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BN Beauty: From Confidence Boost to a Love for the Art! 7 Reasons Why Women Wear Makeup



BN Beauty - BellaNaija - August 2015Last weekend, a male friend of mine and I decided to go see a movie. I had just started my makeup when he arrived to pick me up, so he had to sit and wait.

After a while, I noticed he had been staring at me for a few minutes. I imagined he just wanted to see how the ‘deception’ was achieved, but he had a whole other idea in mind.

As I put finishing touches on my face, he scoffed and said – “you know, I don’t like makeup. I don’t like makeup at all. So I don’t know who you are doing this for.” Was I shocked? yes. Was I offended? no. I just wondered why he would think it was for him. “What makes you think this makeup is for you? Can’t I just want to put on makeup? Does it have to be for you?” to which he replied, “Is that not what you ladies do? And the funny thing is that we don’t even care…’sha’ paint let’s be going“. I decided to ignore it and just get ready, so I don’t get irritated and not enjoy my movie.

The funny thing is…that was not the first time I’ve had that kind of conversation. It often leaves me asking if men think we wear makeup for them. I know why I apply makeup; it makes me feel good, boosts my confidence and can be very relaxing.

It also got me thinking – do other women, like me, know why they wear makeup? Or do they do it simply because it’s “what women do?” Is using makeup viewed as something as natural as having your menses? Do we think we have to wear makeup? I really wanted to find out because some women treat wearing makeup like it’s a 9-5 job they hate.

So to get my answers, I asked a few friends and acquaintances why they wear makeup. These were their answers.


1.To look better than the next girl

As much as we might hate to admit it, some women use makeup as a weapon of warfare. This came from my friend Temi. She thinks women look at makeup this way – the more defined their eyebrows, the matter the lipstick, the more highlighted the face, the better you look in comparison to the next girl.

Don’t get her wrong, it’s not for the attention of men. She thinks women do it just to show “that you’re the baddest around“. “If I’m going out with my girls, we always try to outdo each other. They’re my friends oh,  but I must look the best, and they have the same mentality. So at the end of the day we come out looking all glam and ready to outshine each other. It’s healthy competition though, limbs aren’t lost or anything.”

It’s weird, but I feel like I have experienced this. You know how you would walk right past a girl and for some reason she would size you up so much that people would ask if you know her? Temi might have a point there.

2.To show you’re on trend

Every now and then there’s a new trend that everyone is in on. Busayo calls it the pure-water mentality. It could be bubble/hump nails, crop tops, sheer dresses, coloured braids, you name it; once a hot new trend hits the streets, everyone is on board.

According to Busayo – “When makeup started becoming really popular, everyone was on it. Women feel the need to show that they are in on what’s hot right now…just like how we all used to wear bandannas. They want to take a makeup selfie, they want to have before & after photos, they want to apply a lipstick and take a selfie with the bottle, and they want to blog about it. It’s almost the same as everyone wanting to be on Snapchat or have a funny Instagram handle. It’s the need to belong to the ‘in-crowd.’

3. For your man

I have a friend who hates makeup. I remember when I would fill in my eyebrows she would ask – ‘Don’t you have normal eyebrows. What do you need this pencil for?’

But after she started dating this one guy, I noticed she was more on ‘fleek’ than I was. She now uses foundation, concealer, she highlights & contours, applies false lashes and even watches Youtube makeup tutorials.

When I asked what changed her mind she said – “Look honey, in this 2015 when there are no men around, if your man likes makeup, just do it. I mean, all his exes were makeup lovers, and he complains when I don’t use any when we go out. So here I am, blending and highlighting like a crazy woman. As long as it makes him happy, I’ll keep doing it ‘abeg’, I can’t shout.

4. To hide imperfections

Ever since Joy discovered the wonders of concealers, she has been a fanatic and isn’t ashamed to show it. She says – “Since I was in secondary school and spots invaded my face, I have been scrubbing, exfoliating, buffering, peeling and trying everything to clear them. Nothing has worked. So since I cannot get them off my face, I will hide them until I can. When I use concealers I get to feel what other girls feel – like my skin is clear and fresh. I don’t have to feel like the lesser woman in the room just because my face isn’t clear. I use concealers everyday and I am not stoppung anytime soon.” I can definitely relate.

5. For the love of it

Shewa is one person that I know loves makeup. Right from our days in university, she was always the one with the 411 on the latest makeup tricks and trends. I partly credit her for my growing interest in beauty.

For her, makeup is the best art form there is. “You know now, me and makeup are besties for life. I just love the fact that it makes you feel better, it’s my pick-me-up any day anytime. Honestly, makeup makes me feel like I am the most beautiful and special woman in a room; and that boosts my confidence because I can be really shy. So till death do us part babe.

