The Art of Makeup

I started playing with makeup when I was four-years-old. I would sneak into my mother’s bathroom and smear my face with lipstick and pat eyeshadow onto my cheeks because I thought makeup would make me as beautiful as my favorite Disney princesses. Since then, my longing for beauty has grown into my love for artistic expression.

For a long time, makeup has been a tool to shame women. Makeup has been used to make women seem unintelligent and shallow as if we care about nothing else besides our appearance. Men have made jokes about taking women swimming on the first date to see if we are attractive or not without makeup. Women even get shamed by other women who base their personality off of how they are “not like other girls.”

Some people do wear makeup to hide their insecurities, and maybe we do need to talk about why we feel like we need to look attractive at all times, but many of us genuinely enjoy wearing makeup. Why do we feel the need to shame women for doing what they enjoy? Why is anything associated with femininity taken as a joke? Some people, especially men who are attracted to us, love to tell us that we look better without makeup as if that is a compliment, but it is actually degrading and frankly many of us do not care to hear it.

Art is for Everyone

Makeup isn’t reserved for people who identify as a woman. As seen by YouTube’s (chaotic) beauty community, makeup can be enjoyed by anyone. Men, or people who appear to look more masculine, are often shamed for wearing makeup as well. When men wear makeup they are often insulted and told that they appear too feminine as if that is a bad thing. If art is neither reserved for men or women, then the line should not be drawn at makeup. Promoting the idea that makeup isn’t tied to gender can help young girls, boys, and everyone else explore their artistic abilities without fearing judgment.

My Favorite Artist

My favorite makeup artist is not anyone I’ve seen on YouTube, but someone who I’ve known for her entire life, my sixteen-year-old cousin Halle. Halle dreams of going to cosmetology school and becoming a makeup artist for actors, and I absolutely believe that she is capable of fulfilling that dream. When Halle does makeup, she doesn’t simply do typical everyday looks, she makes her face look so unique that it looks like a painting that belongs in a museum. She pays close attention to the colors she chooses and all her looks require such intricacy that many of us (including myself) do not have the patience or the talent to do.

When I look at Halle, I wonder how anyone could not understand that makeup is a serious art form. I was never very artistic growing up, but knowing Halle has caused me to bring out my creative side and try bold makeup looks that make people stare. Next time someone has something negative to say about wearing makeup, remember that you are an artist and not everyone appreciates art.

Written by: Maya Dixon
Photos by: Halle Wilson

Looking at the Styles of Harry

Harry Styles was a teenager thrown into stardom and afraid of the world’s judgment. Now, Harry Styles is a confident 25-years-old ready to express himself in spite of judgment. He has grown, and I have grown with him.

I have been a fan of Harry Styles since elementary school. When I was younger I kept a picture of him in my binder and today I have a painted picture of his album cover hanging over my bed, so clearly I have not grown out of my adoration for him. Since I have been a fan for quite a while, I remember seeing pictures of him walking around in Jack Wills hoodies and baggy pants thinking he is the coolest guy in the world to working with Gucci and still believing that he’s the coolest guy in the world. A large part of why I admire him is because I got to witness his transition from dressing like a typical teenage boy to someones who’s unafraid to experiment with his looks while still knowing himself.

His Famous Suits

When people think about Harry Styles’ style, their minds often go to his suits. His suits can vary from looking posh and classic to striking, fun, and unique. Although I don’t want to give Harry Styles much credit for changing the way we see clothing and gender, I respect that he explores femininity and mixes it with his sense of masculinity. If I didn’t have to drop out of college to be able to afford them, I would love to wear many of his suits (we all know suits look better on women).

A Casual Style Icon

Even if Harry isn’t performing or attending an award show in one of his famous suits, he still manages to be a style icon on his casual days. He often wears bright floral shirts that make him stand out since people definitely would not recognize him walking around town. Not only do I love the colors and designs of his floral shirts but I love them because it is a look that is easy for me to copy, even though our price ranges are significantly different. Sometimes Harry is seen wearing sweater vests that remind me of an older gentleman feeding ducks at a pond, which means his sweater vests are some of my favorite looks.

Love on Tour

With Harry Styles releasing his tour dates recently, it may seem like I’m writing this article and calling him a “style icon” in hopes that he will happen to find this article and give me free tickets to his show, and that’s part of the reason, but I truly do love his style and what he stands for. Harry often emphasizes the importance of kindness and acceptance, which can be seen at his shows. When performing, he sometimes wears outfits that may seem too flashy or unusual but that shows he is unapologetically himself. By being comfortable with himself, he is showing fans that it is acceptable to be whoever they want to be and wear whatever they want, even if someone else doesn’t approve. His concerts have become a safe haven for fans, like myself, around the world because we got to grow up with him. I don’t have tickets yet, but I am already getting my outfit ready for Harry Styles’ Love on Tour.

