Rant: The stupidity of certain fashion articles (and why you should not believe rules about makeup)

First posted on my LJ account on 14 April 2013. 

I have not read Straits Time’s ‘Urban’ in a long time, because well, I haven’t touched The Straits Times since I’ve moved into campus. So while having a group meeting in the lounge, I spotted the pile of newspapers on the couch, and Urban was at the top of it.This is Friday 12 April’s issue, if anyone is interested.

I picked it up during and started reading, and I was immediately reminded on why I have not picked up Urban in a long time. (Yeah, I was slacking during the project meeting but we were ending soon anyway.)

Well, first, there’s all the highly expensive items of clothing I will never be able to afford. But never mind that, some people can afford that and they are pretty to look at. Then there are the reviews of various brands, which are nowhere near as detailed as I would like them to be. I mean, sure, they talked about the colour, they talked about the finish. But how about the wear, how long odes it last on the lips?

Also, the one gripe that the writer (Gladys Chung) has with the NARS Satin Lip Pencil?

“You have to sharpen the lip pencil with a sharpener, which can get messy.”

Problem easily solved by the way; stick all pencils (eyebrows, eyeliners and lips) into the freezer for ten to fifteen minutes. Sharpen them after they’re frozen so the creamy product doesn’t spill all over on the inside of your sharpener, and you can get a sharper edge without losing too much product. If you want to use them immediately after sharpening, roll the pencil between the palms to warm up the product so it gets all nice and creamy, and will glide onto the skin.

Then there are the glaring errors. Some of them are so horrific they can’t be called errors, I think it’ll be fair for me to call them outright lies.

So there’s an article here on how SIA girls are revamping their image – moving away from the bright blue eyeshadow, and to more natural looks, and different shades of eyeshadow. It seems bright blue eyeshadow used to be mandatory for the blue kebaya stewardesses – the most junior ones. And yeah, true, bright blue eyeshadow rarely looks good on anyone unless they’re performing for stage or something.

So here is the remark that made me jump out of my seat (literally) and start ranting about how certain people should not be allowed to dispense makeup advice if they don’t know shit. I quote here home-grown makeup artist Greg Oh, who has apparently been in the industry ‘for about two decades’.

“And bright red lipstick on someone with thick lips is not a good look.”

What.

What.

What I cannot even

What. 

Then where does that put me? I have very, very thick lips. Used to hate them, now I appreciate them and am always on the lookout for bright lipstick colours.I own four bright red lipsticks with different undertones and finishes, and love them all. I think everyone looks good in red lipstick, it’s just a question of looking for the right shade, and having the confidence to wear it.

And later, the same guys says ‘It’d also be great if everyone is not just restricted to red lipstick; maybe the younger stewardesses can rock a bright pink because red lipstick can make them look older.’

Junior air stewardesses would be what, in their late teens and early twenties? Yeah, if the red lipstick makes them look older, clearly they’re using the wrong shade of red. I know I look older when I wear red lipstick (sometimes why I wear it to work) but I don’t think it’s an unflattering aging colour.

At the end of the day, makeup is about balance. Balancing your features, balancing your eye makeup with your cheeks with your lips. If your lips are your focal point of the makeup, then don’t play up the eyes at the same time with a heavy smoky eye.

Part of the reason why the air stewardesses have such strict guidelines on their makeup is because their makeup is part of their uniform. It’s that iconic SIA stewardess image that you want to maintain, hence the blue eyeshadow + red lipstick rule.

I understand easing away blue eyeshadow because it’s just plain unflattering on most people. But red lipstick is not. The beauty to red lipstick is that it looks clean, polished and timeless, and everyone looks good in red lipstick, as long as you’ve selected the right shade.

While pink might look ‘younger’, but I don’t think the youthful aura is one you want to exude when you’re an air stewardess. Up in the air, you’re in a position of authority, you don’t want to seem ‘fun’ or too ‘girly’. Both adjectives are what usually comes to mind with bright pink.

Obviously older ladies might want to avoid bright glossy colours as they tend to show wrinkles and lip lines more so than deeper colours. But I think that some bolder women may still want their lipstick, and hell, they can wear it if they like, and look good, as long as they have the confidence to.

45179_600

I just googled ‘old women red lipstick’ and out popped this article about how old is too old for makeup. The photo came along with the article.

