Stop Telling Me I Don’t Need To Wear Makeup

It’s been used as both a compliment and an insult against me; my use of winged eyeliner and red lipstick is seemingly very interesting to some people. Whether it’s a well-intentioned but slightly backhanded compliment (“You don’t need makeup! You’re too pretty for all of that”) or hurled as a slight (“At least I don’t wear a pound of makeup!”), it seems like a lot of people are really concerned about the lines and colors I draw onto my face. Even the #nomakeup selfie has become somewhat of a societal phenomenon. It’s as if we’re to believe that because a woman doesn’t wear makeup, she’s somehow better/hotter and that any woman who “needs” to wear makeup is a self-conscious trash dump. Obviously, that’s not the case and here’s why:

  1. It’s a personal choice. My lip color has no effect on your life whatsoever. None.
  2. It doesn’t make me less of a feminist. You don’t have to wear Birkenstock sandals and go bra-less everywhere to be a feminist (although there’s nothing wrong with that, if you do.) You have the right to look however you feel most comfortable; including super fem.
  3. It doesn’t make me fake. What color I choose to paint my eyelids has no bearing on how “real” I am as a person.
  4. Applying makeup can be a true art form. Have you ever seen a makeup artist do her thing on a movie set? Or hustle to make a bride look her very best for her wedding day? Makeup artists possess some real, true artistry. If faces are their canvases then they Claude Monet the HELL out of them.
  5. It makes me feel good. There’s something about a sharped, black wing on my eyelid that makes me feel powerful. Don’t take that away from me.
  6. It doesn’t mean I’m self-conscious. Just because I prefer to wear makeup, doesn’t mean that I hate myself underneath it all.
  7. Makeup is an extension of my fashion choices and my fashion choices are an extension of myself. Just as I pick out a red polka dot dress, I pick out a matching red lip stain to complete my outfit. I am who I am and I want the outside to match the inside.
  8. It’s fun as hell to put on makeup. Experimenting with different colors and shades and liquids and powders is actually really enjoyable.
  9. I like to see just how many different ways I can make myself look. I can go from punk biker chic to 1950’s movie star just with some strokes of a brush.
  10. I don’t wear makeup for you. I wear makeup for me and me alone. No one will dictate what I do or don’t wear on my face.
Tiffany is a New Orleans-based boudoir photographer ( and freelance writer. Follow her on instagram: @onesmallflower or view her boudoir photographs: @lushboudoir