Makeup – is it art?

Note: this post was originally written for an assignment.

Makeup is often regarded as nothing more than a product that enhances beauty. That is certainly not the case. For many, makeup is a valuable tool for self-expression. How many of you wore eyeliner to school as an act of rebellion? Guilty as charged.

The way makeup is viewed by society is changing. For example, during the punk movement, unconventional makeup, dishevelled hair and offensive clothing was worn to symbolise anarchy.

siouxsie-sioux-1977-adam-ant-1-728x1024Adam Ant and Siouxsie Sioux in 1977, by Ray Stevenson

In the past, experimental makeup only belonged on the runway, page or stage. The legendary Pat McGrath’s work has dominated runways for years.

Makeup looks created by Pat McGrath for John Galliano

Social media has changed this. Platforms such as Instagram and Youtube allow budding makeup artists to showcase their talent to the world. Creative makeup has broken away from the creative arts and has become hugely popular. Many ‘insta-famous’ makeup artists have gained their huge followings by specialising in techniques such as ‘strobing’, that create ethereal, glowing skin. This is an interesting contrast to the matte looks that were popular in the past.

tumblr_n626urf31x1tto5hlo1_1280Makeup by Ania Milczarczyk

Branching away from conventional makeup techniques, some artists spend hours  transforming themselves  into fictional characters, celebrities or supernatural creatures.

12598968_1508635196098554_1554587130_nInstagram user ellie35x

It is a growing craze that is taking the modern world by storm. There is no denying that makeup is an art form in its own right.


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