15 Women Talk About How They’re Treated With And Without Makeup On

11. Laura Traveller

I don’t really know how to do makeup. I own one liquid cover-up or possibly foundation, I actually do not know the difference, one lipstick and one mascara. That being said, I love beauty products and I often treat myself to face masks, expensive eye creams, etc. I prefer to invest in healthy food and beauty products that protect and enhance my natural beauty rather than on makeup.

I don’t really see much of a difference between when I wear makeup or don’t. What makes more of a difference for me is whether I wear tight/revealing clothes or baggy, plain stuff. However, I have been sexually harassed when wearing casual clothes as well, so there isn’t that much of a difference in any case.

Sexual harassment happens everywhere: in Canada, in the U.S., in Peru, in Japan, in Thailand, in Italy, in the U.K., etc.

One time in Montreal, I was walking in the daytime, wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and running shoes, no makeup. I was in a good mood, so I just happened to look up and make eye contact with a man walking past me as I smiled. Big mistake. The man then turned around and started following me. I crossed the street, he crossed the street. After about 5 blocks, I ducked into a deppaneur to hide. I waited about 3–4 minutes and then went out. In the stairwell outside the shop, I saw the man standing in a dark corner and as I quickly walked past him, he exposed himself to me. I was so afraid that I ran outside and tried to flag down a car. Luckily, someone was sitting in a parked car nearby and when I knocked on the window and explained the situation, he let me in and drove me down the street. This happened in my own country, without any makeup, wearing casual clothing.

And that’s just one example, I could list dozens.

To be totally honest, it doesn’t matter what I wear or don’t wear in terms of makeup or clothing. I often get harassed, either way. People seem to think that when a woman goes out in public, it is every passerby’s right to judge her looks. You can’t win no matter what you do.

Even women will bother me, tell me to cover up, ask for photos with me, give me dirty looks, mutter under their breath, etc.

Typically, the dirty looks and negative comments from women increase if I wear tight/revealing clothing, but don’t change in frequency depending on whether I wear makeup or not.

Once in Lima, I was wearing a short dress and just lipstick for makeup, going out in the evening, walking to the bus stop in Magdalena del Mar, when an older woman looked me dead in the eyes, tsk tsked under her breath and CROSSED HERSELF. Yes, she looked me up and down and made the sign of the cross, touching her forehead, chest and shoulders.

Here in KSA things are even more insane than usual. When I wear fitted clothing and makeup together, things get crazy. I get double the amount of stares, catcalling, harassment, etc. Living in rural Saudi Arabia, people literally photograph and film me whenever I go out. Men, women and children ask for selfies with me. I don’t wear a hijab, so that is the main reason. I am also one of a very small group of foreigners living here in town and the only one who consistently doesn’t wear a niqab, hijab or abaya. So, I am like the village freak! An oddity to be gasped and leered at! Men and women tell me to cover my hair, but it is against my beliefs to do so.

You could also say that there are some “benefits” to wearing makeup and getting dressed up. People are friendlier and more willing to help me, especially men. It’s easier to get directions, or to ask for assistance finding something / going somewhere. Store clerks are more helpful. Men hold doors open, step aside to let me pass, offer to help me carry things, etc.

However, a lot of these “benefits” really aren’t worth the cost.

I usually don’t wear makeup, but when I do, it’s not to get attention from strangers; that’s just an unfortunate by-product.

I wear makeup because it’s kind of fun to put on when I’m bored (albeit I’m not very knowledageable or good at it), it makes me feel good to look special sometimes, I wear it for myself, for my friends and for that special someone if I have a beau.

12. Alexandra Misăilă

As far as my own opinion goes, without any makeup I look like an egg. In spite of my medium brown hair, my eyebrows are dark blonde and my eyelashes are … well… I think… transparent. My skin has moments when it breaks out and it’s horrible. If I ever went out without any makeup, I’d most likely be treated as a child.

I don’t have pictures of that, but I have pictures of my “no makeup” makeup look, which is some mascara, a bit of nude eyeshadow to elongate the eye, brows subtly done and some contouring. Oh, and lip balm.

