Betrayed By Makeup: Putting Your Best Face Forward

Makeup. We all wear it. It’s a part of our every day routine.

When I put on makeup in the mornings during the work week, I usually halfway do it with blush, highlighter, shadow, mascara, and lipstick. When it’s the weekend (or let’s face it, a blogger meet up) I put on foundation, actually contour my shadow, fill in my brows, use concealer, put on blush and 2 DIFFERENT highlighters, wing out my gel eyeliner, carefully pick out the perfect shade of lipstick, and on some occasions- put on some falsies.


Because I want to put my best “face” forward.

Sometimes even Mathew will be shocked when I put on a full face of makeup. I’ll get remarks from him like “Ooh! You’re actually going to put on makeup today!?” (Um, I wear makeup EVERYday, but thanks…) and “Wow! You look AMAZING!” It’s funny what a little makeup can do. That’s what I thought at least, when I saw the following picture last night on Facebook through a friend’s page from an MSN article:

What a transformation some makeup and a curling iron can do, huh? Well, makeup and hair from a PROFESSIONAL. Her hair looks flawless, as does her skin (with a perfectly chiseled nose and chin), she’s got falsies, lined and glossed lips, and perfectly filled brows. This set of photos has sparked tons of controversy with men saying that “makeup is a betrayal” and they couldn’t imagine going to bed with the girl on the right and waking up (disappointed) to the girl on the left.

But here’s the thing: When I put on makeup…I feel sexy.

Sure, that’s what makeup companies WANT you to feel, but I do. What’s worse? I feel even sexier if I’ve paid more money for that makeup. Isn’t that weird? I claim that MAC is my second home and pride myself on actually making friends with the makeup artists (or MUAs as they like to call themselves). I pride myself into walking into Sephora and paying $30 for a brow highlighter because it’s going to “revolutionize my makeup routine” or “make my brows look perfect.” It’s pretty ridiculous….but I feed into it. Why? Because the makeup and beauty industry are multi-million dollar corporations. It’s their JOB to make me feel that way (and they do a darn good job doing it too). So when I put on a full face of makeup I feel sexy and ready to tackle the day. Do I feel like I’m betraying my husband (or other men/women) because I put on makeup? No. Is that my intention? No. 

I was curious- I asked Mathew his thoughts on the pictures and if he felt “betrayed” by the difference. His answer? Yes. Yes!? All I could think in my head was, “Hey mister! I may look plain at home and when I go out may want to doll up. Am  betraying you!?” My head was reeling. Then I started to understand his point of view, and could see where he was coming from. Granted, this woman has on a lot of makeup (and it’s done by a professional), but still. It was interesting to see his point of view, even though I was a bit shocked at the honesty of his answer.

So here are my questions for today: What are your thoughts on this transformation? Would you feel betrayed if you married the woman on the right and woke up to the woman on the left? How do YOU feel when you put on makeup? Do you ever feel as though it’s “betraying” people?

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  1. I’ve got to say, it’s kinda sad because she doesn’t look happy, even with the make-up on! But, oh my word I totally get this. I wrote about something similar earlier this year.

    I sorta swore off “full make-up” in June, but now I’m that autumn is here I’m realizing my complexion is starting to get sallow, so I may need to start using foundation on the daily again. We’ll see. As far as wearing make-up being false advertisement? I think it depends on how far you go. Between make-up skills, push up bras and Spanx, there’s a lot women can do to make people think we look different than we do. There’s a part of me that thinks we wouldn’t want to attract the attention of someone who would only be happy if we looked perfect, but on the other hand, society has made looking ‘normal’ a sin. And I’m sorry, but when you see a girl like in the picture on the right, you know underneath is totally different, right?!?
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  2. It’s really a shame for this beautiful woman, who looks beautiful in both photos that men are saying they wouldn’t want to wake up with her if she looks like this without makeup on. For me, I think makeup should only enhance your beauty, not hide who you really are. Why are they covering up so much of who she is, like her freckles and her natural beauty?

    Perhaps if she smiled in the photo on the left, people could see how beautiful she really is, and if you look she is turned on an angle in the right photo, so her nose looks different but actually isn’t.

    The only “makeup” I use is eyeliner, no cover up, no blush, lipstick or gloss, no eye shadow, never really got into it, and on my wedding day, I wore a little only because I didn’t want the flash shining off my oily forehead! But I feel like I still looked like me. In general I don’t believe makeup betrays, because in real like no woman looks this different with makeup on. Yes, she may be covering up a blemish or two, but she doesn’t look like a completely different person.

