For all my skill in painting a canvas, I’ve never been good at painting my face. Facepaint, yes I have a lot of fun with that. But makeup? I kind of suck at it. I don’t wear it often and when I do, my skills are still at the 12 year old girl level. I am, however, fascinated by the art of makeup.

     I’ve been a bit obsessed lately with watching makeup tutorial videos. Some are amazing, some are sassy, and some are just hilarious. There is a style for everything. Go pick up the kids from school looks, acne cover ups, drag queen transformations, night out sultry eyes and wine lips, fun day glitter looks… you name it I’ve watched it.

Here is my favorite for everyday makeup:

     As I watch, there is a constant voice in the back of my head debating whether I support the makeup industry or not. Is it society pressuring us to change our features, smooth out our character lines, accentuate our sexual excitement (seriously… red lips?). Or is it us who want to play with color, decide what features to call attention to (hello fake eyelashes), and present a face to society that we have chosen for the day? Do we wear makeup for the men? Or for the women in our lives? Are we playing dress up? Or are we playing into insecurities? Whatever side of the debate you land on, you have to admit that it takes incredible skill for some of these transformations. It also takes guts sometimes to show up without the makeup.

     Every once in a while, I feel like even though I’m not getting out the mascara, I’m still painting on a face to present to the world. I put on my smile and pretend that I’m handling everything just fine. I pretend that I haven’t just walked out of a house where the kitchen floor is covered in cracker crumbs and playground pebbles. We all do it. We hide the rawness, we cover up the doubt. We try to blend in. It’s almost more normal these days to sweep the cracks under a layer of concealer than to go out with any shadows showing.

     So this is my latest painting. This is my ode to makeup and the questions always swirling in my brain. Enjoy!

Painting of woman applying makeup


Marla Bender

Makeup Musings
Tagged on:         

One thought on “Makeup Musings

  • September 14, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Now I understand the painting better! Very thought provoking comments about how makeup functions for each of us. Love your musings! Mm


Join the conversation