NEVER THAT: Makeup Inclusivity

As the last two ready for the pregame because we’re baking our faces, we figured we’d start with a topic we know… makeup. We have some pretty strong opinions. When it comes to not being inclusive in the industry — never that.

Telling Someone They’re Wearing Too Much Makeup? Never that.

First of all, no one should ever tell anyone that they’re wearing too much makeup. If a person wants to wear natural makeup, no makeup at all, or a full face beat then that’s their prerogative. Saying, “you look just as good without makeup!” as a compliment rubs us the wrong way. When we go in on our face, we don’t want people to think we look the same as we do when we roll out of bed for our 8ams. Women don’t do their makeup to impress men who wouldn’t know the difference between a warm and cool undertone if they tried. A 2017 study by cosmetic brand Sally Hansen and Ipsos found that “84 percent of women say beauty can be empowering, which challenges the notion that women don't genuinely enjoy makeup.”

And on the off-chance we do want to do something to impress people we’ve got other ways to do so — like, maybe, our dazzling personalities?!

The unwanted opinions don’t just come from men, and we acknowledge that. Women who judge other women for their makeup choices are just as bad. The people who speak negatively about individuals that choose to wear a lot makeup can inadvertently undermine and discourage the self expression and confidence that some receive from wearing makeup.

Telling Someone They’re Not Wearing Enough Makeup? Never that.

While a full beat face with a chiseled contour has become a new standard for beauty, it's still not for everyone, and there’s no problem with that. Some people don't feel the urge to wake up an hour early to powder their face. People have different comfort levels with cosmetics, and the industry is taking note of this.

The popularity of brands like Glossier and Milk Makeup that advertise a “no makeup,” look, has skyrocketed. These companies pride themselves on their ability to give customers a natural look and feel, enhancing certain features rather than totally concealing them with more product.

Glossier has reached cult-favorite status over the last two years because of their brand identity and online marketing, according to Business Insider. In an interview with The Cut, Glossier CEO Emily Weiss said that their sixth floor, New York City showroom, generates more sales revenue per square foot than the average Apple store.

It’s nobody’s business how much makeup one decides to wear, but with the industry now capitalizing off the “natural look,” it’s clear that how people choose to use their cosmetics is being noticed. The choice is in the hands of the individual and there are enough products out there for everyone to achieve their preferred look.

Thinking Makeup is Just For Girls? Never that.

Recently, antiquated definitions of femininity and masculinity are being questioned. Now, femininity doesn’t have to be a cherubic, natural face or a completely made up mug. Reported by, in ancient Egypt and China, makeup was a symbol across genders of high social status.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen gender ideologies completely turned on their head. According to Mintel, beauty launches targeted at men have increased 70% between 2007 and 2012. As avid watchers of the Youtube beauty community, we’ve seen the figureheads that test the belief that makeup is only for girls. For a more localized example, if you’ve been to the basement of Park while they film for ICTV, you’ve definitely seen boys wearing makeup as they’re required to have foundation to make their faces camera ready.

But boys wearing makeup has become an act of enjoyment and not just employment. Many individuals like Manny MUA, James Charles, Bretman Rock, and Jeffree Star have found celebrity on their beauty Youtube channels. All of these men either have their own makeup lines or have collaborated with some of the biggest names in the makeup industry like Covergirl and Morphe. The dispelling of gendered norms in cosmetics isn’t a new phenomenon.

Too often people forget that just because something isn’t at the forefront of society doesn’t mean people aren’t doing it. Male figures in the beauty industry have been around long before James Charles started opening his videos by saying “hey sisters.” There’s more male celebrity makeup artists than people recognize, and they don’t just do drag like many assume because of their preconceived notions. Beyoncé’s makeup artist, Sir John, has been in the industry since about 2009. Before Sir John there was Kevin Aucoin and before Aucoin was Way Bandy. Bandy began in the 70’s and has paved the way for the males in makeup who rack up millions of subscribers today.

Despite the recent strides toward inclusivity in beauty, there is still a long way to go. There is a lot of work to be done about shade range inclusivity and the way big brands in the industry monopolize on different products, and those are really just scratching the surface. What it comes down to is this question:

How can we expect makeup business models to respect us when some people are still out here judging others for their use or lack thereof when it comes to cosmetics? Honestly… Never That.

Featured Posts