As a former trained make-up artist and cosmetician, avid make-up and skincare junkie and lover of the written word, I’m writing this blog out of sheer interest and frustration.
Over the years, I’ve seen make-up and skincare trends come and go, and come back again, but one thing in particular has me disturbed: the overtly consumerist message that in order to be beautiful, you must buy the latest palette, use the “best” quality make-up brushes, and try the most “advanced” skincare products. Frankly, this message has always existed in the beauty industry, but has only intensified and amplified with the global reach and explosion of social media.
Don’t get me wrong: I think make-up when executed well, can be an artful expression of individuality. A woman with a make-up brush and bare face is like a painter stroking a brush on to a blank canvas. But I’m not writing this to promote a brand, or test products and suggest which ones you should purchase, because there are plenty of very good blogs, channels, and articles that already do that.
This is also not a cosmetics-bashing blog either, as I mentioned–I am an avid make-up and skincare junkie–but I’ve “seen behind the curtains” so-to-speak, and want to write this to all the young women I see spending thousands of dollars on make-up and skincare and beauty-related items, just because their favourite social media star is wearing or using it, or in order to keep up with their peers.
The cosmetics and beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar one: they don’t make money unless they promote the idea that you can’t be beautiful without buying and using their products. I think we all know that.
However, I want women to understand that they can still achieve almost all of the make-up trends they’re bombarded with, with the products they already have in their make-up drawers, and that they don’t have to buy-in to the idea that they need every single “new” make-up “it” item or the latest “advanced” skin cream.
My advice to all women is live within your means, to use products you enjoy, or think most effective, or like the smell, colour, texture of, or even for more socially conscious reasons, such as because the company doesn’t test on animals, or they follow an ethical code, or they use non-toxic ingredients. Make-up should be fun, an indulgence, a pleasure, but it shouldn’t make you a slave to the latest viral make-up trend.