I don't really "get" makeup. I wear a little bit sometimes, but I don't really understand why, I'm just conforming to expectations. (Or coping with a really horrible zit, but that's not the full makeup monty, it doesn't count.) I guess wearing makeup when I go out represents putting effort into my appearance, but I'm not sure what that effort is for. These are my questions:
1) Is makeup supposed to be sexual? Since it's gender-specific and supposed to enhance "attractiveness," I assume that means sexual attractiveness. But lots of women wear it to work, monogamous women wear it away from their partners, no one's scandalized when teenagers wear it, and some women won't leave the house without it. So I guess it's supposed to be sexy, but not literally advertising for sex--and I don't know what that means. Just a passive expression that one has a feminine sexuality, I guess?
2) Is makeup supposed to be invisible? It's obviously not, in the standard application; no one naturally has red lips or colored eyelids. But when you read articles about makeup, a lot of the emphasis is on concealing or emphasizing your natural features. Blush is intended to simulate a strong cheekbone, not a pink smear on your face. Mascara is an attempt at fooling people into thinking you naturally have really big eyelashes... which is a good thing, I guess? But no one feels cheated to find out that a girl's apparent super-eyelashes were really just makeup. So I don't get it.
3) Does makeup really make that much of a difference? When I put on makeup, I still look exactly like Holly, just slightly palette-swapped. I wouldn't fool ya for younger or thinner or anything. I can't imagine anyone being attracted to makeup-Holly who isn't attracted to me regular.
Unless makeup isn't about the appearance it creates but the signals it sends--"I'm feminine and I put some work into myself." But then the craft of makeup should matter less; there shouldn't be so many concerns about doing it just right, if the presence of makeup matters more than the content. I guess that's where the "work" part comes from, though. Even if it's completely circular work to display the presence of work, you still have to do it right, geez.
This whole subject confuses me.