Beloved readers, I have received more than one inquiry about make up reviews.
I am flattered that my reviews are thorough enough to be helpful, and always appreciate suggestions of where I can improve, or future areas of interest to blog about. Make up and its whimsical world will get some attention from me in 2012 –but not in the form of reviews. There are hordes of bloggers and vloggers that do a far better job than I ever could.
I will be touching on make-up in regards to Femininity in greater detail in the coming months, but the short of it is this:
I believe make-up is to enhance, balance, and “blur” imperfections in that order.
I have had at least six different MUAs from MAC, to Bobbi Brown, to Nars counters catch me on the rare occasions I wore full-face make up and not believe I was wearing any make-up at all –then ask about my application methods. I have also had three (Clinique, Lancome, Urban Decay) call me over upon hearing I am not wearing foundation and ask me what I do to take care of my skin.
I am glad to be able to say: It is NOT my genes. I’m not one of those women blessed with “perfect skin”. I had acne that only Accutane and a clean diet could fix. From the age of ten until the age of 22 (I turned 25 this year), my face was COVERED in PATCHES of PURPLE scars and CYSTIC NODES.
I learned how to wield make-up with an expert touch from a young age, in order to curtail a fraction of the bullying and torment I was put through by my classmates. Hence, now that my skin is clear, I work hard to keep it 98% flawless at all times. I invest heavily in skincare and rely on extensive skincare routines, more so than extensive make-up application to allow me “wake up beautiful(ish)”.
I ABSOLUTELY recognize that make-up can enhance the fine-as-it-is natural and de-emphasize the not-so-awesome natural.
That fits under the “blur” category, in my opinion and that is just what make-up is designed to do! When my skin rejects a new product or I have one of those random “Darnit, I’m going to break out ’cause I want to –deal with it!” skin days, I reach for the tinted moisturizer and treat my skin to even more attention so I can get back to wearing just my usual sunscreen ASAP.
Make-up is not to make you something you are not. (What you are is just blasted wonderful in and of itself!) It took me twelve years to get to that point. My belief in that statement does waver from time to time, to be brutally honest with you, beloved readers.
This make-up “thing” can be a touchy issue, because as women, society socializes us and objectifies us in a very particular way that has a great deal to do with our appearance and the Eurocentric beauty standard. This can be even more delicate an issue for WOC like myself, who have colonialism, caste systems, colorism, slavery, xenophobia, and racism to add into the mix.
If you do not have what the Eurocentric beauty standard says you must to be beautiful, it is worth asking yourself: ”Do I really need _____ to be beautiful”?
The cosmetic industry, like the fashion industry does push a certain look. A bone is thrown here or there to “diversity”, but there is a Euro-centric standard of beauty that is pushed across the globe, that few women, even supermodels, can achieve.
That doesn’t make it the “right” one. It is the profitable one.
Gorgeous eyes do not require a full fringe of lashes. Nor does it require blue, green, grey, or hazel irises, round eyes, cat eyes, almond eyes, or a defined crease.
Gorgeous skin can be matte, glowy, and for some complexions and features “shiny” is just right!
Not everyone needs blush –some complexions do not even show a “flush”; painting one on can look bizarre, even if it is “accepted” by the beauty standard that rules your culture. For some ladies, bronzer and highlighter are what will enhance your gorgeous deep tones –not a faux flush.
Not everyone needs bronzer. Some of us were meant to be pale –no complexion is superior to another. The idea itself makes absolutely not sense, biologically speaking. “Nurture” and socio-economics have tried to make that case –not nature. No matter what history and the “shenanigans” of cultures towards one another have wrought, that truth remains.
Not all eyebrows need to be full. Delicate brows look right on some faces, full brows are best on others. Find what works for you –not what’s “in”.
I have an oval-shaped face. That means it is balanced, supposedly. It is no requirement for “beauty”. (Some women are having their jaw bones, shaved to achieve heart and oval-shaped faces!) Women far, far, far,far, far lovelier than myself have square, round, oblong, and diamond faces –do not try to contour your face to death for a shape you do not have. They are all lovely when they are “rocked” by a woman who knows how to show off the unique beauty each one possesses. I know –cheesy– but, true.
I would also like to say, to the ladies who are still battling acne and choose to go through life make-up free:
Grace, courage, peace, and success to you! It is hard to understand how painful that walk is, unless you’ve walked it yourself. Having done so, I know you must create your own space for dealing with it emotionally and to deal with society (which rarely responds to the issue with tact and decency). Whether or not that space includes make-up is a personal one (as mine did), that I highly respect. I respect your battle, ladies, I absolutely respect it.
To be clear: I do not dislike make-up. I do not love it either. It is just a tool.
All too often society tells us as women we “NEED” it in a way that is rather unhealthy. No woman NEEDS make-up. I firmly believe that.
The real issue is that society at large NEEDS to learn tact, respect, and to mature enough to recognize beauty is NOT the end all be all of another human’s worth. That typed and read,
since that will never happen until that occurs, I make no judgments about where a woman falls on choosing to use or not use make-up, so long as she understands and accepts the ramifications (good and bad) of her choice (though, the fact women must choose is unfair in and of itself, but that is for another blog to parse out).
If you love a full face of make-up –by all means enjoy it! Please recognize what it can and cannot do for you in regards to relationships (social, professional, romantic). Make sure you find and maintain a particular “look” that meshes in with your personal brand and life style. PLEASE be sure to MASTER its application (take classes if you must!) as you do so!!
If you do not like wearing ANY make-up at all, please know that society does have negative social sanctions waiting for you (as it does for “overdone faces” society is quite unfair to women, which I am sure you will know, beloved readers). How you choose to adorn or not adorn you body is YOUR choice. Stand firm in it!
My suggestion (if you care to know, other wise disregard it)? Try to find a minimum that suits your face, and be consistent with it.
Most importantly –take twice as much care of the skin, lips, lashes, and lids you paint, so that the make-up you love, does not become a crutch you may come to hate.
You ARE lovely, as you are, simply by being a lady.
Beauty DOES NOT equal femininity. (My breakdown of why that is true can be read here.)
Some days I can shout that from the roof tops.
Other days I have to whisper it.
No matter what my volume, I still believe it.
I hope you do too, beloved readers.