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Finally, make up for ‘cowardly’ women!

I couldn’t agree more with the common saying that “women are their worst enemies” when we are discussing makeup.

I have always felt like that women who use makeup view those who don’t as “lazy and uncaring” about their image.

The truth is, those who do not embrace makeup like myself, place premium on other accessories: jewellery, designer perfumes, statement watches, bags and shoes.

There are other sources of confidence that cant be quantified such as how well tailored our clothes are and – of course – intelligence.

We feel women who are obsessed with makeup lack confidence in themselves and have to hide behind that fake beauty, a weakness that has been exploited by the multi-million dollar beauty industry.

Well, Prof Nancy Etcoff an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School and a research psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital agrees with us.

The author of the book Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty, Nancy carried out some observation in 2013 and found out that that faces with natural makeup were seen favorably but faces with more dramatic makeup were seen as less trustworthy.


However, a 2011 study by Proctor and Gamble which Prof Etcoff helped design and execute showed that moderate makeup wearing increases people’s perceptions of a woman’s likability, her competence and her trustworthiness.

Makeup is such an understudied subject that carries so much weight on the man-woman relationship.

So the truth is, sometimes tomboys like me may just be lazy, or too proud to admit that they have not mastered the art of applying makeup. So we bastardise everything about makeup. You cannot blame us.

Even YouTube tutorials labelled “Do-it-yourself make up for beginners” drop such jaw-breaking names like “accentuate and highlight your best features.”

I start to wonder whether there are bad portions of my natural face that need to be hidden.  Then there is the buzzword contouring, which Kim Kardashian ( introduced me to.

After that, there is the struggle to choose what shed of makeup and then one product working best with the support of this and that. Sigh! Let me go back and calculate wavelengths for a hobby.


I am not apathetic to makeup. As a journalist, I have — for instance — viewed lipstick in an economic sense. You can tell where we are as a country when women are willing to spend Sh 6,000 on lipstick.

So in my aggressive hunt for makeup line that my blonde self could use without humiliating myself, I stumbled upon Chelsea Boutique, one of the few foreign make up companies that have pitched retail tents in Kenya.

I bought their semi-permanent eyebrow make up kit.

There in I got an eyebrow Powder, tweezers, a double-ended application brush. The brush unburdened me of those funny terms like “swirl”, move your hands in circles when applying the powder.

What amazed me in the kit was the different stencils with shapes for eye brows. I could just pick one when with the shaoe of Zari’s eyebrows and draw!

The packaging —a little velvet case to keep everything in — made me feel like I was using those products associated with fashion gurus like Victoria Beckham.

The thinness of the powder drew me to the products. Finally, now I can have my own “before and after” moment.