Whilst browsing through YouTube on one boring day, I came across a video by Nikkie Tutorials that read "ENDING MAKEUP SHAMING". Watching the video, I couldn't help but feel slightly exasperated that, not only Nikkie but quite a lot of people I know on the Internet, are overdramatising what I think is very trivial.

As an artist and the girly-girl I am, I love makeup. I love wearing it, experimenting with different colours and techniques and changing the way I look and I often never leave the house without doing my foundation, eyebrows and sometimes that pop of colour on the lips. It is, no doubt, similar to one of my favourite methods of fine art - painting. 

Yes, makeup is art. It is a way to change yourself and empower confidence by expressing yourself. But, if that truly is the case then I don't understand why people are complaining and making "makeup shaming" a real thing.

I understand it's hurtful to hear brutal comments that target people's insecurities such as "you wear it because you're insecure" or "you wear it to impress boys", but those comments are those people's problems and it's their fault for not living in the 21st century and being extremely narrow minded. Letting that get into your head would ruin the tagline of makeup that it empowers beauty and confidence because if makeup really does empower confidence then there shouldn't be makeup gurus complaining about other's useless opinions on their makeup. There's nothing wrong with people posting about it and raising awareness that makeup is for oneself only and not something to impress people, but I'm not a big fan of this idea being emphasised as a 'social issue' because I believe it's not and it shouldn't be. 

In my view, the entire idea of makeup shaming is one of the elements that define our culture and society today. Everything relating to how we choose to present ourselves have become common topics of discussion, showing that people nowadays prioritise looks. Of course I am not against people expressing themselves through appearance but, since we are in 2017 and with the world slowly falling apart, I don't think it should be something that's trending. To be brutally blunt, in 50 years time we will look back and see ourselves now as the narcissistic generation.

It's so unfortunate we live in a society with a mould that people need to shape themselves in for conformity and these expectations in appearances greatly affect, as well as recently shift, the social hierarchy amongst us, in particular the generation I'm in. People wearing a specific style of makeup deemed 'acceptable' are praised for their "amazing makeup skills", people with perfectly clear skin without makeup looked up to like 'gods' of some sort, people with thin lips sometimes stereotyped as white people and mocked for it and men who do makeup look down upon by other men because they find it 'gay' as it's too 'feminine'. It's amazing to see how looks determine power.

To add more, despite makeup being a form of art and expression I honestly think, with all the weird and ridiculous makeup trends on YouTube and Instagram, makeup is slowly losing its creative flare. I see a lot of videos that show the same routine, where they put foundation and concealer on, do their eyebrows in that same arched shape, apply the darkest colour here and that there and so on and there is just nothing new anymore. I feel like most makeup gurus always take a short-lived trend and twist it into their own and although that is creative, again it is nothing new - it's expected since I feel a lot of makeup gurus do that. An example would be that contour craze where people would contour their faces using objects you wouldn't typically use, or contouring in henna patterns, vice versa. But I'm NGL there are so many other artists who do crazy and really weird looks.
The short-lived clown contouring.
Additionally, with this particular style of makeup being the most popular all over social media it sets beauty standards. The ubiquitousness of these makeup rituals and its results that I fore mentioned, and that's still growing on the Internet, is the one creating these moulds. Because of its popularity, it's deemed as the acceptable and lauded way of presenting yourself: the high cheekbones achieved by contour and highlight, the winged liner, the fluttery false lashes, the plump and over-lined lips along with that strong arch in the eyebrows, etc. There are many people out there who physically change their natural features so it's much easier for them to fit the mould without too much makeup, such as getting lip-fillers (which are very common amongst public figures like Kylie Jenner and Dove Cameron). I know it's completely their personal choice, but I still believe they change their looks to feel a sense of belonging in a world that idolises perfection. 

Overall, I don't think makeup shaming is real, I think that those comments that I mentioned before is bullying. Comments like "your foundation looks cakey", "you have too much highlighter on" or "your eyebrows are too dark" are simply criticisms. Everyone has different views of what beauty is to them so, like any other art, makeup is ambiguous - you should accept those criticisms, otherwise you wouldn't be a true artist. 

Also, despite loving makeup myself, makeup is brutal and it is one of the factors that has one of the biggest impacts to our perceptions, feelings and society as a whole. But as someone who doesn't give a shit about appearance, I believe makeup is not important. It shouldn't be something that someone overthinks about on a daily basis and spends hours in front of the mirror as well as constructing this social hierarchy. However, I find it interesting how the idea of painting yourself can not only affect you but an entire society. 

I'd like to know your thoughts, whether you agree with me that makeup is not and should not be important or whether you think otherwise!

Nicole ᵔᴥᵔ


  1. This is so great Nicole! I love to hear your opinions! I agree-- it's so ridiculous that people are sometimes so judgmental about people who choose to wear (or not wear) makeup, when it's really just a personal self-expression. If it makes someone feel like they are most comfortable in themselves and happy and beautiful, then they should definitely wear it! If not, then don't! It's simple as that. I don't wear makeup because I tried a few times and felt very uncomfortable in it so I stopped. That doesn't mean I turned around and told all my friends to stop-- they were enjoying it and I was happy for them. It's ridiculous when people feel responsible to tell people how to be their most confident self. People should be building each other up and recognizing lots of sorts of beauty and self-expression and art instead of telling people how to conform to one specific type of beauty that they feel is "right". Thank you for this post! So good!

    1. Exactly! Thank you, Vivian! We should have more people like you - open and honest. Beauty is such a weird aspect, with makeup becoming a huge part to it and I'm just so happy I got this off my chest!
      Thank you for opinion :D
      Nicole ᵔᴥᵔ


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