Tag Archives: Makeup

No Makeup Days

No Make-Up Week

As I mentioned yesterday, No More Dirty Looks is hosting a No Makeup Challenge this week. Turns out it’s part of a whole big No Makeup Week originated by Rabbit Write here in blogland, so obviously, I had to get in on that action. (Hi fellow bloggers! Thanks for letting me play!)

What’s funny is that, before Beauty U, this would have been so not a thing for me. Read more…

Filed under Beauty Standards, Makeup

Tagged as , , , , ,


Men Don’t Hate Makeup. (Just Maybe Some Women.)

My 600-hour adventure in esthetics school. Read about the project or catch up if you’re behind on the reading.

Everyone is in a flutter about this new survey by the Daily Mail, which found that 1 in 5 men with their partner would tone down the makeup, while 1 in 10 guys want women to give up the face crack altogether. Oh, how enlightened they must be, celebrating the true warts-and-all beauty of women, right?

Sigh, but so wrong. Sadie over on Jezebel gets it right:

I’ll just say it once: men don’t “hate” makeup. Men don’t know what makeup looks like. Maybe they don’t like Tammy Faye Baker maquillage, but guess what: neither do we. [...] The notion of cosmetics becomes problematic when people feel unworthy without them, when a woman feels a need to hide or disguise or change. But by the same token, it’s a very unfair standard to demand that women be “naturally” beautiful – as beautiful as a youthful princess gifted in the cradle – without their aid.

As I’ve been mulling over where we are with beauty standards these days, I keep coming back to my friend/fellow student Sue, who won’t go to the grocery store without her full face on. Now I’ve seen her without makeup and hand on heart, she’s perfectly lovely. A few more blemishes, sure, some under-eye circles. But you know, lovely. In a human way. Once she puts her makeup on, she’s still lovely, but also a bit plastic. Her skin takes on a golden tone that’s just not found in nature, even though she’s aiming for the “natural” beauty that the men in this survey said they like, without realizing just how much makeup it takes to achieve that kind of natural perfection.

So maybe they don’t get makeup. (And I know I’m generalizing here, but I’ve had more than one guy admit they’ve slacked on reading this very blog because the world of makeup frightens them so. “I still hold that what M. is doing in the bathroom before we go to dinner constitutes some unknowable Girl Magic,” says my friend K. of his girlfriend’s beauty routine.) But — twist! Miss Jenny says that her spa clientele is now 50 percent dudes coming in for facials, waxing and body treatments. “And they’re from all walks of life,” she reports. “Military men, businessmen, doctors. Not just your metrosexuals and such.”

Miss Jenny says she does modify her services for men: “I’ll do a hand massage, but I don’t really touch their shoulders or upper body. There’s just something about a female working on a male like that, it doesn’t work for me.”

She’s got good reason. And Miss Stacy reports that the Beauty U day students are dealing with a regular male client who comes in for body treatments and requests special attention on his upper thighs, claiming he’s a cyclist and bike shorts cause a lot of chafing. “He ends up sitting frog style on the table without any pants and it’s like, what do you think you’re here for?” says Miss Stacy. She and Miss Lisa insist on standing in the room while the students work on him.

There’s a clear consensus, but nobody wants to say it outright: Performing a spa service on a half-naked man makes you feel a little bit like a prostitute. Is that fair? Maybe not. I’m sure there are plenty of guys who just enjoy a good salt scrub and aren’t thinking about what would happen if they slipped their esthetician a Benjamin. And saying that these kinds of treatments are for women only just reinforces all the gendered beauty standards that have men so confused about makeup and women like Sue terrified to be seen in public without eyeliner.

But when he leaves your tip on the table beside the facial bed, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to avoid the Pretty Woman comparisons.

So guys: I’d love to hear from you on this. Is the world of makeup still so befuddling in this tell-all information age? What are you afraid of? And what the heck is going through your head when you go to a spa?


Filed under Beauty Schooled, For Extra Credit, Makeup

Tagged as , , , , ,


The Fantasea Face

My 600-hour adventure in esthetics school. Learn about the project, or catch up with Weeks 1 and 2.

We’ve been practicing the daytime face for two weeks now, so tonight, Meg and I are messing around in our FantaSea makeup kits. They’re filled with clever compartments and secret drawers, all fitted with perfectly pressed cakes of color that beg you to swirl your brushes through them, like walking on fresh snow. There’s even a black plastic comb fitted into the hinge, though no one can explain what we’re going to do with that.

