How makeup affects today’s society

By Alyssa Brown

Women have worn makeup for hundreds of years it’s used to make women appear more attractive and “more feminine” by enhancing their features. Wearing makeup has become an essential tool in society to manage social expectations. By using makeup people are able to cover insecurities, blemishes or features on their face they may not neccesarily want to be seen. Make up is a semi permanent mask for people to enhance or change their features. Its used in movies, on stage and explored all over social media.

There has been scientific evidence that makeup makes women look more attractive by increasing sexual dimorphic factors facial contrast this is defined by the luminance and colour between facial features such as eye, mouth, nose and eyebrows (Russel,2009). This is done by contouring and deepening the depth of cheek bones and other surface areas. However, with todays society and social experiments continuously growing the use of editing of pictures and filters on images that have been seen on celebrities have become more popular and are used daily in photos also known as selfies. Social media app snapchat are known for their hundreds of filters that can completely change ones features, skin tone and at most hair colour, the app which has over 293 million daily active users with four billion snapchats taken and shared every day. (earth web.statistics)

Alice Binns is 21 years of age, she has worn makeup since the age of 15. When in secondary school makeup for her became something she started to explore when others her age also did. Social media was a huge part of her life at such a young age as it became more popular through the following of those in the spotlight, young teens often followed many celebrities where they took inspiration from the clothes they wore, how they styled their hair to the everyday makeup they would post online.

Alice stated ” I can’t remember the last time I left the house to meet or see my friends, go to work, lunch or shopping without a full face of makeup. I do think society has given us all this expectation of what we should and could look like through using makeup and transforming our face with filters or a bottle of foundation. Its quite scary when you think about it because you never know when looking on instagram or other public profiles what someone actually looks like behind that mask. Some days I have good skin and I will just put moisturiser on so I feel more awake and I’m confident to go out others when my skin is a little worse for wear I can’t stand leaving the house without my blemishes covered up.” Makeup has become a tool to hide these insecurities yet also create new ones .

She added ” I do think that if I wasn’t introduced to it so early on in life I wouldn’t have become so obsessed with having the perfect face. I recently had filler in my lips which has helped with my confidence however three years ago that would’ve never crossed my mind, its shocking really as these are ways of making money and were continuing to fund society by following these trends that are becoming more harmful to our bodies and our mind.”

We see it covered on the tv and the news often as well as magazines where we see those in the spotlight doing their jobs. Holly Willoughby for example, she works on a news channel and wakes the country up everyday wearing a full face of makeup each day whilst presenting us with latest updates and stories. This is just another representation of how society has made a working woman look in terms of scheduling time to do a full face of makeup for work to look “professional”.

Here is another example of the power of makeup and how it changes and defines a persons features. Tasha Brook who has struggled recently with problematic skin due to working in a care home where she is required to wear a mask has had issues with breaking out in spots and blemishes.

Tasha said ” I have always struggled with my skin so when I put makeup on it helps to make me feel more comfortable in my body. I don’t wear it for work due to me being a carer so having to wear masks around paitents has left me we having problematic skin due to how itchy, warm and irritating they can be on my face. I am constantly clensing my skin in hopes my spots and blemishes fade but due to working such long hours and the rise of covid I have to face the facts that the need for me to continue to wear a mask around my patients isn’t going away over night.”

In a world where people work hard it seems odd that there is no awareness for the beauty of a persons skin no matter colour or clearness. Tasha adds” I just feel like everyone should be confident in their own skin, we were given a life to live it not look in the mirror and wish you were a model on the front of vogue, the expectations have been put far too high and it can really effect a persons mental well being. I like wearing makeup but I would never change myself to fit the needs of somebody else. Society has become a cruel world with bullying in schools and its something I had to face along with many others, the acceptance of others for who they are I think should be the real lesson not teaching young girls or boys whomever they may be how to dress or look a certain way”.

Permanent makeup

Permanent makeup has also been on a huge incline in the last 5 to 10 years. It has become a conveinince to many who are constantly on the go due to busy schedules. So having semi permanent makeup has made peoples lives much easier. It usually lasts around 12 to 18 months, you can have anything from eyebrows to lips to most recently eyeliner. This is just another example of how society and the social media influence the public to undergo new and upcoming treatments. The singer well known for her beauty Rhianna has supposedly had permanent eyebrow feathering done to enhance her eyebrows. Someone so well known in the spotlight is bound to influence the younger generation.

Jasmine Evans a semi permanent makeup artist talks about how she began her journey on this new and upcoming aesthetic journey. “I started my permanent makeup career in 2018 and since then the demand for it has boomed. Cosmetic tattooing on the face was at one point unusual, whereas now it is more uncommon to meet someone that hasn’t had it. People are loving the convenience of being able to wake up every morning with makeup, rather than taking time out of their daily routine to apply it. It’s also very popular amongst older ladies who struggle sometimes to see to apply makeup themselves, or struggle to get the right symmetry.”

The job can be highly rewarding for Jasmine when she gives help to clients who have struggled with the loss of hair due to treatment they have undergone for personal health. This could mean those who struggle with alopecia and are unable to grow hair. Jasmine speaks about the time she has encountered a similar situation “I have had clients in the past who have lost their natural eyebrow hair due to illness or medication, so they seek out permanent makeup as a way to replace what they’ve lost and increase their confidence. Permanent makeup is not only for women, some men also use it to enhance their features. “

I think social media has given the permanent makeup industry a huge advantage when advertising to clients as it is so widely used. Thanks for Facebook and instagram, people can view photos and reviews of other clients experiences. When clients have treatments they often share their results with their friends, which then encourages them to enquire about it. On the other hand, in terms of makeup and women in general, we are often bombarded with content and images that are heavily filtered. I can understand a woman’s pressure to look ‘perfect’ but I think it’s our responsibility as businesses and brands that we also share realistic images and achievable standards of beauty.

From being young I have also felt the pressure to look a certain way in order to be deemed ‘beautiful’. I have struggled with acne since my teens and it’s always something I’ve been conscious of, so I can appreciate how things like defined eyes and symmetrical brows may make others feel more confidence in their appearance. I love my job as I can make women feel better about themselves.”

Its clear both semi permanent and permanent makeup has changed society due to its influx of following through social media and its expectations throughout society. Although permanent makeup can be seen as convent it can also be there for years to come, this is something not often over thought and what can be a rushed decision to make changes to a persons features. There are a number of things to consider before rushing into this decision such as your age, you must be over the age of 18, women who are pregnant or nursing are not able to take part in the tattooing of permanent makeup, people fitted with pacemakers or major heat problems and viral infections or diseases. All have to be considered and consulted with the artist before undergoing the treatment.

Wearing or having procedure done can help build a persons confidence, they may feel some what more in control of how they are perceived and looked at from the outside due to that being the first place another persons is able to look. As wrong as it is many men and women are judge so deeply for how they look or a portrayed due to the way the dress, style their hair to the makeup they put on their face. This perception of judgement has come from a society where others feel they’re not accepted for looking a certain way or idolising that they wish or want to change their bodies and image to match another persons (usually a star or celebrity in the spotlight). Due to the media and how they are represent young men and women often look up to these people and can change their outlook on themselves. Although, the media can also be a great way to show others that this isn’t reality and the editing of pictures and articles about a star or celebrity can all be fake. This doesn’t always stop the need or want for change.