This story has been updated to reflect content that appears in the Dec. 1 issue of The Post.
Aliyah Baskind began loving makeup as a form of self-empowerment.
“I was in a relationship for a really long time with a guy who didn’t like makeup,” Baskind, a junior studying child and family studies, said. “And so I think when we broke up, (wearing makeup) was just kind of like a big ‘f--k you.’ ”
According to IBISWorld, an industry market research group, the of the makeup industry is worth more than $60 billion as of 2016 — and it is growing still.
Many of those who love makeup view it as a form of self-expression and art, rather than a way to conform to beauty standards.
And to others, collecting makeup and spending time applying it is more than just a part of their daily routine, it is a passion.
Baskind, who has been applying makeup since she was 13 years old, has a large collection of makeup, especially lip products.“It was just something to study and something to get good at,” she said.
More than just cosmetic
Makeup can be more than just a hobby or routine.
Joanna Koefoed, an instructional staff member in the Theater Division of the College of Fine Arts, teaches a theater makeup class at Ohio University every Fall Semester. In that class, she teaches topics ranging from contouring to basic prosthetics. Koefoed started wearing makeup out of “insecurity,” but she now sees it more as an artistic expression, both in the theater world and in everyday life.
“I’ve learned things from teaching the class about how we view people and what we think about different people based on what they look like,” Koefoed said. “And how you can even change people’s perceptions of you based on the makeup (you wear).”
For Alex Bertolini, her interest in makeup led her to her career. She started working as a makeup artist about a year ago, doing makeup for editorial shoots for Thread magazine. Now, in addition to Thread, she works as a freelancer for events such as “date parties,” proms and weddings.
“I love working on shoots, and I would love to be working as a makeup artist for ... high-end magazines,” Bertolini, a senior studying retail merchandising and fashion product development, said.
Bertolini invests her time in studying new makeup releases and trends, especially after she interned with the company Milk Makeup in New York City last summer.
Bertolini charges a client based on the kind of work she is doing. For a student, she will usually charge a lower price of $5 to $10, whereas for a wedding, she would charge about $30.
“I work hard at what I do, and I understand some people that don’t want to pay, but it’s always nice for people just to appreciate the work that I do,” Bertolini said. “I will spend 45 minutes on someone’s face. I’m taking time out of my day. I think any kind of service that a person does should be recognized by being paid.”
Abigail Patsiavos, an undecided freshman, has loved makeup for three years and said she “can’t go to the mall without going to Sephora,” a high-end makeup retailer.
“It’s therapeutic to me,” she said. “I get so excited when I can sit down and blend my eyeshadow.”
An online influence
People who purchase makeup are often persuaded to buy certain products based on what they see on social media sites.
According to a report released by Pixability, a video advertising technology company, beauty-related content on YouTube — including tutorials, makeup
Trina Gannon, an instructor in retail merchandising and fashion product development, said beauty videos have a “huge impact” on what people decide to buy due to the sense of trust viewers tend to develop with beauty
Beauty vloggers on YouTube post a large variety of content expanding past basic tutorials. They often do “tag” videos, which usually have particular themes such as challenges or types of tutorials. Multiple
One popular YouTube tag is called “ YouTube made me buy it,” in which
“It’s funny because if you almost think of YouTube makeup videos, you can almost compare them to old infomercials where you have a
“I invest money in my makeup because it’s kind of like my life,” Bertolini said. “I’m not just using it on myself — I use it on everyone. I feel like I need to buy
Loran Marsan, a visiting assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies, said it’s important to recognize whether a person is being influenced by outside forces to spend unwanted time and money to feel insecure.
“If you think that’s the case, then try to figure out how to change that,” Marsan said. “If you are just like ‘no, I just really like blue eyeliner. I think it’s cool. I feel like it’s aesthetically pleasing. Like it makes me feel like an art piece.’ That’s cool too.”
The art of makeup
There is often a double-standard with makeup in which women are put down for wearing too much or not enough makeup, Marsan said. While there is a small number of women who can get the “perfectly socially acceptable” amount of makeup, Marsan said women will always be criticized for it.
“It creates a weird sort of Catch-22 for women,” Marsan said. “We’re expected to wear makeup. Certain jobs require you to wear makeup. You can be told that you don’t look professional enough if you don’t wear makeup. At the same time on the other end of things, you have … some ... people on the internet, small groups or whoever, complaining that (makeup is) ‘false advertising.’ ”
Despite the negative stigma makeup sometimes gets, many people choose to wear it as a form of
“Every time you do wear makeup, just like every time you pick something to wear in the morning, you’re expressing yourself in public how you want to be expressed,” Gannon said. “You are going out in the best available model of yourself at that particular time.”
Viewing makeup as an artistic expression, rather than just viewing it as a cosmetic way to alter a person’s appearance, can change how people view the use of makeup.
“I think that there are certain standards in our society that push makeup as a source of covering up who you are and things like that aren’t helpful,” Koefoed said. “But it doesn’t have to be that way. And I think that it can be a really cool way of being able to play. I mean it’s painting on your face, at the end of the day, which I think is really fun.”