Too Much Make-Up

DARLINGS, PeaceBang wails and gnashes her teeth when she sees clergy in a important public leadership moment looking wan, blotchy and desperately in need of make-up. Make dagger eyes, send feminist flames and froth at the mouth all you want — looking polished and professional means wearing make-up for 97% of us (and 100% of us over the age of 45 or so). I stand firmly in my size 6.5 cowboy boots and insist that preparing to be seen in public means putting some paint on the ole barn. Even if you only wear make-up for events where there will be cameras, you ought to know what you’re doing and how to do your face.

THAT said, some gals overdo it. I don’t think I’ve ever written about this particular image issue before, as I don’t know that I’ve ever seen clergy with too much make-up on, but I have seen some very badly done, and I have seen some clergymen who were over-plucked and over-bronzed.

With apologies to Pippa Middleton, I’m going to use her as an example of a lovely woman who is not using make-up to her advantage. Pippa — and her sister the Duchess of Cambridge — both use harsh black eyeliner in the water line (the inner lid), which closes the eye and really ages them (click the photo to enlarge]:

This is too much face. She’s wearing foundation all over, heavy blush, heavy eyeliner and heavy lipstick. The key to a good face is natural-looking skin (use foundation just to even out the complexion, not to obliterate your features), and an emphasis on eyes or lips, generally not both unless you’re really glamming it up or working in the world’s oldest profession. Here’s my girl Belle Watling, Patron Saint of The Overdone Face. I love Belle.

In this next image you can see how the bad bronzer or tan also ages Pippa M. This pretty lady isn’t even 30 yet!

Another issue with Pippa’s look in these images is her preference for saturated colors in shiny satin. With a full face of heavy make-up, these fabrics can look cheap and garish. That’s never elegant.

A terrible dress with an atrocious cut. Bad fit, bad color for her, and tacky. If she wants to do sexy-sexy she could do so much better than this.

So here’s Pippa with less make-up, in a crisp white trench. So much better, right? She’s still wearing the harsh eyeliner but everything else is natural and pretty.

And here, also much more natural. She looks 29, not 49. Let that be a lesson to us all.

6 Replies to “Too Much Make-Up”

  1. Preach.

    Agree that the MIddleton gals are both chronic abusers of eyeliner, and it’s a pity.

  2. I’m with you in principle. But…
    I haven’t worn makeup for 10 years, and at 40+ believe it’s time to start. However, I’ve never been able to have makeup continue looking good and natural several hours after application.

    I assume, from past experience, that if I wear makeup my foundation will weep when I sweat in our non-air conditioned sanctuary. That my mascara will either flake and/or run if I tear up in the midst of praying. And that my collar, robe, and vestments will get nasty from makeup.

    How about a permalink that includes “Makeup 101 For Clergy” which discusses these and other issues all in one place? [Girl, this IS the one place! And has been for almost 8 years! There’s a RICH archive of posts on all of those questions. You just have know how to do a keyword search, and I know you can do that. As to your concerns, pish posh! I can wear mascara and go swimming without it budging, let alone worry about shedding tears at a memorial service! Collar, robe and vestments won’t get nasty from make-up unless you’re applying your make-up with gardening gloves and a trowel. It sounds to me like Rev. Helen and Miss Peace Of the Bang need to consult about makeup choices for the good of Helen and all the other pigeons with similar protestations. – PB]

  3. What about her eyebrows, PB? I think they look really good, and I wish I could get mine to look that way! What’s your opinion (about hers, not mine…)? [They’re very nice! – PB]

  4. re eyebrows – be very careful with them – they thin with age – (pube hair does too – after 60 starts looking as if it had been chewed by a rat – very thin and spotty) – so only clean them up – don’t minimize them – you’ll prize every little hair when you are 70 plus –

  5. Very good advice about emphasizing eyes OR lips, and I’ll add some more of my own – if you don’t have time during the day to continually monitor your look, emphasize eyes over lips. Lips must be tended carefully when they are the focal point. If your lipstick wears off or looks sloppy and you haven’t played up your eyes, it’s a pretty sad look.

  6. Clothing that gets makeup-nasty? I’ve had good results with Dawn dishwashing liquid, CAREFULLY used in spots. And for eyeliner that doesn’t run easily I use eyebrow pencils. Put them in the freezer for an hour, then sharpen them carefully and make suft lines, not harsh ones. Just a few ideas from an old character actoid.

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