Home Culture Let’s Talk About It: Is Makeup A Cheat Code For Women?

Let’s Talk About It: Is Makeup A Cheat Code For Women?



I come to you all today literally walking on eggshells. Ladies and gentlemen I sort of have a growing issue. It pertains to women and the use of makeup. Allow me to  explain before you come at me with the pitchforks. For the record, I think makeup is necessary. The philosophy I have is that makeup is meant to enhance rather than to cause a metamorphosis. Lately (or maybe not) I’m starting to notice abuse of makeup.

In this world that has become so viral, damn near everything is documented. There’s nothing wrong with this for the record. If we go to a fly ass restaurant, we share our dish with the world. If a shorty has some new suede pumps she shares that with the world. When we all go to clubs and lounges we document that event through photos. Long story short, we have fun documenting events in our lives with others.

Something else I have seen being documented more frequently is makeup artists (MUA’s).

Many of them that I see do a hell of a job. I actually like a lot of what they do. What I have grown to have an issue with are the before and after split screen photos. I know we’ve all seen them by now. In case you haven’t, here’s an example: Woman with severe acne gets makeup done. She now has extra flawless skin. In truth, it damn near looks like there’s no makeup on sometimes.

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As a man seeing this it sort of upsets me.

You see, I guess I like women who don’t use makeup out of necessity. As I said earlier I think it’s truly there to enhance. The second I see a split screen photo with a woman who wasn’t too attractive and then see what the makeup did it begs me to ponder.  I begin to think ahead to later that night. What if a dude sees this woman and is interested. What if the young lady is as well? They go home, and let’s say that they cuddle or hit the skins. That next morning what does this woman look like after washing her face?

For the record I don’t think guys expect a woman to look exactly like they do in the club while they lounge around at home. But the disparity between the two looks can be huge. At that moment do you all think it was fair to that dude?

Here’s a different perspective.

My skin can act really funny at times. When the weather is changing as it is now my face can get dry as hell. Lotion is no match! For other guys, their problem might be acne or eczema; where’s the foundation for that? Well it does obviously exist right? But makeup isn’t commonly used by men on a regular basis. What you see is what you get with us. There aren’t many things that we can use to enhance our own vanity.

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The discussion I’m trying to have is to ask whether or not the abuse or misuse of makeup is right. I internalize the overuse or makeup as deceiving to many. I’m not insensitive to a variety of skin conditions. I absolutely get it. With that withstanding it doesn’t negate the feeling of “getting got” for a guy. If he ends up no longer attracted to a woman without her makeup isn’t that unfair to both parties involved?

I write this today with a boatload of curiosity. I’d love to hear all perspectives on this issue. Do you all feel me? Am I being too harsh? How do you all feel about makeup and it’s use? Holla at me.

These are my words and I make no apologies.

DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS 

“Damn He Got A Point” (My Column) on Viral Status


  1. Lol at this article but I can understand where you are coming from. A lot of guys don’t mind thought to my knowledge. I sort of feel really deceptive at times when my makeup makes me look airbrushed, that angelic type of makeup. That being said, I don’t wear makeup very often. Eyebrow pencil, blush (maybe) and lip gloss. Wearing glasses tends to hide a lot of imperfections too!! Glad I wear them.

    All for women enhancing their beauty or even looking completely different. It’s on the dude if he is fooled. If you are dating a woman then ask her to do something athletic. She won’t be able to sweat in all that make up so she will have to tone it down a lot, if not completely.

    LMAO at “the disparity between the two”. It can be shocking but I guess because I am a woman, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

    I’ve been told that I don’t need makeup by a couple guys, but I had makeup on when they told me that, they probably didn’t know.

    I think weave can have the same effect. But also feel like if a woman doesn’t have a decent pallet to work from, how will she be able to transform into something so flawless? Skill? Perhaps.

