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

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