The other day, a slightly ridiculous tweet from Black Desert Online prompted the staff at Massively OP into a frenzy of discussion over makeup and why there is just no way that the picture on the right there is a girl without makeup.
But as we discussed this around the office, I confessed that makeup is, to some extent, my MMO kryptonite. As a player who almost exclusively picks a female character, I’m often stymied when I come to the makeup screen. It’s equally bad in games like The Sims 4.
I just don’t know what to do, I really don’t. Eye shadow, mascara, blush, lip gloss, lipstick, foundation, concealer, eyebrow highlighting, cheek implants… I am absolutely clueless when it comes to picking any of these. I know that if I start messing around with them, then chances are I’ll end up with a raccoon-faced emo raver despite any intentions to the contrary. My best bet is usually to select “Thanks but no thanks” to every makeup option and move on.
This is most likely because I’ve never had a proper education regarding makeup in real life. My need for such information has been minimal, aside from getting the stuff caked on my face for a few high school plays. I’m always in a kind of awe at all of the techniques I see women use to “put their face on,” as they call it. It’s like they’re painting a self-portrait without any hesitation, whereas I keep thinking that if I ever ended up in a 1980s-style body swap movie with the opposite gender, I would probably end up looking like Pennywise or a coal miner if I tried anything.
It’s only a very little bit frustrating when my lack of knowledge hits the MMO character creation page. I generally like sassy and fun-looking characters, and I feel like I’m slightly missing out on making my toons all that they could be. Fortunately, it’s not like your default female face looks like a bedraggled woman who just got out of bed after cramming a pillow against her face for eight hours. MMOs are pretty generous when it comes to making you look good despite your ignorance.
Maybe there’s a market for makeup experts to come in and explain all of this to clueless players. Probably a very, very limited market, but still.