Is there a difference between "wear make-up" and "put on make-up"? If yes please give some examples.


3 Answers 3


A man may say his wife takes forever getting ready before going out, but in nearly every case she'll spend far longer wearing makeup than she originally spent putting on makeup.

That's to say, putting it on is the initial process of applying makeup - an activity, which will be completed after a relatively finite time. After that comes wearing it - a much more extended "state of being" that has no particular "end, time of completion". If you're drunk or tired enough when you get home after a party, you could go straight to bed and wear makeup all night while you sleep.

  • 5
    Very much akin to putting on your pants in the morning, and wearing them throughout the day.
    – Doc
    Apr 3, 2015 at 13:48
  • @Doc: Ah, but if I put on my gold lame pants I could spend the entire evening putting on the Ritz Apr 3, 2015 at 14:02

I think there is a subtle difference between the two.

To put on make up means, the current activity of putting on/applying make-up.

To wear make up means, the make-up has already been applied and it is there on your face; you are just bearing with it, rather, carrying it off.

For example, consider this:

I am wearing make-up.

This sounds more like, "I have applied the make-up long ago. It is still there on my face."

Now consider this:

I am putting on make-up.

This sounds more like, "I am currently applying make-up. I'm doing it right now."


A make-up artist can "put on make-up [on an actor]" and the actor "wears the make-up"

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