There’s a certain air of snobbery around the subject of make-up that looks like you’re actually wearing make-up. Beyond teens or those who you might jokingly describe as ‘hunzos’, Kylie Jenner levels of make-up is often considered cheap, tacky and the complete opposite of what a ‘real’ make-up artist would do. If you’ve recently graduated from Glamour to Vogue, you’ll have noticed that trends tend to lean more towards the undone look, or at least the ‘made up to look like you’re not made up’ approach to beauty. And we’ve long hailed Parisian women for their foundation-free visage with a hint of a berry coloured lip; how nice for them to have such flawless, angelic skin (she says, through gritted teeth). Rarely, aside from the likes of MAC, has noticeable make-up been praised; “If the Kardashians are doing it, we’re SO not,” said the world’s population of beauty snobs, maybe. While contouring had its moment, it too has been relegated to the bottom of the beauty hack pile while the far classier ‘strobing’ has taken its place.
Such attitudes are particularly prominent when it comes to bridal make-up, with the assumption being that all brides want to look natural, barely there, or as though they’ve just emerged from a cheek-flushing, pre-wedding tryst with their husband to be. Think Beyoncé’s ‘I Woke Up Like Dis’; fine if you’ve been blessed with sallow, pigment-perfect skin, but for someone who gets asked if she’s got the flu every time she goes make-up free, you can forget it. Born with milky, Celtic skin, complete with purplish under eye bags, a dollop of BB cream just won’t cut the mustard. Having tried and tested the myriad ways of keeping it real and still arrived home after a day’s work to look like I’ve been dragged through a ditch, I’ve come to the conclusion that the full kit and kaboodle of foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, blusher, lashings of mascara with a slick of black liner, topped off with a lined lip and strong set of brows (don’t forget to breathe) is the key to my beauty-happy heart. It’s only then that I’m at my most confident, and, egotistic though it may seem, it’s only on these occasions, when I’ve gone full throttle make-up wise, that I receive the most compliments and feel at my most empowered.
Though many women will think it’s better to have your face complimented rather than the make-up on it, this writer’s done feeling bad about her addiction to MAC Studio Fix foundation. Ask yourself the same question, have you ever felt worse for wearing a set of decent false eyelashes for a night on the tiles? No. The key of course is in being able to apply the aforementioned list of products in a way that enhances your look, rather than looking as though you’ve dipped your face in cake batter and contoured with actual muck. Therein lies the difference.
As for Kylie? Well, haters gonna hate, and we’ve all secretly googled how to recreate her look using industrial-strength lip liner. Who are you kidding?
Stay tuned for Ellie Balfe’s rebuttle.