Beauty can be an annoying word. It’s a word that means well. Yet with so many ways to achieve this elusive creature; through thousands of products and millions of videos claiming to know what you must do and what you shouldn’t do, it can be really confusing. While beauty has no rules and no certain way to look, you might hear someone say “Makeup has no rules! Skincare has no rules!” which… well, it kind of does. There might not be ‘rules’, buuuuut-
Trust me, though, Captain Barbossa and I are only here to help you through the Wonderland (and sometimes, Wonderhell) that is modern beauty. I should just disclaim that sometimes I might go on a rant about a ‘trend’ I have seen through my professional or personal life, but it is never a reflection on you, or someone you know that might do these things. You’re not an idiot or a loser. We’re all friends around here! Just think of me as your grumpy fairy godmother.
Using Bronzer As Contour
This is something that even I did wrong for a long time. A lot of focus today is on how to contour but not necessarily how to apply bronzer, which can leave a lot of people – including me – applying it as a contour or in completely unflattering areas. To put it simply, contour colours are matte so areas you want to conceal recede back, helping your face become more sculpted and have more dimension. Bronzers are like highlights in that it has shimmery, light-catching micas and other ingredients, so applying it where you contour is just going to catch the light in the areas your hiding.
So where do you put bronzer? Well if you’ve heard of “the 3” or “doing a 3”, that’s the motion you use on either side of the face to apply your bronzer. For example, via Trick Or Chic–
And that’s all you need. You don’t need anything too dark, nor do you need to shove it all over your face, and NEVER. EVER. use as a bronzer. For more little tips, you can look over here at Slice.ca.
Must Always Use Contour
Ah yes, the biggest load of horseshit I’ve heard in modern vlogging makeup. I’ve seen too many beauty v/bloggers state this and I feel it’s a ridiculous claim to state as ‘fact’. Honestly, what do you think people did before contouring? It’s been around a long time, but do you remember your mother doing it as part of her routine? Do you remember commercial makeup brands supplying it? It’s not to say it wasn’t around; the drag community relied on contouring to reshape their faces. Supermodels of the 90s and even old Hollywood did their own contouring to shape the face for the cameras of their respective times.
Like every element in the makeup arsenal, the products and brushes have become more common in one’s makeup bag, add on ~celebrity~ and social media’s focus on this one thing and it blows up. Yes, contouring is one thing everyone can do and should try out to have fun and see what it looks like, but it isn’t essential; it’s optional.
You Must Contour Before Doing Any Eye & Lip Applications
This is just preference only. I’ll tell you my little secret. Whatever part of my face I want the most attention to or have stand out, I do that first after applying foundation. Flawless skin? Face/foundation stuff first, including contour. Attention to my lips? Them first. Smokey eye? Eyes first. It really helps me keep everything looking original but not overdone and clown-like. So, personally for me, if I’m not emphasising my skin and I feel like doing contour, I do it after my eyes and lips are done, step back and see what I’ve got on my face already, then do a gentle sculpting around the outer parts of my face and under my chin. I’ve done it this way for years and have rarely done contouring before my eyes and lips. Again, this is only my preference and I’m very happy doing this way because I love the results.
You Can Use Shadow As Lip Base Or Lipstick As Shadow
This is a huge trend that’s primarily on Instagram and it really pisses me off. While seeing videos of beautiful lips being taken to the next level with glittery or vibrant eyeshadow is wonderful, it’s not good health-wise. Certain ingredients that are safe for eyeshadows aren’t necessarily great around your face-hole, and ingesting some of these ingredients can lead to your tongue falling out…
okay, not really but eyeshadow still has ingredients that can affect your mouth and throat if ingested. The same goes for lipsticks going around the eye and the sensitive skin of the eyelid, near the lashes and waterline. It can be very irritating and is.. fuck it’s just so stupid, please don’t do it unless it’s safe for the area you’re applying it to or you made the product, but even then just be really careful.
