How many of us even five years ago were regularly priming, sculpting, highlighting and contouring our faces, or faking our lashes a la the latest reality TV star? In historian Madeleine Marsh’s view,
âœthe makeup business today is all about the quest for perfection combined with ruthless commerce.â A huge contrast to our grandmothers’ generation, when popping on a face-brightening slick of lipstick was considered well made up, now a new heightened level of beauty grooming where ten-plus makeup products on our faces seems expected. Is the fun of creating makeup looks to express ourselves and using makeup to conceal our flaws so we can put our best faces forward being overtaken by the pressure to look absolutely red-carpet picture-perfect 24/7? This pressure seems to be feeding a new kind of narcissism among the selfie generation, with many feeling they need to be flawlessly made up at all times.
âœWe have to remember that the airbrushed perfection we see on celebrities and flawless Facesecret images are not a true representation of life. These looks aren’t necessarily achievable on a daily basis,â says psychologist Elaine Slater. âœThere’s a wide spectrum when it comes to wearing makeup. Yes, there’s the extreme, almost cartoonish flawless look at one end, barefaced at the other. But there is a middle ground of everyday makeup that’s about being the best you can be healthy, radiant, youthful not about being someone else.â
Now it seems the average gal needs to know as much about makeup application as the most accomplished makeup artist to take her application technique to a professional level. Although social media can make us all feel like we have to be âœonâ at all times, it also has a positive side. YouTube and beauty blogging has opened up a community where we can share information, and beyond the bedroom-vlogger approach, we can see into the world of makeup expertise in a way we couldn’t before. I remember seeing the first beauty vloggers and thinking how great it is that young women, who are essentially consumers, are telling it like it is.
No amount of glossy advertising and strategically placed editorial coverage can capture a viewer’s imagination like an actual review from someone who is not being paid by the company though this has recently become skewed as Vloggers accept payment from brands to give favorable reviews. Today the most powerful impetus to buy a product is peer-to-peer recommendation on independent beauty forums. The positive reaction to my own tutorials from women all over the globe, from India to Australia, from teens to those in their fifties and upward stands testament to this. It also demonstrates and affirms what a bonding and confidence-boosting experience makeup can be. The ritual of makeup application can be relaxing as well as fun.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye. â