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High Maintenance Woman or the All Natural Look?

Updated on November 10, 2018
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

This is what I normally look like in the afternoon, after a day at work.
This is what I normally look like in the afternoon, after a day at work. | Source

To Primp or Not to Primp?

I have often wondered what men like more: The all natural woman, or the high maintenance look? I have never been one to want to wear a lot of makeup. I am too busy with life to want to spend a lot of time in the mirror. And for what anyway? All the makeup washes off or might wear off after a long day, and I would end up looking like my more natural self in 6 - 10 hours depending on the staying power of my make up. So, half of the day, people will see what I look like more naturally.

But I would look a bit messy and dragged out because my make up had partially worn off. Unless of course, I were to carry my make up with me and constantly run into the bathroom periodically throughout the day to touch up and redo things. Ugh, seems like another waste of time to me. And I wonder who the women that do spend a lot of time on their make up are trying to look good for? Themselves? Men? Other women?


Makeup can be made to look minimal and natural, way over the top so the look almost clownish ( for years I stayed away from Mary Kay ladies because the ones I knew in my hometown looked scary because they wore so much). Or, they looked so plastered with makeup that I wondered what kind of man would want to get close to them when it looked like they had plaster on their faces. My mom, bless her heart, used to tell me that the best way to apply makeup is to look like you don't have any on. Well, what's the point of that? I think that putting on some minimal makeup that evens out the skin tone, hides dark circles from not enough sleep from being up with a baby or sick child all night, and maybe highlights some specific parts of a woman's face such as eyes or lips that are striking, is a nice touch. I personally don't feel right without makeup because I have kids and they sometimes wear me out, and I really would LIKE to hide those dark circles. Maybe makeup application should be able to help a woman feel on the outside the way she feels on the on the inside? But I do think there's such a thing as too much of a good thing. And I don't want to scare the neighbor's children away!


I know there are many women out there that spend a LOT of money on their fingernails and enjoy the way they look. I don't want to offend any so, please don't take this the wrong way, but I am a born and bred Yankee, and frugal to my core. I would NEVER spend money to have someone else put nail polish on my fingernails. Sometimes I do put clear or a light colored polish on for something special. But mostly my nails are just au naturel because I don't have time to sit around in a nail salon, or in my living room waiting for my nails to dry. And if I am active enough to break a nail, I do not want to be one of those women who cry out in despair, 'Oh, I broke a nail." In the big scheme of things...who cares? It will grow back. That's what fingernails do. Unless of course, they are talking about the fake nails that are put on in the salon. If I had to pay for a fancy nail to be put on, and it broke, and then I had to PAY again to have it fixed, well yes, I might be one of those women who cried oh,'Oh I broke a nail" not because it meant my one fingernail would now look hideous compared to the rest, but because it would mean I would have to go back to the nail salon and spend yet MORE money to have it fixed!!! Yes, I would cry out about that too.


Okay, so this may be my one nod to the not so natural. I am in my early fifties, and I am not ready to be gray yet. I am not totally gray but do have some coming in...near my part, and on the sides. But I am also not ready to spend huge amounts of money to cover it up. I recently won a makeover which included $350 worth of hair care services. They all had to be done on the same day. I skeptically asked the woman who had called to give me the news of my winning what types of hair care services I could possibly get all in one day. She didn't skip a beat and listed off all the different hair services and their costs. Actually, if I had everything they offered, I could spend all $350 in one day! I was amazed that people might actually spend that kind of money all in one trip to the beauty salon. When she asked what I usually have done to my hair, I told her that for years I had been getting it cut every other month ( at Cost Cutters, a hairdressing chain that costs $15.95 per haircut) and every 6 weeks I use a washout box hair color (Clairol Natural Instincts). I do love Clairol Natural Instincts because it lasts for 24 washes and if I wash my hair every other day, I can just use it every four to six weeks. Plus it comes with an amazing smelling conditioner. If you like coconut scent, you will really like this hair color and conditioner because it leaves your hair smelling so good. I have actually gotten compliments on how great my hair smells the day I use this.

Anyway, she giggled a little bit incredulously on the other end of the line and then proceeded to ask me what I wanted to be done. I told her a wash, cut, dye and blow dry sounded good, which she told me without the free service due to my win would cost me $135!!! Geez, do women really pay this much for these services? And on a regular basis? I could buy my family two weeks worth of groceries for that much money!

When I actually arrived at the hair salon, I was immediately uncomfortable when I saw the way it was so poshly decorated, and the padded lounge chairs that customers sat in. They asked me if I would like something to drink and I agreed to a water...which they brought to me in a wine glass!!! I started to see why they charged so much for hair care services...they needed the money to decorate and buy wine glasses and lounge chairs!!! As the hairdresser started to work on my hair, we chatted, and she commented, with a knowing smile, that she heard I had been using box color to color my hair. It felt as though I was doing something I should have been ashamed off...but I was not! I said I had, and I was comfortable with it because it was not permanent and would wash out of my hair in 4 - 6 weeks time. She proudly told me that the hair color she was using was "permanent" but would only last eight weeks, and then if I wanted to keep it up, I would need to have it re-done every eight weeks. Huh? What's so permanent about that? I gave her a tip ( my only cost of the day) and thanked her but knew I would not be back. I don't have $135 to spend every eight weeks on hair care services when I can instead spend $21.95 plus the same tip.


Here I am really at a loss. I am not a fashion statement, and my two teenaged daughters will attest to that. I wear what feels comfortable, what I think looks good on my body type, and what I can afford. I do not spend money on designer clothes because I don't want to pay more money to have a designer's name on the label of my clothes. Why should a name like Ralph Lauren on a label command more money than a name like LL Bean, or Jacklyn Smith? Sometimes I think the most recent styles look absolutely ridiculous, and I feel sorry for women, especially younger women and teens, who spend money on these things because they are "in fashion" when they actually are pretty funny looking. I don't purchase designer shoes, purses, or other accessories for the same reason. Have you seen some of those pointy designer shoes? No thanks, I will pass on the jester look from the middle ages. And I certainly don't want to look like an elf, Christmas or any other time of the year. Why should I give a famous designer all that extra money when I can buy shoes and purses for much less money that serve the same for my feet and a place to keep my necessities when I am out and about.

In Conclusion:

So, now that I have probably offended half of the people that read this, I am sorry. I am just a natural woman, who likes to look good, be comfortable, and not take a lot of time and lose a lot of life's special moments by spending hours in the mirror, or at the hair salon. I try very hard to have my morning routine take 30 minutes, including shower and makeup. If I only partially dry my hair and let the rest of it dry naturally and curl on its own, I can be ready in 25 minutes. My husband and I can be out the door pretty quickly this way, and since we like to travel, it gives us more time to be together, and see the world around us. I know two women, one who is 18 and one who is 35, who both take TWO hours to get ready to go anywhere. If you want them to go with you anywhere, you have to give them at least 2 hours notice. If not, they refuse to go. They aren't even related. I am wondering if this is normal to take this long?? So, please take the poll below...there's one for women and one for men.

This is the best my fingernails ever look, when I put the time into them.
This is the best my fingernails ever look, when I put the time into them. | Source

Poll For Women

How long does it take you to get ready to go out for the day?

See results

Poll For Men

What look do you prefer in a woman?

See results

© 2012 Karen Hellier


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