“Remember girls, the daytime face should be very, very light,” says Miss Jenny for perhaps the millionth time. She’s been toning down our preferences for smoky eyes and pouty lips all week. “Very light. You need to be very restrained with your color selections.”


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Makeup

Tagged as , , , ,


Career Opportunities

During a back wax, pants should be worn. (This guy is not Frank. And he did it for charity.)

Miss Jenny asks us to go around the room and talk about which field of esthetics we’re most interested in pursuing. Everyone is deciding between being a makeup artist or “medical esthetics,” which is where you work in the office or medi-spa of a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. Sometimes you apply camouflage makeup to burn victims or people recovering from a face lift. You might also perform facials or, with advanced training, laser hair and spider vein removal. And of course, you’ll handle the retailing of whatever skin care line your doctor has displayed in her waiting room.

“I want to do something to help people,” says Blanche. “Something not so superficial, if you know what I mean, though that’s just my opinion.”


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Career Opportunities, Makeup

Tagged as , , , , , ,


Field Trip.

My 600-hour adventure in esthetics school. Learn more about the project and catch up with Week 1.

Temptu ScanMe. Airbrushed.

Today we pile into Miss Jenny’s SUV and drive over to the fancy mall for a demonstration of the AIRbrush Makeup System by Temptu at Sephora. Miss Jenny has been planning the trip for days, making at least nine phone calls to confirm that everything is set. We’ve been told to arrive no later than 4 PM because the Temptu demos finish at 5 — but arrive to a nearly empty store and two brand reps overjoyed to have some prospective customers: Gus, ing knee-high Doc Martens and Sam, who is dressed vaguely like an alien extra from Star Trek.

I had it all tangled up with those mall kiosks that make t-shirts with your name inside a heart or next to a palm tree, but apparently, airbrush makeup has been around since MGM sprayed hundreds of Ben-Hur extras. The new, consumer-friendly version is not cheap ($225 for the machine, plus $30-$55 for the “pods” of highlighter, blush, and foundation), but I guess when you consider all that silicone, silica, iron oxide and water you’re getting (plus the same parabens, thickeners, preservatives, dyes and fragrance that appear in many of your old-school, low-tech cosmetics), it’s a bargain?

Temptu Airbrush Makeup Machine & Pods


Filed under Beauty Labor, Beauty Schooled, Beauty Standards, Career Opportunities, Ingredients, Makeup

Tagged as , , , , ,


The Lesson is a Sales Pitch, Too.

My 600 hour adventure in esthetics school. Learn more about the project or catch up with Week 1 and the rest of Week 2.




Filed under Beauty Schooled, Makeup

Tagged as , , , , , , , , ,


Do You Have Adequate Eyelashes? (I Thought Not.)

My 600-hour adventure in esthetics school. Learn more about the project, and catch up with Week 1.

Flower Eyelashes

In case you haven’t noticed, eyelashes are having a bit of a moment right now.

Brooke Shields is very concerned about them. You might not have thunk it, given Brooke’s eyebrows in the 80s, but she suffers dreadfully from hypotrichosis, the almost-a-real-medical condition of “having inadequate lashes.” Brooke thinks you might too, in which case you’ll also want to pay $120 per month for Latisse, a glaucoma drug that sounds much sexier  now that pharmaceutical company Allergan is marketing it for its lash-enhancing side effect instead.


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Makeup

Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Daytime Face

My 600-hour adventure in beauty school. Learn more about the project or catch up with Orientation and Week 1.


Miss Jenny announces that tonight, she’s doing Daytime Makeup Applications on everyone.

A Daytime Application, in case you’re wondering, should be very light, with no more than two colors of eye shadow, and minimal contouring. Miss Jenny sees a lot of people walking around with Nighttime Eyes during the day. She is not impressed by this.


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Makeup

Tagged as , ,


Step 1: Check Your Appearance

My 600-hour adventure learning to apply makeup, excavate pores, and wax, um, everything. Learn more about the project, or catch up with Orientation.

This is a Wakeup Call Mirror

From the “Graduation Requirements” workbook, which Barb says we should carry with us at all times:

When you’re made aware that a client is here you must:

1. Check your appearance.

2. Go out to the waiting area to greet your client.

Barb says hair and makeup should be done before we get to school. “If you don’t wear makeup, that’s okay as long as you don’t look like you just woke up, or really bad like you just left a bar or something.”


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Beauty Standards, Makeup

Tagged as , , ,


    The Eating Insinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt in America by Virginia Sole Smith

    Pre-order now!