You have to see where I’m coming from with this. I have spent years making my own cosmetics for commercial sale and when buying lakes and dyes, they specifically say – in bold – “NOT FOR EYE USE“, “NOT FOR AROUND LIPS“, etc.
You NEED Full Coverage
Do you have visible skin issues? Are you going to a day-long photo shoot where flawless skin is helpful for the photographer when he/she does retouching later on? Then no, you don’t need it. Even in those instances I just mentioned, you still don’t need it. Having acne, cysts or birthmarks on your face can be really crushing to your self-esteem, I know exactly how you feel there, and if you feel you want and need full coverage, you do you! Otherwise, it’s not a necessity. In fact, using it as your everyday foundation without researching the ingredients or not completely removing it from your face (and some are becoming really bloody hard to get off easily) can actually give you skin issues, like congested pores or a full-blown reaction.
Even if you don’t get any skin issues, full coverage foundation isn’t forgiving; it’s thick and most of the time, matte-looking, which can magnify creases or lines. It also shows up facial hair very easily, and if you don’t wax or shave, it’ll show. Believe me.
So, no, you don’t need it. Like everything out there, if you want to try it or it’s really helping your confidence, have fun! However, don’t think it’s essential because it isn’t.
Instagram/Fade/Ombre/HD Eyebrows Are The Only Way
If you thought I was pissed off at people putting lipstick on their eyes, well get ready for this post’s climax, because I’m about to Xena war cry this bitch down. It’s been a while since I’ve had a pure hatred for a beauty trend, but this way of doing eyebrows makes me rant until everyone around me tries to do a Flying High/Airplane.
Let me give you just some of the reasons I think this trend can be problematic if it’s illustrated as the only way to do eyebrows
- Like Wayne Goss explains above, this type of eyebrow originated from the drag community to help men with already full eyebrows achieve a more feminine look, exactly like I already talked about with contouring. It was and is a technique for drag community to toe the line between feminising and exaggerating the look they were going for.
- Not all brows are the same and this technique doesn’t suit everyone! Our face shapes, brow shapes, eye shapes are all different and dismissing all of those components that make your face unique and different doesn’t flatter your face. It just doesn’t.
- The idea of starting the front of your brow with barely nothing then going to thick, bold tails is.. just strange. Would you start your foundation with barely nothing in the centre then thicken it around the edges? Would you – in fear of making your lips look too bold – dismiss around the edges and just do the middle? Or vice-versa? NO!
Now, I probably know what you’re thinking – “Elle, I love doing my brows like this, how dare you come here with your little shitty blog and your stupid mysteriousness and tell me my eyebrows are wrong and crap!”. You’d be right. I have no right to tell you what to do if you want to do it, however, as a person hosting a blog (albeit, a shitty one) I feel like I have a duty to you, my reader, to give you the whole scope. My handy-dandy Evil Assistant included. You also have to see where both The Evil Assistant and I are coming from with this; she specialised in brows when she worked for a particular cosmetics company, and I worked for a skincare/cosmetics company. Not only are we spewing out our personal opinions, but we’re also trying to educate in our own ridiculous way too.
At the end of the day, makeup is so personal to our own individual identity and expression that no one can tell you how you should express yourself. However, this era of social media and self-taught makeup artistry can lead the way to a lot of misconceptions and misleading information. If you’re someone who is very self-conscious about an area of your face or just getting started in trying makeup, it can be daunting and nerve-racking. Hell, even if you’re a trained makeup artist right now your head is spinning like crazy over random, crazy trends and rules!
These misconceptions are only some of the claims we have heard via social media or asked (sometimes told, flat out) to our faces, and we will be doing another one soon. If there is something you would like is to bring up, to refute or prove, please leave a comment below or get in touch with us via our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (on that note, I should say I have been having issues trying to get to our comment section for a few months now and I’m so sorry for not replying to old comments, I’ll be getting to the bottom of it ASAP)!