    I don’t think you are being too harsh but you have to realize, and ask yourself a question, what women really look like Tyra or whoever naturally. I only know one Tyra. Just saying try to be realistic when meeting these chicks out here. I have always thought either girls were born with a really pretty face or a banging body. Unicorns have both, and I have seen a few in my day.

    1. I hear you, my feelings have always been that if I'm attracted to you on what's considered a "down" or "bumby" day then that's a great thing. I am by no means looking for Tyra. My point is only that when you see me, what you see is what you get. I think makeup can compromise that reciprocity at times.

  2. I like this. As a woman who uses makeup sometimes, I can appreciate a "beat" face. And I'm all for women looking and feeling good about themselves. However, If i'm going out of the house to run a few errands, I'm likely going to look nuts, simply because the situation doesn't warrant a "beat face", and I have nary a f*&^ to give about what anyone thinks about my downtime looks lol. I've also noticed that lately there's been a shift in make-up being an enhancement of your natural beauty to now making you look entirely different. Especially eyebrows… Lawd, those eyebrows have gotten outta order. Granted, to each his(her) own, but I think its unfair to present yourself looking a certain way, and you look entirely different without the enhancements. I think the only issues I have are the same as yours: 1) makeup that makes you look entirely different, 2) makeup becoming a NECESSITY for you to go outside or show your face.

    Just my $0.02

  3. I'ma tread lightly….RIP Hank & Heisenberg

    The double edged sword with makeup or even weave is that it's clearly used to make one look/feel better but will turn around and call one shallow for not appreciating whats up under it. The naturalistas will toss shade, own it. The man who's flirting with you now may not have looked twice if you were coming from the gym, own it. The reason you are using makeup is because you don't feel you are at your best without it, own it. We like to pretend appearances dont matter or we don't care what others think or that at our worst we can still pull anyone but it just don't work that way.
    My recent post Today’s Word is… PREFERENCE

    1. You could even liken it to a guy "wolfing" as opposed to having a fresh cut or line up. We may not garner th same looks as well. But I can deal with that lol

  4. The difference like weave is good make-up and bad make-up. Nobody wants to date someone that looks like a clown. Basically it all comes down to preferences. Some men like the "natural glow" (ie. no make-up, or make-up that doesn't look like make-up) type girl, some men like more glam.

    There is definitely a geographical difference I've noticed. In South Florida, make-up all day every day. Up north, not so much. I think it depends on where you live and how the culture is.

    Give me my blush, liner, mascara, lipstick/chap, and mattifying powder anyday of the week.

  5. This post reminds me of an episode of A Different World. Whitley and DeWayne are in bed. Suddenly, she wakes up, runs to the bathroom, brushes her teeth, freshens up her makeup, combs her hair, and gets back in bed…tossing her hair fabulously across the pillow. Then, a few moments later, DeWayne wakes up…complimenting how she always looks soooo beautiful, LOL…smh.

    I can see how this is concerning to men. I really don't know what the solution is…cause if a woman is creating a medical wonder with her makeup, she clearly thinks she needs it and won't be stopping any time soon, lol. Maybe you can just ask questions about it…"How much makeup do you wear/have on?" I think it's a fair question. If I were asked that, the person would find out that I only wear foundation under my eyes (I'm sleep deprived but I don't have to look it, lol), fill-in my eyebrows, liner on my top lid (I wear more eye makeup if I'm really getting fancy), gloss, and occasionally, a light blush. He'll then know he's seeing the enhanced me. I only go to a MUA and wear lashes for special occasions.

  6. In my many years I've seen all kinds of makeup miracles. I used to feel a certain kinda way.

    But nowadays I don't care. I don't blame her for trying her best to look attractive for me and my peen. That's how it should be.

    Just dont get any lipstick on my collar or foundation on my sheets. And don't use my white washcloths to wipe off any of your war paint– it looks like a poo stain and i have to bleach it out.

