Why Makeup is Inherently a Lie
By Cristina Cimellaro
From drag queens to nuns, we all use makeup in some form; from tinted lip moisturizers, to decades old mascara, to the “whore” red lipstick we keep in the back of the drawer for those “special” occasions. But what is the actual purpose of makeup?
Oddly enough, makeup has been around for a very, very loooonnnng time. Evidence of painted “body ornamentation” at Neanderthal sites date from 50,000 years ago. Egyptians had moisturizes to protect the skin from the heat, and of course, everyone is familiar with the Egyptian eyeliners. The Greeks and Romans got in on it too and eventually the Europeans. All sorts of craziness was used from chalk, to lead, to henna, to arsenic-based powder. Belladonna, lead and mercury were, of course, highly toxic and many women suffered poisoning and death.
Now onto science! In most species on this planet since time immortal, the male tends to be more ornate, sings better, is larger and generally much more appealing to the eye. Why? Because if they want to mate, they better work for it. On the flip side, females must also advertise their availability, willingness and health to attract the males. Sometimes they emit pheromones, or display a nice red derrière - very clear symbols that the female is ovulating and just waiting for the male to make his first move.
Let us remember that the primary drive of evolution is to make babies and that everything we do to attract a mate has this at its core. What comes before babies? Sex. And that is why sex sells – it’s not the act that’s important, it’s the outcome. Our society, however, has gotten stuck on the act itself.
Over the millennia human females developed the ability to ovulate monthly. This in part helped create the pair bonding that kept the males around to keep the kiddos safe and POOF, the family unit was evolutionarily significant for survival. With so much baby-making time available now, the subtle clues that come with this monthly cycle were just enough on the evolutionary scale to attract mates. Make up enhances these very subtle clues.
So, make up has its roots in mimicking all things sexual. No, really, follow me here. It is difficult for members in our species to pinpoint exactly when a female is ovulating because our signs of ovulation are very under-the-surface, so to speak. Having a sense of when ovulation is super important becauuusseee -
Ovulation=baby making time!
Studies have shown that the faces of females ovulating are more attractive to both men and women so there are very subtle cues with which we recognize on a very subconscious level. What make up does is sort of give us the “Always Ovulating” look at the conscious level.
Let’s talk about what happens physically. During ovulation blood flow increases to the skin and lips making them a little bit more flush and darker. It is a known fact that we’re all a little more willing to rumble when ovulation occurs. When a female is in estrous, or ready to get a little dirty, her eyes will dilate, her skin will flush and her ya-ya will actually start to turn red.
So let’s get down to brass tacks about each purpose of the scores of generic lips sticks, Chanel eye shadows and Wet N’ Wild eyeliners from the late nineties clogging up your makeup drawer:
Foundation evens the skin tone giving and overall look of healthiness. Super important as an advertisement to mates that you don’t have any skin abnormalities that could be a symptom of a bigger problem.
All eyeliner, eye shadow, false eyelashes and the rest draw attention to the eyes and give the impression that the eye is dilated and thus the woman is ready to roll.
Blush mimics the flush of the skin that happens when the blood gets pumping.
Lipstick actually mirrors the reddening of the lips on the face and the vagina lips. Hence, the term “whore red” indicates a woman of ill repute (and a whole lotta fun).
There you have it: why makeup is inherently a lie. We paint ourselves pretty to give the impression we are ready to make babies. Think about that the next time you put on that foundation with sparks of something-something to reflect the light away from your wrinkles.
However, despite this knowledge, I will continue to attempt the “smokey eye” for reasons I can only assume are due to evolutionarily mechanisms in play far beyond my ability to resist.
Cristina is an actress, writer, comedian and teacher. She teaches math and science to the future of America and is a member of American Mensa. She resides in Santa Monica with one fish and two other bipedal primates.
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of the “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.