Mask Off: On Makeup

Mask Off-Since I started this habit of metaphorically taking off an invisible mask of pretense, I might as well go all the way. I remember taking that bold step to spill some truth about me out there. In this [blog], I wrote about finally being true to myself and using the real voice I have in writing. I felt good writing the piece. Taking off that “mask” had its placebo effect on me that while I wasn’t actually taking off a physical mask, declaring to the public that I was going to take-off a “certain mask” made me want to open-up and be true – no brakes or clutches. I just went on and on about things I never imagined I would say… or write about.

Taking the mask off made me feel bolder as a blogger and as a person. It helped me gain more confidence. I remember feeling a sudden rush of boldness over me after writing that piece on Mask Off! and I liked that feeling. That is what I should feel while I write. It was a blogging high and I would like to be in that nirvana again. I knew in my heart that I was not meant to stay in my shell or cocoon of comfort and safety. I have to metamorphose into a butterfly with bold and vibrant colors.

In my previous Mask Off post, I wrote about random thoughts and things that I could no longer contain, like being “Unchurched”, loving Phineas and Ferb at 27, not liking wine, etc. – that was just out of the blue confessing. Those thoughts needed to get out because they were already boiling inside of me. Now, I will tame my thoughts a bit and organize my views under a theme or a main topic.

Today, it is my choice to take my Mask off on Makeup.

I’ve decided that having too much makeup is not my thing. When I was a teenager, I used to put on a lot of makeup on my face. I always get reprimanded for it. Some would say that I looked like a cheap girl, and that I was “trying too hard” (whatever that means). Perhaps, in some people’s minds, I was trying to look more attractive by putting on makeup: the more layers of cosmetics, the prettier I become – that kind of logic.

The truth was that, I just wanted the trickery of it all – contouring and shaping the face using various shades of brown. Do you know that one’s face could go from plump and round to angular with well-defined cheekbones and jaws with just clever strokes of the “contouring brush”? The same goes with the smart use of lipstick. One could plump the lips up and make it look fuller with just the right disguise. This is why I wouldn’t blame Kylie Jenner for initially saying that it was her expert use of lipstick that made her lips seem fuller, because it is truly possible, depending on one’s techniques.  (But thank God she owned up to the truth eventually).

I believed I was applying too much makeup on a daily basis: a pea-sized amount of foundation for the base; just two monochromatic hues for my eyes; a dab of blush for the cheeks; a small dab of glow for highlights; two strokes for each brow to define and shape; lipstick that matches the hue of my tongue for a natural lip color; and that would be my complete daily look. This was my definition of “too much makeup”, until the dawn of the makeup-obsessed decade, that is, where “too much makeup” literally is about applying too much makeup. Suddenly, dabbing isn’t enough. One has to “fill” the whole face with something to appear “natural”. Was it Jessica Alba who said that “to achieve that no-makeup-look, wear make-up”?

Today, it seems inadequate for one to just apply powder, lipstick, and blush. That isn’t enough for some anymore. Our threshold for “enough” has changed over time. I’m afraid I could not keep up with the times on this aspect. I can’t carry the burden of “heavy makeup” on a daily basis. I can’t keep up with the Kardashians on this matter. How do they even pull-off wearing that much makeup everyday?

Makeup and Philippine climate aren’t the best of friends. Try prepping up for work in the morning – a thorough bath, complete makeup, hair, and all. Walk down the street to the nearest jeepney stop, ride a jeepney in 37-40 degree Celsius temperature, ride a train jam-packed with people on the rush, body-slam your way out, run to catch a leaving bus packed like sardines with people, walk more after that… Where is your makeup now? It has literally melted off your face. You either re-touch and bear a secret that under that freshly applied makeup, a sweaty face is waiting patiently to go home and breathe; or just deal with the accumulated substances under your lips, eyes, neck… that is, if you still have time.

Shimmer and Glow? We have enough of the natural oily shine on our faces here, where the climate is tropical. If one dabs more shimmer and glow… how will we look? Talk of roasted meat oozing with oily juices! Celebrities and elites alike might pull this off, however. How could they not when their skins hardly meet the scorching heat? They are blessed to have the ready option of air-conditioning.

Why apply Ivory pearl tones on your deep brown morena face? Screw those advertisements saying “do you want your skin to look 4-tones fairer?”

              The ads lie!

              If you believe this to be true – that you can get skin 4-tones fairer after 4 weeks of continuous use of whatever product with “whitening ingredients”, then you’ve been deceived, my friend. In this side of the planet where the sun shines directly, I wonder how one can pull that off.

              The only way to get that natural ivory skin is to have your DNA altered – which is close to impossible. I don’t understand why some people who use makeup do not know how to choose the right color for their skin-tone. It’s obvious, really. Ivory tones for the fair-skinned; Warmer tones for the medium to dark-skinned. Just another case for matching like-colors.

Ultimately, makeup should be used tastefully. We should always keep in mind that make-up is essentially a means to emphasize the natural beauty, not to cover it up; unless of course, if your intention is to cover-up. Make-up should be worn to our advantage, not the other way around. Because if we are not careful, we just might turn out to be one of life’s laughingstocks.

Work it; don’t let it work you.

Mask Off-





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