Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Makeup ≠ Beauty

There's something I need to write about today that's a little different from my normal postings. In fact, as a bit of an opinion piece, it's a lot different from the regularly scheduled tutorials and reviews. I promise those will continue within the coming days, but this post was just too important for me not to share today. So pardon me while I go on a bit of a tangent.

It all started after reading a makeup bag post over at the lovely Charly Cox's blog, Style the Natives (a truly wonderful blog that I would recommend to any and all). Titled "A Conscious 'What's In My Makeup Bag'", I knew it was going to be a little something different (a big reason I love reading Charly's blog, she always tells it like it is). It's a piece I'd recommend everyone to give a read, but just to sum it up quickly she wrote of her hesitation in showing what was in her makeup bag because she doesn't want impressionable young girls to read it and believe that they need to shell out all of their money to buy the contents themselves in order to feel pretty. There's far more to the piece than that, but just that jist alone was very thought provoking for me and made me want to compile my own (far less eloquently written) thoughts on the subject.

This got me thinking about what the beauty industry, and we as beauty bloggers, can do and how we can influence impressionable girls (or boys). While I have a smaller blog that probably hasn't been read by enough people to really make an impact, even if I just happened to influence one person it's something that I should take responsibility for. I write about beauty products all the time, one's that I "can't live without" or that I'm "dying to get my hands on" (phrases I admittedly use too much). For me, beauty products are very much a creative outlet - a way for me to enhance features and play around with colors. I personally find using beauty products fun, and buying and using them really gives me pleasure.

That being said, I would be lying if I wrote that that was the only reason I use beauty products. For example, I am incredibly self-conscious of my dark undereye circles, and I've spent an embarrassing amount of money on products to cover them up. And, yes, I'll admit that there are plenty of times that I bring out the makeup not to use as an artist, but to use as an insecure person trying to cover up any perceived "flaws".

Honestly, raise of hands, how many people flip through magazines or the Internet and have the thought to themselves, "I wish I could look like her"? Even subconsciously, I sometimes find myself going through my favorite blogs and thinking to myself how gorgeous these girls look and how I wish I could be half as pretty.

And you know what, I think there is a large part of this that can be attributed to the influence of the beauty industry. For example, I was recently checking out the collection from the brand Bliss, and I came across such names as "Fat Girl Slim", "Fat Girl Slim Arm Candy" and "The Love Handler". I mean, in what world are those names okay? They bring you in with their cute-sy, impressionable font and subconsciously get you thinking, "hmm do I need that?". Even Charlotte Tilbury, whose line I adore, was famously quoted as saying that "through the power of makeup, any woman can look and feel beautiful". Honestly, that kind of skeeves me out to hear someone in such a high position within the beauty industry to say.

But that leads me to my point (I had to get there eventually after rambling on this long). EVERY woman is beautiful. Every. Single. One. Because the thing is, makeup isn't what makes us beautiful, beauty is something every person is born with. We might not all look like Miranda Kerr, but that is a good thing. It's being different, and not looking like everyone else that allows us to be our own unique kind of beautiful. There should be no set standard for beauty, and no look that people feel the need to achieve through the "power of makeup".

As I said before, makeup is a fun, creative outlet to play around with. I obviously adore it and, yeah, sometimes I think playing dress up with it is incredibly exhilarating and awesome. But I think it's vitally important to state the fact that it is not what MAKES you beautiful. You are already beautiful. Seriously. Every little supposed "flaw" you have is what makes you you, and you are gorgeous (and, yes, this is advice I need to remind myself more often than not). So embrace your beauty, and let makeup be that joyful thing that you love to experiment and play around with. And with that, I'm going to step down from my podium and wrap up this overtly long post.

P.S. Just in case the picture is a little confusing, it's me and Jake at the beach. I'm makeup free, sunburnt and feeling ridiculously happy. It's one of my favorite pictures of us.

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