The article http://newstalkkit.com/daves-diary-how-old-is-too-old-for-bright-red-lipstick/ doesn’t state who the lady is, but credits Getty Images. And heck, does she look good.

45494_600
Iris Apfel is 92 this year, and I don’t think she’s putting away her makeup anytime soon.

Maybe I’m overreacting about the article but the thing is, I’ve met lots of Singaporean girls who are pretty uncertain about wearing makeup while I’ve been helping out random girls going for OCS balls, advice for prom or other events, stage makeup, etc. And yeah, ‘natural’ makeup is something that’s encouraged a lot in magazine advice, the Internet and brands like Bobbi Brown. Bright colours or ‘obvious’ makeup looks is something that’s not really quite encouraged in Singapore, with conservativism and all. (My mom hates it whenever I wear bright lip colours, or lots of eyeliner.) And Korean and Japanese-styled makeup is often the most popular styles of makeup in Asia (or at least, what I see usually popping up in magazines and ads), which is all about making the skin look clean and bright, and make the eyes look larger.

But makeup shouldn’t be restrictive. It’s not just there to reduce dark circles, or clean up pimples. Makeup should befun. It’s like painting and other art forms – the only difference is, your face is the canvas. You get to experiment. Youget to decide what looks good on you. Yeah sure, there are certain shades of colours that may not be entirely flattering, like orange-based lipsticks, which tend to make the teeth look yellower, yeah maybe you have a cooler skin tone and gold makeup won’t look as flattering as silver. But heck, if you like the makeup, if the colour makes you feel confident, then why not go for it?

I’ve sometimes put on (okay, forced, but gently) red lipstick on random people and hell, they look good, and they should wear bright colours more often, but they won’t because they’re too nervous about makeup.

Most Asians are blessed with fuller lips, and that’s a wonderful thing to have. Lipsticks are the quickest way to change a look, especially if you’re someone still new to makeup and only use eyeliner and a little mascara each time. This is why I have a ridiculous collection of lipsticks and lip glosses. Sometimes changing your lip colour is all that you need to take you from class, to work, and then to a formal dinner or date after.

And it pisses me off when people just makeup rules like ‘Thick lips = no bright red lipstick for you’ when there are already far too many people out there who don’t quite dare to wear makeup as it is.

Let me now put up a bunch of photos of myself wearing red lipstick over the last few weeks. There are quite a few because, in case you haven’t noticed, I love red lipstick.

27954_300
Revlon True Red, which is a neutral red with a satin finish.

17710_300 MAC Ruby Woo, which is a matte blue-based red.

9873_300 Urban Decay Theodora Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Colour, glossy blue-based red.

6458_300 MAC Kanga Rogue, a blue-based red with a satin finish.

But okay, never mind my own photos because maybe I actually look awful and am extremely biased. (No still don’t think so, I will never give up my red lipsticks.) Let’s look at various other celebrities’ with fuller lips, and see how they look with red lipstick.

43357_600
Angelina Jolie, in a pink-based coral red lipstick. She’s got a light grey smoky eye here, nothing too dark or overwhelming. Her lips are still the focal point of the makeup.

43636_600
Anne Hathaway you beautiful goddess. This is taken from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. This looks like a neutral red, with some blue undertones. Clean and sophisticated, with what looks like liquid eyeliner, a white pencil at the bottom rim of the eye, well-groomed brows and a light blush.

43863_600
Marilyn Monroe, glossy red lips.

44227_600
Scarlett Johanasson in bright orange-red lipstick.She’s got a lovely blush on her cheeks, and defined eyes.

44292_600
Rihanna, glossy blue-based red. Well defined eyes again, but the focal point is still the lips.

44572_600
Mila Kunis, in deep blue-based red.

44919_600
Michelle Williams, in a brown-based red lipstick.

All images (except for the ones of myself, because I took them myself duh) courtesy of Google.

Conclusion? Yeah, I think red lipstick looks good on everyone, regardless of the shape of their lips.

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5 Responses to Rant: The stupidity of certain fashion articles (and why you should not believe rules about makeup)

  1. Pingback: Shades of red | natzisstash

  2. F x says:

    Your blog just solved my sharpening lip liner problem!!! Thankss 😀 xx

    http://www.rebelsspot.wordpress.com

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