Why Do You Wear Makeup? NYC Women On Why They Did — or Didn't — Put Their Face On

When I wake up in the morning to go to class, I apply a thin line of eyeliner to the top of my eyelids, a few swipes of mascara, and some light foundation. But if I'm just relaxing on my couch with my friends watching Friends and eating pizza, I'll usually opt to go au naturel. I could say that it doesn't really matter whether I wear it or not, but the truth is, regardless of the situation, I tend to feel naked without at least some sort of makeup on.When I look at my group of friends at Wesleyan, I see a whole array of made-up and non-made-up faces. My best friend refuses to leave her room without applying at least some eyeliner and sparkly eye shadow, and she always looks beautiful and thoroughly . . . kempt. She is utterly convinced that she looks disheveled sans makeup, so no matter what time of the day it is (even for her 9 a.m. class!) she will take the extra time in the morning to apply her makeup. I'm pretty sure she refuses to take it off until the minute before she goes to bed. My roommate, on the other hand, told me from Day One of freshman year that she never wears makeup. Makeup is just not a part of her morning ritual. And you know what? She, too, looks fabulous everyday.

Everyone has her own reasons for wearing makeup — or not wearing it. But is it a conscious decision, or just a habit? I decided to walk the streets of New York City and actually ask the question: Why are you — or why aren't you — wearing makeup? Here's what women had to say.

Why are you wearing makeup?

Judith, 17

Shuanna, 21

Faye, 16

Lauren, 23

Jessica, 20

Marissa, 26

Mykala, 17

Madi, 17

FATIMA, 24

RACHEL, 20

EVELIN, 25

GRETA, 15

Why aren't you wearing makeup?

Sushanna, 22

Sasha, 24

Sabina, 18

BEA, 15

MELANIE, 26

Shirley, 20

SONYA, 25

NINA, 24

ONEIKA, 18

CAILA, 24

DAWN, 40

TINA, 16

AMISHI, 16

LIZ, 24

ADDIE, 16

Images: Courtney Laermer