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Make-up Melodrama: Avoiding Looking Like The The Joker In Everyday Life

Recently, I read an article that startled me a little bit. A UK fashion website posted findings from a survey conducted which stated, “More than a third of 3,000 polled were convinced their other half would not have been attracted to them had they not been wearing make-up when they met” (Daily Mail). That worries me. Have we, the female population, become so transfixed with powders and creams that we can’t conceive another falling in love with us without them? If I had been more concerned with make up when I entered dates, perhaps I wouldn’t have jammed my debit card into the ATM machine the wrong way, or walked into a clear sliding glass door at a gas station. Or dropped a large iced coffee in a guy’s backpack in college. True stories.

Hey, I never said I was smooth.

I am bad at make-up. A week ago one of my friends mentioned that the reason people always mistake me for a fifteen year old, AND the reason a referee at a volleyball game didn’t believe that I was the COACH, is probably because I don’t wear make-up.

Here are a few recent examples of such encounters:

“Oh are you a new student?” -7th grader
(That’s always what you want to hear while you’re teaching.)

Ref: “You’re not allowed to be on the court during warm ups unless you’re fully uniformed”
Me: “I’m the coach.”
Ref: “A little young don’t you think? How old are you?”
Me: “Old enough.” *grumble, grumble, grumble…*
(And THAT’S always what you want to hear while you’re coaching.)

My best friend, M (the ballerina), is awesome at make-up. If you recall from a previous post,  she was the Sugar Plum Fairy in a performance of The Nutcracker this year. She was also Black Swan for Halloween, and her make-up was super accurate and totally stage ready. Maybe this comes from being on stage and learning tricks of the trade.

I never learned them.

M can do that eye swoopy thing with liquid eyeliner.
She can contour with blush so it looks like she has stellar cheekbones.
She can achieve the smokey look, blindfolded.
If I try to do any of that with full vision, it LOOKS like I did it blindfolded.

So I’m bad at make-up, and my hair is usually messy, and I GUESS I’m kind of clumsy. But hey, if you need any tips on how to look like the joker, THAT look I CAN achieve. I was The Joker for Halloween, and I terrified some little old lady walking her dog. It was Epic. The next morning, I forgot that my hair was still green and went to class with a green pony tail. Rocked it. At least my professor didn’t mistake me for one of the children at the university daycare and dismiss me back to the playground.

Note: That's not a gang sign, I swear. Just playing the part...being scary? Not sure.

I think my ambivalence to make-up stems from my childhood. My mom had a, no make-up until you’re a teenager, rule. I turned thirteen in eighth grade. Score! That meant that I could take my butterfly clips, and my gel pens, and join my friends in wearing glittery bright blue eye shadow and bubblegum pink lip gloss, right? Wrong. This rule then turned into, no make-up until you’re in high school. By the time high school rolled around, as if it wasn’t already an awkward enough period in my life, I just gave up. I assumed this would eventually become a, no make-up until you’re dead, rule. Pick your battles. I became wrapped up in sports and there is really no room for eyeliner and mascara on the basketball court.

Fast forward to present day and I’m being mistaken for a middle school student. It’s a vicious cycle. You might catch me with make-up on at a special occasion. It’s like catching a leprechaun, there has to be a trap involved, (a trap being a wedding or fancy girls night out where I fear being double carded if I don’t bedazzle my face). This “special occasion make up” usually consists of blush, which I probably dabbed off the brush seven times onto a paper towel first in fear of looking like a drag queen.


  1. Never thought I’d enjoy an essay about makeup this much! Keep the funny coming! P.S. I used to get mistaken for half my age, too (not so much lately…). I don’t miss it.

  2. Happy to be making people laugh!…I just find myself to be clumsy and awkward half the time. As long as it’s giving people the giggles, I can get down with it.

    Thanks for reading!

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