In a world that is run by beauty bloggers and YouTube influencers that built their career on make-up tutorials it seems unusual ask the question:
are we wearing too much make-up?
Ironically I started blogging, and this blog specifically who’s name literally translates as ‘the beauty blog’, because of my love for beauty blogs and YouTube make-up tutorials; I learned how to master the liquid liner cat eye and how to use a beauty blender to apply foundation from reading beauty blogs and spending countless hours watching make-up tutorial on YouTube.
However, lately I have started to question how much influence beauty bloggers and YouTubers have on young girls (and guys), how positive or not that influence actually is and how much the internet has changed the beauty industry over the last few years.
One make-up trend that has brought these questions to the forefront of my mind lately is the brow trend; only a few years ago it was a beauty and fashion no-no to have just slightly overly bushy eyebrows while now women spend more time each day perfecting their ‘brow game’ then they do any other aspect of their make-up.
There are full tutorials online dedicated just to perfecting eyebrow make-up, full lines of make-up solely for making your brows thicker and darker past the point of recognition; from eyebrow gels, to tints and tattoos (yes, you read that correctly women are actually getting their brows tattooed thicker and darker), you have to question if this beauty trend has gone too far.
If someone can see your eyebrows before they see you, then you’re wearing too much product.
But eyebrows aren’t the only thing that have gone too far recently, most women can’t leave the house without doing their contour and highlight routine and many wear false eyelashes and lash extensions on a daily basis.
Make-up has gone from being something used for self-expression, to something to be mastered so that your face can blend into a sea of dramatic cut creases and chiselled cheekbones.
I’m not saying that we should all empty out make-up bags into the bathroom waste bin, make-up application is after all an art on which many talented individuals have built a career; the point is that there is a time and a place for dramatic eye looks, and if you’re applying make-up just so you can look like someone else, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
I admire brands such as Bobbi Brown and Bare Minerals, that promote beauty products as a way to enhance your natural features and celebrate individual beauty; Bobbi Brown’s most recent foundation, the , has over 30 shades so that you can find your “skin-true” colour match. Bare Minerals, a brand that was founded on a message of natural beauty, also have new releases which promote natural beauty looks and neutral colour palettes such as the Gen Nude lip colours.
The big issue here is not which colour lipstick we should be wearing for SS18, but what impact the beauty industry and online beauty influencers are having on young people.
Too often than not I have seen teenage girls on their daily commute to and from school, wearing so much make-up that their faces not only look like they have been painted on but also that they have been copied and pasted. It’s very easy to point a finger at these young girls and blame them for being self-absorbed or vain, but if they have grown up in a world of Snapchat filters and Instagram beauty gurus, it’s not surprising that this is their norm.
The problem is the immense pressure this idealism is putting on young girls to reach a constant level of perfection; in an age of smart phones and social media every moment is a photo-op and every photo is open to criticism from their peers and the wider world.
Self-esteem levels are at an all time low; it’s less about these young girls learning how to love their natural selves and more about us leading by example and showing them how.
I think it’s time for YouTubers, bloggers and influencers alike (be that internet based or otherwise), to re-embrace natural make-up looks; put down the eyebrow pencils and contour palettes and instead opt for paired back looks that celebrate natural beauty, because after all it is individualism that makes us beautiful.
Natural beauty is slowly coming back ‘into fashion’, although it saddens me that we have to consider wearing paired back make-up as a ‘trend’ to watch rather than the everyday norm; last season saw more and more models hitting the runways of fashion week wearing stripped back beauty looks that were more attainable for the everyday woman, even Victoria Beckham herself spoke about how to achieve natural glowing skin at the launch of her make-up line in collaboration with Estée Lauder.
So, what is the next step?
As scary as it sounds, I am all for more no make-up selfies and online content that is less face-tuned and photoshopped and more natural and realistic; let’s embrace those PMS blemishes, those dark circles that are always more prominent by the time Friday rolls ’round and those ever more noticeable smile lines.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite red lipstick, I know I won’t be, but when you do your make-up don’t try so hard to cover up who you really are. Some women are blessed with gorgeous full brows, but others have naturally fair features; whatever makes you different from the woman next to you should be the feature you are most proud of instead of most focused on changing.
Different is beautiful, or in the ever so wise words of Miss Christina Aguilera herself,
“You are beautiful, in every single way”.
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