What Make-Up Is Like To An Adult Woman For The First Time

In my post-grad transition, I have set forth on a few self-improvement, self-care projects: starting this blog, exercising more, taking naps, and … learning how to do make-up.

I feel like I’m going through puberty, but at the late age of 21 — I am just now discovering an entire world of feminine products unbeknownst to me for the entirety of my adolescence.

Most women discover the conniving ways of Covergirl and Sephora during their early teenage years, but I have taken until post-grad to dive in. As an adult woman whose ideology has been fully formed and is pretty much set at this point, here are my first impressions of make-up/the make-up industry:

1. Why the hell do I need so many brushes? How were you all paying for this when you were 13?! I must have saved at least $2000 over the last eight years of not having done any make-up. I’m 21 and making money now and it blows my mind that a stick with bristles at the end of it would cost $20+. It’s no wonder shoplifting was such a thing in high school.

2. I can’t just massage or rub my eyes in the middle of the day anymore when I’m tired. What is this.

3. I was recently talking with a friend about the astronomical accumulated cost of make-up, and we stumbled upon the following scenario:

In the old days, men would pay for the date because things were still economically stratified and men typically held the earning power. Women have struggled and fought their way through layers and shards of the glass ceiling so that today, we are on much sounder financial footing. So if you’re on a date with a man, and you earn just as much as he does, should he still be obligated to pay for the date (also apologies, all of these scenarios are incredibly hetero-normative, but bear with me for a moment)?


Here’s why: because the cost of living to be a woman in society is exponentially greater. I’m not even talking about the patriarchy, misogyny, or the potential of violence here. I am simply talking about the straight up economic cost of getting out the door. Women are expected to wear make-up to dates, to bars, to nightclubs. When a man gets ready for a date, all he has to do is put on pants and show up. When a woman gets ready for a date, she has to lather $70-$100 worth of shit on her face. Worse, she is expected to lather $70 -$100 worth of shit on her face. And for folks who are incredulously reading this post and thinking, “There’s no way it all adds up to $100,” let me remind you of point #1, where I told you that a brush (ONE BRUSH) is like $20.

So when a man is paying for a date, it’s not that he’s necessarily in a financially superior position to his partner. He’s merely respecting the fact that for a woman, the cost of coming to the date in the first place, or of existing in society in general, is so much greater. “Yes babe, I can pay for our $20 meal, because I understand that to come here tonight to begin with, you’ve already spent so much more money than what these tacos cost.”

At the end of the day, it boils down to respect. You are damn right that I will take my free drinks when I have to deal with the bullshit that is the patriarchy my entire life.

And if you don’t buy that argument, well, going Dutch never hurt anybody.

4. All of my complaints are very financially-based. As it should be. I’m still flabbergasted as to how y’all were affording Sephora and MAC in high school. Like, did people start make-up cartels? If make-up cartels became a thing, they would probably be more terrifying that furreal cartels.

5. What is blending. Why are there so many colors. Too many colors everywhere. -Brain collapses-

6. Reasons I am suddenly picking up make-up now: for myself. Also because I am going through a phase of angst and adolescence. Thank you for understanding my late, blossoming puberty, dear reader.

7. When I catch my reflection in glass or reflective material now I have to briefly pause and look at how my make-up is doing instead of just passing by like “yup, there goes a bad bitch.”

8. Sometimes, after you’ve spent such a long time looking at yourself in the mirror, do you ever get tired of your own face?


That’s right, me neither. Because I’m fucking gorgeous no matter what, and so are you.


One thought on “What Make-Up Is Like To An Adult Woman For The First Time

  1. Eventually, makeup is normalized and all you see is the bad bitch. In the mean time, it gets people to believe you are a responsible adult, and available for the sex. I’ve come around to embrace it. Especially BB cream, which is witchcraft in a tube.

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