Throughout history, women have used all kinds of things in an effort to look their best. Gueneviere used saffron to hide her gray hair in an effort to look more beautiful for Sir Lancelot. Cleopatra lined her eyes in kohl. Women throughout the centuries crushed berries to add color to their lips and cheeks. Makeup and our love for it is a part of our history as women. I would even go as far as to say it’s a part of our DNA.
Here we find ourselves in an age of technology and social media. Everyone has a cell phone and an opinion to share. There are bloggers that are brilliant at sifting content & regurgitating it in a way that makes for sparkling content that feels authentic. There are teenagers sitting in their bedrooms making YouTube videos talking about their recent “haul” from Sephora. Then there are people just simply doing their makeup in front of a camera and because they do it with personality, they create huge followings for themselves that trick the average consumer into thinking that they actually know what they’re talking about. Some use music, catchy graphics and photography that makes them look like world class professionals.
But, here’s the rub for you as the consumer – how will you know what info is real and true? My advise is to look for content that is written by someone with REAL beauty experience and has real life credentials. Their information should translate as truth and authenticity, not entertainment. Read their bios. Look for vast professional beauty experience in makeup artistry, hair styling and from licensed aestheticians. This experience translates to knowledge that is priceless.
Would you take dental advice from your car mechanic because he read an article about how to fix a cavity on the Internet? Of course not. Be sensible. Pay attention to what your reading and watching. Having this awareness is the difference between showing up to a party looking like a contoured clown instead of the sophisticated goddess that you truly are. It can also help prevent you from swelling up like The Incredible Hulk from a DIY beauty recipe gone awry.
First and foremost, makeup is an art!
As a makeup artistry educator I can tell you firsthand that the initial classes of every basic makeup training class consist not just of instruction & establishing course guidelines, but also of breaking down everything the students have learned from watching YouTube and scrolling through makeup related hashtags on Instagram. Though they all acknowledge they are beginners, most students walk in to class thinking that they know exactly how to be makeup artists.
The truth is that a well executed makeup application is tough. Makeup application is an ART. Makeup is the medium that we use. The brushes are very specific tools, with each brush having a reason and a purpose. Applying makeup on a living breathing human is difficult. The skin can change from the beginning of the makeup application to the end of it & calculating how the skin is going to behave takes time, patience and experience.
We're Bringing Pretty Back
Around the second or third class I keep hearing “this is hard”. That’s how I know they’re really listening and learning! The tears of frustration always flow on the day I teach the cat-eye. The extent of the wing and it’s degree of thickness will differ from person to person. Hands tremble. Working that closely to another human being is super awkward. There is no one formula that will work on every shaped eye. Only practice and experience tells you where to take that line and how far to go with it. This is just one example, but it’s a good one. Makeup is an art form and like all art forms it takes many years to master.
Please take care to only seek makeup advice from a real life makeup artist. I have seen WAY too many overly highlighted cheeks, wicked bad contouring and horrifyingly thick foundation. It’s time we all came to our senses. Makeup is meant to flatter your face, play up your features and emphasize what we already have naturally. It’s not about being loud, harsh and obvious. It’s not about seeing a brown stripe down the side of your face and calling it contouring. It’s time we said no to all of this madness.
It’s time we bring pretty back.