6. Mama says so

Hadiza grew up with makeup. Her mom wears it, so do her older sisters and aunts; so she wears makeup. At a point it was almost like a rite of passage for her and her mom would kill her if she saw Hadiza outside without some makeup. “When I turned 13 my mom bought me a makeup set for young adults. She encouraged me to wear it and explained how it adds to your beauty and virtue as a woman. I didn’t understand that. She made it seem as though it was required of me; like I HAD to wear it. It wasn’t until I grew up and moved out that I stopped wearing it everyday. But not if she’s around, she’d kill me.

7. To make an entrance

For Laura, it’s all about the end game. Laura is typically like a lot of friends I have – they don’t usually have a lot of makeup on, but when they are going for a party or any type of event, it’s on.

They would either go to a makeup artist to get BEAT, or pull out all their acquired skills themselves. Laura says – “I can’t stand doing all that everyday. I feel like its too much work. I would usually just use my powder, fill in my brows, use a simple lipstick and I’m out. But when my boyfriend calls me and says ‘babe, we are going out’, then I get my makeup on. You’ve seen me do it now, didn’t you see my face on IG yesterday? Wait, are you still following me?


We all have different reasons why we apply makeup – it could be to boost your confidence, to stand out, make a lasting impression or just because MAC’s Ruby Woo is your man’s favourite. You might not even like to wear makeup at all.

But whatever the reason, make sure it is one that is true to you.

Share with me – why do you love makeup?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Juice Images

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at) or style(at) | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle


  1. lily

    August 27, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    honestly i just love makeup,although i don’t wear makeup everyday because i’m mostly in a hurry,but when i have the time,i beat this face up,even an MUA on the side,to me make up is art i just love colors and how they blend to a perfect finish

  2. Rude gal

    August 27, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    sometimes i wear make up when i’m in the mood for it. other times, i just do it to hide imperfections on my face, depending on where i’m going.

  3. Tiki

    August 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I like makeup just because I like how my face looks with it. I can’t stand it every day though. These days its eyebrow pencil and a pop of color on the lips. I keep the full face paint (and even then no concealing, contouring or highlighting) for VERY special occasions.

  4. Mary

    August 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    For me i just love makeup.. it makes me feel good, beautiful & confident. Makeup is too awesome for words!!!!!

  5. Naomi

    August 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I’m more of an entrance kinda gal, when I do makeup I do the BEAT!!
    Boo doesnt like makeup at all, i use pink/wine/red lipgloss at night so my lips look tinted during the day hahaha dont tell hubby ooo….since he doesnt see me apply lipstick he thinks my lips are naturally pink lol……
    Not to work tho, just oil reducing powder is fine. But for a glam day/night out my man doesnt complain.

  6. yrimu

    August 27, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    The only makeup I put is on my eyes. Nothing on my face. Anyway as a former model, I feel guilty for not letting my skin breathe while I was modelling. Always in makeup. So now I only make up my eyes.

    • looool

      August 27, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      so now ur eyes wont breathe…..

  7. Magz

    August 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Walahi! I love makeup just for the love of it! Chai! It is one thing apart from shoes that i have ojukokoro towards…lol! Not that I’m addicted to it o; there are days i go to work/out without makeup. But i just love sitting in front of a mirror and painting; combining colors, trying to decide whether to do soft pink lips or fuchsia pink lips or red lips or burgundy lips or nude lips OR golden smokey eyes, dark smokey eyes, orangey smokey eyes……damn! I love makeup! I even do my own photoshoot!

    Nothing annoys me as much as “who are you doing makeup for?” ermmmm…! I just love doing makeup because it makes me feel good and i love it!

  8. lotusflower

    August 27, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Some men just don’t understand that they are not the reason women wear make-up. I think the top reasons why many women wear makeup are to hide imperfections and to look put together. Who doesn’t want to look their best (not like someone else, o!)? If a little makeup helps, then why not?

  9. Open Sesame

    August 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I wear make up because I look more awake with makeup on ?

    I don’t have a problem with not wearing it though; in fact yesterday I went out with no makeup on cos I couldn’t be bothered.

    So although I’d rather not wear it (cos of laziness) I do because I look different – more awake, more polished and basically more alive with makeup on.

    On another note, I look so much younger without makeup – go figure 🙂

  10. Ibimena

    August 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I honestly love watching you tube make up videos and just watching people get their faces beat, it’s very fascinating to me probably because I’m hopeless and rubbish at make up so I like seeing people do the stuff I can’t do. I just never picked up make up skills from any one around me & I’ battled with acne for so long that when it eventually cleared I was afraid that concealing and not giving my skin room to breathe would bring it back with a vengeance

  11. Moi

    August 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Every woman wears make up to look good for men whether you have the man or not period. So don’t frame the reason. That is the primary reason.

  12. gorgeousa

    August 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    i don’t know why men think a women wearing make-up is for them ooohhhhh…. it gets me annoyed.. the last time i had a tough argument with my colleagues at work, the think the reason behind our make-up is to impress them…. smmmhhhhhh pls guys we are not out here to impress u oooo

  13. ochuko

    September 1, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I love makeup!!!!! Looking gud makes me happy.

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