Monday, 4 September 2017

Make-up Shaming

I keep seeing things about make-up shaming. I haven't read them in-depth as, well I haven't really had the chance to read anything apart from Hairy McClary for any length of time in the past few months but a brief skim and I get the point.

With the rise and rise of the statement brow, contouring and Instagram make-up there now seems to be the idea that people should 'stop make-up shaming' which I suppose means that those of us (yes me included) who think that sometimes make-up is taken too far and not applied how we would like to see it applied should stop being so judgemental.

Now this is a dangerous subject and I'm hesitant to write about it but... well I'm going to. Feel free to get involved in the comments section. The pictures are just to illustrate my point. I dashed upstairs on a whim during nap time and slapped this on. One side how I'd do my make-up for a job interview and one with the problems I see regularly. It's not perfectly done and it's basically all the problems I can think of in one go which you don't see that often. Usually the most full-on brows I see are on a basically bare-faced person which makes them even more bizarre. I used pretty much the same make-up on both sides of my face - I used a tinted moisturiser on the normal side and a more full-on on the other and just a brow mascara on the normal side and some brow powder (from a Dark Blonde palette!) on the more full-on side. Eyes, contour and highlight both from the same products. You'll notice the neutral lip... I rarely see a lip and think it was a mistake... it happens, but not often.



Now, I love make-up for many reasons and one of those reasons is the way it makes me feel. From gross to passable, sad to happy, down to confident and it is my ideal boredom reliever and instant pick-me-up. And don't get me wrong I think the make-up you often see on Instagram these days is incredibly well done (if often photoshopped) and if you want to wear that much slap all the time then DO IT. It's not the full-on Instagram look I have a problem with it's how it seems to have translated to the non-professional younger audience.

Very often, and I probably see this more than you would if you didn't live in London, I see make-up that makes people stare and talk and not in a good way. Yes we should be able to express ourselves and wear what we want, but like it or not it's these self-expressions that form peoples' opinion of us and a lot of make-up badly executed can have the same effect as being the only person in fancy dress at a party.

It makes me wonder why do you think you need to contour your face? It's not even that on a technical level I get annoyed - orange contour in the wrong place. But why do a lot of young girls feel that they need to change the shape of their face daily? Or do they not contour to contour anymore? Is orange stripe now a trend? No make-up artist I know would put a purple dot of highlighter on the end of anyone's nose. Is this a separate thing now? The majority of Instagram make-up videos I've seen show a girl with a perfectly normal nose contouring it and adding a highlight to the end. Which is completely unnecessary. My nose is a normal shape... that's why you don't see me contouring it.

Brows I can understand more. They make a big difference to your face but more often than not I see ones that are terribly dark and blocky, or strangely ombred, or, which is probably the strangest, in the wrong place. If you go for a 1920s look generally then taking the brow too far past the end of the eye will maybe work for you but if you don't then you are going to look sad. Sad and odd. The same if you suddenly have rounded front of the brow too close together.

So downstairs I came to show my husband my half and half face and then I asked him how he'd feel if we'd been together as long as we had (13 years) and I didn't write about make-up and beauty and I wasn't a make-up artist and then suddenly 2 or so years ago I just stared doing black eye brows and orange contour. How would he feel? He looked uncomfortable. He thinks he'd say something. He didn't look confident in that.

When I see girls with quite full-on make-up if I'm out and about and they are with their boyfriends or husbands I always want to know what they think. Has their wife/girlfriend always done their make-up this way or are they now with someone who looks totally different?

When I did the make-up in these pictures I asked my husband which he preferred. No surprises he preferred the side with less on but he also remarked 'wow you are genuinely shiny'. Yes I'd done it in five minutes and its over the top but, sadly, not that over the top. He said 'you've exaggerated it right?' and I said yes of course but then hadn't he seen the individual bits on his commute - I covered my face and showed the brow, then the highlighted nose. He agreed he's seen all of those. This is a man who though he's married to a make-up artist could not tell you which of his female friends wore make-up or not.

I have questions: is it a form of self expression or is it dissatisfaction with your face? why do you want to make your lovely youthful face look sunken?
I don't want to make-up shame. I want women (and men) to be able to wear whatever they want and to have the confidence to express their personality through make-up but I also don't want young girls to get judged by people they work with or see for frightening make-up trends badly applied. Yes, you could say this is what's wrong with the world but lets face it, if you go for a job interview and you have a big orange stripe down either cheek and a face which is a completely different colour to the rest of your body it does reflect on you. They don't know you, they haven't got a chance to see how clever and funny you are and no it doesn't (well shouldn't) matter what your face/hair/body looks like but if they can see what you choose to put on your face. It's a big statement.

Do contour your face if there are genuinely bits that you want to change (just so you know apple-y cheeks will make you look younger) and highlight bits you want to accentuate and fill in your brows but when it's taking you three hours to put on and two to get off in the evening and your face doesn't look like you anymore is that really necessary? I don't love my face but it's mine and I'd rather show it at it's best - not with a strange mask of my creating on it.
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