  7. As a newly minted MUA I agree with you. Makeup should definitely be used to enhance one's own natural beauty not actually create it and have you look like someone else completely. Now a days with all these contouring or 'reshaping' of your face it is hard to portray a "natural" look (although the new look now is the "no makeup" makeup look). I for one don't use heavy makeup at all and there are days where I don't wear any. And do't get me started on the eyebrows either… lawd… But what I see is that some women out there want to emulate what they see and all of that requires 99.98% of the time super heavy makeup. I don't think men really care unless they actually have a preference tho. Good post! 🙂

  8. 1) I don’t think women should wear a pound a make up. Not because it “tricks men” , I’m just guessing after a while all that make up will affect you skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.

    Men create (or encourage) these dang near impossible beauty standards and then get mad when women do whatever it takes to try and reach them. Like big butts. Remember in the 90’s you she a fly video girl with a regular size (big) butt. Now all the men (especially in Hip hop) every video chick has a booty like a prized race horse.

  9. Let me just say that after the convo w/ my bf last night…BOTH parties have their "tricks" for getting and keeping a partner. I love the guy so it's all good, but before throwing shade at a lady wearing make-up you should look in the mirror first. Whats your enhancement (it doesn't have to be a body part, lol!)?

    1. my enhancements are eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, working out, and a daily skincare regime of almond oil, vitamin e, and shea butter coupled with exfoliation and the occasional overnight aloe treatment. oh, and jojoba w/ cocoa butter to keep my lips fresh.

      not sure if these count as a "trick"… but they certainly take a little more work than slapping on some concealer.

      women who need lots of makeup to look attractive are hiding the fact that they have a health condition, unfortunate genetics, or a chemical imbalance in their body. Of course, that's not really my problem; I just need her to look good for one night.

      1. Actually we have different ideas of what "enhancements" are. Maybe "tricks" was a bad term to use. *shrugs*
        Everything that you said are great examples of enhancements (since your not born that way), but there are other types that are not as great. In my opinion, make-up can wash off…body slimmers are not magic (only sheds 1-2 inches)…&heels add a couple inches, but these are just apart of the "game" that we play everyday.

        Other than that I agree with you…

  10. I have to agree. I hate the deceptiveness allowed with makeup, but then again, that's because I'm not a slave to it. I don't have bad skin or dark circles under my eyes (yet lol). This is similar to how I feel about plastic surgery. I hate that it's so affordable these days bc someone was not born with the features they have today. I want to know what my future children are going to look like and this has a large impact on who and what I'm attracted to.

    A guy called into a radio station asking for advice. He went to meet his fiance's family for the first time and they got to looking through photo albums. As he was looking through one of them, he saw a picture of an unattractive woman, and when he asked who she was, it was his fiance. Apparently, she looked drastically different than she did when he met her. In this instance, I think this is bonafide deception and can be a total deal breaker. I know it sounds harsh, but I can totally understand his dilemma.

    1. I can't understand the dilemma. Is she healthy? I mean what is so magical about plastic surgery? Did she borrow $ from the guy for it? I kinda think thats shallow to look at her differently. No one's perfect.

      1. It's not about perfection…
        In his eyes, it sounds like she went from a 8 or 9 to a 4. That's a big drop! To the point where seeing her former self could cause you to lack attraction to them in the present. This happened in a foreign country, so the man was allowed to divorce her based on fraud. She should have been honest about the plastic surgery and let him make a decision on his own. She pulled the ol rope a dope on him! Smh. It's not fair.

        1. I don't know…
          Im putting myself in his place and still I think its not that deep.
          Not knocking your opinion. I just think that maybe divorce was a bit extreme.
          When's a good time to discuss major plastic surgery done in the past? Maybe once he discovers her childhood pix? I don't know, but regardless that was his decision.

