It was my sixteenth birthday. My friends arrived at my party and presented me with a bag full of foundation, blush and mascara. We set up a make-shift beauty station in front of the bathroom mirror and I lost my make-up virginity.
When I looked in a mirror a few minutes later I cried, shut the bathroom door and removed every speck of foundation and eyes shadow I could see. I hated it. I felt ridiculous – like someone had painted my face and that was not the look I was going for on my sweet sixteenth.
I had an on-off experience with make-up from that point on. I never really wore make-up at school. Occasionally I’d apply a splash of blush and maybe a little mascara. Otherwise if I ever felt like I needed a ‘glow’, pinching my cheeks did the trick.
My school had a no make-up policy but I don’t think it was ever properly enforced. Most girls did wear some make-up to school whether it was to impress the boys, cover up pimples or just experiment.
Recently, a school in the UK removed the mirrors from its bathrooms to discourage 14 to 16-year-old students from wearing make-up.
The Daily Mail reports:
“A secondary school has become so fed up with girls flouting its ‘discreet’ make-up policy it has put in place a very direct solution: removing the mirrors.
The tough measure was introduced, along with a total ban on make-up, to stop pupils aged 14 to 16 from crowding in to the toilets to attend to their faces.
The school’s zero-tolerance policy on make-up has also seen teachers being given make-up removal kits to ensure all pupils obey the rules.
Girls at Shelley College in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, are now checked for make-up every day.
Some girls are said to be furious about the rules, claiming that wearing make-up helps to give them confidence.
But John McNally, head teacher of the comprehensive school, said most pupils and parents support the measures.
He said: ‘There comes a point when you need to stop teachers spending half an hour in the day talking to girls about their make-up. It is more sensible to say it’s not allowed.”
Well, that’s one way to deal with the problem. Or is it?
How old were you when you started wearing makeup? Did you wear make-up at school? How did you get away with it?