Elle magazine interviewed the French make-up artist Dany Sanz in its latest issue, and asked her what the biggest make-up mistake a woman can make is. Sanz's reply: "Skipping foundation. If you go outside without any makeup, that's a mistake. Everything is green, and you look ugly." I have been skipping foundation for the past ten years. It never occurred to me that I must have been looking ugly all along.
I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to wear make-up, even lots of it: make-up can be, and often is, a lot of fun. A lot of women feel like they have to wear make-up. Whether it is bad skin, self-esteem issues or just a habit, who knows. My sister falls in the odd category of having stunning but huge eyes that just seem to require at least some eyeliner and mascara - otherwise she looks sort of ill. I, on the other hand, am so used to not wearing make-up that I feel like I look funny wearing it.
The no-make-up regime has also made me very wary of women's beauty-products in general. I have become suspicious of the common skin care mantras and the ingredients in face creams, cleansers, hair dyes and shampoos. I have stopped wearing hair conditioner, as well as skin toner and night cream, among others. The few beauty products I have are organic. Against all odds, my face hasn't fallen off. To say that I was deeply concerned about the power of large cosmetic companies in women's everyday lives would be an understatement.
I am very much against the idea that I make a mistake every day when I refuse to wear a product that covers my skin. It's my skin, it's my choice. And Dany Sanz, just that you know, I don't look ugly.