        2. They weren't married yet. This was his fiance (in the first example). The Chinese guy…ummm I saw her and I was actually on board with his decision to divorce. Let's face it, people marry a certain person for aesthetic reasons as well. I will want to see childhood pictures early on. I'm surprised that he waited until after he proposed to meet the family. This should have taken place prior to engagement. In that case, he would have known. Maybe there's no need to discuss it per se, but each person should do their due diligence. Look at pics of them when they were young, meet their families, etc. These things will come out eventually. Here's the before and after http://straightfromthea.com/2013/11/07/man-sues-w
          My recent post Warning To All Married People

        3. LOL! Read story and I feel sorry his genes couldn't over ride hers! But whatever if its that deep then that's what photoshop is for! 😉

  11. I just wish the ladies would not all look like they get their cues from crossdressing men. Makeup and face attachments has made me wary of a lot of women…in a circle of fellas we discuss all the time how "suspect" a woman looks with a lot of makeup. We're just hoping some of you were born women if we do decide to speak.

  12. When it comes to make up i go for a more natural look mostly…the only products I use are eyeshadow, mascara and or occasionally eyeliner…..no face full of make ie foundation, concealer, blush, brighteners or fake eyelashes. I am not the woman from "I'm gonna get you sucka" who by the time she took off all of her false assets she was hairless, legless, a.s.s less and so and so forth…the eyeshadow i use complement my skin tone mostly earthy browns, beiges and golds. If I opt for a more dramatic look I'll go with purples, pinks, blues greens and yellows. Ladies it's pretty much all about how you apply. I never look like a clown and when I take it off I don't look extremely different from when I'm wearing it. Lastly if a woman has proper skin care she will most likely be beautiful with or without. I always let everyone (including friends, family and possible suitors) see how I look with or without it so that it's no mystery. I always welcome their thoughts if they choose to express them.

  13. I sort of see why it's a "cheat code."

    I personally prefer women without make up everyday.
    It makes the enhancement effect that much stronger.

  14. I want to know what men do to enhance their looks for us. Shoot, why is it us always trying to impress ya'll with our pretty made-up face?
    I wear makeup for the most part. And yes, it is supposed to look natural for daytime wear. At night it's a little heavier.

    The funny thing is that men say they don't want a woman with a lot of makeup, but they still give those women a lot of attention. So which one is it? You can't have it both ways, guys.
    My recent post Hey Girl, Does He Have Any Friends?

    1. If your man is about anything his facial hair grooming game and haircut will be on point. If he has bad skin then I hope he doesn't pass of his crater face as "swag." Seriously though…men who are about their hygiene will make sure their appearance is on point. Any man donning make up or make up made for men…let me just tell you this…you're probably going to end of fighting for time at the vanity mirror and I look forward to your Strawberry Letter.
      I don't do the manicure/pedicure thing…that doesn't even feel right to me. I will make sure that I have a nice edged up fade, goatee on point, no nose hairs protruding and I won't smell like an old sock.

  15. Makeup done right is an amazing thing. It enhances the person's natural beauty and can play down temporary blemishes (pimple) etc. If you're taking pictures, makeup is used to simply make YOU look like YOU. Cameras and bad lighting can do a number on anyone. Hence the saying "Your pictures don't do you justice." Both women and men can benefit from a daily hygiene regimen, followed by BB cream and concealer for blemishes where necessary.

    I think of makeup as a tool. It's use or misuse really depends on the person using it. I love The CPT's example of Taraji. Unfortunately, that is a common mistake of using a finishing powder with too much titanium dioxide. Looks gorgeous in person and keeps her from looking oily but it creates a terrible white flashback when photographed.

    People interested in makeup should definitely take a class (shameless plug alert) with a knowledgeable and experienced makeup artist.
    My recent post Click one of the post titles above to include it at the end of your comment

  16. If men don't like makeup, we've got to stop upholding women to the false standard of beauty we see on TV and in the movies. It isn't real, folks. So now we have women trying to compete with a false standard, trying to cover up every pimple and mark, and then men conforming to that ridiculousness, so makeup becomes a must. Ask yourself if you'd give a shorty the time of day if she had terrible skin and you'll understand what I mean.

