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8th November 2016

Make me up as me not you

Qiarna Bondswell adds her voice to the current obsession with Instagram beauty, asking if this really is a one size fits all look

Our faces have changed. The drag trends of modern day makeup have officially won; women who enjoy makeup are now wearing matte foundation, matte lipsticks, contour, highlight, winged eyeliner, mink eyelashes, and not for their night out — but as their daily mask; I believe the blame lies right in the hands of Instagram and YouTube.

Now before you switch off thinking this is an article about shaming women who wear makeup — this is not the intention of this piece at all, I, too, wear makeup every day. What I want to address is how everyday makeup has become progressively heavy. Whilst you may simply like wearing Kylie Jenner inspired makeup, perhaps we all need to question how flattering this regime is for our faces on an everyday basis. I’m sure many of you will recognise at least one of these figures; Amrezy, Nikkitutorials, Shaaanxo, Tammy Hembrow, Carli Bybel, Desi Perkins, the Instagram and Youtube ‘It’ girls of our generation. I’m sure many of us turn to them once in a while to learn a few makeup looks. But oh my, their social media beauty looks have seriously been influential and seeped into the mainstream and this is seriously tainting individual beauty.

Walking through Manchester city centre I notice so many young girls covered in heavy foundation, overdrawn lips, and matte lipstick the problem is that many these makeup trends taken from Instagram and YouTube are tailored for photography and HD video and thereby in person it frankly looks ridiculous and over the top. However, more frustrating is how these trends are making everyone look like each other and subsequently morph into a similar face.

Maybe you don’t care how heavy your daytime makeup is, maybe you even see your heavy make up as empowering, and that’s your prerogative. I personally would like to see women embrace makeup trends that enhance their personal features and not just take on trends that are en vogue. For instance, if you have a very round or oval face, why try to carve in cheekbones that are not there? Makeup is our aid to enhance beauty not create something that does not exist. Remember contour was born out of drag queens trying to MAKE a female face, not enhance their own natural beauty. Furthermore, if you suffer from dry skin, it is a dewy foundation and creamy lip cream which will brighten up your face, giving you that glow dry skin naturally struggles with. So why reach for that matte lip kit and matte foundation that although will give you the current look ultimately you know it’s not the most flattering for you?

We see images of these flawless makeup looks on Instagram, we then learn how to recreate the steps to these looks through Youtube, and finally we emulate them in real life. However the issue is that we forget a fundamental part — these looks were created for photographing and are suitable for nights out but not for walking around campus. My aim is to simply point out that the ‘InstaTube’ influence is morphing our faces, and this is starting to get out of hand. The message isn’t to be all natural and take off all your makeup; I understand how great makeup can make you feel. Instead try to adopt trends that suit your face on an individual basis and bring out your own distinctive beauty.

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