Ladies, how much do you spend on makeup or all the stuff you buy to make you look different? What if you joined the movement as a way to save money?

I’ve been in the #nomakeup camp for some time. But not because of some deep message like the one Keys expressed in a blog posting on Frankly, I’m cheap.

The only makeup I regularly replace is lipstick. But you might find me in the bathroom trying to dig out the last bit of it to spread on my lips.

I also don’t do a lot of makeup because it doesn’t feel natural to me. I love my freckles, which get covered by foundation when I do wear makeup, which is typically when I have a television appearance. (Sorry, high definition television is wicked on the dark circles under my eyes).

So how about a challenge? Consider the savings of going you sans makeup. Look at how much women spend in time and money to doll up:

In her song “When a Girl Can’t Be Herself,” Keys says: “In the morning from the minute that I wake up. What if I don’t want to put on all that makeup. Who says I must conceal what I’m made of. Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem.”

Or what if you took even some of the money you spend to cover up your natural self and invest it instead?

Trade in your press powder for female economic power.

Color of Money question of the week
Do you think it’s worth the money to wear makeup? Send your comments to Please put “#Nomakeup” in the subject line.

Live chat today
I’ve got a guest today. Joining me to discuss the Color of Money Book Club pick for August will be Naomi Karp, senior policy analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Older Americans.

For August book club, I selected a series of “Managing Someone Else’s Money” booklets for The Color of Money Book Club this month. Here’s the review. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau worked closely with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging to create the free guides, which can be downloaded or ordered in bulk or single copies at You can also request copies by calling (855) 411-2372.

Karp will be live taking your questions about the booklets:
● “Managing Someone Else’s Money: Help for Agents Under a Power of Attorney”
● “Managing Someone Else’s Money: Help for Court-Appointed Guardians of Property and Conservators”
● “Managing Someone Else’s Money: Help for Trustees Under a Revocable Living Trust”
● “Managing Someone Else’s Money: Help for Representative Payees and VA Fiduciaries” This last one is intended for people named by a government agency to manage someone else’s benefits, such as Social Security or veterans’ assistance.

I’ll still be ready to also answer your personal finance questions. To join the conversation click this link.

Color of Money Columns This Week
Ready to refinance? Be sure to shop around.

That is NOT the IRS calling you
I’ve been writing columns about the IRS impersonation scam and so last week I asked: Have you gotten a call from an IRS impersonator?

Here are some of your tales
One reader wrote: “We get a call from a robot claiming to be the IRS nearly every day. We ignore it. Yesterday I was out running errands and my 12-year-old was home. He knows not to answer the phone for unidentified callers but still got to listen to the voicemail as it recorded how his parents don’t pay their taxes and are about to be arrested. He was terrified by the time I got home. There really should be a special place in hell for these people.”

I agree.

Sheila wrote: I received two voice messages August 26 from 909-228-3161,” she said. This is what the message said: “This call is officially a final notice from IRS, Internal Revenue Services. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing lawsuit against you. To get more information about this case file, please call immediately on our department number 909-228-3161. I repeat 909-228-3161. Thank you.”

If you get such calls file a complaint on the website for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Here’s the link.

Another reader wrote: “I get one to two calls like this a year, along with calls regarding my computer being hacked. I HANG UP, but it is disconcerting.”

Sabrina wrote: “This has been going on for months now. I occasionally receive three calls a day, each from different numbers and from area codes on both coasts and mid-America. With Voice Over IP, they’re able to ‘spoof’ numbers from anywhere so caller ID has become useless for tracking them down. I so wish that these criminals could be caught and prosecuted.”

Jenny wrote: “I received five calls from an IRS scammer in two days, three were from the number ‪206-822-5223 and two were from ‪868-568-2455. Each was a recording. I have one on my voicemail, which says I am being sued by the IRS and should contact them. I called back and the person identified himself as ‘officer’ so and so. I told them to stop calling me. He said “blah blah blah” (those were his exact words). ‘I’m going to keep calling you all the time’ and then he hung up.”

This is what Joy experienced when she called back one of the scammers at 213-280-4612: I spoke with a woman identifying herself as Eva Martin, Badge No. GS1767, and my Case ID as ED7201. She said due to a miscalculation between 2009 and 2013, I owed over $8,000. I said that I needed to have the info in writing. She said they sent me two letters, one in April and one in June – both of which had be kicked back to them because there was no one home to sign for them. She kept asking if I wanted to fight the IRS in court or if I wanted to settle out of court. When I said I wanted to fight the IRS, she said that if I lost, they would take my home, my car, and I could go to jail for 18 months or more. I told her I needed to have the information in writing, and she ended up hanging up on me.

And why did Joy call the number, you might be thinking? She wrote: “The reason I had called the number back in the first place was because I had been the victim of identity theft last year – someone filed for a tax refund with my social security number – so I was concerned that I was even in more trouble from that. After the woman hung up, I Googled IRS and the phone scam came up immediately.”

Bob provided a useful tip: “The act of telephoning the scammers’ callback number tells them that the number they called is a valid, active number and the person they reached is enough of a fish to be suckered into a callback. This gets you more calls and guarantees your number will be sold on scammer mailing list ‘brokerages.’”

I agree. Instead click the link for TIGTA and report the number. Read my column on why it’s important to report the calls you receive and what officials do with the information you provide.

Financial news you can use

Retirement columnist Rodney Brooks Monday newsletter this week: When did retirement become a dirty word?

Brooks writes: “With all the stories about baby boomers rejecting retirement and embracing encore careers — and there are many — we sometimes forget that there are people who really can’t wait to retire.”

Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1301 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to