The makeover backlash has begun, says Penny Fray
If you suffer from retina-scarring, child-terrifying hideousness, hope exists in a bag. Yes, the make-up bag is every woman’s instant solution to plainness. Just empty the contents and apply for jaw-dropping results. Otherwise, call a surgeon.
Okay, I exaggerate, but when you remove this model’s blue contact lenses, false lashes and layers of foundation, she looks a very different woman (below right). She’s still beautiful but is she being dishonest?
This is the question currently trending on social media sites after a completely different set of before and after pictures by the make-up artist Melissa Murphy ignited an international furore about the morality of cosmetics.
One picture shows a pretty enough girl without make-up while the other demonstrates how easy it is to transform someone with the right tools and know-how. The stark difference sparked a debate on Reddit, with some online audiences labeling make-up a ‘betrayal’ because it ‘hides a woman’s true self’.
Similar comments were circulating after prison officer Sam Bailey’s astonishing transformation on the UK version of TV show The X Factor. (If you haven’t seen it,
Of course, this is not a new issue. Women have been enhancing their God-given gifts for centuries. Ancient Egyptians were known to use kohl on their eyes, while Native Americans applied plant infused formulas to fix facial flaws. Detractors soon followed.
In 1616, puritan Thomas Tuke condemned make-up for creating a ‘false face’ while later moralists continued the rebuke, claiming cosmetics were a mask for women’s sins and vices. By the late 19th century women began to promote their independence through rouge, bucking the homemaker stereotype in favour of fashion.
Yes, it’s a feminist issue but it’s also one of vanity. I usually trowel on foundation to shore up my ego. Going barefaced for me is unthinkable because, like some women, I look a little worse for wear without it. But am I deceiving anyone? No. We live in a world of artifice where hair extensions, faux lashes and changed skin tone are now the norm. On the scale between fake and real, I probably veer towards the latter with my natural eyebrows, lick of mascara and clear lipgloss.
As far as I’m concerned, anyone who tweets their so-called morning face sans puffy eyes and sallow skin have probably had their eyelashes dyed and skin treated. Not admitting to all the effort that goes into looking natural is the real deception.
Of course, I blame celebrities. They’re always saying that their suspiciously perfect bodies, full lips and lusciously tousled locks are all natural, rather than the work of an army of beauticians, hairdressers and personal trainers. It may be the case with a few but not all.
At the end of all the debating, there’s one thing that shines like a pot of gold and that’s authenticity. If you’re comfortable in your own skin – great! If not, apply some kick-ass red lipstick.
Must-have make up that will make you look like you’re not wearing any
A lightweight and moisturising foundation by Laura Mercier that floats over skin covering blemishes and visibly smoothing out lines as well as wrinkles. Available in 12 shades across a range of skin tones for a hyper natural look.
Shine naturally – without preservatives, parabens and artificial dyes – choose bareMinerals’ all-natural gloss that combines pure minerals with delectable ingredients such as pomegranate seed oil and honeysuckle flower extract.