LL C2W3D4: The Inverse Relationship Between Muscle and Make-Up

A funny post Tigger made at Muscletank.net about the dolled up, decked out, expertly-painted women at his gym got me thinking about how my own make up habits have changed over the years.

I remember the middle school days when even a bit of lip gloss or eye shadow was a big deal and the high school years when I rarely left the house without full foundation, concealer, powder, lipstick, eyeliner, and a touch of shadow. I also made a lot of my own clothes back then–anything from formals to fitted dresses and suit jackets–so I tended to dress in full outfits that would have looked right at home on a young business pro vs. the comfy BoHo, grunge, and skater clothes that were popular in the early 90’s. I must have looked like a nerdy female Alex Keaton minus the conservatism. 😆

Through senior year and my first two years of college at Rice, I favored deep burgundy or plum matte lipstick and lipliner (always!) with liquid black eyeliner on a pale, but perfectly smooth and matte face. I had a huge assortment of hair products and heat styling tools in my bathroom designed to weigh down and iron straight the bejeezus out of my mop of frizzy/wavy/crazy hair, too.

Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t GOTH in any way. I just never went out in the sun because I was/am a bookish geek, so the foundation and powder that matched my pasty skin just happened to be pretty pale.

(It’s true that I also had the black hair and favored black clothing, but that’s just a universal Asian thing. :tongue:)

Then came the Army and two months of basic training sans make up, jewelry, hair products, and contact lenses. For eight weeks I settled for Missouri mud and sweat, dog tags, a handful of black bobby pins, and a pair of BCG glasses…and two types of outfits–woodland camo BDU’s with combat boots and cap, or heather gray ARMY PT t-shirt, matching gray shorts with built in undies, and running shoes.

My skin cleared up like magic, and for the first time in over 10 years I had a tan. When I got my civilian clothes and gear back, I dispensed with the foundation and eyeliner and just got by with some powder and non-flashy lipstick most days on the job. The heavier war paint would come out at night, but even then it was nothing like the old days.

Once I got my discharge and headed back to school, some of the make up–just like some of the body fat–came back. Lipstick and liner were musts, and I used light, partial applications of foundation and powder to even out my (once again pasty white) skin and a bit of shadow to fill in my sparse eyebrows.

It took my BFL transformation last year to finally break me of nearly all make up usage.

I know it probably sounds weird, but I am beginning to think that my make up usage is inversely related to how much muscle mass I have on my body at a given time. (Or, conversely, it varies directly in proportion to how much excess body fat I’m carrying. More fat and less musle = More make up and hair gunk)

When I was not in shape (high school, college), I subconsciously tried to take the focus off the parts of me that I didn’t like (e.g. everything from the neck down) by playing up and enhancing my face and hair. As I started to whittle away at the layer of fat I’d had since birth while in the Army, I started to shift away from make up and hair products and toward more fitted, body-conscious clothing. When I finally got my body fat into the teens last fall, I hardly ever remembered to put on even a swipe of lipstick and my hair was often in goofy but convenient pigtails or simply clipped back with two barrettes. My collection of tank tops, short skirts, and gym clothes sure did expand, however!

And now…I am lucky if I slap on a bit of SPF 15 moisturizer and a dab of clear Chapstick once a week before I go to work. I haven’t purchased a new make up item in over 9 months.

Who cares if you don’t have the latest fall 2005 make up colors or hair highlights when you look buff, firm, and all around kickass awesome in two-piece swimwear, cute gym outfits, all halter tops, hiphugger jeans, short skirts, bare summer outfits, and sassy little black dresses?

Good-bye Mr. Revlon, and ta-ta Ms. Maybelline. I don’t need you to boost my confidence or run interference for my flabby thighs anymore. Mr. Squat and Ms. Treadmill have done more for my overall appearance, energy level and physical confidence in one year than you or any of your fellow panderers of paints and powders have in nearly three decades.

If I have to choose between artificial prettiness from a tube and compact available to anyone with a credit card or the bone-deep grace of a leanly-muscled physique paid for with hours of sweat and dedication, I will ALWAYS pick the latter.

Nutrition: Non-Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 3×1 spinach omelette with salsa and pear
2: 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. veggies, apple
3: 3 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. veggies, apple
4: 3×1 spinach omelette with salsa and 2 slices lite wheat bread
5: SGX meal
6: SGX meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter
Water: 16 cups minimum

7:30 PM P90X Kenpo X
10:00 PM Y!F workout (30 min)

The Awful Truth:
1. Probably only slept for 4.5 hours last night due to OCD urge to keep tweaking PinkDumbbells.com

Brownie Points:
1. Cold is barely there.
2. Took my vitamins every day for the past three weeks.
3. Cooked some chicken breast.

Short-term Goals:
1. Turn in read library books.
2. Grill more chicken for salads.
3. Clear out fridge.
4. Clear off desk.
5. Clean up loose ends at PinkDumbbells.com site.

5 thoughts on “LL C2W3D4: The Inverse Relationship Between Muscle and Make-Up

  1. I totally know what you mean. I was more of a goth in my twenties and now that I’m in my thirties and more fitness minded the most I ever buy in the way of beauty products are lip gloss/baum or nail polish

  2. I went through a phase of heavy makeup too. And looking back at pictures, I see that I wasn’t so good at applying it either, as my black/brown eyeliner was usually a muddy ring around my eyes.

    Now, there’s nothing like a good, hard run to keep the skin clear and looking vibrant! And since I’m *actually* healthy now, there’s no need to paint the healthiness on! :barbells:

  3. Interesting correlation with weight and make-up! I relate as well. I’ve never been much into make-up in general.. I could never get into the habit of wearing it consistently for more than a year. My sophomore year of highschool was consistent black eyeliner and lipgloss, after gaining 10 lbs. (but that’s normal after freshman year, eh?) Although I never consistently wore make-up, I compensated in other ways for my body image with hair dye! I believe when I was the most insecure about my body and weight, I tried to hide behind wacky hair colors (blue, pink, red, etc.) and focused way too much in “looking cool”.

    i’m back to looking, no make-up, no nail polish (that used to be a constant thing for me) and *no* hair dyes! And, I’m feeling in the best shape of my life. 🙂

  4. I LOVE makeup.. but it’s not a staple in my everyday habits, and I definitely dont wear it when im sweating my butt off. :barbells:

  5. You fucking rock!

    Please write a book and get Oprah to salivate all over it. The women of the USA need you.

    I’m dead serious.

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