For those of you who have read my blog for a while or who know me in real life, you may have noticed that I don’t really engage with a lot of modern western trends in regards to fashion and makeup. I know my personal style might seem a bit eccentric to some people and it probably is, but I thought it might be worth discussing what it is about these modern western trends that I simply don’t find appealing. Yes, I know that not all people follow these trends. Yes, I also know that different things look good on different people. We’re generalising here, deal with it.
So let’s go through some of the main trends and exactly what it is that I don’t like about them. This is not an attack of anyone, just a superficial analysis of current trends.
Modern western makeup often focuses on full coverage, matte finish, concealing all imperfections, contouring, highlighting, and bronzer. I don’t like any of those things. When I look at people who opt for this kind of base makeup I am always aware that I’m looking at a thick layer of makeup rather than someone’s skin. It’s as if the actual face is covered and a new one painted on top of it. I have a firm belief in working with your face rather than against it. If I’m tired, then it’s probably good for people around me to be able to see that when they look at my face. I just feel really uncomfortable talking to a mask rather than the person’s actual face. It also tends to be really exaggerated to the point where people paint themselves to look like zebras rather than just enhancing their cheek bones a bit. It’s an uncanny valley kind of thing for me. That’s why I personally opt for lighter coverage, a less matte finish, and almost never do any contouring/highlighting/etc.
The Tan: This is not a comment about people’s natural skin colour and certainly about race. What I do dislike is the intentional darkening of the skin for beauty reasons. Why? Because the sun is a motherfucking death ray that really can give you cancer. It’s absurd that we tell people that they should get a ‘healthy glow’ by deliberately exposing themselves to a health hazard. It ages the skin, damages it, and could even kill you in the long run. It’s an extremely unhealthy ideal and I’ll never understand why we shame people for not darkening their skin (“You look sick, you should get a tan” “Do you ever go outside?”).
Lips: There are two opposing trends that annoy me equally. Firstly, the Kylie Jenner lip. No, it doesn’t look like your lips are fuller, it looks like you’ve failed at painting your lips properly. You can extend the surface of the lip a tiny bit and make it look realistic, but most people who do this exaggerate it to the point where they look more like the Joker than Kylie Jenner.
Secondly, and this one is far worse. Lips that are paler than the rest of the face. When I was about 14, this was a major trend where I lived and it’s just one of the most horrific trends I have ever seen. That some people still do this is beyond me. Your lips are naturally more pigmented than the skin around them, it’s one of the things that adds natural definition to your face and helps frame the rest of your face (along with your eyebrows). Using a “nude” colour that is paler than your natural lip colour just makes it look like your skin is peeling.
Oh and I really dislike using lipgloss. It’s just very impractical. My hair gets caught in it, it smears, it gets sticky, it looks greasy and it needs to be reapplied way more often than I’m willing to do.
Eyes: Fake lashes. I just don’t see the appeal.
Eyebrows: There’s been a few different trends in western eyebrow styling over the last few years. First we had the plucked into oblivion and repainted. Then we had the extremely bushy eyebrows for a season or two. Currently people are drawing geometric shapes onto their foreheads and painting them borderline solid dark brown or black. I prefer a simpler approach. A natural shape that is groomed if needed, perhaps some slight definition added to help frame the face. But just… calm down with eyebrows, stop going to extremes all the time.
Spending an hour putting on 17 products to get a “natural” look:
You don’t look natural. You look like a painting of a face. If you want a natural look, go with minimal additions. Make minor adjustments without hiding your real face. There is so much unnecessary work done with this trend or method that it makes me groan. Learn to min-max.
I’ve encountered a fair amount of people who are completely shocked to discover that my face without makeup looks really similar to my face with makeup. Why? Because we’re so used to people creating an entirely new face on top of their real one and try to pass that version off as the real them. Then, when they remove the makeup, they look completely different. I’m not talking about things like working to cover acne or dark circles. I’m talking about an entirely different face.
It’s your face. Own it.
Hair: There’s a lot of emphasis put on using heat when styling your hair. Heat styling is also one of the most damaging things you can do to your hair and still people do it almost daily. One version of this is the curtain look that comes from obsessive straightening and makes it look like you’re wearing a wig. The other version is using curling irons rather than say foam rollers or pincurls. Can we just stop turning really damaging things into trends no matte if it’s tans or heat styling?