes and yes. I feel the same around my family as well, as most of them aren’t really into makeup. The most they will wear is foundation to even out their skin tone. I always feel so superficial when I’m wearing makeup and people around me aren’t. Even if friends around me are wearing make up I feel judged because I worry I’m wearing too much/too little. Also, I worry if I suddenly stop wearing eyeliner or something people are going to think I look rubbish.

    Sally ~ DiagonSally

  53. Melanie Mercier says:

    While I always wear makeup to work, I refrain from wearing lipstick… I bought the benebalm and whenever I wera it people ask me why I’m wearing lipgloss… Can’t even imagine what they would ask if I showed up wearing my favorite red lipstick!

    Weird how that works…

  54. Julene says:

    It’s funny that you posted this after the one you put up about the trip. After I read the first one, I was thinking about this exact question. I work in a government office of mostly women and most don’t wear much makeup, if any at all. I seem to stand out because I do and that being said, it’s not really a whole lot. I have inherited dark circles and virtually no eyebrows, due to what I believe is a thyroid condition. So, I think I’m doing everyone a favour by taking a little care to manage those issues! lol. I work in full view of the public and I think it important to look somewhat polished. I once had a male client with his wife (not wearing makeup) and kids approach my counter on a Friday afternoon and the first comment after I greeted him was “How come you look so fresh on a Friday afternoon?” Trying to detract from the comment I just said “Thank you” and attempted to proceed with processing their documents. He wouldn’t let it go and kept saying “huh, huh. Howcome?” Trying to make light of the situation I said “I guess I have good genes!” and laughed. He said “…or maybe you’re wearing too much makeup!” Talk about compli-diss! It still stings when I think about it, but what are you going to do?

  55. Cyndi says:

    I definitely wear less around people who don’t wear makeup… partially because I don’t wanna make them wait, and partially because I feel overdone if they’re sporting a bare face lol. Silly I know. But yeah, I don’t care for the anti-makeup comments either… I like makeup and trying different looks, where as they might have other hobbies that I don’t care for. To each their own!! 🙂

  56. Gen says:

    When I’m going out with my friends(who are also my roomies), I always get ready ahead of them so they wouldn’t have to wait for me. I don’t like having people to wait on me too. The good thing about them though is that they’re pretty supportive of my love for make-up. They even sometimes ask me to do theirs.

    The only time I get sort of uncomfortable wearing make up is when I’m at Uni. Most of the students and even professors in my college(I’m taking up dental medicine) do not wear make up since it can take a lot of time and we’re all really busy most days. So when I go to class and I’m all made up I feel shy to let peole see my face. Plus, you just can’t steer clear from those judgy ones who like to mock you for actually taking time to take care of yourself. When someone calls me out because I have a full face on, I just tell them that just because you’re stressed on the inside, it doesn’t mean you have to look stressed on the outside too. Hahaha!!!!

  57. Twyla says:


    I know what you mean. I used to feel rushed and like I was inconveniencing people when I’d make them wait, but I’m like “you know me. If you wanna hang, give me some notice and I’ll meet you on time”. For spontaneous outings, I do a 5-10 minute routine I came up when I’d wake up late for work (lol). Best I can do. 😉

    But in the end,you gotta do you girl. I’m sure your friends like you the way you are, the way I do! Thanks for doing awesome things and blogging about it. It puts a skip in my step. 🙂

  58. musical says:

    Glad you posted this discussion. There are (rare) times when I do feel “uncomfortable” wearing makeup. For example, I don’t wear any makeup while hanging out with my best friend’s family. She never wears wear any makeup, mostly because she has too many responsibilities on her plate and hardly gets any time for herself. So it’s my way of showing support?

    I hardly wore any makeup until about 5-6 years ago. I was judged then and I am judged now… I was told that not wearing makeup may reflect lack of self-worth. I have also been told that problem X (an itchy eye, a pimple etc etc.) is because I wear makeup. And told by a colleague “I don’t have the luxury of time to do all that stuff”. The same person who never fails to wear makeup for important presentations, meetings etc.

    I have made peace with the fact that people will always judge. I don’t “need” make to realize my “self-worth”. In fact, I am pretty happy either way. I just like playing with colors. Is that too much to ask?

