i feel like the narrative on women and makeup has become so muddled and confused and misguided. there is honestly an industry at this point based on denying that makeup has anything to do with patriarchy in any way, shape or form. despite the obvious fact that, no, the vast majority of men do not wear makeup–and yes, we still consider many of them beautiful without it, and without even thinking about it. 

the beauty industry has become attuned enough to the change in culture and women’s increasing liberation over time that they can no longer get away with marketing all their products as “fixes” for your “flaws.” no, they’ve actually co-opted feminist/activist rhetoric to sell their products to you. this imbues their product with a significance and a weight that, without this language, it simply does not have. sadly a lot of this language is similarly used by makeup blogs/vlogs/instagrams/etc without understanding that the capitalist machine has pushed this nonsense on us for years to dupe us. let’s actually take a look at some modern advertising in the beauty industry:

wow! it’s almost like “having it all” sounds familiar? hm, where have i heard that?

this is just one of dozens of products that compare their makeup to a revolution.

the beauty industry has been steadily using rhetoric to suggest that cosmetics bring women power and the like, such as:

but when all else fails, don’t convince women that beauty products will empower, change, enliven them, or make them assertive. just tell them it’s a part of who they are!

because how could the real you shine through without the help of some new foundation or lipstick?

there is such an absurdity to these slogans and such a sexism to the idea that these products are going to change women’s lives, bring them confidence, give them power or anything else. these products, nine times out of ten, are going to paint women’s faces in order to make them more appealing to the patriarchy.

it’s even gone far enough that women online have recently created a hashtag #thepowerofmakeup (?) to insist that makeup is not due to insecurities or a desire to please boys, but simply a personal choice and pleasure that exists in a vacuum and has nothing to do with anything else ever. this is the extent of the brainwashing. i don’t condemn these women in any way because their lack of understanding is not their fault and is a product of growing up in the society they have. to make myself perfectly clear, i do not condemn any women who wear makeup in any context. however the hashtag creator’s notion that “nowadays…it’s almost a crime to love doing your makeup” is literally baffling. makeup has never been more popular or beloved than it is right now, and the small group of people criticizing its misogynistic origins are nothing compared to the millions of women who feel compelled to spend hundreds every year on these products. it’s incredible to see women who do wear makeup portrayed as the outcasts, while women who don’t wear makeup know that they’ll have a tougher time getting jobs, be consistently assumed tired/upset/having a bad day, and be generally considered less desirable and inadequately feminine on the whole. 

speaking of the growing prominence of youtube channels, instagrams, tumblrs, etcetcetc centered around makeup and makeup products, i want to make a point. can makeup be art? absolutely! can makeup be fun? absolutely! can makeup exist totally separate from male dominant spaces? i’m not positive, but i think it’s possible. however, it is the dominant culture’s obsession with and need for these products which is harmful to women and girls. many will proclaim that, “i like how i look without makeup too!” and “i can still leave the house without it!” but, as someone who once constantly reiterated these phrases, unfortunately i know them to be denials in many many cases. i felt myself, over the years, insisting that i could leave the house without makeup, yet found myself doing that, at most, five times in an entire year. i told myself i liked how i looked without makeup, yet after two days in the house without a drop, i looked in the mirror and felt ugly, dirty, incomplete. and i know i am not alone. sure makeup makes you feel beautiful, but why?

if we want to talk honestly about makeup and the enormous influence it has on women and girls, we have to rid ourselves of patriarchal notions and delusions that makeup “just makes me feel good!” and embrace the idea that we can feel good, all the time, be beautiful, all the time, no matter what we look like, without makeup in any form. our choices do not exist in a vacuum, and there was a reason i cried hysterically to my mother at 13 for not being allowed to wear mascara. all women are beautiful, all the time. it’s okay that women wear makeup. we just need to start examining why we want to, and patriarchy’s role in that “choice.”

i like makeup a lot but i hate makeup culture and i hate that the cosmetics industry profits off of the insecurities of grls. also i don’t have any solutions for this so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


I’m looking at how feminism has progressed and how the sex industry has totally infiltrated pop culture for the past 15 years. Now all we get is superstars who are talented and beautiful simulating stripping and pole dancing. And I was very influenced by it for a while, as well with pop culture, but I just think “Isn’t it time to move on now?” I just hope more people understand that it’s more than me beating the system here. And when I say the system, I’m talking about the media, the press, adverts, fashion, the cosmetic industry, dieting, gossip magazines; all of that stuff that doesn’t enhance our lives and which thrives on lowering people’s self-esteem so they’d buy into that product, into that whole lifestyle thing of being a perfect person. That’s what I’m against.

