I’ve always been a woman who was provoked by cosmetics.
And this doesn’t only apply to makeup: skincare and fragrance products as well as fashion.
I always felt there were multiple stereotypes and assumptions associated with women who are interested in beauty products: narcissism, materialism, and insecurity, to name a few. But in reality, I just like putting this crap on – for the sake of just that. There isn’t an alterior personality, not a huge bottom-line psychological issue associated with liking to dress myself up. It’s just an interest and a hobby.
Before joining the blogging-army at Koncrete, inc. I was a long-time product consultant at Sephora. In college, it was the best job I had: the company is very fair to their employees, you exercise artistry with each day, and hey – you’re around the best beauty products on the market. Not only did this make me turn into a vigilant cosmetic nutcase, it allowed me to become educated in makeup artistry and skincare – even the science of fragrance (there actually is a science to it). So I guess you can kinda say I’m a pro.
Surprisingly, women in the modern-day beauty community are not just lipstick and mascara on a robot. We love our damn selves so much we put products on our face. We combat the standards of femininity using our foundation brushes and eyeshadow palettes as swords and shields. By doing this, it creates makeup as a liberating form of self-expression and art rather than a mind-control device telling us we’re not pretty enough.
Here are the ways in which I combat criticisms for my makeup obsession:
Doing my makeup is fun!
Hey, here’s the most simple response to the whole “why do you wear so much makeup” question: it’s f**king fun! Waking up every day and having different colors on your face is kinda cool. I can go all crazy with different colored eyeshadows such as green or purple, be a sexy goffix vixen and wear black lipstick, or rock a more subtle it’s-too-goddamn-early look at 7 a.m. Either way, there are times I lay in bed and plan out my makeup looks; I get excited to wake up and put on my makeup. In short, it’s positivity – especially for early mornings, something I’m not too keen about in the first place. So emerging out of the house to a different and unique side of me is always a lot of fun.
Me with makeup on is the real me.
I know I know. You’re reading this thinking, WHAT?! YOUR ONLY REAL SIDE IS YOUR NATURAL SIDE! Well…that’s your own ideology. Me personally, I disagree. Even though I love myself without makeup, I see my artistry coming out whenever I hold my makeup brushes. It’s something I create using my good ol’ creative cranial. Whatever weird colors and techniques that exist in my head is eventually what comes out on my face. Trust me when I say I think I look fine without makeup, and I can definitely leave my house without it. But it’s like telling a painter his/her only good work is the canvas without paint…because it’s more “natural.” In the end, the artist is the awesome unique one and you look like an a**hole.
I’m feeding into a re-surfacing industry created for and by women
Guess what ladies?! The days of “I’m a dude and you woman should look like this” are over! We women realized that patriarchy is stupid, so we made the beauty industry about us! And guess what? We’re unbiased about how you think beauty is defined! Just ask any makeup artist/hair stylist/fashion designer/beautician in general. Hell, if you walk into a Sephora and ask a consultant “what’s the best way to do make-up?” we will pretty much tell you what you think is best for yourself. Yeah we were given a typical lesson as far as what the most common and popular ways are that women apply makeup, but there’s also a lot of emphasis on being fair and equal to all of our clients – because our “client is our world.”
So in short, I don’t apply my makeup to feed into the patriarchy because I apply makeup to combat it!
Makeup artists are typically trained in skincare
So when people say “makeup is bad for your skin”, think again. Either a) it’s fine for your skin, and may give you some skincare benefits! Or b) it isn’t bad for your skin at all.
Now, if you use a drugstore brand typically it’s going to jack up your skin; professional-quality products contain more of what’s good for your skin, whereas drugstore products contain more of what’s bad for your skin – hence the price difference. I take the time to make sure my skin is healthy, that the products I use are good for my skin and that I’m achieving the look I want – with or without makeup.
Now I know what some people are probably thinking: YOU ARE CREATING STANDARDS FOR OTHER WOMEN TO CONFORM TO BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH! Well, no I’m not. The reason why is I could care less what other women want to do to their skin – this is what I want for my skin. I see it the same as others who are passionate about diet and fitness (something else I’m passionate about) because everyone feels a certain way when they live a healthy lifestyle, and they feel different when they get out of their habits. Same with skincare. To others, using a mask containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) once a week isn’t an issue. For me, I prefer the way my skin feels when it’s healthy. It doesn’t mean I’m insecure or that I’m trying to make other women feel bad about their own selves (seems like a personal problem to me), it’s just a preference I have for myself.
Makeup fits any style.
I’m involved with the alternative-community. I have visible body modifications (piercings and tattoos), I’m a death metal fan, I like unnatural colored hair, and have an unhealthy addiction to studs and spikes. So therefore, I think the more neutral-based looks boring as hell. I like the crazy and smoky colors; anything to be more creative and “out there.” Fortunately, there are brands like Urban Decay, Kat Von D, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC), and Jeffree Star Cosmetics that are marketed to those in my subculture. Also, visible tattoos are piercings are accepted on the Sephora floor. So once again, unbiased…especially to crazy ladies writing makeup blogs while listening to Carcass.
Makeup brands do nice things!
Hey, we’re not all lipstick and bronzer. A lot of the makeup brands I buy from have charities. For example, Urban Decay – my favorite makeup brand – is on a mission to empower women! Who can hate on that?
Makeup goes beyond beauty
Have you looked into special effects/prosthetic makeup artistry? You can become old, an alien, a children’s character – the opportunities are endless. And do you like horror movies like me? You can thank prosthetic makeup artistry for most of your favorite movies.
I admire all women who see themselves confidently; whether it is the freedom to not wear makeup or the VIB Rouge loonies such as myself who wait at Sephora’s doors for new products. We shouldn’t be limited to what’s acceptable and what isn’t as far as our looks are concerned. That’s why I wrote this blog: to prove that makeup isn’t the enemy going against female empowerment, and also that makeup shouldn’t be a tool to use against women (to the men who shame women for wearing makeup, go do something better with your time like growing a pair).
In short makeup is artistry, fun colors, crazy techniques, and lots of money. So y’all should stop hating.