    Sorry, I am choking as I type this. But I wish people were less judgmental.

  59. Deanna says:

    I never thought it would bother me to wear makeup around people who don’t until recently. My mother-in-law doesn’t wear any makeup and doesn’t spend time choosing an outfit or doing her hair. I’m the opposite. I like doing my makeup, and I like wearing cute outfits. Well, one morning while my in-laws were visiting, I was in the bathroom getting myself ready for work (just doing minimal makeup), and I overheard my mother-in-law say to my father-in-law, “Deanna’s gotta make herself pretty, I guess.” It stung a little, but you know what? I’m going to wear makeup whenever I want, because I enjoy it!

  60. Efrain says:

    Well I’m a little late but I had to say my opinion:

    First thing: it looks like I’m the first guy answering the question and the answer is yes. Maybe I’m over dramatizing but I think that if as a woman you’re questioned about putting on makeup as a man you’re even more questioned.

    There are the comments of how big my collection of makeup is compared to all my girlfriends (I think there’s only one who has more makeup than me) and all of them had said “Oh you’re a guy and you have more makeup than me”.

    Also with my family the things aren’t easier, they’re the first ones to tell me I look over made up or fake, even when I’ve double checked if everything looks natural.

    And even if I’m dying to rock a smokey eye or a red lipstick I know I shouldn’t unless I’m brave enough to stand up and say “screw you society, I love makeup and your opinion isn’t important for me”.

    I think one of the most liberating things I’ve done was putting on makeup on a bus knowing people could see me.

    So yes I feel sometimes uncomfortable, but I love makeup and I think it worth it.

  61. Celia says:

    Definitely! Well, around my friends, not so much. And I am really the only one among my friends that regularly wears any kind of makeup. But at grad school I am probably one of 5 girls out of probably 100 that wears makeup. And then most of the faculty don’t wear makeup either. So I end up feeling weird and overdone a lot of the time. Kind of sucks, because I really really love playing with makeup and trying new things, but I sometimes feel like I’ll be judged as less capable by virtue of the fact that I’m, say, the only girl on the team who has a full (day-time appropriate) face on. Sometimes I wonder if more people would wear it if they were comfortable blending shadows? It takes time to get the hang of it…

    I know my friends don’t really care that I wear makeup, and they don’t judge me for it, and I think they look great without it, but sometimes I wish I had just one girlfriend that I could go to Sephora with or who I could give makeup gifts to. But it is a fun thing I share with my mom, though, and that’s worth a lot to me. 🙂

    • Renee says:

      Yes- I have no one to makeup shop with! But at least I get to do my friends makeup for special dinners and date nights. I love it and am able to share it with them that way!

  62. Blanca says:

    Karen, I love reading your blog because you joyfully express your love of makeup and how it brightens your day. I can relate to your feelings of feeling a bit odd around friends & family who don’t share your passion for makeup. But please don’t change. Just because they’re not into it doesn’t mean it’s okay to make you feel uncomfortable for enjoying getting dolled up. It doesn’t matter if they do it intentionally or not. Ignore the comments if you can. Keep being who you are, proudly and happily.

  63. Melissa says:

    I have, in the past, at times felt uncomfortable wearing make up around people who aren’t wearing make up. BUT…at this point, my mid 40’s, I do what feels right for me and if someone has a problem with my make up my response is that I bought, I spend the time putting it on and taking if off and it makes me feel good. If I am so inclined I wear false lashes at home and get glammed up to do the laundry. It’s who I am and I love the art of it. Do I go out in public without make up? Yes and I am just as comfortable without it as with it. It’s just make up …it should be fun and not something upon which to judge people.

  64. Renee says:

    Yes! None of my friends really wear makeup or dress up at all. I always felt overdressed and uncomfortable with a red lip or something around them. It was nothing anyone did or said, it was just knowing that I’m the only one with makeup on felt a little weird. Now, I’m a stay at home mom with a 5 mo old and a 2 yr old, so makeup and nice clothes are something I look forward to in about 7 months from now.

  65. Iris says:

    I used to not feel self-conscious when I was younger. As an adult I do feel out of place or overdressed when I’m the only person wearing makeup, especially bright or dramatic makeup. I try to tone it down if I’m at events or more formal conventions.

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