How much makeup should we wear?
Let’s talk about makeup today and more precisely let’s talk about how much makeup should a woman wear.
Makeup has become such a big part of our lives, we have so many textures brands and colours to play with, so many products dedicated to each part of the face. Technology improves constantly and so does makeup: new tricks appear every day promising magic in our hands, and new tutorials from everybody and anybody to teach us how to use all these products. Makeup is my passion so I love it and see endless fun ahead.
The Kardashian’s, or I better should say the makeup artists who embellish them, have created a new trend: the Kardashian look. The more popular their program has become the more surgical procedures they’ve had on their faces and bodies, and what concerns me here, the more makeup they’re wearing. And that a lot of women or girls – whether they’re fans or not – feel they have to wear that much makeup too in order to look good.
Please don’t get me wrong the makeup artists’ work is brilliant and gorgeous. And I get it they’re on television, sometimes in places where lighting cannot be controlled and they want to look fabulous at all times. Good for them! It’s their thing it’s their choice of look… it’s their mission in life it seems.
We women are attracted by beauty, we want to look good too – at every moment of the day and be the star of our own show. Not necessarily televised obviously but you see my gist. We can’t help but want these looks for ourselves. Wouldn’t it be great?!
So many friends and clients ask me for advice on their makeup. They seem almost scared of makeup because should they wish to learn by themselves they’re overwhelmed with the amounts of tutorials showing different techniques and moreover they are freaked out by the number of products they’d have to buy in order to look this good.
I think that’s a result of that new trend and I’m not a big fan of what I see more and more in the streets and on some tutorials.
The other day I came across this tutorial where the girl put on so many layers of different foundations and concealers and powders and creams to contour her face, it went on for hours. OK I exaggerate but it felt like hours! After all this her face had become a mask, her eyes and lips looked flat, the light couldn’t bounce from her skin anymore it had so much cake on it and she had to play with different powders at the very end to create facial expression.
Then at a cafe I saw this girl with so much powder and contouring on her pretty face she looked sick. The overall color was yellow and the brown she used to contour was so dark it deepened her cheeks to a Frankenstein level. She kept digging in her purse for her mini mirror to check her face hadn’t turned to mayonnaise in the sun and from time to time she did a little retouch with more powder.
In both situations I felt sorry for them. I’m sure initially they just wanted to be the prettiest girl around. In my eyes they’ve fallen into the marketing trap we see everywhere.
Everyone now wants to look like the Ks, the marketing departments of all makeup brands tell you yes you can too and here buy this palette and buy this other and do contouring and blow up your eyebrows and buttocks. Every time I open FB my home page is filled with ads that want to sell me eyebrow fillers that can resist an atomic blast.
My question is: do we really want to wear that much makeup on our face?? In broad daylight?? Even if no TV crew is following our every move?! How about we just change our models of beauty?
To me makeup is a way of affirming one’s identity and unique charm. I love to paint and makeup is my tool just like other artists use chalk or watercolours. Yes sometimes I apply a lot because of the shoot or event I’m working on. But day to day I don’t recommend to anyone to use this much makeup on their face. What I do insist on is a good beauty regimen to take care of the skin.
When I first bought makeup in my teens it was like discovering a whole new type of candy. All these colours all these scents all these textures and mini boxes of wonder. It still feels that way when I step into a makeup store. Makeup is fun so when my clients and friends seem scared of it I feel something is wrong right there in that very emotion. Makeup is supposed to bring joy – not fear!
Marilyn Monroe, the most beautiful woman of all time, posed in front of the camera with no makeup or very little sometimes and still looked amazing. She kept more or less the same look her whole (short) life. That eyeliner was her identity and the look everyone copied. Her makeup look and that of Elizabeth Taylor were THE looks of the 50s but these ladies fought for something in their own way. They fought for women’s independence and for recognition as strong and intelligent women in a world dominated by men’s ideas of what a woman should be. Marilyn took intensive classes to be considered for serious roles and become recognised as an actor instead of the sex bomb persona the studios forced on her. And even if they were not fighting for something at least they had a TALENT: learning lines and being able to play someone they were not in real life. I can’t do either, can you?!
I understand why women were inspired by them and wanted to look like them. By embracing their looks I’m persuaded all women claimed their independence too or at least yearned to be one of the fantasy characters they played.
What ideas are we embracing now by choosing to look like the Ks?
Can we please stop looking at one sisterhood and search for other models to copy: someone who’s achieved something remarkable in her life, someone who’s fought for something, someone who has a talent or plenty, someone who’s trying to make a difference. These women spend less time applying cake on their face and hiding who they really are. On the contrary they want to highlight what their true personality is.
Please stop trying to be somebody you’re not, value your true self and love those traits you inherited because they are truly unique and beautiful. Be a virtuoso of your own show, be different, be exquisite.
Let’s go back to the basics and realise that makeup is here to enhance our natural beauty, to brand our identity, and to prove our uniqueness next to all the other women we will come across in one day. A little eyeshadow on the eyebrow, a light foundation, a touch of mascara and a drop of lipgloss can go a long way.
Unless you have some serious skin condition that marked you for life and left you feel insecure, the little defects of your skin are the details that make you beautiful in your own unique way.
All this makeup does not help you look better. It’s what you will put on your plate that will help you look… and feel better. The food part is another subject we’ll discuss another day.
For now here are a few of the women I admire. They may not be your models of beauty but to me they are beautiful and I feel inspired when I look at them. Some of them wear a lot of makeup sometimes but that’s for a good excuse – a red carpet or a movie role. Either way they don’t need heavy contouring or foundation to deserve my admiration.
One last thing to remember:
“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.” John Ray