Not just a mask: Self-expression through makeup

Makeup can allow you to feel confident, enhance your appearance, make you look better in photos, and express yourself. All of these are reasons why people wear makeup. For some people, makeup is nothing more than armor shielding insecurities, but for others, it is far more powerful than that.
Makeup does more for some people than make them feel beautiful. Makeup can be like paint on a canvas — a place to express yourself. Much more than a simple foundation, a little blush, coats of mascara or a bold shade of lipstick, makeup can represent a part of who you are.

A Tool of Self Expression
“Makeup is empowering because it is something that belongs to you individually,” senior Margot Szatmary said in an email interview. “People all around the world use makeup just to make it through their day. It’s almost like wearing a mask of your best self.”
In conjunction with individualism, makeup also gives people a confidence boost: how you feel on the outside can affect how you feel on the inside.
For Szatmary, taking the time to put on makeup in the morning helped her walk into school feeling “reassured and renewed.”
“Expressing yourself and using self care [through makeup] are extremely beneficial towards confidence and overall quality of life,” Szatmary said.
Additionally, choosing to utilize different makeup styles has a certain emotional depth for some people.
“For me, makeup has been a tool of expression by being able to put on different makeup looks depending on how I feel,” Senior Brooke Lutes said in an email interview.
For example, Lutes chooses to wear light makeup on certain days, or heavy makeup on others. In her opinion, features like fake freckles or winged eyeliner are other fun ways people can express themselves.
Like clothes you wear, makeup has the power to show the world who you are.

“The makeup I wear showcases the creative and colorful side of me that I don’t always show around people I’ve just met,” Szatmary said.
Trying out different makeup styles and looks can be fun for people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a professional, the amount of creativity you can get is limitless. Whether this is experimenting with different colors, adding different features or textures or going for a different makeup style, makeup has all sorts of creative routes you can go.
“I love doing art, so makeup is almost a form of painting or drawing on my face,” Lutes said.

Covering Insecurities 
Waking up to a new pimple or having a scar on your face can make many people insecure.
“I like using [concealer] to cover any insecurities like blemishes or acne, just to feel more confident in my skin,” Lutes said.
Makeup has the power to make someone feel physically or mentally ready for whatever the day has coming.
“Everyone wears makeup for their own reasons. Whether it be to cover up a small pimple or to go to a drag show, it truly alters the wearer,” Szatmary said.
Furthermore, makeup can be a reliable constant in our otherwise tumultuous lives.
“My favorite thing about makeup is that it can be harnessed to help you become your best self,” Szatmary said. “Regardless of what’s going on in your life, you can still have glitter on your eyelids!”

The Makeup Journey
Junior Hayden Anderson, a makeup artist, started doing makeup because her mom used to take her to get her makeup done at Neiman Marcus in Northbrook.
“I used to absolutely love it,” Anderson said in an email interview. “I started watching makeup videos, and saw the makeup techniques they used and started doing them on myself.”
Szatmary’s makeup journey also started from her mom.
“I started wearing makeup when I was probably around ten because I would always see my mom putting her blush and lipstick on,” Szatmary said.
Lutes started wearing makeup in middle school, usually for dances or at home. She started using concealer and mascara at a young age, becoming really comfortable using them.
“When I was bored, I would practice makeup looks,” Lutes said. “I feel like I started because I took such an interest in beauty at such a young age. I would watch tons of makeup videos on Youtube and want to do them myself.”

The Evolution of Makeup
The first recorded use of makeup began in Ancient Egypt, about 6,000 years ago, according to Brittanica. Makeup served as a symbol of wealth that was believed to appeal to the gods. Eyeliner in Egyptian art appeared on men and women as early as 4000 BCE. White powders to lighten skin tone and eye shadow were also used.
In 1919, the ideal makeup look was inspired by Hollywood and was commonly seen on movie stars, according to Insider. By the 40s and 50s, everyone was wearing red lipstick and other beauty products that complimented their natural features. Between the 70s and 90s, beauty standards took a turn. Some women stopped wearing makeup altogether (feeling it was unnatural or feeling they didn’t need to impress others) while other wore bright colors daily. And, makeup became a lot more inclusive, including bringing darker shades to the market. Today, makeup is often inspired by artists on Youtube, Instagram, and other social media.
“Makeup has progressed so much over the years,” Szatmary said. “I’d say makeup has become less stereotyped and looked down upon.”
The New York Post asserted there’s a lot of new trends coming to 2023. Tinted sunscreen, smudged eyeliner, ultra curled eyelashes, and lip liners and lip balms are some expected trends. The New York Post also said we should expect to see more loose powder than pressed powder, and said creamier concealers are going to replace more standard spot correctors.
“There have been so many trends that come and go,” Lutes said. “I feel like makeup changed recently by seeing more glowy skincare routines, with liquid blush, bronzer, and highlighter becoming so popular. As well as having a clean look, with nicely shaped brows and using lip hydrating masks.”

The Power of Makeup
Makeup has the power to make you feel better about yourself and to express yourself. And, according to a study conducted by Harvard University, female students who put makeup on received higher grades compared to those who did not. Who knew?
“When I put on makeup, I feel like my best self,” Szatmary said. “A fresh face of makeup is unmatched.”