I ended up on local radio last week giving comments following a St. Ives survey that highlighted the radical news that women wear too much make-up. Naturally, the men that we’re doing it for wish we wouldn’t. *cough*

I have so many issues with this survey I hardly know where to start. Too much bright red lipstick is a top turn off for men, apparently. One in ten of us only wear make up to impress men. Men don’t like us wearing fake tan. Nor do they like us having thick eyebrows.

The survey was conducted with 1000 women and 550 men and I can’t help wondering what age this group fell into. Personally, I couldn’t give a stuff what men think of my makeup, let alone my eyebrows. I cannot remember the last time it was even a consideration!

Nonetheless, while it’s all very well to flag up where we’re failing, where St. Ives have gone worryingly wrong is the judgement on any woman’s right to look as they please. On the same day that I’m on the radio defending women’s right to wear whatever they please, makeup wise, I also posted on BBB about Sophie Lancaster, a young woman who chose to look different and wear her makeup differently, in a goth style. She was kicked to death because of it at the age of 21.

So really, a beauty brand that serves to highlight and belittle differences in how we look, and more importantly, how we choose to look, is downright irresponsible in their messaging.

It’s not only highly annoying that in this day and age, St Ives think we could care less about whether anyone is judging us on our level of blush, but also that the assumption every time a lipstick touches our lips it must be to impress a man. It makes me think they did that survey in the 70’s and only just found it again now.

17% of us reapply some makeup as soon as we get to work. So what? 14% of women wouldn’t leave the house without make up. So what? Actually, the lovely (and somewhat baffled) radio presenter was highly amused that I’d worn makeup to take my dogs for a walk at 8am. I did explain that it was a swoosh of BB cream and some gloss, but then, I also thought it was funny that he thought it was so funny so we did end up having quite a laugh! It’s the next thing I do after brushing my teeth, but again, so what!

St. Ives are encouraging us not to hide our ‘natural beauty’ and to have the confidence to pare back the amount of makeup we wear – tell that to Sophie who wore black lipstick as a life choice and form of expression. I think St. Ives should mind their own business.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation is HERE.

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