Is No-Makeup Makeup Secretly Throwing Shade?

embPhotographed by Molly Cranna.
In the '80s, women actually wanted to look like they were wearing makeup. They wore purple shadow, had extreme contouring, and enough black eyeliner to launch the career of Bobbi Brown. This trend eventually became a bit more tame as it continued into the '90s and early aughties. But, now we've entered the era of #NoMakeupSelfies (a.k.a. the ultimate humblebrag) and makeup artists who preach minimalism. Too much makeup is now the enemy, which xoVain writer Sable thinks is the beginning of a slippery slope.
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Women are being told that the world shouldn't be able to tell how much makeup they're wearing. It's true: Backstage at Fashion Week, all I heard was how the models in the show should look "fresh" and "natural." How was that accomplished? By adding concealer, highlighter, eye shadow, and more, only to have the girls spin out of the makeup chair looking fresh-faced and dewy — like they'd just tumbled out of bed.
"Are they going to start filming makeup commercials the way they do tampon commercials, with some cute girl nipping into a drugstore to pick up concealer and tucking it into a secret purse pocket?" Sable asks in her essay. And, I have to say, the girl makes a good point. I spend about 40 minutes on my makeup every morning, but I never want it to look like I'm wearing too much. It's a notion that's been embedded into our brains for years now — if you wear too much makeup, you're trying too hard. And, heaven forbid that happen.
I have to wonder aloud with Sable here. Exactly when did putting effort and time into one's appearance translate into trying "too hard" (whatever the hell that means)? And, who gets to decide how much makeup is too much? Sable makes the case that the #NoMakeupSelfie and the minimal makeup trend are just perpetuating this problem. Will we get to a point where women who adore the look of heavy makeup are deemed unattractive?
How much of whatever a woman decides to put on her face is no one's business but her own. It's ridiculous to think that anyone has the right to decide what amount of makeup is right for someone else. While I'm all for women who apply a lot of makeup — whether it's for a "natural" look or not — there's no excusable reason for making someone else feel bad about themselves because of the cosmetics they put on their face. The minute we start realizing that, the better things will get. (xoVain)


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