When I do wear makeup, though, I tend to cake it on. Not in the Instagram beauty guru way, but I do like my makeup full-coverage. I go full glam just because it makes my confidence soar.

I don’t think that in my case, people treat me differently because of how much makeup I’m wearing (if they do, at all; my friends and boyfriend don’t, obviously), but because of how I feel in my own skin and how comfortable I am around them. When I feel anxious because of how I look, people tend to change their attitude just because I show less confidence.

13. Lauren Campbell

When I don’t wear makeup I usually get two reactions.

The first reaction comes primarily from other girls who are friends of mine.

“Wow you look really good without makeup.”

“You look almost the same without makeup, I’m so jealous.”

“I wish I looked like you without makeup.”

The next comes from guys, many of whom I don’t talk to that often and are not my friends.

“You look really tired today.”

“Wow you look tired.”

I don’t typically get the “sick” comments that others mentioned but the tired comments.

I often hear from some guys how guys *much* prefer girls without makeup and how we should just give up wearing it entirely *cough* (to please men) *cough*. I find it fascinating how despite their insistence on this point it’s difficult for many women to go anywhere without makeup without remarks of how tired or sick she looks. But I never wore makeup to please men anyways and I’m certainly not going to stop on that behalf.

14. Sadie Mae

I don’t get all that much interaction with people but here’s a list

BF: i don’t like it you look like a clown just don’t wear it (it’s not sarcastic just dramatised, he doesn’t like it but he just jokes about it)


MY CATS: DAMN YOUR EYES SMELL GOOD LEMME LICK YE EYELASHES PLS. (idk why and honestly wish I knew why they wanted to eat my makeup off my face)

FRIENDS (M): youre wearing makeup right? oh I guess it looks cool, it suits you.

FRIENDS (F): it looks dumb fucking good yo, how you did that one part?

random people outside normally don’t talk to me but if they do they don’t seem to mention it like ever.

I find it that when I don’t wear makeup, I look like a heroin addict cause my face looks ultra sick. maybe it’s my eyelashes (they’re long but completely straight so unless I curl or make them up with some mascara you can’t tell I have any unless you’re looking at me from the side and an inch away from my face [maybe it’s just cause my vision is bad idk])

15. Akshara Joshi

I’ll be very honest. When I have makeup on my parents ask to dial it down since I’m a huge makeup freak. And when I don’t have makeup on my friends ask me if I’m sick or high. It’s always a see-saw for me never anything moderate.

Here’s me with makeup and lashes and everything on my face. It’s an everyday look with sublte eye shadow and a few glow on my face.

the second picture is me without any makeup in a selfie with my dad. And I don’t look that bad cause I was in a place with an amazing atmosphere that helped my skin look fresh Soo. It doesn’t matter if you put makeup on or not what matters is if you’re comfortable in both or one. If you love putting on makeup everyday and that makes you happy DO IT. if you find makeup is too much for you and you love staying bare face DO IT. Don’t bother following what others do with themselves.

16. Jaqueline Prado

Honestly? Pretty much the same.

I don’t wear makeup very often. As much as I love to do it, it is very time-consuming, and I usually appreciate getting every possible extra minute of sleep I can afford. Because of that, pretty much every person who has met me more than once knows what I look like with my face completely bare. At most, I will wear some lipstick, and if I’m really feeling like taking it up a notch, also some mascara and eyeliner, or some concealer.

There’s also the fact that, when I do wear makeup, I don’t go the natural route. I see makeup more as an artistic medium (and engaging in the pleasure of slathering things on my face, as odd as it may sound) than as a means towards being prettier, so while I do try to keep it flattering, I also make it so that it’s really obvious that I’m wearing a heavy hand of makeup, since I enjoy playing with colors and lines. I also tend to only wear a full face when I’m going out at night, so that allows me to get a little bit more dramatic with the makeup.

For comparison, here’s a picture of me right now, with no makeup on and very clearly tired since it’s midnight, versus one from the last time I wore a full face of makeup (with foundation and everything, which I usually tend to skip), which was last week: