Tuesday, February 19, 2013

An assortment

-The NYT Style blog has a post up on "The Naked Face," complete with an embedded video in which a makeup artist gives a model her version of the pseudo-natural, no-makeup makeup, look. Controversy ensues. On the one hand, that a bare-faced look should require $16 toner, $40 day cream, $32 primer, $19 lip balm, and a whole lot of makeup is some mix of pathetic and hilarious. On the other, let she who does not require concealer cast the first what's-the-point-of-foundation stone. (Is too much primping always one product more than we ourselves deem necessary?)

-It's great that the Guardian is taking an interest in the beauty concerns of non-white women. What I fail to see is how there can be an item on hair-care products "for dark skin," especially in a British context, a column promising "the latest beauty trends for black and Asian skin." Hair texture and skin color, not the same! Non-white isn't a monolith, particularly where all-important issues like which conditioner to use are concerned. I'm thinking women of Pakistani and Nigerian origin might have different hair-care requirements. There's a bit more specificity in the article than the headline, although it isn't clear why these various hair textures must be assembled in one column. And, on a personal note, I suppose I'm amused on account of being of an ancestry that makes me paler than pale, yet provides me with definitively 'ethnic' hair.

-Peep-toe booties. Why? Is this about there being something inherently attractive about looking uncomfortable? Or do these footwear items have something else going for them?

5 comments:

  1. I watched the NYT video a few days ago and then mentally toted up how many new products I would need to buy to pull it off every day and decided I didn't have the spare $100 or so. I did try it out with some samples of primer and tinted moisturizer etc. I had lying around and it does give one luminescent skin, but the idea that the face is "naked" is laughable when it requires as many products and as much time in front of the mirror as any heavily made-up look.

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    1. It seems possible that one could spend a ton and use a great many products and still emerge looking not-made-up, esp. if most of the products are transparent. (Not the NYT list, which would indeed amount to made-up-looking.) The question really is why.

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  2. "On the one hand, that a bare-faced look should require $16 toner, $40 day cream, $32 primer, $19 lip balm, and a whole lot of makeup is some mix of pathetic and hilarious. On the other, let she who does not require concealer cast the first what's-the-point-of-foundation stone."

    I think this is pretty simple. I wear concealer. But then I don't claim that I'm going for a "natural" or "bare-faced" look. Bare-faced is bare-faced.

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  3. "But then I don't claim that I'm going for a "natural" or "bare-faced" look."

    That's the way to do it. Few of us wear absolutely every cosmetics product in existence. There's a temptation to say, 'I wear concealer, that's OK, but foundation, well, that crosses the line,' when it's like, nah, it's all the same. There's no moral superiority to wearing X products rather than X+4.

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  4. The video I watched used tinted foundation, primer, foundation, then concealer, then highlighting powder, then facial powder all the to give the appearance of naked skin. Why? It did give a pretty and dewy appearance, though the model had great skin to start with. I tried it on myself, and I felt as though my skin looked more luminous and moisturized than it does without so much layering of sheer product, but I also felt a little washed out by the colorless look.

    I think there is a subset of women who feel as if color cosmetics look vulgar, but who do have the money to spend on expensive products and who do want to look good in a very specific, very proscribed way, and I can see them spending money on this. My sister lives in New York and will spend $400 on each hair appointment getting the perfect blonde highlights and cut, but I haven't seen her hair out of a bun even once in the last five years. It's a strange mix of Puritanism and hedonism that seems to dictate the minimalist aesthetic.

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