According to the dictionary make up has many meanings. It can be about putting things together, constructing, resolving a quarrel, etc. This is why using it for designating cosmetics application creates a meaning coherent with the other ones. Because when a person applies powder, lipstick, mascara, etc. on her face, she tries to create another appearance, for better or for worse.
Why do some women apply makeup on their face? I tried to find and systematize the causes or the purposes:
1) They try to be like all the rest, to follow the informal (unwritten) rules if they are in a group where makeup is often used. Like this they won’t be conspicuous or rejected by others. They use makeup at social gatherings like wedding parties for the same reason. This is the conformist makeup.
2) They try to attract attention to their appearance if the makeup is too bold, they remain like that in another one’s memory. For example me, I can still remember one woman in the center of my town, wearing very long eyelashes (probably false) decorated with thick blue mascara, arguing with a man for a long time. I also remember another woman platinum blonde with very long and polished nails asking me with a shrill voice in the elevator where I descend. This kind of makeup makes a long-lasting impression upon young inexperienced ones. This is the dominance makeup.
3) They try with a medium intensity makeup to wear a kind of uniform in different offices. The bureaucratic makeup has some advantages, it creates a sort of order in the office, facilitating formal communication between the staff and the client. This is the opportunistic makeup.
4) They try to hide what they think is less attractive in their image, enlightening what they consider to be their advantages, in other words they try to look prettier. Especially when they use a discreet makeup, like wearing a ring or a bracelet if their hands are beautiful. This is the magical mirror makeup.
5) They try to wear a mask in different social circumstances when they feel insecure. The makeup hides the true self and the true expressions of emotions. If they are experiencing mild depression or different problems in their lives, it is likely for some of them to wear makeup in order to feel less anxious about showing their troubles, to feel less vulnerable. This is the shelter makeup.
6) I am sad to say that sometimes under normal makeup some women hide bruises or traces of crying for a long time. Or they hide different medical problems (damaged skin, pale skin), including aging sometimes. This is the plaster makeup.
7) And finally the professional makeup for those involved in show biz or other stage performances. This is the sparkling makeup.
I can say that number 2 can be wrongly judged sometimes as number 5 or reversely. It is a slight difference. And also number 3 is different from number 7.
(In 1992, when I was 21, living under stress, I applied myself makeup on my face for reason number 5. but the lipstick was too contrasting with my skin color.)
What do you think about wearing hats for example?