Token Bloke: 10 Things Men Don’t Get About Women’s Beauty

Eyelash curler

Threading, curling, Scouse brows and mascara face. Our man columnist Michael Hogan is deeply confused.


1. How much make-up you’re wearing

Is my missus wearing none at all or has she just applied it so skilfully that I can’t tell? It’s a dark art, like witchcraft or “search engine optimisation”. Of course, all men think ‘natural’ is actually ‘none’, which makes for a rude awakening the first time you genuinely see her make-up free and think, “why are your eyes so much…further away…?”


2. Your eyebrows

Where’s this “threading” thing come from? I don’t know what it is or what it does. And why are soap girls and X Factor contestants getting their brows so unnaturally shaped these days? It’s like those old dears who shave theirs off, then draw them on an inch higher so they look permanently surprised. But with added orange face, so they look like they’ve come to a fancy dress do as an emoticon.


3. How you apply mascara and eyeliner

The sight of women putting sharp pointy things so close to their eyes gives me the willies. It’s like watching someone putting in contact lenses. Or that scene from Un Chien Andalou. Shudder. Can’t you just use big, soft brushes or blunt felt-tips for everything? It would put my mind at ease.


4. And that face lots of women pull while they’re doing it

You know the one I mean. The elongated, just-had-a-stroke face. The frozen-in-a-pre-sneeze-moment face. The horse-reaching-for-a-juicy-apple face.


5. Your natural hair colour

No matter how clever I think I am, I’m still easily duped by the hair-dyeing process. I genuinely have no idea what colour most women’s hair is naturally. Luckily, it turns out they’ve forgotten too. By the way, I don’t dig that ‘does the collar match the cuffs?’ thing. It makes me picture pubey wrists and a hairy neck. Which in turn makes me picture Simon Cowell.


6. How much of your creams and potions to use

Occasionally Mrs Me catches me cheekily “borrowing” one of her precious unguents and stares in abject horror as I slather it on like it’s Ambre Solaire. Whaddayamean, it’s £45 a pot and I’m supposed to apply sparingly with the tip of a little finger? What’s in this pot, mermaid tears and unicorn dreams?


7. Eyelash curlers

I know they’re useful but they look like Victorian torture implements. Terrifying. Bits of me are retracting just thinking about them.


8. How women can apply make-up on public transport

I can barely key in my iPhone code correctly on a moving bus. Yet invariably, across the way, a woman is artfully applying mascara as we bounce over speedbumps, or serenely following a lip-line with laser-like accuracy as we brake hard to avoid flattening a cycle courier. Such steady hands. They should consider a career in keyhole surgery or safe-cracking.


9. More creams than Elmlea

I was pretty proud of myself when I grasped the whole cleanser/toner/moisturiser triptych. Day cream and night cream are pretty self-explanatory. Anti-ageing and eye creams? Sure, I get those too. But BB cream? And now CC and DD creams too? Come on, give us a clue. Are they for moisturising bras or something? I’ve got N.F.I.


10. Why women go to the loo in twos

Yes, it’s a gender cliché but it still happens. If she’s genuinely going for a wee, why does she suddenly need company, like a potty-training toddler? If she’s not going for a wee, how come she’s sneaking off for secret chats? Maybe men should start going for a slash in pairs too, swapping smalltalk while admiring each other’s penises. “See the match last night? Nice cock.” “Yeah, Rooney’s first touch was sublime. Of the ball, I mean, not my cock. The football, not one of my testicles. Oh God, this was a bad idea wasn’t it?”



Photo credit: Renata Alves dos Anjos / Flickr Creative Commons

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