Are you doing it for the experience?

by Rayna van Aalst August 28, 2018

Are you doing it for the experience?

A few weeks ago, I asked Diane Read, founder of Modern Minerals why she chose makeup when she started her business. Her answer was - because makeup made a woman feel good.

Her response reminded me of what they say about bad days – there’s always lipstick. A mantra I absolutely adore.

Apparently I didn’t communicate my excitement about her view well enough and somewhat hesitantly she said “Well, I guess you could say it’s a shallow approach…”

I clarified that I loved her take on makeup and shortly thereafter we moved on to the next subject.

Since then I couldn’t stop thinking about makeup and wondering when using makeup is "shallow" and when it is an empowering experience.

Last week I found the answer. 

In a TED talk about femininity.

In it the speaker Michelle Miller said something which grabbed my attention – masculinity is about the result, femininity is about the experience.

Although she literally answered my question about makeup in her talk, it wasn’t an instant A-ha moment. It took me a few days of musing on how exactly doing something for the experience is different from doing it for the result.

But then I got it.

I don’t like coffee but I love English Breakfast tea. Because of the caffeine, I allow myself a cup of it a day, before noon. Just one.

There are days when I’m so absorbed with what I'm doing that I completely forget about the cup lying on my desk and when I reach for it, the tea is already cold. In the past I used to mindlessly drink it, although the pleasure was none.

I’ve had my cup of English Breakfast tea. Result achieved.

Recently however when I reach for my cup and my tea is cooler than the temperature I enjoy it, I throw it away and make myself a new brew. And then I enjoy every single sip of it.

Savoring the experience. Femininity, baby, femininity.

Going back to the makeup now.

When I’m getting ready for an appointment – I put my clothes on, do my makeup and hair. I look in the mirror to check the end result. I look great but I could use a little bit of lipstick. Yes, better. Off I go.

A perfect example of completing a to-do list and riding the wave of my masculine energy.

Then there are also days when while getting ready for an appointment, I play music and sing along. I feel great, I look forward to that meeting but I’m a bit nervous about it too. I look into my eyes and I remind myself that I’ve got this. I talk to myself, out loud. And while looking in the mirror I notice my smile. Hmm I have a beautiful smile. Now that’s worth a lipstick. Perfect! Ready to rock that meeting.

Pure class femininity.

Result vs experience.

Makeup as vanity vs makeup as an empowering experience.

Rayna van Aalst
Rayna van Aalst