    Standards of being handsome for men don't involve having perfect skin, hair, thick eyelashes, full lips and great skin. We just have to have a nice smile, be tall, be reasonably-sized and have a job … and sometimes, not even that,

  17. i prefer young ladies to not wear makeup or just a limited amount but at the end of that day i don't really give a damn. u cant put makeup on your ass to make it look bigger. now if we talking about breast implants and ass injections i cant rock with that. unless it looks good, then i dont care. so basically we don't care.

  18. I never understood why men get scared rather than flattered. Women out here are breaking their backs and their banks to look like that Supermodel you always talk about Cuz we know men are visual and we get you to then black think twice if you don't look twice. Some women need more than others and with the whole video/adult star hype when comes to physical augmentation well that just apart of the rat race.

  19. what i think a lot of men fail to realize is that you are not attracted to these women "because they wore make up to make themselves like a prettier girl than they are," you are attracted to make up and made up women. there is a difference. nobody wakes up flawless. but niggas expect that, they rather go for a woman who looks flawless, has an unnatural glow about her (theres glitter and gold on that girl's face not ONE woman on this earth can have that naturally).

    1. I'm honestly good with a shorty without makeup. I like what makeup can do for certain situations obviously. i.e venues, events etc. I just think there's something to be said about wanting to be attracted to someone without it versus with it. I think it's important for all of us to see each other at a basic level and dig that. Anything else above it would be icing on the cake to me.

  20. Some dudes are far too shallow… they're ALL good with the silicone and fix-o-flat T & A, but don't dare put on flawless makeup to "trick" him outta the dank! GTFOH!!
    Makeup helps accentuate a woman's features and yes, hide some of her flaws; but ultimately works to make us feel sexy and our look to be more polished and complete. As long as it does not rise to the Ronald McDonald level, a woman wearing makeup should not be seen as a way she schemes on or traps a man… Its never been that difficult to get a man to pass out his "goods"!

  21. This article is funny and might have a point in theory, but I don't think it comes up that much in real life. Those MUA pics are of "beats" they did that cost a lot of money. Usually they are for weddings or other special occasions. I rarely see women walking around with that amount of makeup on–nor do I think most women would have the time or inclination to do complete transformations on a daily basis (plus makeup is expensive). So I'd say not to worry about it too much.

  22. Wonderful blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any community forums
    that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to
    be a part of online community where I can get responses
    from other experienced people that share the same interest.

    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks
    a lot!

  23. When it comes to the opposite sex, women are constantly judged and ranked against each other. it's a completely skewed system on the sides of both men and women.
    *for example when guys say Kim Kardashian is a 10, but her face is "beat for the gods" (she has a lot of makeup on to make it look like that is her natural glow).

    Not to say that she isn't naturally beautiful, because she is, but when guys set standards like that for the women they find attractive, it only makes sense that women would follow suit to achieve that look to raise here status.

  24. I may be considered one of those documenting MUAs. I love makeup for many different reasons. I’m fortunate enough that I was blessed with pretty good skin and to some, pretty good looks. Most guys ask that I present to them bare faced…which I scoff at, especially if we’re stepping out. I’ll be beat hunny. No exceptions.

    I’ve seen those before and after shots and I definitely sympathize with you. I often rear back my damn self in a combination of amazement and disgust…well, maybe disgust is too strong. It’s fascinating. I’m certain that the woman who has struggled with dark spots and bags and never gets hits suddenly gets hits is ecstatic. I’m happy for her at that moment. I do feel for the unsuspecting fella; however. Yikes.

    It’s definitely a fine line to walk. It’s a preference for most involved and necessity for many. I hope you find someone who is dashing in her naturalness to avoid waking up in the crying game…well, not literally. Lol Good luck!!


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