Written By: Maya Dixon
Photos By: Michael Leckie, Getty Images, Shutterstock, Helene Marie Pambrun, Robert Kamau

The Outfits of Cherbourg

As I was getting dressed, I was thinking about where my style comes from. I knew it definitely has some influences and after looking at all of my favorite pieces, I realized that I dress like the women from the movies and television shows I watch.

When I find myself relating to a character I start to incorporate pieces of them in myself because even though their reality is fictitious, the emotions that their stories make me feel are real. Lately, my style has been largely influenced by the character Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve) from the movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, directed by Jacques Demy. I have never experienced heartbreak from my significant other getting drafted to go to war, but I know the feeling of seeing life as soft, bright, and clear only to have your expectations that you assumed were true be altered by unforeseen circumstances. I will not spoil the story of the movie in case you haven’t seen it, but I will mention my love for Geneviève’s clothes that I wish to make my own. 

1. Sweaters

Geneviève’s sweaters are what ties many of her simpler outfits together. Her cardigans matched with her bows create a dainty and charming look that I adore.

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

2. Coats  

I hope the weather finally gets colder in San Diego because I am ready to wear coats! Geneviève’s coats make her look elegant and pristine, a look that I strive to emulate.    

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

3. Color

Color is an important aspect of this film because the colors of the characters’ clothing often match the background colors, which can also show how the characters are feeling. I chose blue clothing for this collage because I think blue best captures the feeling of despair and loss that the movie is trying to convey. Colors are very important to me when I’m considering my style because bright colors remind me of the vibrancy of youth. Although as we get older we may see our lives less and less through the perspective of a technicolor lens, sometimes through bright colors we are reminded of the fun, hope, and liveliness we carried as children. 

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

I can watch movies repeatedly simply for the costumes.

Not everyone enjoys watching musicals, especially ones that involve the characters singing every single line, but I believe that The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a great movie to watch for those of you who admire when a significant amount of care is put into the details of costumes and cinematography. If you’re looking for a change in your style you should watch some of your favorite movies to see if any of the outfits represent you.

Written By: Maya Dixon

Emily Zito Talks About Style, Thrifting, and Confidence

When many of us think of the coolest girl at school, that girl is rarely ever cool. We usually think of someone who is mean, stuck-up, and who praises herself for her “original” outfit that she copied from a Brandy Melville model.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Emily Zito, we went to high school together. Emily is the type of person who others are drawn to because she radiates warmth and kindness. Everyone turns to her in a room because of her unique sense of style and the way she carries herself with sophistication, confidence, and poise. She’s the type of person who you would aspire to be, but you know she wouldn’t want you to be anyone other than yourself. This is why I’m doing my very first interview with Emily, she is the true definition of the coolest girl at school.

I wanted to interview you because I saw you almost every day in high school, and you were a person who always stood out to me.  I call you my style icon because you look so put together and unique. With that said, my first question to you is why do you like to dress the way that you do?

“Aw, thank you! Ever since middle school, I never wanted to dress like anyone else. That’s why I love thrift stores so much because I can find things that no one else has. That’s why I don’t love going to fast fashion corporations because you see the same thing on everyone else. I want to stand out.”

Do you have any style inspirations?

“I don’t think I have a specific inspiration because I like to pull things from different people. I’m often influenced by different eras like the 90’s white oversized men’s shirts or the colors from the 70s. I am inspired by anyone who is doing their own thing.”

I see on your Instagram that you post Tyler the Creator a lot-

“Yeah, I was just about to bring him up. I think he’s so cool on how he does music, scoring, fashion, and how he doesn’t give a f**k about anything. He dresses however he wants, so I find a lot of inspiration behind that. I love it when people wear things that may come off as ugly, but they’re wearing their clothes for themselves, and I think that’s really cool. So yeah, he’s definitely one of the people that I look up to.”

I admire people who don’t care if what they’re wearing is seen as ugly too, but do you ever feel pressured to look good all of the time?

