When you ask an African man what is the most important thing he looks for in a partner, none will ever say “high arched eyebrows.”
If you can find one African dude who says he only likes to date women with cut-crease smokey eyes, I have a bridge I can sell you.
A few years ago, an ex-girlfriend was hemming and hawing in the bathroom as she was applying makeup. I walked in to see what the issue was and I found a frustrated woman frantically looking for something. I asked;
“Hun, can I help you with something?”
“I can’t find my bronzer anywhere!” She snapped back
I saw her leave a beauty product on the kitchen counter so I stepped outside the bathroom and came back with a lipstick.
“Is this your bronzer?” I asked
“Seriously! Are you kidding me?!” She yelled and shut the door.
It’s an established fact that men know little to nothing about makeup. I honestly at that time, thought a bronzer was a type of lipstick color. I mean, how are we supposed to get the fact that women use 15 different products on their faces? To make matters worse, there are all these fancy beauty products names and types of makeup and they all sound like a foreign language to me.
What the heck is a matte? Matte who? To me, you look natural in your foundation, bronzer, concealer and nude lipstick.
We love women and we can’t deny that! We are instantly attracted to a pretty face. We will chase a pretty woman with makeup all over the place like zombies oblivious to the fact that it took her hours of primping to achieve that level of perfection. We simply have no clue what women have to go through to look good all the time.
Fellas, it’s time for us to stop being clueless about the beauty routines of our queens. We’ve basked in the blissful ignorance of not knowing about makeup for way too long.
I’m not suggesting that we get on the same level of understanding as women. I’m asking that we get to know the basics.
Will knowing the basics of makeup and understanding the beauty ritual of women improve your life as a man? Probably not, however, knowledge is power!
1. Women do not wear makeup for men
Let me get the most important nugget you need to know about makeup out of the way first. Women do not wear makeup for men. I repeat women wear makeup for themselves. It took years for me to finally get this distinction down.
Some women spend years upon years honing their makeup technique and ensuring that they can turn out the perfect curly eyelashes every time. It’s years of trial and error to get that liner to look even on both sides. Try curling your eyelashes to perfection without stabbing yourself in the eye. I can’t even put eye drops in my eye without it going through my nose.
Women endure this routine because they enjoy it. Makeup makes some women feel confident and powerful. Sometimes they use makeup to cover up blemishes or annoying spots on their faces.
Let’s not get it twisted, Fellas. Women wear makeup to present a good face for themselves. This revelation does not mean we stop giving women compliments though. We need to appreciate the artistry of makeup which women have perfected over time.
2. What is the foundation?
For years, I had no clue what the foundation was. Allow me to explain foundation in a manner fellas can comprehend. Foundation is usually the first step in the makeup routine. It is a skin coloring paint that women apply all over their face to smooth cracks, bumps, blackheads leaving their faces looking even. The untrained eye should not notice the difference when applied correctly.
Think of foundation like the primer painters use on walls before they apply the actual paint. Foundation is supposed to be invisible and make a woman’s face appear smooth without any blemishes. If you meet a woman and there is a clear difference between the shade of her face and the area behind her ears and neck, something went awry when she applied the foundation.
What exactly are women trying to conceal? I used to think a concealer is the same as foundation. Make sense right? A concealer is a product women use to hide the stubborn and bumpy parts of their face. Think of a concealer as the tool masons use to remove excess cement out of building blocks and smooth over any cracks.
A concealer is basically the second wave of attack unleashed on troublesome areas the foundation could not properly hide or blot out. I’ve seen concealers in liquid forms and others look like a glue stick. I am not sure why though. All I know is, unlike foundation, women use the concealer to smooth over or hide stubborn blemishes or bumps.
4. Powder. I think I know this one!
I grew up having powder sprinkled all over my face and body as a child. I never understood why I had to put that crap all over me. It was hot and sticky and it smelled weird.
The powder women use for makeup is obviously not the one I used as a kid. The powder women use as part of their beauty routine is applied using a makeup brush. Women mostly apply powder to the areas of the face which secretes the most oil. A powder is used to curb this secretion and blot out the moisture.