  3. the thing is…. I’d hope that by the time you marry the girl on the right, you’ve seen the girl on the left PLENTY of times.

    I honestly think she probably looks her most pretty somewhere in the middle. She looks too made up in my opinion on the left. Her hair would only make sense at some formal event. It’s not real life.

    The girl on the left is real. That’s what she looks like in the morning. I’d like to see her somewhere in the middle when she applies her own regular make-up.

    I work from home so there are plenty of days that I don’t bother putting on makeup at all. Sometimes I think it’s kind of a waste of my money… I too spend ridiculous amounts of money at Sephora and have a whole range of different made up looks. It’d be interesting to ask my boyfriend what he thinks. I actually feel guilty sometimes with no makeup on when he comes home at the end of the day. Often I make it to 4pm without putting any on, then go put some on before he gets home, so I at least look somewhat presentable. Which is kind of ridiculous!
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  4. I agree with you 100%! I’m a beauty blogger to my view on this subject might be skewed a bit but at the end of the day I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to put your best face forward. I can personally relate to the before/after picture here because I, too, look TOTALLY different with and without makeup. I have adult cystic acne that has left me with a face full of dark red scars so the difference is night and day when I wear makeup. Without it I look like a 13 year old teenager and with it I look age appropriate (almost 28). I can see why people would feel deceived (I even have a side by side of myself that I’ve been meaning to post) but at the end of the day you just have to look past the makeup.
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  5. That’s an interesting thing to think about. I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis–I’m discovering that even my “special occasion” routine of foundation, powder, eyeliner, and lipstick is very basic. I’ve actually worn less makeup since getting married because of encouragement from my husband–he thinks I’m beautiful without makeup, and he also likes it when I’m not worrying about smudging my eyeliner or getting lipstick on something. To me, I’m more comfortable when I’m not wearing makeup. I don’t want to look like a different person–I’m not sexy or glamorous, and I would feel weird about pretending to me.
    Honestly, I think it would be kind of sad to get all done up professionally with makeup and fake lashes and fake hair…but still look in the mirror and know that’s not really you, that’s not really what you look like. Because makeup can’t fool yourself! Still…it could be fun upon occasion to see what “different” looking kind of person I could be transformed into with a little makeup…
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  6. I do not think its betrayal. I tend to air on the side of less is more though. I do not wear a lot of make up either to work or going out. I think the picture is overboard and does not enhance her features, but rather hides her behind make up. Sure, I did pageants and know how to contour and enhance, etc… but I would never do that for anything other than stage. Its preference though. Some people feel the need to wear lots of make up because they think they look better or feel more sexy, when in fact they look better with less. I think the point is, men like a woman for who she is and for her who can be made up to be.
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  7. I think saying “we all wear it” is an overstatement. Perhaps all beauty bloggers do, but not everyone. Personally, I agree that it’s a betrayal. It isn’t who you really are, but of the same token, monthly waxing doesn’t let everyone see the natural me.

    There are degrees of this, and I doubt there is a line that separates natural beauty from artificial beauty. Historically, makeup is not a new idea. Throughout history women have been altering appearances in any way possible. There is record of Roman women using hair dye.
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  8. I’m with you… I love makeup because I think it’s a fun transformation. I love playing around with my Naked palette and new lipsticks, but my every day routine is a quick foundation/blush/mascara thing.

    I was so angry when I originally saw that article and that guy’s original response to it. Everyone always says that women should be confident enough to not wear makeup all the time, and then they publish articles like “look how ugly this bitch is! I would be so pissed if I took her home and this is what I woke up to!” Like…. seriously? A) grow up and B) people are the worst.
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  9. My hubby loves to see me with make-up, but he said that had he not be assured that he thought I was beautiful WITHOUT it than he probably wouldn’t have married me. I know that sounds shallow, but guys are visual. He thought I was beautiful when I was sick and in sweats the first time he met me. Our men love us no matter what we have on, but make-up merely accentuates that beauty. We don’t want to hide what God has given us, but we don’t want to go out looking homely either! There’s a balance.

