So every now and then as a Beauty Editor, I do this thing where I go into my posts from last year and the year before that, just to see what has changed and what hasn’t. I like to think it helps guide me for the future and helps record what areas I’ve grown. It’s also fun to read my old posts again – like meeting an old friend after a long time.
Anyway, a few days ago I had some time on my hands so I decided to engage in one of my favourite past-time activities – reading posts from 2014. As I scrolled through, I came across one of the posts that just so happens to be an interview I had with the talented makeup artist – Bimpe Onakoya. I remember that day quite clearly – she was warm, I was hungry, she didn’t hold back when it came to personal things, and I left with a sense of complete appreciation for knowing oneself and appreciating all your talents, and experiences.
As I read through her article, my eyes shot to a question I asked her – “The few times we have seen you, you usually have little to no makeup on. Is that a preference or do you just prefer doing makeup on other people?“. She explained how she didn’t have to wear makeup to validate her talent; that she would come in, work on her client and let her work speak for her. “If you look at my face to judge if I would be good at makeup it is up to you – but if you don’t call me it’s your loss.” (Read the full interview here if you missed it)
Fast forward to a few days ago when I met a friend of a friend for the first time. When she asked what I do and I told her I’m a beauty editor, the chic almost laughed. Yes, I felt a teeny bit insulted but before I could ask why she laughed she said “as in you’re a blogger and you don’t wear makeup? Isn’t that your job?“. Did she mean it was/is my job to wear makeup? She’s perhaps someone who thinks beauty = makeup. As much as I love makeup, I take skincare, health more seriously.
So in my mind I’m asking, why do I have to wear makeup as a beauty expert? I go all out sometimes, even my colleagues ask where I’m going, but some days I just want to touch my actual skin and scratch my eyebrows without hesitation. I like to go makeup-free most times – is that a crime or a slight on my job?
I see it as the same as being a stylist and not dressing to the nines everyday. There are stylists everywhere that would wear a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, because they love to dress people up. It’s not that they don’t know their craft, but they just don’t show it all the time. I read an article on E Online the other day where they had a short interview with Beyoncé’s stylist. Apart from explaining how much of a fashionista Queen Bey is, she stated that sometimes it’s just easier that way – she wears sneakers or flats, because when Bey calls for an outfit, a broken heel doesn’t cut it for an excuse. If she has to catch several flights or is with Bey on tour, you don’t expect her to run around with heels do you?
So back to my question – must I wear makeup if I am in the beauty industry? I recall when my sister got married last year, we had 2 different makeup artists come in to do our makeup. The first lady, who showed up in a full face of makeup and fan lashes, made us look like a weird ‘after’ photo, while the other, who came with nothing but glossed lips, gave me the ‘BEATness’ of my life. I know it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ situation, but this just goes to show that what you tell me and what you you are, may not always be the same thing.
So does that mean wearing makeup validates you as a professional makeup artist or show you are in the beauty industry? No! Just like Obama wearing a hat that reads ‘I Am the President of The United States’ doesn’t make him President. He just is.
Another reason why I sometimes go makeup-free is validation. Not to or from anyone, but for myself. I used to have loads of scars – I’m talking acne scars, dark patches etc. I started to treat them, but knowing I had good ol’ makeup on my beauty counter, I never took it seriously. But after a while, I decided that if I was going to clear my skin, I needed to see it for what it was – my skin, not something I managed until I got to put layers of my “real” face on. Today my skin is definitely clearer and I can decide to go makeup-free or have a full face of makeup whenever I please. So no one would see me with my real face and ask if I am sick or didn’t sleep well because they’re used to seeing me with makeup.
So here’s my question to you – do you think people in the beauty industry need to wear makeup to validate themselves in their career? Should they do whichever they like and let their knowledge and talent speak for themselves or is it a mix of both? Share your thoughts!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Walter Arce