Engaging in conversation about the intimate relationship between women and their makeup.

We know that many women do in fact have an intimate relationship with their makeup. Some don’t care much about it, some won’t leave home without it, others can’t imagine a waking hour…or minute…without it.

Make-up Sex is an opportunity for women to come together once a month, over a cup of coffee, on “girls night in”, or anywhere, to have a real conversation about makeup, body image, conceptions of beauty, self-esteem, and the health implications involved with using make-up.

We encourage you to start your own Make-up Sex group or join another in your area. Questions will be provided by your friends at CT Girlcott each month.

Monthly Questions for October 2015:

1.      How do you feel women’s health is viewed in our culture?

2.      Do you think the “pinkification” of women’s health issues has helped or hurt women seeking healthcare for issues like breast cancer and reproductive trouble? (“Pinkification” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/03/pinkification-breast-cancer-awareness-commodified)

3.      Do you feel empowered to manage your own health and wellness?

Kick off your Make-up Sex sessions today!

Organize a group to get together and discuss the monthly questions, provided below. These monthly questions are open to interpretation and should provide the framework for your discussions! This could be a group of your closest girl friends, members of your book club, your family, or your roommates. 

Each month, we’ll post new questions to inspire amazing conversations.

 Tweet about it @CTGirlcott or #CTGirlcott, share comments below, or post your stories to our Facebook page!

Are you looking for a group to join?

E-mail CT Girlcott at CTGirlcott@gmail.com and provide:

  • Your name
  • Your contact information
  • The area you hope a group is located
  • Do you prefer a large group, small group, or any size group

Are you looking for members to join your group?

E-mail CT Girlcott at CTGirlcott@gmail.com and provide:

  • Your name
  • Your contact information
  • The town/city/area your group meets
  • The location of your meetings
  • How many members you are looking to recruit



8 Responses to Make-Up Sex

  1. Women for Change says:

    The Women for Change September discussion on the University of Hartford campus was great!! We had only time for the first two questions in the hour that we had between classes. There was a group of about 12-15 of us fully engaging and discussing from all ages and backgrounds. We had reached topics including how does sex get influenced in make up that girls are wearing younger and younger; as young as in middle school and elementary school. It was also rewarding to see that women who do wear make up wear it for themselves as opposed to not trying to impress someone. What was probably the most shocking to learn among all the girls was the make up was created in Egypt and the purpose of it was to attract men to show them your orgasm face and have that appeal to them.

    It was a comfortable setting and a good environment where women could speak out about this issue. October should bring even better discussions as we will have more time to talk about the questions.

  2. Women for Change says:

    The Women for Change October discussion went wonderfully! We even had time to touch on every question this month! Our group for this discussion was very similar to last month’s group, about 15 women of various ages and backgrounds, all fully engaged in and excited by the conversation.

    When we posed the first question about what make up covers, the most common answer was “imperfections.” The group came to a fairly unanimous decision that make up is often used to cover things that we find unappealing about ourselves and consider to be imperfect. This brought up the question of what defines something as imperfect or not. To this, many of the women agreed that the media and society as a whole tells us that dark spots, circles under the eyes, and pimples are all things that need to be hidden because they are imperfections. Another woman in the group, however, posed that make up exists not necessarily to cover something up, but perhaps to accentuates the differences between the sexes. Still, other women said that make up is not worn to cover anything up, but as a form of expression.

    When we discussed the second question about how we feel when we don’t wear make up, the answers varied quite about. For the women who wear make up every day (or close to it), they said that they feel naked when they don’t wear it and that they are extremely uncomfortable going out without it on. For the women who rarely, if ever, wear make up, they said that at formal events, like weddings or proms, they feel as if they are not dressed up enough if they do not wear make up. This point is one that everyone agreed on entirely. It was also brought up that professional fields can pressure women into wearing make up. If a woman is constantly in the public eye in her career, then she is often considered not “put together enough” if she is not wearing make up. Again, the women who wear make up virtually every day insisted that the make up could just be a signature of the individual woman, so it becomes a part of them, almost like a part of their personality.