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This Makeup Printer Could Destroy The Cosmetics Industry

Grace Choi, a Harvard Business School grad (and our new favorite person on earth) debuted her new 3-D printer that not only PRINTS MAKEUP but does it in any color you could possibly want. Simply by grabbing the color code from a photo and hooking the small device up to your computer, you have an endless supply of lipsticks and eyeshadows in any shade.

Via Huffingtonpost

Turkey ends animal testing for cosmetics

July 29, 2015 Written by Georgina Caldwell

Turkey has joined the ranks of the European Union, Israel, Norway and India by introducing a ban on the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals, according to The Daily Sabah.

The country’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Administration has added an additional article to its new regulation regarding the cosmetics industry banning animal testing for cosmetic products.

The regulation will also require manufacturers to tag their products with Turkey-specific labels detailing the ingredients contained within any product sold in the country. The Turkish tags will be required on all products, regardless of whether the original packaging lists the ingredients in accordance with the regulation.

For the ongoing series The Changing Lives of Women, Morning Edition is exploring aging. We asked 85-year-old novelist Anne Bernays to reflect on the role of a woman's appearance as she grows older.

“…I always looked younger than I actually was — a lucky throw of the genetic dice. But even if you do happen to look your age, why spend your hard-earned money getting sliced and diced, shot in the forehead with embalming fluid and contributing to the cosmetic surgery industry — worth $11 billion last year? Because we’re all afraid to show our age.

A few years ago someone asked me if I’d just had a face-lift, and I was thrilled. Hard-headed, realistic I may be, but I’m fundamentally as vain as the next woman. I won’t go to the market without first putting on lipstick.

Is this fixation wired into the human female? If so, then we don’t have to feel guilty about it. If not, then why do we behave as if our appearance trumps kindness, intelligence, imagination, enthusiasm and humor?

I have no answers. When I was in my 20s, a much older woman told me, “Darling, your feet will be the last thing to go.” She was wrong: toenail fungus. As for my hair, it’s been thinning for more than 10 years, and there’s a largish pink spot on the back of my head. Eyebrows and eyelashes? Gone without a trace.”

Gray-Haired Granny? An 85-Year-Old Writer Goes Punk Rock Instead

The image Beyonce represents is no different than the continuous advertising aimed at women. Singing that girls (not women!) rule the world in high heels and sexy lingerie is absolutely not threatening to the patriarchy (it is simply not credible) while sending the message to girls that they are empowered by buying femininity, which works enriching the cosmetic/fashion industry. Those who laud Beyonce because she apparently ‘owns her sexuality’ (whatever that means) seem to be under the impression that we still live in the 1950s and that posing semi-naked doing rehashed sexy poses constitutes a revoluationary act while the reality is that this standardized exhibition of women’s bodies is constantly push at us. I guess many talented women who choose to not cater to the male gaze remain unheard of because they don’t own their sexuality appropriately…
—  Missfit
If tomorrow women in the West woke up and decided they really like their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business. The cosmetic industry, the clothing industry, the diet industry, the gym industry and then think of all of their ally industries who support them. So when I say that global capitalism is dependent on women hating themselves, I’m not exaggerating here.
—  Dr. Gail Bines


Harvard Business School graduate Grace Choi is the founder of Mink, the first printing device that can produce wearable makeup products. She seeks to revolutionize the $55 billion beauty industry with her invention, stating in a memorable quote from her 2014 TechCrunch Disrupt presentation that, “The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bullshit. They charge a huge premium on something that tech provides for free. That one thing is color.“

Choi hopes to inspire young women that they can control the definition of beauty for themselves, rather than allowing corporations to do it for them. “This is a very important social mission for me,” she elaborated in a chat with Business Insider. “I think of Mink as an educational tool for kids, and one that can get girls interested in technology. I don’t need to be on some billionaires list. I’m aggressive and I’m going to make this happen. Before I die, this [beauty revolution] will happen.”