The rise of the half make up selfie: challenging makeup stigmas

Women are judged on the application of their makeup as much as they are on their weight and fashion sense. Too much make up and she is slut shamed, or seen as doing so to attract male attention. Not enough makeup and she is judged for not making an effort with her appearance. It is a fine and shaky tightrope to cross. The idea of makeup itself is pretty insane, when looked at objectively. The idea that it is expected of women to paint a new face over their existing face, to smooth over and conceal their natural skin tone distinctions, is bizarre and not something that would be expected of men. Nobody should feel as though they have to hide their face in public. Nobody should be made to think that their natural beauty is somehow not enough.

On the other hand, I don’t appreciate being shamed for wearing makeup. Like many things, make up can be a creative means of expressing yourself. I for one love experimenting with the dramatic smokey eye look on a night out. Makeup can be a means of putting on different faces for different occasions. For example, for formal occasions I like to wear a modest, simple layer of makeup in order to look polished and professional. There is no real discussion about how some women apply makeup for themselves. Because, let’s face it, its fun. Its fun to dress up and put on various glamorous personas much as it was to paint your face as a Tiger when you were five years old.

Well known Beauty Blogger, who goes by the pseudonym NikkieTutorials, has now shared a video tutorial where she meticulously paints half her face with seamless, radiant makeup. She accentuates her eyes and cheekbones, pencils and darkens her light eyebrows. She quite literally defines herself. The other half of her face she leaves bare. Her skin is a little more flushed. Her powder blue eyes are slightly more shadowed. She still looks beautiful; younger and more vulnerable perhaps. The made up Nikkie looks fiercer and ready to take on the world. What this image says to me is that it is okay to be “two faced” in your beauty regime. It is okay to dab on the lippy for the club and the next day go for a long country walk with all your freckles and laughter lines proudly on show.

Nikkie has spoken of her video as being a means of fending of makeup shame and has now sparked an online trend of women posting pictures of themselves with half a face of makeup, the other half is left raw and natural. These women are celebrating both their natural beauty and their badass makeup artist skills simultaneously. Alongside these pictures are inspiring messages about the woman’s positive relationship with make up. It is clear that these women are choosing to wear makeup for themselves and not for the purpose of appearing attractive towards a potential partner.    

Makeup should be for fun, not for the pleasure of others or indeed to hide yourself away. No One should be judged on how they use makeup. Also, the natural and unique beauty beneath the foundation should be celebrated and spoken about. I believe that online trends such as this signal a move towards a much healthier attitude towards makeup and female beauty standards in general.     


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