I feel pretty -- and confident. A straight man’s adventure with makeup.

It all started with the fact that I am not an attractive man. I’m not fishing for pity here. Sometimes you have to accept that you didn’t win a particular life category. The biggest flaw is the acne that popped up to say hello in middle school and then made permanent residence on my face, despite the efforts of dermatologists, antibiotics, Accutane and expensive skin-care products. A decade-plus of acne has left scars that I tell myself build character. I don’t let them stop me from being happy. I have a good job in marketing. My personality is fine; I have decent social skills. I even found someone who loved me for who I was. Until she didn’t.

Feeling inadequate is a common side effect of being dumped. Newly single, every morning in front of the mirror was a battle for self-esteem. I saw only the things I disliked about myself. It would start with any new zits on my face and bleed into feelings about other parts, such as my hair (I look like a Chia pet!) and facial structure (one eye looks asleep and the other like it saw a ghost). One morning, this battle escalated into an all-out war. I was going to do something about feeling this way. I swallowed my burly man pride and went nuclear. I decided to wear makeup.

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