Is Makeup Shaming Really Still A Thing?

Alrighty, so buckle yourselves in because this is a topic I’m pretty damn passionate about. You buckled? Let’s roll.

So ‘beauty’ means something different to every person. I find that places like the blogging community make it really easy for you to love beauty. Other people love beauty, you love beauty- it’s a win/win scenario. Everyone can share in talking about what they love. Then after spending time in this beauty-loving community, you finally emerge. You hear some comments, read some things and it’s like wait, what? Are some people seriously still closed-minded about beauty and people wearing makeup?

I’ve been lucky in the sense that I’ve never experienced anything like this before personally, but that doesn’t mean I’m ok with it. It ranges from people who make comments about how they “don’t need makeup” (as if people who wear makeup and love beauty just cling to the stuff and are lost without it). There are people who say they don’t like makeup because they “prefer the natural look.” There are those who will give you a weird look when you say you love makeup, as if you’ve just shown how shallow you really are. Then we get to the bottom of the barrel. You know, the whole “take her swimming on the first date” and the “this is false advertisement” thing when talking about what a woman looks like with and without makeup. I could go on with more examples but if I do then it will make me want to peel my eyeballs like grapes. That’s how much I hate the whole makeup shaming thing.

Well, to everyone that’s every experienced this and to everyone that’s as over it all as I am, here’s what we tell them:


Is Makeup Shaming Still A Thing?Makeup is an art, and a skill set.  

Um, the job is called a makeup artist, not a makeup enthusiast. Have you seen what people can do with makeup? It actually amazes me and it really shows that it is an art form. People can use makeup to fully transform themselves into things like cartoon characters and different celebrities meanwhile I still can’t do winged liner to save my life but anyway. You also don’t just wake up one day and know how to do a good smokey eye, or know how to apply eyeshadows without looking like you got in a fist fight. All of that takes skill, skill that people who make up shame obviously don’t recognise.


Makeup is damn fun, and cathartic. 

Start talking about makeup to anyone who loves it and watch their eyes light up a bit. I know when I’m in a big makeup store (or Sephora) my eyes widen like a kid in a damn candy store. Or you know, like me in a candy store, I do love my sweets. Plus, when I’m stressed, doing my makeup relaxes me. I genuinely look forward to doing my beauty routine every day. The entire process of choosing what products to use, picking what look you’re going to go for, applying your moisturiser then your products etc- I can’t be the only one who finds that all soothing? It’s like a wee little break from life.


Wearing makeup does not make you shallow.

Why this ever became a thing, I will never know. Putting time and effort into your appearance, whether that’s your clothes, your hair or makeup, does not make you shallow. It’s your life, your body, you’re entitled to take care of it how you see fit. No one ever says that someone is shallow if they spend time getting a lot of tattoos, do they? So why the hell do people think liking makeup makes you that way?


The ‘natural’ look isn’t necessarily so natural. 

That moment when someone says you don’t wear a lot of makeup, you just have that natural look they like. Lol okay, I’m actually wearing:

->Primer, Foundation, Concealer, Powder, Highlighter, Eyeshadow, Brow Gel, Mascara, Lip Balm, Lipstick.

I’m just not going around wearing a bold red lip every day, neither are a lot of people. But yet, non-makeup savvy people will go on talking about how they like your natural, no makeup look. When I actually go fully makeup free, I don’t hear people saying they love the natural look. I hear people saying I look tired, unwell, a bit pale (um- I am pale?) or like something isn’t quite right. Funny that.


We don’t need makeup, we like it, or we prefer it to the alternative. 

Not going to lie, this took me a while to grapple with. Growing up, I always got offended if someone insinuated that I needed makeup. I struggled with my skin as a teen and it got really bad for about two years at the end of high school. I felt like no one was looking into my eyes when they were talking to me, they were always just looking at my skin. Makeup really helped with that, but I didn’t like hearing other people talk about how they didn’t need makeup because it made me feel ashamed.

Was I overthinking it? Probably, but the whole thing made me feel really down about myself. Now I’m older, my skin is one hundred times better and I still generally wear makeup whenever I’m leaving the house. It got me thinking. I like makeup and love applying it. I love how I feel when I have it on. Is that a bad thing? I also love how I feel when I have clothes on, but does anyone ever question my decision to want to put clothes on before I leave the house? Nope.

