Throughout the vast media array of beauty blogs, advertisements and red carpet images, the smoky eye has been defined as a basic beauty routine. As this trend spread and rapidly became the norm for makeup, the bold look began to be understood as synonymous to attractiveness — the more products used, the more beautiful one felt.
However, the smoky eye has recently been challenged. Women are replacing the daily use of bold makeup with a fresher alternative, accepting a more natural appearance.
This more natural makeup seems to show the capability of cosmetics to accentuate beauty rather than cover up and change a person’s look through heavy products such as dark eyeshadow, bright blush and thick, false eyelashes. The idea of a fresh-faced look seems to be an honest attempt to stop concealing one’s natural features, but some have put this trend to practice in ways that are not appreciative of the bare face.
Although we may be nearing a time of purer looks, we seem to be approaching it the wrong way. The “fresh face,” which intended to appreciate natural beauty, can require even more time to achieve than a standout look.
The problem is that the natural look does not always mean less makeup. The fresh-faced look can be created by following various online tutorials that instruct do-it-yourself makeup aficionados in methods such as contouring and concealing, forming a natural beauty look that involves significantly altering one’s natural features.
Not to say that makeup as a whole should be looked down upon, but makeup is an art form, an expression of individuality and, like any other type of art, should be admired as a form of inspiration and creativity. Makeup is not a necessary tool. What the natural makeup look should be teaching is not how to alter your face shape, but to accept and highlight one’s natural traits.
LS freshman Breana Roberts has mixed feelings about the use of makeup.
“I think it really depends on your environment and where you are,” Roberts said. “If someone wants to wear makeup they should — it is ultimately up to you how you want to appear to the world.”
The increasing popularity of a more natural makeup routine should not only encourage us to embrace our natural beauty, but to also accept and appreciate makeup as a mode of creativity. Whether it is having the confidence to go without makeup for the day or to work a daring look, cosmetics should always be seen as a complement to, not just a replacement for, our features.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Feb. 26 print edition. Lorena Tamez is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.