Makeup is an Art. And there are no rules in art.
I have a pet peeve. When I have a client sit down for a makeup lesson, they inevitably tell me about the “rules” that they’ve read or a “makeup hack” some well-meaning person online or from their past shared; never do this, or always do that and do it THIS way! Restrictive rules like you must FOREVER AND ALWAYS only wear “winter colours” and my personal fave, “YOU DON’T DO THAT OVER 40!” My response, Huh? Pardon? Who says? Now, a lifetime later, she’s been sticking to these rules as if her life depends on it and I am tasked with undoing this lifelong behaviour, so together we set forth to “break the rules”.
How to break the rules
In the world of makeup and beauty, many people are entering a realm they know nothing about (your words) or lack the confidence to change or try something new. I often hear the complaint of overwhelm, uncertainty over ingredients and efficacy. “What works!?” “What looks good?” I’ve seen many mature women even get stuck in the era where they last felt their “best”, and continue to use those colours and techniques decades later. And that’s OK! But so is change…
You are an intelligent, bad ass woman who did a pretty good job picking the paint colour in your bedroom and maybe you’ve rocked the same lip colour for the last 5 years. You know what you like and trust that your advice is correct and coming from well-meaning professionals. But in the world of beauty know this; soak it all up, read, follow Insta and TicTok and all the latest trends, learn, practice, and have fun. Makeup is used in many wonderful different ways from movies to runway, editorial, wedding, camouflage, every day and beyond, but at the end of the day makeup is an art and should be treated as such.
So how do we break the rules?
Quite simply, Break ‘em!!
Makeup Is not a mask
One of the most rewarding parts of my career has been dedicated to helping those with scars, burns and skin differences such as ‘port wine stains’ or ‘vitiligo’. There is an entire genre of ‘paramedical’ and ‘camouflage’ makeup to help these individuals navigate the world by helping them feel like the rest of us do naked faced. I also volunteer for the Look Good Feel Better Program helping women with cancer navigate the physical side effects of the disease and its treatments. It keeps me grounded and reminds me sometimes it’s all about our perspective.
While we do use makeup to hide and conceal the perceived and real imperfections that many of us focus on, everyday makeup should not look or feel like a mask. We need to be cognizant of approaching the latest trends with knowledge and caution. Many trends like ‘contouring’ or ‘baking’ are born from techniques used in other makeup genres like theatre or drag makeup, and then marketed to be used in the every day. Makeup should be used for fun, to hide imperfections and to enhance what we feel good about! In art there are certainly rules of colour and techniques learned, but creativity is really what should rule and be the rule and that should hold true for the art of makeup as well. If it solves whatever it is you’re after, and it makes you feel good, then it works!
Makeup is an art, and you are the perfect palette.
Think differently about beauty and… LOSE THE RULES!