Everyone has something to say about makeup. From a sixth grader asking her mom to let her abuse eyeliner for the first time, to the old woman powdering her face, and all the way up to the highest echelons of industry and stardom, people are constantly spreading messages about cosmetics.
No place is as prolific in promotion of makeup as Instagram, which has more than 100 million makeup related posts.
Instagram has turned an industry on its head, giving way to a rise in vegan makeup products, black-owned makeup companies and has even helped popularize male makeup artists to the extent that Manny Gutierrez is the new face of Maybelline. The social media app has even changed the style in which people wear cosmetics.
Local makeup artist Marisa Burgett describes the look of Instagram makeup as “full glam,” and features bold brows, winged eyeliner and heavy contouring, according to Glamour Magazine. These aesthetics have affected Burgett professionally, as they dictate her clients’ desired looks.
“The mainstream Instagram beauty looks affect what my clients come to expect. I am expected [to be] — and pride myself on being — up-to-date with all the newest trends and techniques,” Burgett said. “I still put my own spin on every makeup application. Each and every look I create is unique in its own way. I tailor their ideas to suit their complexion and one-of-a kind personality.”
Social media has also helped Burgett obtain these clients, as she can easily advertise the looks she creates. She feels this is an fast way to connect with people. Whenever a new trend comes around, it makes a big splash on Instagram. For example, the ever-coveted Kylie Lip Kit sold out in less than 20 minutes in 2016 after being restocked.
Senior Katie Topouria works at ULTA and has seen the craze that trends generate on more than one occasion.
“I think social media plays a huge role in how people wear their makeup,” Topouria said. “Every time a famous YouTuber mentions a product in a video, within a week or so we sell out of the product. When people see attractive girls on social media with a really bright highlight and a brown lipstick, chances are they’ll try it out for themselves. It’s all about establishing trends and people following it.”
Burgett said this availability of makeup and inspiration has allowed more people to explore makeup and try to sharpen their skillset with the looks they love from their news feed. More than following trends, senior Lauren Brummet sees social media as a good way to learn the skills to look best, especially for newcomers to makeup.
“I think a lot of people don’t know quite how to wear makeup,” she said. “Social media can be a great guideline to find what they like best or what works for them personally.”
Though Burgett agrees with Brummet that social media helps cultivate creativity, she also acknowledges drawbacks. Instagram has also opened floodgates for criticism and hate, causing Burgett to balance her presence so as not to incur the wrath of Instagram commenters. Topouria sees another downside that leaves cyberspace to affect the feelings of people all around.
“No one on social media actually has a perfect life or looks perfect all the time,” Topouria said. “They only display themselves when they have a full face of makeup on and look glamorous, which makes normal people feel rather insecure about themselves.”
Even with these risks, makeup continues to boom. All in all, Burgett reckons the trends are exciting to her clients, and they are always interested in what new techniques she uses. Ultimately, many of these patron’s consider what Burgett does as art. The creativity of makeup eclipses some issues it causes, Burgett said, because in the end it is made for already perfect people to flex their creativity.
“I think the widespread popularity of makeup affects teens immensely. Teens think they are expected to look a certain way like the women on the news feed,” Burgett said. “There is a ton of pressure on girls to wear makeup and be put together at all times. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to wear makeup every day, and you’re already gorgeous before putting on the makeup. Makeup is an outlet to showcase your creativity and magnify the beauty that already exists.”