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The Truth Behind Makeup

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ship chapter.


Makeup is used for many different things, whether it be to cover up a blemish or spice up your look, there are endless possibilities as to what you can achieve. The beauty industry has grown extensively over the past few years while creating a huge name for itself on social media. Beauty bloggers and Youtubers, depending on their subscriber count, can make anywhere from $1,000-$60,000 a month, according to Ad Age’s website. The aspect of makeup that has been slowly lost over the last few years of Instagram models and runway looks is the lack creativity.


Makeup is seen in history books dated back to the times of Cleopatra, who used charcoal underneath her eyes to stop the glare of the sun. Trends change, and have grown tremendously over thousands of years, transitioning to the Geisha era, the Elizabethian era, and the era of flapper makeup. These trends are the foundation (no pun intended) of what we know today, even if it is only being shown through a touched-up picture.

Drag Scene

It is important to understand what the drag community and its followers have done for the world of makeup. Drag queens have helped end the stigma in men wearing makeup, and also have shared their makeup tips and tricks to the beauty community. For example, a trick that queens use to keep their makeup on longer, called “baking”, entails putting powder on your face and letting it set for a few minutes to keep the foundation on longer. Drag culture has also shown its way into pop culture, with entertainers such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and many others banking off the trends of drag queens.

James St. James (infamous “Club-Kid”) vs. Lady Gaga

It should be noted that drag culture is an entirely different realm than the beauty industry, being that drag culture is full of fantasy, hysterics, and artistry. These morals are the keys that the current makeup industry has lost, considering it is deemed more important to look beautiful than be creative.

So, why is this important?

Even if you have never touched makeup, wear makeup, or have no interest in it, chances are, it still affects you. Creativity and artistry are what shapes us as people. The billboards you see, the advertisements, and the everyday products we use are based off creativity. Artistry is a way of self expression; a way to create an original piece to show to an audience, and whether that be on a paper canvas or a skin canvas, it still is art.

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