    For instance, I have given up wearing every single step of my make-up for everyday wear….it was becoming too grueling. So, now I wear base, blush, and mascara…and maybe a little shimmer on the lid for everyday. The hubs loves it, and when we go on dates, he’ll feel like I’m “dolling” up for him and him alone. 🙂 Our beauty should come from the inside and when that happens our faces will typically be the MOST radiant.
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  10. I saw this on Facebook the other day (the photo). Here’s the deal…. way back in the day in high school I bought into the “natural beauty” my mother preached to me. I wore clear mascara (yeah I don’t know why either) and no makeup. Number of dates= 0. Then I went to college and started exploring with makeup. Number of date= a few. Then I got older, invested in good makeup, learned to contour and highlight, and figured out it does take about 5-10 products to make me look flawless. Number of dates since doing so = more then I can count on two hands. Makeup makes me feel confident, sexy, and gives me an edge with men. It might be false advertising, but as a woman who struggles with her weight, my makeup makes me feel confident in my face. My hair and makeup are my “thing”. I get compliments on my makeup all the time and friends constantly ask me to do theres. The funny thing, men would probably be more inclined to ask the girl on the right out before girl on the left. So what if you wake up next to someone who isn’t perfect. Get to the know the beautiful girl on the outside and then suddenly waking up to the girl on the left won’t seem like such a bad thing. PS: I always love how you do your makeup!

  11. I think it’s only a “betrayal” if you never show anyone your real, naked face. I would never marry or even date someone who hasn’t seen me without makeup. And I think all of my friends have seen me makeupless because I don’t wear it around the house or at the gym. I’m comfortable enough in my own skin. I think every girl feels prettier with makeup on just like we probably feel prettier and more confident in a nice dress or outfit than in our pajamas and sweats. But there needs to be a balance.
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  12. make up is fun! but the amount some people use should really only be used for photoshoots. for example, the other day I came across a make up artist on instagram and his photos are …. what people would consider betrayl! and it’s like not even the same person! that’s insane. I put on simple makeup everyday just so I don’t look dead, but I still look like ME. Some people just really take it way too far.
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  13. I made a point to show A me with no makeup like after 3 dates personally because I didnt want to put on a front of hey I wear makeup and am totally put together all the time cause I am not. But I love this post I think every woman puts on makeup because they want to feel good about themselves and feel sexy. I love that saying we dont dress for men we dress for other women but truth be told we should dress for ourselves. Great post steph.

  14. If a man truly feels “betrayed” because of the way a woman looks, he doens’t deserve to be waking up with her in the first place.

    I wear perfume .. I don’t really smell like that. I wear deodorant … I’m not really sweat-free. I wear heels … I’m not really that tall. I wear a good bra … my totties aren’t really that big. Where do you draw the line? Any modification you make is a betrayal? To me, it just seems like another way for a man to belittle a woman, and it sucks, because if she DOES wear makeup, she’s a liar, but if she doesn’t, she doesn’t care about the way she looks.

    *steps off soapbox*

  15. I don’t know if is betrayal or not. If someone doesn’t look good or feel good with out wearing make up, I think that’s where the problem comes in. There is nothing wrong with leaving the house with lip balm and a little moisturizer on your face – and I’m not talking tinted either. I have no problem going out without any makeup. I enjoy wearing a little blush, shadow and mascara when I go out, but I was never one to get fully made-up anyway. The best make up in my opinion is healthy glowing skin, a great smile, and awesome attitude and tons and tons of confidence!
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  16. I’ve never been a huge makeup wearer. I usually wear lipgloss/stick and maybe a little eyeshadow & mascara if we’re going out. The only time I wear a full face is for Halloween/other random times I’ve dressed up. My husband doesn’t really care for makeup and prefers me without it. That’s fine with me because it’s one less thing I have to worry about doing, especially with three kids to care for. I think it says a lot about a man (BOY) who can’t see beyond a fake face of makeup.
    I can’t say that I love everything about myself but I feel like caking on makeup to hide it all doesn’t really fix anything. I’ve always felt that the point of makeup is to help enhance your own natural beauty, not cover up to the point of making you fake looking. I think natural, light makeup looks best on most people.
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  17. First, GREAT post! I hadn’t considered makeup much beyond what is professional and what isn’t and to wonder how in the heck people do such incredible things with makeup. I”m more of a foundation, blush, mascara, gloss and if I feel fancy maybe some eye shadow kinda girl. Concealer and highlights and contouring all baffle me.

    That said, makeup is a tool and a cultural expectation depending on your part of the country and profession. Do we say we feel betrayed when a man wears a toupe or a great pair of jeans that highlight his ass – ets? No, I don’t anyway. So, if you get that guy naked and he has a flat butt that isn’t quite as cute, do we feel like he was leading us on? I personally say, good for you for knowing how to shop and dress yourself to your best.
    Isn’t that the same thing as makeup? Learning how to present yourself as flatteringly as possible? Same as learning how to dress for your figure or play to your personality strengths?

