A for Effort

Woke up like this

“I spent a lot of time painting my house, but I don’t want it to look painted.” “I had my car washed and detailed, but I want people to think it always looks like that.” “This thesis was a year in the works, but I prefer for people to think I did it all yesterday.” That’s crazy talk, right?  Then what’s with the “effortless” and “no makeup-makeup” craze?

I get that most people don’t want to have a ton of makeup on. I have been told a million times that the makeup I do on clients looks natural, and I take that as a compliment. I am not a heavy handed makeup artist and that is not because I have hands and wrists that look like they are incapable of exerting makeup brush pressure. I am not heavy handed because a) I think most people are uncomfortable in heavy makeup and b) I think it is much more flattering to enhance the natural features than overwhelm them.

I don’t think foundation or powder should be visible to the naked eye or on camera. I don’t think harshly filled in eyebrows look great in real life and extreme contouring can be straight out distracting in person. I completely understand why 95% of the clients in my chair tell me they want to look “natural.” They typically dislike these kind of overdone applications as much as I do.

What I don’t get is “effortless.” What is so wrong with someone knowing you have makeup on? I agree that your blush shouldn’t walk into a room before you, but why pretend that that $30 cream blush you have on is just flushed cheeks? Or that your skin naturally has no discoloration? “Oh, undereye circles? I’m not familiar with those. I don’t have eye sockets at all, you see.”

I’m not suggesting you walk into a room holding your makeup bag with a sign that says “We spent 30 minutes together this morning.” But if you are wearing makeup, why tell people that you’re not? Or that it only took you 2 minutes to apply? It seems dishonest to me.

No Makeup Mondays on social media? That’s fine, but do it in regular lighting and don’t use a filter if you are truly trying to be real. I think this effortless/no makeup/I woke up like this stuff is baloney. It makes people feel bad. Like “Shit, I woke up with puffy eyes and two zits on my chin. That person looks glowy and sexy. Why don’t I?” Having done makeup on hundreds of actresses, models and clients minutes after they rolled out of bed, I can tell you that even the genetically blessed don’t look their best first thing in the morning. Faces need time to wake up too.

A lot of people you see on social media (and maybe people you see in person) would like you to think that they are not wearing makeup or that they threw it on in 30 seconds. But there is often a lot of daily skincare work going on behind the scenes and unless you are doing the same routine, don’t compare yourself. You may buy a sheer coverage/invisible/no makeup miracle product and when you apply it you see…nothing. As in no improvement, no change. Then you look at the model in the ad for the product or a picture of someone supposedly wearing it on Instagram and they look like some kind of ethereal creature. “What is wrong with me?,” you might think. Well, you are totally messing up. You didn’t bring in a photographer, lighting team and a makeup artist. And have you even been doing facials for 6 months before you looked in the mirror? What about filters and/or re-touching? I mean, get it together.

I’m not saying you have to make it known when you are wearing makeup. I’m not saying you have to wear makeup at all! Do what works for you. But let’s not call a look “effortless” when skincare, makeup, lighting, filters, etc. have been involved. That’s misrepresentation and you know it.

End rant.

Have a beautiful day 🙂