Make-up, the art of applying cosmetics to the face to look good, has been part of womenfolk from time.
It is generally believed that every woman had, at one time or the other, used one cosmetic or the other with powder, lipstick and eye pencil usually the most common.
Women have different reasons for applying make-up, but it is generally assumed that most do it to attract or impress the opposite sex.
Some women have often said that make-up gives them confidence and enhances their beauty, while others argue that cosmetics keep them looking much younger than their real ages.
Incidentally, men are sharply divided over the practice with some appreciating it while many find it disdainful.
Mr Odunlade Adebayo, an architect and quantity surveyor, for instance, believes that women’s make-up deceives men.
Adebayo, while narrating his experience, said he met a lady online and took a deep interest in her because she was looking so beautiful with her make-up.
“But, the day I met her physically and saw her natural face, I was disappointed because she looked different from the pictures posted on social media.”
According to him, women are wonderfully made and should be proud of who they are and not hide their facial flaws.
A civil servant, Mr Leke Ashafa, said, “I always feel bad for women that are so scared to have men see them without their face made up. They’re prisoners to the mask.
“I like it when a girl doesn’t wear any make-up at all. I know it sounds cliché, but it lets me know that she takes care of her skin and that she’s confident in herself because she doesn’t need to cover up her natural complexion.
“When a woman wears light sparkly shadow around her eyes that makes them glow and minimal lip colour, I think that’s the perfect make-up look. If her lipstick is too bright, I’m afraid to get in there and really kiss her if the opportunity arises.”
Mr Ekene Nworie, an engineer, narrated his experience of falling in love with a woman he met at a party because of her looks but saw a different face on his first night with her.
“During my first night with her, I couldn’t believe it when the woman I had been dating came out of the bathroom with a different face. She had always worn her make-up each time we saw her before we eventually decided to spend a night together.
“It was a heartbreaking experience for me and right there I made up my mind to end the relationship with her. I will advise all men to try to know the women they are dating. Make-up hides the real face of a woman,” Nworie said.
Mr Okoro Stanley, a carpenter, said he wants his woman to be naturally beautiful and free of blemishes.
“I had a girlfriend who always used make-up and she always looked beautiful. One day, we slept together on same bed and I saw her real face filled with irritating pimples and dark spots.
“After that experience, I promised myself not to marry someone that uses make-up,” he said.
Mr Bolanle Aderopo, a pharmacist, complained that his wife always stains the bed sheet and pillows with her make-up.
“I love it when my wife puts make-up on; it makes her beautiful. However, I don’t like it when she doesn’t clean her make-up properly at night before going to sleep.
“She messes up the bed and pillow case. It really causes a big quarrel between us always,” he said.
Mr Azubuogu Clement, a public transport driver, complained that when make-up is not well applied, “it makes some women look like owls.
“My problem with make-up is that it gives women false hopes that they are beautiful after their makeovers. Most times when not applied properly, I tell them the truth that the make-up doesn’t fit them and insist that it be readjusted.”
A teacher in one of the Lagos State Government schools, Mr Lanre Okeowo, said there were two primary reasons why women wear make-up.
According to him, it is either for camouflage or seduction.
“For camouflage, women, who are anxious and insecure, tend to use make-up to appear less noticeable.
“Seduction, on the other hand, involves women who want to be noticeably more attractive. They tend to use make-up to be more confident, sociable, and assertive.”
Mr Lifted Nwanuihe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ace Clothing and styles, has a sharply different view of women’s make-up.
“I see it as a form of expression and love it when my girlfriend wears it.
“I believe everyone should be free to express herself or himself in whatever way without restrictions. My girlfriend doesn’t need to be natural always.”
Mr Effiong Abasi, an accountant, also said that he loves it when a woman wears make-up.
“Make-up brings respect to a woman. It displays sign of maturity on the part of the woman and attracts men,” Abasi said.
Mr Olayinka Peters, a lawyer, said that make-up turns him on, whether applied well or not.
“Make-up is a turn on for me. It gives me the hint that this woman is conscious of being attractive,” he said.
A consultant at Grass to Grace Project, an empowerment firm, Mr Johnson Agbaje, said that he loves his wife wearing make-up when going out.
“I love it when my wife uses make-up only when going out. I don’t see her make-up as a waste of time and effort,” he said.
Some men are, however, indifferent to make-ups as long as the woman wearing it is comfortable with it.
Mr Idris Akanbi, a technician, said he doesn’t have a problem with make-up, but is usually uncomfortable with excessive application.
“The strength of a house lies with the foundation, so is it with the make-up of a woman. It starts from the foundation before the painting of whatever. Even if one doesn’t know make-up at all, one should know if something is pleasing to the eye,” he said.
For Mr Ikechukwu Offor, a spare parts trader in Mushin area of Lagos, noting is as galling as when his wife puts on make-up.
“My wife is fair and naturally beautiful. So, when she applies her make-up, I don’t really like it. The colours on her face put me off,” he fumed.
Offor, however, accepts that it is her choice to apply make-up or leave her face to glow naturally.
Some make-up artists also spoke on the practice and how to apply it to get the right result.
According to the CEO of Zekes Touch, Mr Ezekiel Matthew, the reason most ladies get their make-up wrong is because they lack the essential tips about how it is applied.
“Most ladies that haven’t undergone any form of training or even watched YouTube videos eventually get it wrong because they lack the essential tips to achieve an excellent face glamour.
“Ladies have to know their skin tone and apply the exact colour of foundation and powder that matches their skin.
“The best way to determine the foundation that suits your skin colour is to first try it on your neck or your ear.
“That will give you a vivid result whether it is too dark or bright for your skin colour as the case may be,” he said.
He advised ladies not to apply excessive foundation on their face and to get quality products to achieve the best result.
The CEO of Eeshar’s Glamdrop, Miss Akinboye Omobolanle, also spoke on the application of make-up.
“Some ladies do not have the skills or knowledge while some have but do not know how to apply it correctly. Before applying foundation, ladies have to moisturise their face and apply primer, put enough foundation to go round and blend with a beauty blender,” she explained.
Omobolanle said that ladies should blend the foundation well into their skin to avoid breaking and smearing. For the CEO of Pees Glam, Miss Precious Bolorundoro, some ladies do not have the patience to learn how to do it right.
“Some ladies rush to do their make-up and it might come out wrong especially when you’re not a professional at it,” she said.
Bolorundoro also said that ladies should get the right product for their skin type.
The CEO of Budosky Signature, Miss Victoria Nwabudo, explained that make-up is all about passion and ladies should not expect to be good in something if they did not have passion for it.
“Most ladies get their make-up wrong because they don’t have passion for it. Those that do, get it wrong because they haven’t relaxed to learn the proper way to apply make-up products,” she said.
Nwabudo advised ladies to clean their face with a face wipe to get a clean base for work and use concealers for highlights and contours.
“Ladies should apply primer to help the make-up last longer, apply foundation of their shade and use a spoolie brush to keep their eyebrows in shape,” she said.
As the debate over the practice rages, analysts believe that make-up should be applied in moderation to avoid situations where it often boomerangs, leading to unpleasant consequences.
Written for NAN by Folasade Adeniran