“Kinda, sometimes. Going to school everyday people tend to notice your outfits. For example, you tell me you think I dress cute, which makes me aware that people pay attention to the way that I dress. At the same time, I don’t care very much because when I get dressed in the morning and I dress cute, I do it for myself. I love to play with the different things that I wear, so I guess yes and no. When people know that you’re into fashion, people think that you have to look good all the time and that’s where the pressure comes from, but if I want to wear leggings and a hoodie then I will definitely wear that.”

With me, I sometimes feel pressured because on the days where I do dress down people tend to ask me if I’m sick!

“Yes! They’re like ‘is something wrong with you? You’re not stepping out today!’ Nope, I just don’t feel like it!”

You said that you dress for yourself, so would you describe yourself as being a confident person?

“I think so. You don’t necessarily need the confidence to dress in different ways, but I do consider myself to be confident because you need the confidence to know that you can pull things off when you see that no one else is dressing like this.”

Does your confidence come from anywhere? I often think that I am confident, especially when it comes to what I wear, but as soon as I step outside that confidence suddenly disappears.

“I’m not sure because I feel like it’s been an internal thing for all of my life. I never had to tell myself repeatedly to ‘be confident’ before I stepped outside, I just did it. I think what’s helped me is having an older sister. She’s into fashion as well, and she inspired me growing up. Watching her wear what she wants and not give a f**k about others’ opinions made me think that I could do that too. It’s so much more fun being confident and loving how you dress, so that is what I do.”

Do you think you would like to pursue going into the fashion industry when you get older?

“I don’t think so because it’s not a deep passion of mine, I just think it’s a fun thing to do. I like shopping at Goodwill and dressing really cool, so I don’t see a career path, but you never know. I do love it and I want to keep my options open.”

Do a lot of your friends shop at thrift stores too or are they more into fast fashion?

“A lot of them shop at Urban Outfitters, and I think I own five things from that store. I believe Urban Outfitters targets that Goodwill type of style, and I think that’s very smart of them because they are a business, but then again it’s overpriced. I could get something much cooler at a thrift store. My friends do both but they lean more towards the stores. You definitely have to have an eye when you thrift.”

I think you’re right, you definitely have to have a good eye for thrifting. I try to go to thrift stores but I tend to only find jackets and blazers at Goodwill. Then I look at other people who thrift and it seems like they’re able to find so many things. I don’t know how to sort through it, do you have any methods?

“I like to start with the handbags because I think a little purse is so cute. I see everyone else finding jeans at goodwill, but I think finding a good pair of jeans is the trickiest thing for me. I go straight towards outerwear, but that’s probably I love outerwear and I gravitate towards it. I think a key thing is being patient and going in with no expectations.”

Going in with no expectations is important because a lot of people are set with the style that they have, but in Goodwill you see clothing coming from a bunch of different people, and I think you need to keep an open mind. You may see something that you wouldn’t normally wear, but maybe I can do something with it to make it my own.

“Yes, for sure. One day I can dress like a five-year-old little boy and the next a thirty-year-old mom, just really chic. That’s what is so much fun about Goodwill. As you said, you’re seeing a wardrobe that a variety of people have contributed to, so one person can dress in all these different ways. Of course, you have your own thing that you like, but I think keeping an open mind makes things more interesting and keeps you unpredictable.”

Sometimes my parents or older adults look at me and say, “uhh what are you wearing?” Do you hear that from older adults as well?

“Yes, my mom says that all the time. I’ll wear my cute slack pants, and my mom calls me a grandma, but I tell her ‘yeah, I want to embrace the grandma look!’ My mom always responds with, ‘well it’s you and that’s all that matters.’ I bet some people look at my outfits and think they’re ugly but it is important for me to embrace it. It’s more interesting when not everyone likes your outfits.”

Well, I happen to love all of your outfits! So, it is now October and you told me that you love fall fashion. The weather is still hot, but what are your favorite fall styles?

“I really love outerwear so my closet is filled with jackets and coats. A good coat is essential. It’s kinda ironic that I live in San Diego because I have so many coats but I’m just waiting to move somewhere colder.”

How would you describe your style?

“I would call my style casual chic. I want to be comfortable but also look like a bad b***h when I’m stepping out. I still feel like a bad b***h in my hoodie, leggings, and my Reebok shoes. Being a bad b***h is a mindset. It’s not all about what you have on, I think what attracts people to others is their presence. People are attracted to energy.”

A lot of people say that young people like to follow the crowd. Do you feel like our generation is stepping away from that and we are trying to wear clothes that we truly like despite the opinions of others?