    From here, we jumped to the fourth question about why men don’t have to wear make up. The idea that make up accentuates the differences between the sexes and a woman posed the idea that if women stopped wearing make up, it would begin being targeted at men instead.

    Finally, we touched upon the third question about who we think created make up. Instead of really theorizing about this, we returned again to why it was created rather than by whom and decided, again, that it is emphasized in society to keep the sexes separated. We also discussed the idea that make up is often used to show status, so people who are higher up tend to wear make up more.

    There was a story a while back about a woman who wore make up every day for as long as she could remember. She was so dedicated to wearing it that even her own husband had never seen her without make up on. When he finally did years into the marriage, he didn’t even recognize his own wife’s face. Although this may sound extreme, it seems as though many women in society live their lives in this manner, or at least close to it. Women for Change would like to leave you with this anecdote, along with the following questions that prevailed throughout our October discussion: What are flaws? Who gets to own how we feel about ourselves? And, perhaps most importantly, why do we buy into all of this?

  3. Rachael and Sarah says:

    We held a Make-Up Sex discussion on October 25, and it went really well! We had 12 students from the University of Hartford engage in our discussion, and we had lots to say about it! The general response to the first question we asked was that make-up covers up imperfections. We classified imperfections as blemishes, dark circles, redness, bags under the eyes, etc. The first question also started a conversation about what make-up does besides cover up. We mainly discussed that make-up enhances the features on our faces that we do like.
    When we asked the second question there were varying responses. Most women said that they felt naked or unpolished, but a few said that they didn’t feel any different. A few women also said that didn’t feel as beautiful without make-up on, because make-up makes them feel more confident. That rose the question what else makes us feel more confident? Mostly we discussed how the way our hair looks and what we wear also affects our confidence level.
    The third question stumped a few women in our discussion. Some of them weren’t really sure who invented make-up, but one member of our discussion said, “Didn’t men create it?” That question started some interesting conversation. A lot of the women were surprised to hear that men created make-up, because men usually want us to wear make-up to appear more attractive. We also informed the other members of the discussion that lipstick originated from prostitutes, who stained their lips to indicate that they would perform oral sex for men. This really surprised the other members of the discussion.
    The final question (yes, we had time to get to it!) led to an interesting conversation as well. Most of it revolved around the fact that women have more pressure to look a certain way. The media was identified as the biggest source of pressure on women, because of all of the models and celebrities on television or in magazines. We also acknowledged the fact that some men do wear make-up, even though that doesn’t happen very often. From this we discussed how we would feel or what we would do if we saw a man wearing make-up. Most of us agreed that we would probably laugh and think it was a joke, because most men don’t wear make-up. Overall, we had a great discussion, and everyone was engaged and enjoying themselves.

  4. Women for Change says:

    For this month the University of Hartford Women for Change group make up sex discussion resulted in the following topics. Responses for the first question answers varied: from walking up in the morning; that moment before you touch your phone and everything in the world is so peaceful and no drama has occurred yet. Another equally common response was right before the shower; feeling rested and ready to take on the day. It seems that after a “regular” day it was less common to feel beautiful as there are always something that gets in our way; a hurdle that we have to overcome.
    The second answer was unanimous when referring to the most beautiful women “MOM”. Whether they were our best friends or role models, that was the easiest question for people to answer for both men and women. It was further explained that even though our moms may be beautiful on the outside, what was inside of them was what counted, when talking about who is the most beautiful person we know. Beauty is to be seen in the eyes of the beholder from within.
    Lastly the last question had got the group started on a tangent. Pressure for women to feel beautiful can range from make up, clothing, hair, to even trying to look like someone. It was concluded that no matter what, women look to models to see if they like clothes and almost look up to them as a model status. Also a new TV show called “The Mindy Project” was brought up about how a guy was testing the main character to see if she tried to be like his x a model and what she would do. This just goes to show that no do make up commercials influence women but TV shows, and clothing models.
    The last comment I would like to make is the group was wondering when we would have discussions geared towards men, as all of our questions have been focused on women.

