The Not So Made Up Reality of Makeup


Waking up and climbing out of bed, senior Lily Johnson begins her morning routine by reaching into her makeup bag and grabbing her bottle of foundation. She applies the makeup until she has completed her finish look for the day from foundation to mascara.

Whether at school, at home or at an event, Johnson has worn makeup everyday since eighth grade as a form of self-expression.

“I do it to feel good. It is kind of fun,” Johnson said. “You get to try things out and mess around. It is just a way to express yourself.”

Sophomore Courtney Kitchen also views makeup as a way for one’s personality to shine through. Unlike Johnson, Kitchen typically only wears makeup on the weekend, but respects someone’s wants to wear makeup to school.

“I think it is an art form. For me it takes away the stress from the week,” Kitchen said. “It is just another way to express ourselves because we are already all wearing the same clothes with our uniform.”

But girls like Johnson and sophomore Remie Hochman not only experience , but also witness makeup shaming, where other people criticize those with makeup on for being fake or only applying makeup for another person, rather than themselves.

“On a picture day there was a girl wearing a little bit of makeup who normally does not wear any at all,” Hochman said. “Someone asked me ‘why is she trying so hard?’ and I looked at them like what?”

Makeup shaming exists throughout popular media. In her YouTube video “The Power of Makeup,” (above) beauty guru Nikkie De Jager, who has over 5 million subscribers on YouTube, outlined the negativity in today’s society surrounding the use of makeup, even as a form of self-empowerment.

“I have been noticing a lot lately that girls have been almost ashamed to say that they love makeup,” De Jager said. “Nowadays if we say you love makeup, you either do it because you want to look good for boys, you do it because you are insecure or you do it because you do not love yourself.”

In the video De Jager proceeded to prove the power of makeup by applying full makeup on one side of her face, while keeping the other side completely natural, after people told her that she was not the same person as she was with full-makeup on.

“People look at me and straight up tell me that is not you,” De Jager said. “I am truly going to transform one side of my face and the other side is going to be me, raw and unedited.”

Kitchen agreed with the sentiments of negativity surrounding the daily use of makeup that De Jager presented at the beginning of her video.

“Most people will say the typical cake-face or you are so deceiving,” Kitchen said. “I do not understand how having glittery eyelids makes me deceiving.”

Junior Cate Ginsburg has been doing stage makeup for both plays and dance recitals since the age of eight. Ginsburg agrees with Kitchen in terms of the practicality of makeup.

“When people say it is false advertising, I say ‘Do you really think I have gold eyelids and bright red lips!” Ginsburg said laughing.

In the end, Hochman believes that makeup should not possess the deceptive quality that Kitchen describes and girls should not be shamed for wearing makeup, but rather ultimately it should be compared to anything else that someone would wear.

“Putting on makeup makes you feel good about yourself,” Hochman said. “It is like putting on a nice outfit.”


– Katie O’Meara – Photo and Graphics Editor –