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Nope, it’s not what you’re thinking of.

How many of you thought we meant was an additional percentage of monetary tax on makeup? We did too, don’t worry. While that does exist for other feminine products in US and female clothing worldwide, we are talking about something a bit different here.

Ever wondered why it takes you almost twice the time to get ready as your male counterparts? It’s mind baffling that even if we are putting on just the basic makeup (as we do everyday), it still takes us longer.

Apparently there is a term for it, “makeup tax.” As women, we have been trained to look presentable at all times and that entails spending more time, money and (much) more patience. In a recent piece on the “makeup tax” in The Atlantic, Olga Khazan cites some startling statistics: The average woman will spend $15,000 on cosmetics in her lifetime and two weeks per year putting on makeup.

Don’t worry – this isn’t a problem at all for all of us genuine makeup lovers (but it is). We’ve all been guilty of falling under the charm of Chanel and buying that lipstick (we’ve got our eye on this one) we really didn’t need. This is to say nothing of how it’s marketed exclusively towards women and therefore becomes a tacit part of the female routine. On the other end, women are punished if they genuinely don’t give two shits about beauty or taking the time for it. According to New York Times, one study showed that women who wore makeup appeared more competent and likable. Another study suggested that women who wore makeup got more prestigious jobs than those who didn’t. We are all guilty of giving more attention to someone with impeccable makeup than bare-faced. We feel like that they are more likely to have their shit together. Been there, right?

So B*s, what’s the solution?

The solution here is obviously not for all women to stop wearing makeup. Nor do I think we should never leave our homes barefaced again. Going without makeup, for anyone who’s devoted to a serious skincare routine, is certainly not sloppy. Regardless, it seems this is just another tightrope women have had to walk and continue to navigate in order to find certain kinds of professional success (speak loud, but not in a whiny tone of voice; spread out, but don’t take up too much space; tap into your masculinity, but don’t give up your femininity; and so on).

We got to wondering – why are women wearing makeup forging ahead in larger number? So here’s an idea: Maybe the reason women get ahead when they’re more made-up has to do with confidence. Even putting on tinted sunscreen, blush, and mascara makes a huge difference because it feels fab that you took the time for yourself and put your armour on.

—by the B*

Now, it’s your turn – Does your makeup tax you at all? Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, I’m curious to know.

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