  5. Spencer and Dana says:

    We held our Make-Up Sex discussion last night, November 29. About 13 girls participated. It went really well, and we both enjoyed hearing what everyone had to say. It’s refreshing to hear how interested our friends are about the similar topics we discuss in class.

    In response to the first question, a majority of the girls said they feel the most beautiful when their hair and make up are done. One girl even responded with saying, “After I get my eyebrows done.” We believe that looking good makes these girls feel good.

    There were a variety of answers for the second question. A few girls said they think the most beautiful woman they have ever seen is their mother. Mandy elaborated on this and explained how her mother has a big heart and that she is strong willed and independent. Amanda answered with her grandmother because she always puts everyone ahead of herself. Some girls answered with other family members, while others said celebrities, such as Kate Winslet and Jennifer Lawrence. They went on to say that they not only have beautiful faces, but personalities as well.

    Lastly, the third question is what we spent the most time discussing. One girl had a lot to say about the issue of the pressure that is constantly put on woman to look beautiful. She said, “They feel like beauty is only on the outside, not how you are on the inside. Women feel the need to enhance their features with make up to be beautiful. Society and media are to blame for this.” One of our friends spoke about how “beautiful” doesn’t have one specific definition. Someone may think you are beautiful and someone else won’t. She also said, “Personally I go to the gym to look maintain my thin and toned figure which looks healthy. I think looking healthy is beautiful.”

    Overall, we had a successful discussion and we enjoyed getting to hear our friends talk about the issues we discuss in class.

  6. Ebony says:

    I held my Make-Up Sex discussion group on Friday, December 7th. Although I held my discussion group this month, I actually was assigned September’s questions. I had a pretty good turnout of 6 girls, two unfortunately could not make it but – the discussion went on and I got amazing feedback. For the first question I did not get too many detailed answers that didn’t include only wearing make-up for special occasions or just because of having “bad skin” issues. Fortunately, the questions that followed really sparked up the group’s conversation. For the second question, that asked what the group members first memories of being aware that women wore make-up – I got stories from each member talking about how they remembered being curious of the “colorful stuff” they saw their mothers or teachers putting on their faces. They claimed that although they were curious of what this “colorful stuff” was upon their elder women’s faces, they felt that it did not influence them to wear make-up.
    The last question that asked the first time the girls wore make-up and how did it make them feel, had the longest responses. I found a pattern with the responses from the girls. They all said that – they fairly recently within the last five or six years had started wearing make-up on and off. Most of their starts were because of special occasions like weddings or school dances. Other reasons included just having bad acne issues in their early teens. Although, wearing make-up wasn’t an everyday thing for them then and now; they all agreed that when they wore make-up they felt that it made them feel prettier; it boosted their confidence and just all around made them feel good about themselves. I took their responses and asked them to go further with it, so they began to explain that; they didn’t know why but they associated wearing make-up with power in a way because people especially women with power from the first lady of the united states to celebrities everywhere, wear make-up on the daily. So they continued to say that when they wore make-up, it not only brought out their facial features better but automatically gave them a sense of power.
    Although, we completed going over all the questions for the month of September – a follow up idea that I spoke to the girls about was; did they feel that there was any cons to wearing make-up. With this brought to the discussion, we got into talking about how from wearing make-up some people might get the wrong impression from someone. People might associate a women wearing make-up with something like prostitution or trying to hide something behind the make-up. One responses was that make-up can be deceiving, I asked how and it was explained that sometimes when make-up is taking to an extreme and wore day after day, it’s deceiving because that person’s pure face is never seen.
    Sooner then we knew it our time of discussing was up and our conversation was still going as we left. Overall, I felt that we had a good discussion, everyone enjoyed themselves and the girls that participated walked away from the discussion thinking about how something as little as the action of wearing make-up can mean so many different things on so many different levels.

