What is Makeup
We’re all in search of that perfect look, be it an everyday natural look, a glamorous look, a seasonal look or just the right look for that next job interview. Whatever the occasion is, makeup/cosmetics play a key role in helping us achieve the right look for the right purpose. Cosmetics are products that we use to enhance or alter our appearance, the texture of our skin, or our scent through the use of perfumes/fragrances.
Other purposes include cleansing, moisturizing, skin protection, beautifying, and altering the appearance of problem areas such as scars, wrinkles or hyperpigmentation. This is done through makeup, skin care products, or a combination of the two. Cosmetics can be applied to our face, hair, nails or body. They can be made from natural, mineral, or chemical substances, or a combination.
Types of Cosmetics
Cosmetics encompass a variety of products, ranging from eye, face, and lip products, to fragrances and nail products. Let’s take a brief look at the different types of products that are considered cosmetics.
This can be eye makeup designed to enhance the appearance of your eyes such as eyeliner, mascara, false lashes, lash serums, primers, eyeshadows, and eyebrow products.
Face makeup products are meant to enhance the appearance of your face. They include foundations, undereye color correctors and concealers, face primers, highlighters, bronzers, blush, face powders, setting sprays, and contouring products.
Lips products are designed to enhance the look of your lips; they include lip treatments, balms, lipsticks, lip stains, lip plumpers, lip glosses, and lips exfoliators.
Include products designed to improve or alter our scent. They include perfumes and body sprays.
Include products designed for the care of our nails or enhancement of their appearance. Products such as nail polish, treatments, acrylic or solar nail powders, and nail altering tools like clippers.
This includes products for makeup application, including brushes, eyelash curlers, sponges, spatulas, tweezers, applicators, and any other makeup related tools.
The Evolution of Makeup
Makeup and cosmetics have been around for thousands of years. Cultures from around the world like Greece, Egypt, Britain, and Japan have a record of the use of cosmetics products going way back. In Greece and Egypt, women were known for wearing dark eyeliner and painting their eyelids. While women in Britain and Japan were well known for wearing white powder on their faces and having dramatic brightly colored lips.
The point is that cosmetics are not new to the world and the use of makeup products has evolved over time. Makeup, in particular, has changed a lot. Formulas have improved and now include less hazardous components. People have become more concerned with having more natural ingredients and avoiding animal testing.
The frequency in which makeup is used has also increased. Way back, mostly high-status Egyptians wore makeup, while today anyone can wear it. There are also far more products available today than in the past. Over time, the way we apply makeup has also changed. We started to shift away from the 50’s pinup look and the bold 60’s look towards a no makeup natural look. This is not to say we don’t still love to create those bold and sexy looks when we want them.
Cultural Differences in Makeup
The way we wear our makeup differs from person-to-person, and the same is true from culture-to-culture. Every culture has its own views and norms on whether makeup is acceptable, how much to wear, or and the styles. In some cultures, it could be that having a flawless doll-like face is preferred, or a flush, natural look somewhere else. Other cultures may focus on bold cat eye makeup. In France, makeup may tend to focus on subtle looks compared to our North American culture.
The point is that just like there are individual differences in the way we apply our makeup and the styles, there are also cultural differences as well. There is no right or wrong look or way of applying your makeup.
What Does Makeup Mean to You?
Over time, the purpose or meaning for makeup has changed. It was once thought that we wore makeup for the opposite sex – to appear more attractive to our mates. Others have pointed out that we wear it for other women – to feel that we are just as pretty as our peers. Both of these views rest on the assumption that we wear makeup out of insecurity. That is not necessarily the case, many of us wear cosmetics for ourselves.
We wear it because it makes us happy. We feel bold and free to express ourselves. Our self-image is not dependant on cosmetics, but rather it adds enjoyment and creativity to our lives. Most of us enjoy looking at cosmetics in the store with our friends and getting dressed up for a night on the town. Makeup serves a different purpose and meaning for everyone, so don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed of why you are wearing it. Makeup can have completely different meanings to everyone. What does makeup mean to you?
Selecting The Right Products
Selecting the right products for your needs can be difficult. We all have different needs and preferences, so how do we find the right product in the sea of available options? Let’s look at some criteria to consider when selecting a product.
The first thing to consider is what type of product you are looking for. Is it for your eyes, your lips, face or are you looking for a nail product or fragrance?
The second consideration is what type of skin or nail type do you have? Not all products cater to all types. If its a product for face, find a brand or product that is designed for your skin type or color. This is important because some products have ingredients that might make your skin either irritated or make your concern worse. For example, don’t buy a heavy face cream if you have oily skin.
Problem Area or Concern
The third consideration is to determine what problem or concern you want the product to fix. Are you looking for a product that will help cover blotchy skin, strengthen weak nails, or conceal dark under-eye circles? Knowing this can help you narrow down your search for the right product.
Have an idea of what your expected result should and try to be realistic. If you want a product that can help reduce the appearance of dark circles, be fair a know that a product can’t eliminate this problem.
Some people may not care as much about the ingredients used in their products, but if you have any preferences then use this to narrow down your search. Let’s say you are looking for a face mask, but you want it to have glycolic acid, then search for masks with that ingredient. Alternatively, you may prefer a face mask made with all natural ingredients.
The final thing to consider is if you have a brand preference or even an issue with a brand. Knowing which brands you like and don’t like can help speed up the process of finding the right product.
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