Archive for the ‘instagram’ Category

Trendy Trending Trends

People frequently ask me what I think about various Insta/YouTube trends. This week’s request for the Hot Take™ is the squiggle brows, but there have been many in the past and will be many more to come. Basically, here is how I see such things–

1) If it is merely for clickbait, borne of the desperation of influencers to fill space/attempt to engineer the Next Big Thing (because there is nothing new under the sun), or dangerous in either ingredient or technique, I‘m probably rolling my eyes and giving a hard pass. Putting beauty blenders in condoms, using (insert object here) for random makeup application, giving a new name to an existing technique (ahem, strobing), using flour for powder, using random objects to try and create an eye wing, crushing oreos into mascara–all these things fall under that umbrella of “Baby, NO.”

2) If it is a look that is artistic, expressive, fun, creepy, etc. (squiggle brows, blue lips, glitter blush, metallic highlighter, unicorn looks, fx makeup, faded/feathered goth lips, etc), I’m pretty much in the camp of, “do your thing.” I’m all in for makeup as art and self-expression. Do it up, buttercup. If they are staring, you probably did it right.

3) If it is something you can’t do yourself but you’re going to side-eye and harangue your poor makeup artist if they don’t do it “JUST LIKE (insert name here) DOES ON THEIR CHANNEL!” then, again, baby no. Beauty makeup artists know their craft and know what beauty belongs in front of a backdrop/ring light in controlled positions vs. what is going to make you look beautiful when it moves. Furthermore, if you’re doing this nonsense in a store, double shame on you. Retail artists are there to sell makeup and bringing in your squiggle brows to waste 30 minutes of their Saturday when they have sales goals is just rude. If you want to squiggle, sugar, squiggle all day long…but leave the professionals and the sales people alone.

That’s pretty much that.

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You Heard It Here First: Highlight Stacking

Okay, friends. I’ve just coined the term “highlight stacking” and yes, the technique (which is not as new as this afternoon’s term coinage) is just as extra as it sounds. Also, according to Instagram, I’m the first one that has hashtagged it, so if you hear/read it, you’ll know it came from me!

No Shame In Your Game

You know how it is:  you see a picture of something on Facebook, then your mind wanders to something related in your own life, then perhaps you reflect on the past.  A post about makeup brushes today had me thinking about the first one I bought, which in turn had me thinking about you.  Yes, you.

Over many, many years I’ve had many, many clients say things like, “Oh, I don’t know how to do it like you do,” or, “Brushes confuse me,” or, “I’m embarrassed I’ve reached this age knowing nothing about makeup.”

(I would like to break away for a moment to address that–even though makeup is my business–knowing about makeup is not a life-requirement for anyone.  We could all live a whole life never knowing how to put on eye shadow and life would still happen joyously.  Makeup is fun and can be functional, but it is by no means necessary.  I definitely do not think anyone should feel shame for not being versed in it…at any age.  I’m specifically talking to the people who are interested in makeup and who want to learn about it.)

I cannot draw.  I cannot paint.  I have tremendous difficulty summoning a unique picture from scratch.  Where my specific Visual Arts talent lies is in being able to look at someone’s face and determine the best way to bring forth their features.  This is why I’m a beauty artist and why, though I have mad respect for it, I do not work in latex and F/X.   That is what gives me my ability to do makeup as a job, but my clients don’t even need that specific talent to be able to do their own faces.

Also, though I’ve always been drawn to the beauty industry as a consumer, large swaths of it puzzled me.  That first makeup brush I mentioned?  I bought it in the earliest of the 90s, back in those pre-internet days when Anita Roddick still owned The Body Shop and the only way my small-town Illinois self could acquire any was mail order.  I bought a brush from the Barbara Daly Colourings line.  I felt like such a big deal when it arrived, yet I had no idea what to do with it.  It didn’t seem to work with my shadows, and I was young enough to not be bothering with concealer at the time, so I sort of collected it.  It sat in my Caboodle looking all grown up, getting dirty from other makeup that would shed onto it–but never from actual use.  Makeup obsessed as I was, I was still using sponge-tipped applicators and my own fingers to put on my eyes, just like many of my clients do today.

