The Good and Evil of Makeup

Opinion, Writing

I remember the first day I was allowed to wear makeup. A day I had been waiting for, for what felt like so long. The day my mom would take me to Target, and help me pick out products to wear on the first day of seventh grade. I was more than excited, I was obsessive. Something about makeup had always appealed to me, and I remember being a little disappointed with all the neutral colors found at the drug store. I wanted bright colors, blues and pinks that I found in the Claire’s palette that I bought that same year. It was like a whole new world. That world only got bigger when I set up a Youtube account and began to watch people like, Zoella, Tanya Burr, and Bethany Mota. I remember making my mom drive me to the store so I could pick up a red lipstick that one of these Youtubers recommended for the fall season. I also remember my mom getting a lot of bullshit for the way my sister and I presented ourselves. We wore tiger tales and panda bear ears, with neon colors and bright lipstick and our freedom to look how we wanted to was often seen as irresponsible parenting. I think the opposite, because no matter how me and me sister ended up doing our makeup we never once did it to look pretty or attractive. We were raised to see fashion and cosmetics as an act of expression not an act of necessity, something that is often put to the side in the current world of cosmetics.

Having worked in cosmetics for one year and retail for six, I have had a really up close look at the modern consumer, as well as the companies that cater to them. With cosmetics it always starts with a problem. Someone doesn’t like something about their face and they need it fixed. This has always been funny to me because the people that work in cosmetics have the exact opposite mindset. Makeup can’t fix anything, only enhance what’s already there. We would know because we’ve tried almost every product out there. I’ve seen it all, from hickies covering a person’s entire neck to a bruise covering half of a woman’s face. For my friends and I makeup has always been more of an art form than a part of our daily routine, mostly because if I was to put the amount of effort I put into an Instagram look into my everyday I would be looking at tacking an extra two hours onto my morning routine. Ew. Who wants that.

If the rest of the world would get on the same page that makeup artists are on, society would have a much healthier look on the beauty world. For example, people that have an inner knowledge to this world know that makeup brands are often all owned by one Alpha brand (i.e. L’oreal owns Lancome, YSL, Armani, etc.) so it’s not always worth it to buy every new product that hits the scene. This knowledge means that you can shop for luxury products in a much smarter way than the average consumer.

Doing people’s makeup has always been a positive experience for me. Putting someone’s makeup on is an intimate act. You get up close and personal with people’s flaws. I have heard tons of amazing stories while working on people and also seen tons of women gain confidence, thanks to a little concealer or a better skincare routine. It’s something that’s entirely personal. Life is easier when you feel good about the way you look. Which I why I get so angry when I hear the arguments of people that think makeup is stupid.

On a semi daily basis I get the, “Oh why do you put all that stuff on your face?” or “you don’t need that to be pretty.” Thanks for your input, I know, that’s not why I put it on. People immediately assume that if you change something about your physical appearance you are doing it for the people that will be looking at you. I get a lot of comments on my piercings and tattoos as well, and those are all for me. I got them so I could look at them, and so I could be more myself, the same goes for my makeup.

People also assume things about you if you wear a lot of makeup. The number one thing being that you’re not smart. Almost every girl I know that wears a full face of makeup has a high IQ to go along with it, so that is completely false. Makeup is an art form that takes creativity. It is definitely more stimulating than it is mind numbing. Another thing that people often think is that if you wear makeup you have some kind of issue with the way you look. People that wear a lot of makeup…do not put that on their faces all the time. A lot of my coworkers, never wore makeup on our days off because it wasn’t worth the effort, and we didn’t feel the need to cover our faces. We did makeup because we love color, and individuality, and glitter. We like to try new mediums and use our faces as a canvas.

The other day I had a boy tell me I looked ugly without makeup. This comment made me laugh because I know for a fact that I don’t look that different without it. I told him that maybe he should try makeup because his natural face definitely wasn’t working for him either. You wouldn’t walk up to people with freckles and tell them the freckles are too much, so make sure you think next time before you tell a girl she doesn’t need anything on her face, because she most likely never wanted your opinion in the first place.

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