Women usually apply powder to their foreheads, nose and chin areas.
Powder use is another area which requires precision and practice. Too much powder application can give a woman the much dreaded cakey effect look on her face. Man, this makeup stuff is something. Isn’t it?
Blush is one I’m still trying to wrap my tiny brain around. When I think of blush, the cheekbones of a woman come to mind. Blush, however, is so much more. After a woman applies foundation and a concealer, she may look a little monochromatic or to put it bluntly, like someone who just passed away.
Blush is a form of powder used to restore the shape and the natural complexion a woman covered up when the foundation was applied. Blush can make a woman’s cheeks look rosy and a little prominent. Women spend years perfecting the application of blush along their cheekbones. It makes the cheekbones appear sharper and well defined.
Are we done yet? Nope! There is more.
6. Let’s talk about the Bronzer
By now, you already know I thought lipstick was some form of a bronzer. Well, I have evolved and will no longer mistake a lipstick for a bronzer. So what is a bronzer? Our sisters use bronzers to enhance the contours of their faces and it also gives them a glow. A bronzer comes in a tube and its applied with a makeup brush, I believe.
Lipstick is lipstick, what else is there to know about lipstick? It’s color applied to the lips. Well, these days’ women have a type of lipstick collection referred to as nudes. It subtle and one can ever tell (I’m talking about fellas here) if a woman has lipstick on if she chooses to go nude.
Eyeshadow is basically the paint women apply to their eyelids. It’s the color highlights you see between a woman’s eyebrows and the top of her eye. A concealer is used sometimes underneath the eyebrows and the lids blotted out with cotton and the eyeshadow applied. I feel like I’m missing something here. Oh well, you get the point.
What’s the difference between an eyeliner and an eyeshadow? I used to think they are one and the same. The eyes are the best part of your face so the eyeliner plays a key role in the makeup routine. An eyeliner is applied with a pencil or a thin brush. It is the color you see around a woman’s eyes and makes her face more prominent. Eyeshadows make the eyes bigger and the eyeliner accentuates the eye itself.
10. Mascara. I like that name!
Sometimes I totally forget that I have eyelashes. Heck, sometimes I forget I have eyebrows. Mascara is a thin makeup brush with Christmas treelike small branches attached from the tip to the middle portion of the brush handle. Women use this brush to lift, darken and elongate their eyelashes. Mascara can give a woman an exotic look and helps to make her eyes more appealing.
Bonus Point: Makeup rubs off
Fellas, women do not spend hours getting their makeup right only for you to mess it up while trying to get affectionate. When you try to get too close to her face and she gently puts up a barrier, respect that!
The last thing a woman wants is her makeup ruined and smeared all over your shirt. If you have to kiss, be gentle touching her face or stay away altogether. Well, unless you are back together behind closed doors and about to get some.
Okay, Fellas, that’s it!
There is so much more to discuss but I need another article for that. I did not mention the cleansing routine to take off the makeup at night, contouring, I did not touch on the weird white and green substance some women put on their faces and scare the crap out of us sometimes. I did not mention manicures and pedicures.
A woman’s hair routine will make a novel if I decide to write about it. For now, these ten items are the basics every man needs to know about makeup.
The next time your wife or girlfriend steps out with you, compliment her on her makeup. Tell her;
“Honey, the neutral eyeshadow you have on matches beautifully with your dress.”
Look her in the eyes and say;
“Sugarpops, your eyes look beautiful and amazing today. What brand of eyeliner or mascara did you use for your eyes? I’d love to know just in case I have to pick it up for you one day.”
Beauty is not cheap and its time consuming for our queens. Open up those wallets for her to grab some cool beauty products, sit back and appreciate the efforts and the artistry that is makeup!
Ladies, do share this article with your men and have them learn a thing or two. I still have a whole lot to learn myself so don’t hesitate to call me out if I missed anything.
Now I have to go shave my beard. I will be done in 3 minutes flat!
Stay pretty, my African Queens!
Author: Kwadjo Panyin