I taught myself liquid liner by using a regular pencil as a guideline until I got the knack, but the cool, blended eye shadow looks eluded me.  It was not until I got a job in retail makeup that I started figuring out how to properly use brushes, what brush did what, and the difference they made.  I also did not figure out until then that my beloved Colourings brush was not useless–it was only useless with my thinly pigmented drugstore shadows at the time.  Who knew?  Not me, not until I was shown.

I was self-taught on a lot of different makeup techniques, but everything went a lot faster (and looked a lot better) when I allowed other people to explain things to me.  After that, it was a lot of practice.  I did not pick up that very first palette (Merle Norman, btw; it belonged to my friend Angie) and go to town expertly because I had some latent inner artist.  I had to practice techniques.  Even now, sometimes I’ll go to try something on myself and say, “Oh…no, no, no, not doing that today.”

If you want to learn how to put makeup on yourself, you can do it.  You may need to be taught and–sorry–you may have to practice a bit, but you’ve got it in you.  Brushes confound you?  They did me, too.  Techniques elude you?  They did me, too. I do not care if you are 18 or if you are 80.  If I can go from being flummoxed by my first brush to being a professional makeup artist, I promise you that I (or someone like me) can teach you how to do your own face.

What You Water Will Grow

I’ll never get over how beauty brands treat “influencers” so much better than their own employees.

“Big Mistake. Big…Huge!”

The story about Leslie Jones trying to get a dress for her big “Ghostbusters” premiere broke my heart when it first came out.  Leslie took her hurt and frustration to Twitter because designers didn’t want to dress her because she was not their sample size. Christian Siriano stepped up and she was gorgeous in his gown. Here are photos of her happy ending. I would have loved to have done her face.

Edited to add this lovely triptych from Siriano’s Instagram-

csiriano

I wonder if the style of the dress was a sly homage to the opera dress in “Pretty Woman,” winking at Vivian taunting the shopgirls who wouldn’t help her.

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Busted!

Uh-oh, Rodan + Fields: Busted!

ramona singer

http://jezebel.com/ramona-singer-includes-the-instructions-for-her-sponsor-1783362319

Never doubt for a minute this is how your Instagram beauty sausage is made. Morphe, Colourpop, Rodan + Fields, Gerard Cosmetics, and so much more–your big name faves who can’t rave enough about lines whose only consistence is inconsistence (at best) have had their words bought for them. Be a wary consumer.

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Mea Culpa

Okay, friends. I will not be buying any more Jeffree Star products. I can no longer keep the person separate from his brand to justify lining his pockets. I thought he had changed since his MySpace days–who wants anything they did when they were 19 to define who they are forever?–but sometimes awful people just get older without actually growing up.

I made excuses because I DO like his products, cringing but trying to explain away how awful he talks about women (telling that other awful YouTube bully, MannyMUA, how terrible vaginas smell). I knew better–and knew I knew better–but chalked it up to his persona, which was foolish of me because it wasn’t even a persona I liked. I fully and shamefully admit I sold a corner of my moral real estate for the price of a cool green lipstick and a gleaming white highlighter. In the end, though, you all know I despise that Mean Girl (and Mean Boy) “Bitches ain’t shit” mentality and my conscience won. I can’t do it anymore.

This video was the scale tipper for me–you can skip the review and start in at 19:44 to get some bullet points about him being rude, racist, and sexist–ALL with proof (much of it video) to back it up. A further Google search goes down a deep, deep rabbit hole of things worse than Stephanie’s examples. Oof.

I’ve expunged mentions of him (where I could find them; some are likely buried) on my various Social Media accounts so I’m no longer actively promoting him.

I apologize to any of my friends who were already aware of his hateful, problematic nature and were quietly offended by my effusive love of his lipsticks and highlighters. Your feelings are worth more than those.