Written by: Swasti || Graphics by: Khushi Arora
Makeup is malleable and mercurial: The biggest joy I have every day is the opportunity to create, to play, and to invent with something I’ve loved forever.Pat McGrath
The popularity and influence of makeup has become more noticeable in everyday life than ever. People all the world spend billions of money for cosmetics every day. Over the years the cosmetic products and how we apply them have been continually refined and normalized. Makeup is looked as an art form, a means of expressing opinion now. In this too you are creating you are showcasing your painting on a canvas that is your face, sometimes you are shading in features to help them stand out , which is just like drawing. The power that makeup holds in the modern world is no less than revolutionary.
History of Makeup
Communities have used cosmetics though not like today’s advanced products. The first Dynasty of Ancient Egyptians were the first ones dolling themselves up as early as 7000B.C. They were an avid believer that beauty could please the gods, as the women felt their appearance was directly related to their spiritual worth and hence they gave due importance to cleanliness, applying oils, coloring hair. So the Egyptians created the first cosmetics. During this era, women would decorate their eyes by applying a dark green color to the under lid and darkening their eyelashes and upper lid with kohl, that was made from soot and antimony. Ingredients such as gum of frankincense and fresh moringa were used as remedies to treat wrinkles. A mixture of beeswax and resin were put in a jar and used as a kind of setting lotion. Problems like baldness and grey hair were also taken care of. Most of the cosmetic usage is well documented. Cosmetics were also used in ancient Rome, although much of Roman literature suggests that it was frowned upon. It is undoubted that we evolved in a number of ways as compared to the ancient times.
Since the society has started to give due importance to self love, using makeup is one major tool that could help boosting one’s self confidence. It enables you and others to think of yourself in a positively desirable way. And who doesn’t like getting validation for looks? Studies suggest that wearing makeup could make one feel easy in a social environment. People tend to express more and feel more preferred when they are looking their best. Nowadays makeup is considered to be a prospect career field and people are actually working hard to acquire skills that could help them prosper and establish themselves in it. Cosmetics and it’s usage is one door to originality and creativity, something that not everybody is capable of doing.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN
Having a constant need to use makeup might even work in the opposite direction for some people. A person might start disliking his/her skin without makeup. This could move you away from self-actualization and accepting your own skin the way it is. For the longer run, it’s better that we accept our blemishes and spots and try not concealing them every time.
With the ongoing pressure to look good, teenagers often subject themselves to cosmetics and start to looks down upon themselves if they don’t meet the standard makeup trends set by others. Since, most of the teenagers go through hormonal issues it could be really hard for them to maintain a flawlessly glowing skin. Moreover, adding cosmetics to this could worsen the situation.
Makeup as a hobby could be quite expensive. Because everyone tries to look their best, people often tend to over spend for cosmetics- which is one reason the cosmetic industry is booming today. When people become accustomed to wearing makeup, they start feeling as though they do not look right without it and easily hamper their self-esteem. Also, being very used to having makeup might even damage the skin and make it exhaustive in nature.
MAKEUP AS A TOOL OF REBELLION
For the longest time makeup has been associated with the word ‘feminine’ or something that only women are supposed to wear. It is considered as a ‘part of being a woman’ and is one of the reasons it’s looked down upon by men. Social media has been one important way to help neutralize the gender orientation of makeup. Many influencers and vloggers have laid emphasis on ‘doing what you love’ irrespective of being a male, female or anyone else. A few men makeup enthusiasts have gained pace in showing the world this new normal. Most Queer groups think of Makeup as a means of expressing themselves, their journey, their feelings, their struggles and most importantly their rebellion. Now that we live in a post-feminist society, this extremely popular trend is one of the elements that plays an important role in intersectional feminism, and that’s why it’s an important trend that people need to consider. Every social group uses makeup as a way to project their dissent like for girls using makeup could mean breaking the rule of ‘no makeup allowed’ in high schools. School’s since a very young age of children forbid makeup at school, they project it as an act of indiscipline which is quite abrupt. Boys are always taught as makeup is ‘girlish’ or something that would make them less masculine, which is vague. For them wearing makeup would be breaking this stereotype and emerging as a mature man . For LGBTQ+ community applying makeup gives them a means show the world that they are going to love themselves-It’s a confidence boost and gives them the illusion of control. And though our reasons for wearing makeup may change from day to day, what doesn’t change is the fact that people continue to wear it and to experiment. It is no less than art, since art has played a major role in showing rebellion makeup work exactly the same. ‘MAKEUP IS ALMOST LIKE WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE KID AND YOU HAD YOUR BLANKET AROUND, WHICH MADE YOU FEEL LIKE A CAPE’.