The Makeup Artist That Went Rouge – Make That Rogue: Social acceptance manufactured by the makeup industry


I’ve been involved in the film and television industry as a makeup artist for the past 32 years and just finished an undergraduate in psychology – maybe that was a mistake! Watching talent, actors and politicians and their makeup requirements have been an endless source of fascination for me….until recently.
Lately makeup is no longer something that corrects flaws like dark circles or hiding a pimple, so that there are no glaring distractions from the content of what people are trying to convey, whether it’s news or as a character in a show. Instead layers of makeup are plastered onto both men and women because the makeup companies have trained “makeup artist” to make up their clients using the maximum amount of sell-able product. This is of course not for the benefit of the client but for sales and yet the wearers of these products become more and more addicted, seeing themselves through a lens that has convinced them that exaggeration is beautiful. They “see” and then think that wearing layers of double and triple false eyelashes somehow looks normal or even desirable. To me the mask makes the face look solid and unmovable. The layers are so thick and intense that there is nothing left of the original person. A manikin with a hinged jaw might as well be in front of the camera rather than a human being.
The so called “trained makeup artists” are taught to slather the stuff on regardless of the color temperature of the studio lights or the shape of the face, eyes or other features. The goal is to sell product. One company tells us that all skin has a yellow base so everyone uses foundation that has yellow tones to it. In TV, yellow looks white, that’s why we see so many pasty-white-pancake-faces.
Then the makeup dealers have created an eye shadow design that seems to be a one-size-fits-all. Almost every woman you see on the news these days now has a heavy black liner with a white lid and framed with eyelashes thick enough to dust the furniture with. Does this really look good? I mean really. Step away from all your preconceived ideas about current trends and ask if it really works.
Don’t even get me started on the issue of chemicals in all these products. When that subject was raised with some on air talent, they really didn’t care about chemicals or products with carcinogens. They have their poison and are sticking with them. In the meantime, my concern is not only the look that is all over television but what it does for the rest of us that don’t have the time, money or desire to support the cosmetic industry.
Unfortunately, the “look” is now becoming the standard and if we don’t have juicy-wet-puffy-lips or, heaven forbid, feather duster eyelashes, call in the plastic surgeon!
Trying to reach this lofty Angelina Jolie goal of beauty is making some beauties into monsters and with that special lens that we all see ourselves through, somehow the overdone image looks glamorous. Look at what Lindsey Lohan has done to that beautiful face of hers. The surgery that’s been done on her should be considered a criminal act of disfigurement. Somehow with over extended lips, lashes and cheeks, we see glamor and with beauty we see acceptance into the mainstream.
Being different is taboo, it makes people work too hard to see the goodness. Like the rest of our American values and issues we want what we want and we want it now! Wearing less makeup, going out in public without lipstick or eyelashes sets us apart, or so we think. The sad part is that the only one guiding us toward the socially acceptable mainstream is the cosmetic industry. They in turn are laughing all the way to the bank while making billions off our insecurities of being left out of the group even at the cost of looking garish, with over modulated features and even at the risk of using carcinogenic chemicals in almost everyone of their makeup and personal hygiene products. Wow, what a scam! But how do we get off the merry-go-round?

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