    Do we say we feel betrayed if someone wears an A-line dress that flatters her figure then when she’s naked we see she has a large butt? What the hell, just be glad you got her naked in the first place. My 2 cents anyway.

    Love the post!
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  18. I agree with several of the previous commenters, but I think we’re missing a really key point here:there is no such thing as “the girl on the right” and “the girl on the left.” It’s the same woman! Our mode of self-expression, whether it’s clothes, makeup, tattoos, hair, piercings, etc. is our own and no one else’s to decide. If anyone (male or female) had the audacity to think she was “betraying” them because of her choice to use makeup of any kind or amount, I’d find that person to be superficial and shallow, and someone who obviously didn’t take the time to get to know her for who she is, and not what her face looks like that day.

  19. The endless debate 🙂 I mean, anyone who expects someone to look the same in full makeup and without? Seriously delusional!

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  20. K well let’s be honest, it takes some SERIOUS skills to go from left to right in that picture. Skills that I’m pretty sure the vast majority of the female population does NOT have. Yes, lots of us can put on makeup and make ourselves look nice, but not that ridiculously different. I’d agree in that specific case that it’s “betrayal” because that girl on the left looks nothing like the one on the right- but in real life I don’t think many of us make that drastic of a transformation with our daily makeup routine. Why can’t we look good though? I put on makeup anytime I’m going out or going to be in public because I want to look my best. I WANT people to look and me and think that I look nice. I don’t want people to look at me and be like ew her hair is flat and she has bags under her eyes and does she even have eyelashes? I want to be confident and feel good about myself, and if makeup does that for me then so be it! My boyfriend knows what I look like without makeup (I don’t wear it at home unless I’m about to go out somewhere) and he doesn’t care either way. He thinks I look beautiful regardless. If men are feeling “betrayed” or if you haven’t seen your wife without makeup, then isn’t that just kinda weird? I dunno. I’m all for looking good and feeling good. Go makeup!
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  21. Some dudes think they are entitled to a lot of things- sex, a homecooked meal every night they get home, a perfect family, a perfect wife. Just add this to the list of things men will never understand about women!
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  22. As a Mary Kay Consultant, the only way I could fail my job is by not wearing make-up, but I don’t go full out. I hate dramatic looks and quite frankly, I don’t want to take the time to learn them. A lot of days, my go to are foundation (it helps protect your face) and eyeliner. And that’s it.

    Make-up is great, but too much of a good thing is never a good thing. 😛

  23. I am the girl that just puts on eye shadow and chapstick.. if I am going somewhere “special”, I will use my bare minerals powder and while I do look better– I don’t look totally different. The picture was a little crazy and she does look better but it was just a little extreme. I haven’t tried falsies but I’d like to. Honestly, I just can’t stand having that much stuff on my face and don’t feel like I need to put so much on it either..

  24. I do not think it betrayal – I say do what makes you feel good!

    Sparkles and Shoes
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  25. Wow! That is an insane difference! I don’t feel like I’m betraying with makeup. Just making myself look like the best version of me as possible. Although, I don’t think I wear enough on a regular basis to look anywhere near as different as that lady does!
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  26. I think it’s a shame that men are saying they’d be disappointed to wake up next to the woman on the left. I think she’s beautiful with or without make-up.

    I definitely go for the more natural look. A little bit of blush, powder, and eye make-up but that is it. There are some nights when I go out with my husband when I want to get all dolled up and I feel great when doing so. It’s not an every day thing for me so I don’t feel bad doing it every one in a while.
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  27. Speaking my mind

  28. the transformation is beautiful, I imagine this woman lights up a room when she smiles with or without makeup. That’s more important than any of it, how does she feel? She feels good, everyone around her feels good.

    The second question..would I feel betrayed to wake up to no makeup? all jokes aside anyone would feel betrayed after seeing their girl without makeup, was not with a person in the.first place.

    Bottom line:
    A woman who feels like less of a woman without makeup…sadly is less attractive with or without it.
    A woman who feels like herself, and beautiful with and without makeup…is…

    It’s all how you feel.


  1. […] a lot more fun to hang out with than the girl on the right.) Then almost immediately after I read this post about makeup as a form of betrayal, written by my friend Stephanie at The Vintage Modern W….  In it she posts the below picture and […]