Why men need mascara

Make-up and talking to crowds

Like Boy George, I'm one of those chaps who usually has an eyebrow pencil in his jacket pocket. This is not because I am a secret Goth or New Romantic (I always preferred Black Sabbath to Duran Duran), or because I wear dresses at weekends (although, now you mention it, I often do). Nope. None of those.

I need make-up because I talk to crowds. If you are giving a big presentation, you probably need it too.

When you get up to talk to a group of people, you are there to engage them emotionally. The words you use, and even your tone of voice are far less important (10%) than what your face and body are doing. You need to emphasise those crucial message carriers - especially your hands*, face, and most especially your eyes.

Much to my own disappointment, I have very pale eyebrows. This is not a problem when talking or performing to small groups (up to about 40), but if I want to reach a bigger audience I need my trusty eyebrow pencil. (I like to use Body Shop, although it is a nuisance having to test it on my own pets when I get home.)

These three pics show the result - my darkened eyebrows allow the full and dramatic range (ahem) of my actorly skill to show through. OK, I am hamming it up, but you can see what a difference the eyebrows make if you compare them to the other pictures of me in the left sidebar. (For this role, I made up a moustache as well, whitening out the rest of my beard. I am not wearing any other makeup.)

So, if you are presenting to a group of more than about 40 people, and unless you have naturally strong eyebrows:

1. Buy an eyebrow pencil the same colour as your hair, or a mid brown if you are blond.
2. Before you go out to perform, gently rub the side of the pencil along your eyebrow, working against the direction of growth (ie outside to inside). Repeat until you have a colour you like.
3. Step back as far from the mirror as you can. Is it enough? (If it's too much, wipe some off with a tissue.)
4. Afterwards, soap and water will shift it easily.
5. If you are female, you may be able to ignore this. You either know it already, or you are secure enough to ask.

For presentations to groups of more than 100 - unless you will be projected on the big screen - you may want to use some eyeliner, powder and a touch of lip rouge as well. This is more complicated to apply - ask a pleasingly painted female person, a passing transexual or a New Romantic. They will be pleased to help.

* Steve Jobs emphasises his hands by wearing black
sweaters with the sleeves rolled up. See it here.

Mime photo by ChrisB at flickr.


Markus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Markus said...

Well, so that's why some politicians are more successful than others...

Check Theo Waigel (former Chancellor of the Exchequer of Germany)