“I think our generation is better at not caring and dressing how we want. I see that a lot in friend groups. I see a lot of friend groups who all have a similar aesthetic but each person has their own individual spin on that aesthetic. Although it feels like our generation is straying away from conformity, I know there is still a lot of people rushing to Urban Outfitters to buy something that they see everyone else at school wearing.”

The reason why I asked that question is because I’m looking at the glitter on your eyes and I’m thinking about the show Euphoria. The girls on that show have their own unique style and I know they have inspired other people to dress how they want.

“Yeah and I think that’s a good thing that people who didn’t have the confidence to dress a certain way see the way that Rue dresses and they think ‘okay, I can dress like a tomboy.’ Then there is Cat who is a boss a** b***h who wears whatever she wants. That’s really cool for bigger and curvier girls who can see someone as confident as she is on TV.”

You mentioned how Rue can inspire others to dress in a more typically “masculine” way, do you ever feel pressured to only dress in a way that is seen as being feminine? 

“I guess there is some pressure because I am a girl, but I really do like dressing more masculine on some days because sometimes I think it’s more comfortable. I love to wear black pants, a turtle neck, and a graphic tee even if that may not be super feminine. I think that seeing Rue or characters like Rue show people that it’s cool and just as interesting to dress that way.”

I tend to dress more femininely because I feel that’s how I’m expected to dress. I do gravitate towards feminine styles more, but I don’t think you should have to pick one. I think we can combine the two if that is what we like.

“I feel like there is always going to be pressure when it comes to gender and clothing, but I think it’s getting better with our generation.”

Do you have any pieces in your closet that you feel very attached to and if they ever got stolen you would feel devastated?

“For me, three things come to mind and they are all coats. I have a zebra coat that I recently got from Oregon, my deep orange 70s coat with reflective detail that I got at a thrift store, and my coat that I like to call my Matrix coat.”

I’ve seen your Matrix coat on Instagram. I see a lot of your outfits on there. A lot of people like to talk about social media and it’s negative effects, but how does it make you feel?

“I think I have a love-hate relationship. I look at my feed consisting of people from high school, and I think that I don’t really need to follow these people because half of them I don’t care what they’re posting. I love social media for the explore page or the fashion Instagram pages. I have folders saved of looks that I love and like to get inspiration from. I haven’t posted a picture in a while but when I do post I do it for me. I like it when feeds have a unique look. I don’t focus on if someone from high school likes my pictures or not. I think it’s cute when your friends or people you may not know very well comment on a post because they like your outfit. I do that too sometimes because I want to be supportive. I think that’s a positive thing about social media, how supportive people can be, but it can definitely get to some people’s heads and they end up posting just for the comments. It has its pros and cons just like everything else.”

I first got an Instagram in middle school, but I deleted it because I noticed myself only posting what I felt others would like. I got one again this year because I told myself if I wanted to post a picture, I have to do it for me.

“I was actually looking through your Instagram the other day and I was thinking about how it’s really cool that you’re posting all these paintings because that is what you’re interested in. I think your feed should be a representation of you and what you want to see.”

So, we talked about handbags, coats, and pants, but what about shoes?

“In middle school, while everyone was into sneakers, I was obsessed with black boots. I still have five pairs of them because I used to center my whole wardrobe around them. Now I’m into sneakers. My one stars are my essentials, I can’t let them go. I also have my Tyler Golf le Fleur shoes. I love Reeboks. I really like wearing a fancy dress but dressing it down with a denim jacket, a belt, and a pair of sneakers. I like to mix my silk dresses with black boots or sneakers. It’s fun to play with shoes!”

Let’s say it’s the weekend and you’re dressed in an outfit that you feel very confident in, where would you like to go?

“I love going to concerts, that’s a huge part of my life. My friend Zoë and I go to a coffee shop every first of the month and we get dressed up to listen to live music. The little events here and there are really fun.”

Do you ever plan your outfits with your friends?

“Sometimes! When we went to the coffee shop to listen to live music and the theme was the 90s so we planned our outfits accordingly. When we went roller skating we wore a bunch of glitter and bright colors because we wanted to dress like the characters on Euphoria. We don’t do it all the time because we each have our own aesthetic and way that we like to dress.

I wish this interview had a conclusion so I can call myself a professional interviewer but after the previous question, we drifted to a variety of topics, such as chateaus, tea parties, travel, college life, and movies. Although I am still learning how to interview, I hope you were able to learn more about Emily and yourselves. I didn’t write this interview so you could imitate Emily’s style, but so she could inspire you to have the confidence to create your own.

Written by: Maya Dixon
Photos By: Emily Zito