I know most of you have seen the before and after images that makeup artists post to show how transformations take place when someone sits in our chair, you may also be an artist who has done the same. Why is this today's topic of conversation?
Well it seems that a couple of images showcasing the work of fellow artist Alexandra Butler have caused quite a stir in the past few weeks, I know because I have witnessed it and have also been engaged in conversation related to it. If you do a search of Alex's work either via her Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you will see said images. I am not going to post them here because she has enough people taking liberty of her images, but I digress...
A number of people have now called in to question not only her responsibility as an artist based on these images but also her clients level of self-truth and, to me, that of those of us who are either makeup artists by trade or just beauty lovers in general who either want to have a polished look or just love to wear makeup period no matter how much or how little.
My Partners in Pretty and I have been discussing this ad nauseum so here is my stance with a few nuggets of wisdom from them as well... Kerris of Pumps and Gloss made an amazing point this morning. She stated "we don't know the context of the look." Which is true.
If we go by clients of makeup artists in general they usually have a look in mind when they hire you. If its for their wedding day, they want to look soft and pretty, or like themselves but better because of the amount of pics being taken.
Kerris also said, "I feel like deceit is such a strong word...so if I wear a bra, is that deceit? If I wear the right silhouette for my shape is that deceit?" Not in my mind, or if it is then I am sure enough guilty of it! If that is the case do we not all deceive each other day in and day out? I couldn't possibly walk outside with no bra, for that matter, if I went outside with no clothes at all, I am pretty sure I would be arrested...
Here is what puts me on the fence about this makeup vs natural debate, when one performs a makeover of an extreme level, which people are saying this particular case is, it casts a certain light on those who are a makeup artist by trade.
Bra makers and fashion designers don't get a bad rep for making clothes. However, if I wear makeup every day because it is my job to portray a certain image then its like (pardon the slang about to take place) oh you fakin, you don't look like that fo' real! Meet you somewhere and wake up to somebody completely different...(end slang interlude).
Nikkia of Silverlips Beauty looks at it this way "She (meaning Alex) did the girl's makeup, she covered all her imperfections for her occasion, that's it. How is it deceit when that girl probably wanted a transformation? Ol' girl looked happy and that's all that matters at the end of the day."
She went on to say that "MUAs on these social platforms should not be using other folks work as a way to trash their work. Its not fair especially since we do not know the demands the client made..for doing what may have been requested..." Agreed Nikkia.
There are days that ALL of us, men and women, wake up feeling a little less than ourselves. It could be a bad hair day, it could be that our outfit didnt pan out the way we envisioned or it could be a blemish or breakout. Women have the luxury of makeup to help shield facial imperfections from the world, therefore giving us a little bit of armor to face the day, why is that wrong? Why can't I enhance what I have? Who am I hurting?
"The sig" gets a bit perturbed when guys/girls CLAIM they want someone au naturel. He thinks it a bit misleading because no one wants their "sig" to walk around looking a mess. Transforming into a whole different person ok, that's different (and for sake of argument there are indeed folks who do that on a regular basis which gets a bit of side eye from me) but a little base, eye, lip and cheek? Who cares?!
For me, I use my Instagram to post pics of work I have done, a few before and afters and also pics of myself...both with AND without makeup. I don't think I look too different, its still me, just enhanced a bit. Its the same reason I may choose to wear a certain outfit, or why I style my hair a certain way, to me its the same thing and I do not feel deceitful for doing so.
I say all this to say, lets not be so quick to judge. There is nothing wrong with putting on a show for your birthday or other special event. There is nothing wrong with admiring makeup from the soft and demure, to the most extreme drag beat down to the creation of monsters and beasts with FX makeup. Its makeup for goodness sake! We are not formulating government policy people. We are simply trying to make someone feel pretty when they view their image, even if its only for a few hours.
Keep on keepin on Alex girl!
How do you feel about wearing makeup? Do those who wear a bit more deceive those they meet?