Dutch Quirk #59: Wear way less make-up than people in other countries

HomeLiving in the NetherlandsLifestyleDutch Quirk #59: Wear way less make-up than people in other countries

Dutchies are direct people β€” no need to beat around the bush here β€” but could it be that their no bullshit attitude extends to choices about personal appearance too?

Certainly, one thing you’ll notice after spending some time in the Netherlands is that people (well, Dutch women to be precise) wear way less makeup than what you’re used to.

That doesn’t mean they don’t take care of themselves β€” simply that there isn’t the same culture surrounding makeup as in many other countries. πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

So, getting dolled up for a night out? Or frantically putting on mascara on your way to work? You do you! But don’t feel like you have to wear it β€” others likely won’t.

What is it?

Well, it’s a choice really. πŸ‘ However, for internationals who might come from cultures where most women wear makeup every day, it can be a bit of a shock to see Dutchies rock up to the club without the faintest glimmer of a highlighter.

In 2020, makeup only made up 13.3% of the market share of cosmetics in the Netherlands, whereas it accounts for 16% globally.

So, instead of spending money on makeup, Dutchies spend it on skincare (which had the largest market share of cosmetic products in the Netherlands in 2020). ✨

Why do they do it?

One answer is directness β€” after all, what’s more upfront than a person’s skin?

Another hypothesis is the Dutch weather. β˜” Imagine putting on a full face of makeup just to venture out on your bike and have it all washed off by the rain β€” no thanks!

In all honesty, though, no one knows precisely why except for the person who makes the choice about whether to wear it or not.

Why is it quirky? 

Many of us are simply used to at least covering the dark circles from the night before prior to showing up to work.

However, in the Netherlands, you can be staring into your female boss’ makeup-free face during the morning meeting β€” and no one bats an eyelash.

Should you join in? 

If you want to! Whether you wear makeup daily, occasionally, or never it’s a personal choice. The great thing about living in the Netherlands is that people likely won’t comment and just respect your decision!

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: T.DenTeam/Depositphotos

Christine Stein Hededam πŸ‡©πŸ‡°
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafΓ©s (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).


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