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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Makeup as an art form

Are eyeshadow palettes equal to paint palettes?

With the growing popularity of Instagram and YouTube, people have found new ways to showcase their art. Art on social media, however, isn’t limited to drawings or paintings. People are posting their makeup routines online, and these accounts have grown to be considered a real business. So that leaves people wondering: should makeup be considered an art?

“[Art] is like a gray area, it’s not something clear cut,” said Cassaundra Sanchez Crisologo, a fourth-year psychology major. “I can’t give [art] one straight, short definitive definition, but it has to be something visual, and it sparks interest or it sparks a discussion.”

The appeal of doing makeup or watching videos of makeup gurus stems from a similar personal expression that can be found in the act of painting a portrait or sketching a drawing.

“I like doing it because it makes me feel more confident,” said Lindsey Rose Cochran, a second-year history major. “Like, I had a midterm today so I dressed up, and also it’s just fun. Sometimes I do it to de-stress. I paint and draw for the same reason.”

The artistic aspect of makeup can be noticed in both the way that makeup fosters personal expression as well as the time and effort makeup users put into creating their looks. From sitting in front of the mirror to watching online makeup routines featuring different palettes and brands, each scenario holds an element of artistry.

“My sister is a makeup artist and seeing her do her looks, it takes her like a minimum of two hours to complete,” said Naveena Ujagar, a third-year biomedical engineering major. “So I think putting that much time and effort and having it sometimes play a story with your own face or communicate some type of emotion or experience. Like sometimes people physically draw pictures on their face. That would still be considered makeup. Or drag makeup, I feel like it’s expressive. I would consider that art.”

While classes take up a lot of time, there are still some students that make sure their daily routine includes putting on makeup to face the day.

“People are always like, ‘You take so long with your makeup, you must wake up like an hour before,’” said Sonia Alejandra Zuniga, a third-year sociology and philosophy double major. “I think in some aspects if you’re trying something new it does. But if you’re not, it’s kind of just a way of treating yourself, and in those 15 minutes that I get up in the morning earlier than everybody else, it’s a way of doing something for myself that I enjoy. For some people, it’s like meditation for 15 minutes in the morning. I’m not good at that, so for me it’s just self care. It’s just looking good and doing my makeup for myself.”

Many makeup enthusiasts find themselves defending their definition of art.

“If we’re going to keep art as a canvas and paints it really limits our creativity and other aspects,” Zuniga said. “You can’t just say ‘oh, that’s not art’ simply because it’s different from what it’s been known to be like. So you have to think outside the box. You can’t say that’s not art without actually analyzing it, or having a say in it or actually trying it out.”

The definition of art is an ongoing debate because the subject itself is broad. There isn’t just one way of expressing art.

“Some people only consider art [as] whatever is in a museum, which isn’t necessarily true,” Cochran said. “I mean, definitions are subjective anyway, but I think art takes on multiple forms. I think people just need to broaden their horizons.”

Although the process of learning how to put on makeup and finding the right shade might be scary, the key to getting the perfect look is simply practice. To Crisologo, the worries of messing up or using the wrong color for eyeshadow isn’t something to shy away from.

“There is a lot of skill that even comes to just doing a daily routine. It’s not an easy thing to do,” Crisologo said. “But I’d say just try it. And even if you’re not going anywhere, just practice. Even though it may feel like you’re wasting your product, that’s the only way to get good at it. I know now I feel pretty confident in how I do my makeup, but that’s because it took years of practice. When I started putting on makeup, it did not look pretty, but you just have to keep practicing and then see what works well.”

Makeup is a form of art that can be tailored to the individual.

“I do definitely think that’s one artistic part of me that a lot of people always are going, ‘Oh, your makeup is really good, it’s really well blended and this and that,’” Zuniga said. “It makes me feel good when I get those compliments, but at the same time it’s also like, ‘Oh, look it’s a little bit of the artsy form of me.’ I have done other arts before, but none of them have really stuck. So I think this one is definitely one of the ones that I will continue to [pursue].”

Written By: Itzelth Gamboa — arts@theaggie.org


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