Newest side by side. My birthday two years ago, and me last week. When I look in the mirror I barely recognize the woman looking back at me. I’ve still got my chubby cheeks, and I’ve still got a long ways to go. But I’m far better than where I started.
YouTube has quickly grown into a platform for makeup artists around the world to showcase their talents and tutorials. Now, anybody can follow along a video in the comfort of their own homes or snap a screenshot for a local makeup artist to copy on their faces.
Many hopeful brides have looked towards makeup artists on YouTube for wedding makeup inspiration. South Asian brides in particular (such as those of Nepali, Bengali, or Indian descent) typically don more dramatic or glamorous makeup looks in comparison to “natural” Western looks. Eyeshadow colors usually match the lengha, suit, or sari and overall looks are especially time-consuming.
However, South Asian bridal makeup is only skin deep - with face makeup significantly lighter than that of the bride’s true skin tone. Bridal catalogues may not make this case so apparent, but “before and afters” of YouTube videos show stark differences in skin tones.
One cannot deny that makeup made this bride significantly lighter than she is naturally. It is a clear indicator of the rampant colorism and favoritism of white skin within the South Asian community on the so-called “most important day of a woman’s life” (which already trivializes a woman’s worth in the first place).
Some may argue that flash photography creates a “white caste” on the bride or model. However, camera crews surround the bride with lenses all day or all week - capturing the images she will look back on for years. The white-washed photos, videos, and albums survive.
Not only do we see dark-skinned women transforming with foundations multiple shades lighter than their true tones, we see white-passing or white models.
Above, popular singer and model Bambi Bains can be considered white-passing: having features that “pass” for European.
This model with blue eyes and white skin furthers this systemic subliminal messaging that “white is beautiful”. Anything darker must be lightened or not portrayed at all.
In a world where women are subjected to the margins, especially in diverse South Asian communities, the oppression multiplies for darker-skinned women. Although weddings may appear to focus on brides (and brides only), this further relegates her value to appearance alone. Her appearance must be fair. If she was “blessed” with fair skin, the privileges amass. If she falls somewhere in the middle, she can be fixed with makeup. However, if she is too dark, she is worthless and no man will ever marry her.
Our young girls and women deserve to see diversity in media. We need to divert the imagery from whitewashed into a kaleidoscope of different undertones and colors. Let us rejoice in our beauty because dark-skinned women are beautiful, radiant, and deserving of representation.
Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil I have used this for the past couple of days and I can honestly say I am so impressed. This is by far my favorite brow pencils. I find it to be the perfect brow pencil because it is long-lasting, applies easily and evenly, the applicator is precise, the color is spot on, and lastly the the packaging is to die for. I am so happy to have gotten this and I cannot wait to continue using it!
ColourPop Brow Pencil When I first got this, I was in love. I liked it because how creamy and easy it was to apply. I barely had to apply any pressure and this would fill my brows in completely. While I do still enjoy it and find it to be long lasting as well, I just prefer the formula of the Benefit one. This is more of a gel consistency then a wax so it is very easy to get carried away with this product. Because of how precise the point is and how smooth the formula is, the tip breaks off a lot. This is a great product and it is very affordable, so if you haven’t tried this out yet definitely look into it, just make sure to use a light hand.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz This was the first brow wiz I had ever tried and since then I have repurchased it.