I’ve seen a lot of talk about the “rules” of makeup lately and thought it was worth a bit of discussion. Makeup is an artistic medium, and it’s always such an interesting conundrum when you try to apply rules to art. Art by nature is open to interpretation. What is beautiful and provoking to some is unpleasant or ugly to others.
While there are many how to’s and guidebooks and “rules” that some swear by, I’m going to break it down into what I see as rules versus suggestions. These are as they apply for consumers. Pros have their own set of rules and suggestions, but for every day consumer makeup wear, here we go.
Really and truly, as far as I’m concerned, the only rules that apply in makeup concern sanitation. When to throw your makeup out. What to use to achieve a desired effect. For instance, examples of what I consider rules would be:
- Thou shalt not use wig glue for false eyelashes.
- Thou shalt not use cornstarch or hairspray to set your makeup.
- Thou shalt not use craft glitter around your eyes instead of cosmetic grade because it’s cheaper.
You get the idea. I’ll probably expound on this concept in another post because there is so much terrible information out there. Just because a YouTuber beauty “guru” told you to put eye drops in your mascara to make it come back after it dried out, doesn’t mean you should listen. That’s a great way to get bacteria into a sensitive part of your body that’s kind of important. Tips and tricks that put your eyes and skin at risk are against the “rules.” Do your research before you try any of those strange sounding beauty hacks. Remember, it was once fashionable to put mercury on your skin for its bleaching qualities. They didn’t have Google back then. You do. Use it for good.
Pretty much anything else. Here’s where the color theory and proportion that makeup artists use come into play. They are the building blocks and absolutely essential for professionals, but consumers can take a page out of the Pirates of the Caribbean handbook and call them “guidelines.” Things like:
- Match your foundation to your undertone.
- Blush placement for your face shape
- How to pick eyeshadows that compliment your eye color/hair color/wardrobe
You get the idea. Here’s where you can listen to your YT “gurus,” provided they know what they’re talking about! This is where product placement can help emphasize or minimize things that make you self-conscious. Will these suggestions help maximize your makeup routine or help you play up your best features? Yes. Are they laws that you’re going to get a ticket for not obeying? Not at all.
That’s it. If there’s a trend you like, go for it. If you don’t, then do something else. If you want to rock hot pink eyeshadow with neon green liner and foundation three shades off from your actual skin color because you like it better that way, do it. It’s not how I would do your makeup. It’s not how I would teach you if you signed up for a lesson. But if at the end of the day (or beginning!) you look in the mirror and feel beautiful, that’s what’s important. With or without makeup.