  7. Angelica and Marissa says:

    On December 14th, 2012, a group of 10 people gathered to discuss this month’s make-up sex questions. This group was diverse in ages, and we even had a male participate. The first question about our feelings towards our body started out quieter than the ones afterwards, because most in the group were not the most comfortable with answering the question. Once one person chimed in with her feelings the rest were able to open up and respond. Most of the answers stayed along the lines of “I’m okay with my body, but there are still some things that bother me,” but some also were able to their confidences nicely. Both Marissa and I feel that the reluctance in the beginning was was due to the impressions they may have made on the other members of the group. In society, there is no happy medium when it comes to the thoughts about your own body. People who are not confident are ridiculed for their low self esteems, while people who are confident in themselves are looked upon as vain. It was agreed by the group that if others chose take people’s feelings about their own bodies in a better light and didn’t stress any kind of negativity, people would be more open about their feelings and those who felt negative could be helped to feel better.
    The second question varied greatly in circumstances, but the time of life that self-consciousness started to develop was around the time puberty started for each person. Some mentioned the development of breasts being either extremely early or late, while other’s focused on their height and weight being pointed out by their peers. All of the self-consciousness, however, was started due to some sort of attention (whether negative or positive) received from another person. This raises the question of whether or not a self-conscious would ever develop if others refrained from speaking out their opinions about a person’s physical appearance. This also raises the question of what could be the basis of beauty that other allow themselves to judge a person on. Opinions about a person’s physical appearance can vary greatly from one person to the next, so how do we know what is really “beautiful”?
    What part of your body is your favorite? Your least favorite? Marissa and I found the answers that we received to this question the most interesting out of any of the other questions. Although main body parts such as legs and arms were mentioned, many of the members told us that their hair, fingernails, eyelashes, or eye color was their favorite part of their body. These parts are relatively small compared to the rest of the features of our anatomy and can even be looked to as biological accessories, yet they still overpower our own flesh.
    The last question was answered by each person based on their take on the question itself. Many believed that the question was asked in regards to health and fitness, to which most believed that they needed to improve on their means of keeping themselves healthy. They said that being full time students, it is hard to focus on a healthy routine when all they have on their ind is getting their school work done. Health becomes a second choice and therefore decreases as a consequence. Some other members of the group thought that the question was asked in regards to modifications such as piercings and tattoos. The opinions about these modifications can be very opposing, but many agreed that the modifications they have or wish to have wouldn’t necessarily harming their bodies, but enhancing it for their own personal benefits.
    Overall, the group worked effectively in sharing their feelings and discussing a subject that can be very sensitive in many peoples lives!

  8. Women for Change says:

    Due to the Jan questions still being up we answered those questions and will answers Feb in April!

    1. Our group at the University of Hartford focused on how women are portrayed in music videos. It was evidently clear that women are “required” to wear little to no clothing in these videos and sadly no one thinks twice about it. It is seen as the normal. If a women wanted to be in a music video she would have to know that as a pre-requisite she would need to show more skin than cover. However when men are featured in a video they wear “regular” clothes shirt and top and once again nothing is seen odd by that because of its normalcy. There was a music video that men were in and were wearing boxers and that was considered so “risky” and not normal. How is it that when men wear less clothes it catches peoples eye but when women do it, it is almost as though it should be expected.

    2. The answer to this dates back to childhood for most. It was when some were playing barbies and put ken in the truck and sent him to work while barbie stayed home and did what she did in the house. No one told the child how to play but that is just naturally what the child’s is “right”. This also happened when a young girl wanted to dress in boy clothes and play with the boys in the yard. Her mom stopping her saying girls wear dresses and don’t play with boys was the realization that men and women are treated different. Naturally at the time a girl just saw this as fair but she later realizes that looking back on the moment was when she truly knew boys were different from girls.

    3. The idea of gender roles, is almost barbaric. Are we in a can waiting for the pills-berry dough boy to “make us”?! We are not different gender roles, we are humans, who all eat, breath, live, laugh, cry the same. Why must there be such a dividing line between the two, men and woman? Fact is Men can’t reproduce with women and women can’t reproduce without men; there needs to be a cohesive mutually understanding between the two genders that we are all the same. From a scientific, we have all the same parts; men’s parts drop from their cervix while developing in the womb while girls stay inside, and this is how we further develop into men and women. Why is it that men’s parts are more exposed literally when women more often then not feel more exposed and vulnerable then men??!?!

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