Real conversations with women about the impact makeup has on their lives.
“They feel like they need to keep up with it, and they feel like they look horrible without it because they’ve been taught that they have to wear it everyday.”Ellen
“I can’t remember exactly when I started wearing makeup. I’d say I was pretty young and with friends who were messing about. I went to a very small primary school and there were only three other girls in my class.
Apparently they wore makeup when they weren’t in school, but I didn’t do that, and then in first year of secondary school suddenly everybody wore it all the time. And I remember thinking, ‘why are you doing this? I don’t understand? You’re just going to school?’.
That was basically it. And it’s kind of fun now if you’re going out or something, but on a daily basis it’s kind of not worth it.
So you’ve never really felt a pressure to put it on?
Some people, who do wear makeup, they say, ‘oh my god, I look awful.’ I just say to them, ‘you don’t really need makeup.’ Sure, nobody needs it, it’s just a thing.
I’ve been told ‘oh, you need to get some sunlight’, because I’m very pale. And sure, people wear fake tan, but I never liked fake tan. I get why people like it but it’s just not for me.
I’ve heard people say that I look very pale, and I look very sick, but it’s just my skin.
What’s it like in your group of friends?
They like makeup, and they like playing with it, but they’re very understanding. They’re alright with not wearing it. And my friends in college they wear makeup every day and think that they need it.
What are you studying?
I’m studying biomedical science. It’s really good, it’s interesting. It’s for lab work in hospitals and I just knew I’d like to work in a lab. I thought I’d go into research, but it’s not for me. Hopefully by the time I finish I’ll be working in a hospital lab.
I really loved science in secondary school and it suited me because it’s so practical and it kind of has some assets of creativity to it as well. It’s just a lot of messing around with things but in a really precise way.
Why do you think women in the hospital feel a pressure to wear makeup?
It’s just the standard of beauty. They feel like they need to keep up with it, and they feel like they look horrible without it because they’ve been taught that they have to wear it everyday.
It’s just that… it’s your face, it’ll look like your face.
It’s a little more relaxed in the labs but there are people who wear it.
You seem very relaxed about makeup. If someone came to you stressed about their appearance, what would you say?
It’d just let them know they look fine, and that they don’t need it.”