Why Contouring, Cat Eyes & Big Lips: Not For Everyone

It's 2016 and makeup is advanced now. However, you no longer have to go to cosmetology school to pick up mad beauty skills. All you have to do is watch a few YouTube tutorials and you're on your way to certified makeup artist!
Personally, I can watch those makeup tutorials for hours. If anything, it's an art. I've never been particularly good at it, but when I see a girl with a sparkly highlight, I have to stop everything to tell her how stunning she looks. It takes some serious talent to do that, you know?
After spending so much of my time watching these tutorials and seeing all these girls on instagram rocking a heavy contour and big lip, I thought I would give it a try.
So naturally, I did. I tried the "instagram beauty guru" look a handful of times over the course of a few months but something just wasn't right. What was I doing wrong? I was following the same steps everyone else was and I was using quality product. I even had other people do my makeup for me. Yet every time I looked in the mirror, I was almost scared at what looked back at me. 
That's when I realized the whole heavy contour / fierce cat eye / overdrawn lip makeup look wasn't for everyone. It's always fun experimenting with new looks and transforming with makeup...but you shouldn't necessarily conform to what everyone else is doing. The internet has obviously picked up on this trend and expressed how it felt through a series of memes, as you can see below.

 Found this confession on the Whisper App.
 Found this meme on GetCookie.

Let's talk about this look. It starts with a heavy contour and highlight, meant to give your face some more definition and slim it down a bit. Some say the Kardashians introduced it to the world, but that claim is 100% wrong. They may have popularized it but contouring has been used in the makeup industry for decades now. 
Although most tutorials show contouring as a 15-step process using 10 different products, it actually can be done with one or two products in a couple of minutes. Put a little bit of bronzer or blush under your cheekbone and on your jawline, and you're done. Congratulations, you've successfully contoured!
However, 99% of the contouring that we see in 2016 is the heavy 15-step process kind. This type of contouring has been used for quite some time in the makeup industry as well, but for different reasons. Usually you would never see women wearing this look on a typical normal day because it looks super extreme in real life.
This type of contouring is usually used for theater. Essentially, it's stage makeup. Drag queens use it to look more extreme and look more feminine and stage actors use it so their faces look more defined from far away.
It's also used for photo shoots and red carpet looks, which is why the whole "instagram beauty guru" look looks so much better on instagram. Have you ever had a photo taken of you with neutral makeup and you see it and think, "I don't look like that! Why do I look so tired and bland? My eyes are so big and blue, why do they look so...small? Why does my face look like an egg? You literally can't even see my eyebrows. AND THAT DOUBLE CHIN? WHAT?"

We found this gif on Reddit / FYeahDragMakeup.

When a photo is taken of yourself, whether that be up close or far away, sometimes it can make your face look totally washed out and undefined. The camera doesn't always capture the little details that make you, you...which is why makeup comes in handy!
Stage actors, drag queens, celebrities on the red carpet, and models: they all use this extreme makeup for the same reason...they need to go over the top so their audience can see them or so the camera captures them correctly.
Whether you're into a light or heavy contour, the whole point of it is to define the features you already have, which is why a lot of the modern tutorials you see don't work for you. You shouldn't be contouring in the same place as everyone else because you have a different face shape. In addition to your face shape, you have different features. This is something quite obvious but it needs to be said. 
It's the same exact thing with eye makeup and I had to learn that the hard way. Everyone wants the eccentric cat eye, I even tried it myself. However, I have round eyes. Literally, they are circles. So when I add a long cat eye, I'm trying to create a look that doesn't even exist on my face, which is why I decided to create my own eye makeup look instead of trying to look like everyone else.

We found this diagram on WeHeartIt.

Makeup is typically used in two ways: 1. For transformation, which is typically used in theater and film. And 2. to compliment your natural features. 
Sometimes I feel like 2016 often contradicts itself because it tells girls to be themselves and embrace their natural beauty, and then it says, "It's okay to get plastic surgery! Go get those lip fillers! Wear pounds of makeup! If you're insecure about something, change it!" A woman can do whatever she wants with her body and use makeup however she likes, but when I see the majority of society jumping on the "Don't love yourself, change yourself" bandwagon, I begin to feel worried.
When I was young, I had Paris, Nicole, Britney, and Lindsey....you get the point. I lived to be them! I dyed my hair blonde, wore pink lip gloss, went to tanning beds and nearly starved myself. Now, I see young girls overdrawing their lips, using waist trainers and dreaming of plastic surgery. Just because the trends and the beauty standards changed doesn't mean they aren't there. If a woman wants to get plastic surgery that's her decision, but that certainly shouldn't be the norm.We should be encouraging women to love what they were born with, right? 
Speaking of being born with certain features, shall we discuss the ridiculous 'big lip' trend? Unfortunately, it all started when Kylie Jenner randomly grew plump lips overnight and it exploded from there. Society was romanticizing women with fake plump lips or overdrawn lips, yet women who were actually born with big lips were being shamed. How would like being made fun of for having big lips your entire life and then it becoming a trend? Yeah...that's a little something called cultural appropriation. Now, women with small lips are being shamed and pressured into lip fillers. Sigh. 

Found this on PopSugar.

The ironic thing about society randomly deciding to romanticizing big lips is that not every face is made to have big lips. Just as not every face is made to have a small nose or just as not every face is made to have almond eyes or round eyes or upturned eyes. Not everyone is made to have arched eyebrows or fierce cheekbones. 
We as a society are fetishizing features that aren't even guaranteed to look good on every face. You are a human, not a cartoon and certainly not an anime character. 
You should experiment with different looks and find a look that compliments your natural beauty. But hey, I've got to agree with Zendaya when it comes to makeup. If you want to wear a full face of makeup, do you. If you want to go all natural, do you. At the end of the day, we're in this together and we shouldn't be shaming others for experimenting with makeup. Just be happy and be you.

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