So even if someone does wear makeup every day, it’s because they like it, or they love it, or they prefer it to the alternative which is completely okay. I mean, I could go out tomorrow wearing an old tracksuit but I don’t because I prefer the alternative of wearing nice clothes and putting together outfits. As far as I’m concerned, makeup is just an extension of that- it’s a love, not a crutch.


How do you feel about makeup-shaming?

  • mybeautrip .com

    I love the last thinking because we don’t need makeup. This is a fact. But we can prefer wearing because we love applying it or we are in the mood this day.


    • The Sunday Mode

      Yep, you said it! x

  • Loved this post, I kept nodding while reading all the way through. I don’t think I get much makeup shaming, just some funny looks on how much spend time enjoying, talking or spending money on it. Yesterday I asked a friend if I could do her makeup: she immediately felt puzzled and asked “Do you think I need some?!” when I had just admired her beautiful features, big eyes, auburn hair etc and wanted to do her makeup. I wish that people wouldn’t think that makeup is about just concealing flaws, but artistic, enhancing, fun and relaxing.

    xx Laura / Laurantaina Beauty Blog

    • The Sunday Mode

      Exactly! I really enjoy doing other people’s makeup as well because i just enjoy the process. I think your friend is pretty lucky as well, growing up I never had anyone offer to do my makeup! As a result I’ve got some god awful pictures of me when I first started using makeup…eep!

  • I really enjoy reading posts like this as it really opens up a discussion about the topic and I cannot agree more – makeup artists have the ability to create such beautiful looks and when I worked as one in the past, people would think it was nothing however it’s so much more than just applying makeup.

    For me, makeup can make someone feel completely different and allow people to feel like another person – you don’t know what someone is going through and makeup could help them get through a situation or to feel more confident as a person. I don’t think makeup is shallow – it’s something that many people love and use for different reasons and we should appreciate and admire everyone who takes the time to apply makeup as it could mean something so much more to them.

    Love the post and hope you’re having a lovely day!

    Layla x

    • The Sunday Mode

      I can imagine that for makeup artists it must be even more frustrating, especially if it gets to a point where you feel like you have to keep justifying your job to people.

      I loved what you said about makeup and I completely agree. This is why I love talking and hearing from people who love makeup as well. You just get it!

  • Totally agree with so much of what you’ve said, especially understanding that sometimes it can be hugely beneficial – such as covering spots at certain times in life! Makeup is such an art, a true skill and so I just can’t understand why those who choose to work a full face of makeup 24/7 get so much abuse for it. Very interesting post, as always!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice | Worldwide Giveaway: £200 Voucher Fenn Wright Manson! (designer womenswear) x

    • The Sunday Mode

      It’s one of those things where I just have to think sometimes, do people makeup shame to cover the fact that they just well and truly…don’t get it?

      Thanks Gabrielle!

  • So true though that we don’t need makeup, but we like it and that’s why we want to wear it! I do view makeup as a way of art, it’s just so pretty how colors can be blended and who doesn’t want to go around with a fierce bold glitter eyeliner? Loved reading this! Happy Wednesday! Xx

    • The Sunday Mode

      Exactly! I don’t understand how some people don’t seem to grasp that, or why they’d think there’s a problem with that.

  • Amy-Anne Williams

    That comment about the natural look is so important. When I’m not wearing makeup and going for the natural look, I too will get comments stating how tired or pale I look and it’s like yess sorryyyy but that’s just my face. I didn’t wear any makeup out today other than eyebrow powder, but I feel like I should still feel as great as when I do choose to go out fully kitted up.

    Wandering Everywhere

    • The Sunday Mode

      Yes! Glad someone else out there has had the same thing happen to them.

  • Sarah Ⓥ

    I hate it when people try to shame others when wearing make-up and if I ever come in contact with those people I get seriously angry at them! You’re right in every single point, we choose to wear make-up and it’s definitely an art form, people just need to stop being so ignorant and need to realise that!


    • The Sunday Mode

      Yep, plus I feel like makeup has evolved so much over time, so should people’s opinions on it!

  • Lisa Autumn

    Ohhh I loved this post babe! Couldn’t agree more!

    xx Lisa |

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks Lisa!

