I’m Not My Make Up

I’m not so big on make up. I was obsessed with eye pencil at 19. Couldn’t leave the house without. Mind you, my eye pencil functioned as both an eye liner and lip liner plus doing the eyebrows. Yeah I know, call me backward. I have never been one to spend my time in the make up section of a cosmetic shop, debating on whether the blue eyeshadow works well with me or the copper eye shadow. I tried full make up at 21 and it just wasn’t my thing.

Quite recently, I was at a salon having my hair done and this hairdresser goes something like, “We’ll shape your eyebrows as a complimentary service.” I immediately declined and I could see the look of utter surprise on her face. Then I went on to clarify that I don’t do make up so shaping my eyebrows would be a waste of time really. I suggested they do my pedicure instead as a complimentary service. Hahaha turns out that was not part of the package for free services!

When I go out clubbing, I do some make up. If there is a wedding function, I also do some make up. Mostly just the lips. I have sensitive skin which constantly throws surprises at me. So foundation is totally out of the picture unless it is something which works with my skin type. I haven’t been that aggressive in identifying one yet. I have had male acquaintances including a workmate in the past suggest that my forehead was breaking out because it was that time of the month.

Please guys, stop going all cluelessly gynecological on women you hardly know that well! I mean it! It sucks. Who gave you the idea that faces only break out because of our monthly periods?! Come on!

I was once reading something where this foreign guy firmly stated that Nairobi women should go easy on the make up. His argument; we were still pretty without. I totally agree with him and echo his advice to Kenyan women. I don’t own a car meaning I’m a frequenter of Nairobi streets where I see all kinds of garish looking make up on women. Some make up is usually so nicely done that I wish I had time to get a tip or two from the ladies wearing such. Others, oh well.

I’ve seen eye pencil drawn like crowns on a woman’s face. I’ve seen really bold shouting colors of lipstick on women I thought their skin tone needed a much less bolder lip do. But hell, I’m not a make up artiste so I shouldn’t really be voicing my opinions on the color of lipstick women of certain shades should wear. Sometimes though, I can’t really help it getting these kinds of disapproval thoughts in my head. Nairobi can get really hot at times. My hometown of Nakuru is even worse. Badly done, cheap foundation stands out in the heat!

I have a problem with mainly the Western media making it seem like a woman without make up is ugly. I have pored over comparisons of female celebrities with or without make up. Some of them are pretty much average looking women without make up. We get so used to seeing them with professionally done make up to the point where their normal selves come out as rather plain and a rude shock to us. Bloggers and columnists maximize on this.




I have seen celebrities being branded ugly just because they stepped out one day without make up and the Paps snapped a picture. I saw a commenter state that one female celebrity who always looks gorgeous in make up resembled a homeless person without. My point; How is a homeless person supposed to look and what is a female without make up supposed to have in common with that?!

I firmly believe that a woman’s looks should not be judged by the make up she wears. There’s just much more to womanhood than make up. Woe unto the man who overlooks a plain looking woman for a woman caked in heavy make up. There are indeed such men, don’t go all war like on me for stating that! Men obsessed with vanity. The real beauty of a woman lies under the many layers of make up.

It is time we taught our women to embrace their flaws rather than to conceal them. There’s this illusion  the media creates that all female celebrities are flawless. There was an unedited picture of Beyonce doing the rounds on the Internet where you can actually see that her face had an acne breakout. Many people seemed to react with outrage that for years, we have been duped into believing that Beyonce was the epitome of female flawlessness. Boy, did she get bashed for it!

Beyonce just like any other female is indeed human. We have put her on a pedestal of perfection to the point where, we actually do not view her as a normal human being with a body that might not be all that perfectly hourglass and a face that may at times work against her. We have forgotten that with technology, anything on a music video or photo can be fixed. I saw no need for the reaction the unedited version of the picture got.

Nobody is perfect. And while I have nothing against make up, don’t misinterpret me, I simply think that this obsession we have with make up to perfect us and give us a confidence boost of sorts needs to go. When it gets to a point where a woman is totally insecure without make up on, then we need to go back to the drawing board to find out what exactly went wrong with this make up business.

I’m all for women embracing their natural beauty first before anything else. Trust me, there are days I pass by my reflection in the mirror after walking under the sun for hours and my face reminds me of a pubescent. Women have battled image insecurities for ages. It’s pretty normal really with all that outside pressure on what constitutes real femininity. We yearn to look perfectly feminine. However, using make up to hide our insecurities isn’t going to be the answer to our image issues. What needs some real work is actually our esteem.

Before I sign off, wishing y’all ladies a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Make those resolutions and rock those natural manes and seemingly plain looking faces you’ve got in 2016!!! You are woman enough! See you guys next year 🙂 😉




  1. I am not really interested in make up but I couldn’t go out without powder and eye pencil! But other than that, I can stay years without buying any other kind of make up at all. However, I like seeing women with make up. I think they look nice with it. The sad part being of course, as you say, that it has become an obligation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also admire nicely done make up. I’m quite lazy and unmotivated though when it comes to the actual sitting down and doing it. However, it would be nice if more women went make up free sometimes or used just subtle make up. I call it letting the face breathe.


  3. If ladies could step it down a notch, then this make up thing would be ok. I’ve seen lots of not too fine ladies look radiant with moderate application of the correct makeup. Major confident boost for them. And then there are the other ladies aiming to go to the supermarket 4blocks away and they have to go the whole 10yards on makeup. Why?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The over dependence on make up to define your looks, that’s why. Make up is meant to enhance your features not to totally transform you. Women need to understand that. Thanks for your comment Oluchee.


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