View Full Version : Can you make a person use make up?

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09-16-2010, 08:51 PM
A delicate question and a long story short: My husband´s niece is getting married in November. Her mother, my SIL, now 55, has never used make up and very little coiffure, as well. The wedding is informal, non-church and everything, but my husband´s niece, whom I now call the Bride, is a bit ashamed of her mother, my SIL. My SIL is slim, has the most beautiful face bone structure, and basically looks younger than her age, but she never wearss makeup, has her hair in a longish aunty perm and, also, has no sense in clothing. (Moi, I am always perfect;);)

The Bride asked me to do some politikking that her mother would once in her life at least be made up and coiffured for the great occasion. I have always been very curious to get to know how the SIL would look in good make up, coiffure and dress. I am sure that she could be so beautiful with a little help.

And she, the SIL, has always wanted to go out with me more than I have been able to do. We have so little in common, I am much closer with the Bride.

So - do I dare to ask my SIL to accompany me to the ladies fun-to-do with some make up etc. before the wedding ceremony (it starts 4PM). Can I tell her that I would love to share the make up and coiffure sessiom with some bubbly with her, and even pay it for both of us, or am I a damn hypocrite?

09-16-2010, 08:55 PM
I don't think it's offensive to offer. If she's completely opposed to the idea, she can say no. It's not that you are proposing kidnapping her and tying her down at the Mac counter!

09-16-2010, 08:57 PM
Of course you can ask her to go anywhere with you. But if she says no, it should end there.

09-16-2010, 09:01 PM
I think that this is a delicate situation. Obviously the SIL feels comfortable in her own self. Trying to change her for one day is difficult.

One Christmas, my dad asked me what I thought my mom would like for Christmas. My mom never wears make-up (or only lipstick). I went wild in the make-up aisle and told my dad she would love it. And she did wear it for Christmas sharing with dad's family and hers. But she was uncomfortable with it, never wore it again and in actuality looked clown like.

I don't think the pictures will look good, or the sil look natural and the pictures will be for a long time.

I suggest no.

09-16-2010, 09:03 PM
My mother would say she has tried for years with no great success. Kidding, I do wear make-up but not enough in her opinion.

I think it's a lovely idea for you to ask her to join you. She may do it just to enjoy being part of the group. And, lots of people don't wear make-up but will do something like this before a big event. I say - ask away - but respect the fact that she may say no and that's her choice.

09-16-2010, 09:03 PM
I wouldn't say anything. No offence, but I don't think it's your business whether your SIL wears make-up or not. Nor do I think she should feel pressurised into it by her daughter, bride or no. For some women, make-up is important to the way they feel about their looks. That's OK in my opinion - I usually wear a small amount myself. But if someone doesn't feel she needs it, or feels uncomfortable wearing it, or doesn't want to wear it on the principle that women shouldn't feel they must use it to be beautiful, then that's their decision.

And frankly, if I were getting married, I'd have a lot more important things to think about than my mother's make-up.

Garden Kitty
09-16-2010, 09:03 PM
I think it's fine to invite her to go along with you for a "fun" event, but I certainly wouldn't suggest that the bride wanted to fancy her up, or make an issue of it if she declines. If she does go, I hope the beautician respects her more minimal style and doesn't go overboard creating something that is likely to make the mother of the bride uncomfortable.

The statement that the "Bride is ashamed" of her mother is pretty sad though, particularly if it's primarily based on her appearance.

09-16-2010, 09:05 PM
I don't think the pictures will look good, or the sil look natural and the pictures will be for a long time.

I suggest no.

Carefully done very natural make-up would help the pics look better. Especially the formal ones with the photog's lighting. The key there is to make sure that her make-up is done by someone who gets that this is a woman who does not normally wear make-up and doesn't want the full out special occasion look. A bit of subtle enhancement would go a long way in helping pics look natural, though.

09-16-2010, 09:06 PM
I would ask her to join you beforehand, and it would be a lot easier if she weren't paying for it. But if you wanted to, you could mention that since she'll be in pictures, she won't want to look washed out in them.

And I don't think you're a hypocrite. Weddings are one of those things where you should bend to what someone else (the bride) wants... within reason, of course. And since the bride wants her mother to wear makeup, she should at least consider it.

But in the end, if she refuses, then there's not a whole lot you or the bride can do to make her. Would you rather have a mother of the bride with no makeup, or a sullen one who has makeup on?

09-16-2010, 09:08 PM
I think if Bride wants her mother to wear makeup she should be a grown up and say it to her own mother instead of asking someone else to do it. Talk about passive aggressive!

Assuming that's not going to happen - yes, you could always ask SIL if she wants to come with you for pre-wedding make-up/hairstyling. I think the key is to present it as an option and that means accepting no for an answer without judgment.

One thing that often comes across from women for whom makeup is a staple of their day is that there is something really wrong with women who won't "make an effort" to look like other women. Or that women can only really be beautiful when they are made up and styled. Any hint of that attitude will likely sabotage your efforts. I also would not spring it on her the day of the wedding, but reach out to her in advance.

ETA - I agree with what a lot of others have said re: better to have photos with barefaced but comfortable mum vs. made-up and miserable mum. And somehow I bet that this woman with fab bone structure will look just fine in the pictures (no one seems to care that the men might need makeup for the sake of pictures, do they?)

09-16-2010, 09:08 PM
The statement that the "Bride is ashamed" of her mother is pretty sad though, particularly if it's primarily based on her appearance.

Me too. That sentence in the story jumped right out at me. In a perfect world, it would be the daughter talked to, not the mother.

09-16-2010, 09:18 PM
Perhaps you could invite her to go with you shopping for outfits to wear to the wedding (assuming that she doesn't already have something chosen and that she doesn't hate shopping) and then you could just happen to stop over for a mini-makeover (for both of you) at the cosmetics department? Maybe she doesn't wear makeup because she doesn't want to bother with it, but if she likes the results, she may decide to try something a little different for her daughter's wedding. If she declines the invitation, then, of course, that's the end of it. But who knows, she may say "yes."

09-16-2010, 09:31 PM
Has your SIL ever explicitly expressed that she does not like makeup? If she has not, then I think it's perfectly okay to ask. Who knows, maybe she will love a girls' fun time together.

Wedding is a special occasion. I don't like to dress up either but I dress up and get all tiffed to go to someone's wedding. So hopefully she won't take it as an attack against her unless she is strongly against makeup and has said so before.

However, I have to agree it's kind of sad your niece would be all "ashamed" of her mother over something so superficial.

09-16-2010, 09:31 PM
The wedding is informal, non-church and everything, but my husband´s niece, whom I now call the Bride, is a bit ashamed of her mother, my SIL.

Sounds like that the problem is a Bridezilla rather than a mother who doesn't paint her face.

09-16-2010, 09:39 PM
You can certainly ask but be prepared for her to say no. I don't wear make up most of the time. Only for special occasions and when Im around people I don't know well as I have skin problems but I hate all those pamper things! And no-one else is going near my eyes!!!! people have tried to convince me in the past that I'd love some spa treatment cos its so relaxing but I can think of nothing worse- It's just not me. So ask once, but don't push if shes not comfortable with it.