  • Never heard the “take her swimming on the first date” one, wow. People really need to chill about makeup! Personally, my favorite part of wearing makeup is the moment I get to apply it in the morning and play around with colors and formulas; some people prefer those coloring books, others meditate. I just love makeup! 🙂

    • The Sunday Mode

      Be glad you’d never heard that one before, it’s so bad isn’t it? I’m the same as you, doing my makeup is almost like a form of meditation for me sometimes because I just zone out for that whole time 🙂

  • This is so infuriating! I know most of those comments come from close-minded people (which is not the kind of people that I like to surround myself with) but I still cannot believe comments like “take her swimming on the first date” exist! I have met so many men in the last few years that think like that, and I decided to shut them out of my life because to me that’s toxic energy and I don’t need that in my life. On the other hand, I’m beyond thrilled that people like you exist and decide to speak up about these topics. Makeup is fun, that’s why I use it, not to please anyone but myself.
    Really enjoyed reading this!

    • The Sunday Mode

      Oh they definitely come from close-minded people, people who don’t want to open up their minds as well and are just set in their thoughts and ways even if they’re outdated or straight up wrong.

      Ugh you poor thing meeting men like that, I’d stop talking to them asap! If a guy makeup shames me, see ya later 😉

  • phoebe

    In my household none of the females wore makeup, so when I became a teenager and wanted to experiment with makeup it was pretty frowned on, shamed and not supported. Needless to say, I ignored them because I loved playing with it and experimenting and could really appreciate the art of applying it and thought it was fun. I would hear comments such as “I’ll bet she’s really ugly without her makeup” & “she only looks nice because she wears makeup” ( when referring to people on tv etc……..) I used to get really annoyed! They had no understanding about the skill & art of applying it.They just thought that you buy a couple of random products and plonk them on your face ( they still do now, decades later) .
    When I was working in a job I no longer enjoyed (as I needed more creativity in my life.) I can remember really looking forward to putting on my makeup as it was the one artistic creative thing I got to do for the day, i always felt like an artist using me as the canvas.
    And as for the natural look, I’ve had so many people throughout my life compliment me on not wearing makeup saying how unnecessary/vain it was- only to surprise them as you said with well actually I’m wearing primer, foundation.etc……………………………………………………………………………………….. (if I could even be bothered telling them as sometimes I just think positively and choose to see it as a compliment about my application and techniques.)

    • The Sunday Mode

      That’s brilliant that you ignored them though and went with your gut and experimented with it all! Oh how I wish you just bought a couple of random products and chucked them on your face as well, wouldn’t that make everything so easy! It’s funny though because if we actually all did go out and do that we’d look pretty damn horrific.

      Sometimes when people think i’m not wearing makeup I’ll just take it as a compliment too, but it can be so annoying that they don’t even realise how completely hypocritical they’re being.

  • Totally agree that even though I haven’t really experienced overt makeup shaming for myself, it can be more subtle, like you mentioned. Like when people say things like “I prefer the natural look” which, like you said often isn’t so natural. It kind of annoys me when people go on about how they want to look like an “effortless French girl” who takes 5 mins to get ready but that’s just not achievable for everyone and I feel like you kind of get looked down on if you don’t do things that way? I have quite good skin and very rarely break out, but I still enjoy wearing makeup because I find it fun and I love the process of doing it. But there are lots of people out there who may not be happy with their skin, so it’s unfair to expect everyone to just dab on some concealer and mascara and call it a day. It’s not a weakness to feel your confidence is boosted by wearing makeup, and it doesn’t make you insecure or unhappy in your own skin, or vain or vapid or unintelligent. Particularly because makeup is such a female thing, I hate to see women people painted in that light for enjoying things that are sold to us and that we’re told to enjoy – so I’m meant to like makeup and buy it, but I’m not meant to like it too much because it means I’m stupid? Fuck that double standard.

    • The Sunday Mode

      I’ve never experienced overt makeup shaming either, but I still get really frustrated if I see it happening to other people or even people over social media.

      Oh damn, you touched on something that relates to me so much there! You’re so right that people aim for the whole “I wear makeup but only spend 10 minutes getting ready and just look great” thing. Whereas if you say you take 30 min say to take your time and do your makeup, I’ve never heard someone say anything positive about that.

      Okay lucky you for having good skin (I am jealous) but you’re so right and I honestly wish there were more like you out there. Everything you said about the double standard with makeup for women is so bang on. It’s marketing to us, we use it, but we can only like it to a point. Bloody ridiculous.