Minimal Makeup to Artistic Expression

Maggie Osborne, Staff Writer

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According to Science of People magazine, there are two reasons why women wear makeup. The first is for “camouflage,” as women tend to feel more secure and calm when they appear less noticeable. The other is “seduction,” as women feel more confident, attractive, and sociable if they have makeup on. As makeup becomes more popular in Gen Z and millennial women, it has additionally turned into a form of artistic expression.

Makeup is a topic that pulls interest from young girls to elderly women. Everyone not only wants to look and feel their best, but also to present themselves as confident individuals. YouTube is home to many beauty channels ranging from teenage girls experimenting with their style to professional, sponsored artists like James Charles or Tati Westbrook. Beauty influencers continue to demonstrate “full-face” trends to the public, posting beauty tutorials on contouring and eyeshadow looks, showing just how much makeup some people use on a daily basis. 

The article, “Beyonce’s Makeup Artist Sir John Says These Will Be the Coolest Makeup Trends of 2019,” in Marie Claire fashion magazine lists “bold colors,” “glitter accents,” and “strong brows” as the trending looks of the year. Senior Melissa Marcheschi recognizes the importance of social media platforms like YouTube or Instagram to promote new makeup trends like “glitter accents.” “Social media platforms are great for sharing different makeup looks and getting them out to the public. Without the introduction of social media to the beauty community, I don’t think that makeup would have become as popular as it is,” she said.

Some express concern over body image as social media becomes a consistent aspect of daily life in America. Senior Katie Weisheit, while she loves playing around with makeup, is concerned over the self esteem issues that the mixture of makeup and social media can cause. “I do think there is a standard of quality expected in the pictures you post,” she said. 96% of surveyed students said that social media influences beauty standards and many cited self-confidence as a reason they use makeup.

Science of People magazine’s observations still hold true, but it is important to note the influx of artistic expression that makeup provides girls nowadays. Makeup is no longer a must, rather it’s a want to stand out and to have fun. Despite the concerns over self image that social media constitutes with it’s post-worthy standards, makeup is becoming less of an everyday necessity and more of a hobby. This is inspiration for the girls of the future as image requirements lessen and imperfections are proven to be okay and accepted. The increase in YouTube influencers also help to push makeup use to be more of a fun hobby than overbearing necessity.

Out of 50 female students interviewed at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, 70% of them describe their everyday look as minimalistic, using only mascara or concealer. None of them described their look as a “full-face” of makeup, despite the impact social media has on styles.

According to Marcheschi, this contrast makes sense. “To me, putting on that much makeup would mean going somewhere fancy or there’s a special occasion like a wedding or homecoming,” she said. “I find it a bit odd when someone wears a full face of makeup to school.”

While still used as a way of enhancing features and boosting confidence, in recent years makeup has proven to have artistic aspects that allow women young and old to express themselves, thanks to its promotion on social media.