Permanent Makeup Is A Big, Bizarre Commitment


You know all those parental arguments against tattoos? Well, take those for what they’re worth, but shouldn’t that kind of go double for permanent makeup? Except, wait, that’s pretty. Standards of beauty: arbitary since the dawn of human consciousness.

Now, the (apparently increasingly common) proponents of “permanent makeup” would argue that they’re only skipping a step they’d do anyway — and presumably anyone who springs for the service is serious about her cosmetics. (Indeed, one enthusiast quoted in the New York Times admits to capping her tattooed face with additional mascara, blush and lipstick.) But that’s just the point, and it’s one articulated beautifully today by Virginia Sole-Smith on a post for iVillage. As she says,

I’ve fallen in and out of love with makeup over the years, but one thing I’ve noticed: Whenever I start wearing makeup regularly, I start thinking that I need to wear makeup regularly. My natural face looks less fresh and defined. My non-made-up eyes look tired all the time. I think about how my cheeks could be pinker. But when I go through a phase where I wear makeup less (I work from home, so the office dress code is decidedly lax), I get used to my face again. I even like how it looks without makeup. Not because I’ve been blessed with such perfect features. But because it looks like me.

Leaving aside both the social implications — most makeup is, one way or another, designed to mimic youth, and that’s a standard that bears questioning — and health risks, you’re losing the chance to see yourself as you are. (And we don’t even want to think about the long-term fade-and-bleed possibilities.) Maybe that’s the point, but it’s some powerful food for thought.

Tattoos as Makeup? Read the Fine Print [NY Times]
Do You Really Need To Roll Out Of Bed Looking Beautiful? [iVillage]

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