Majority of the online beauty community edits their makeup photos. They use apps on their phones to smooth the skin of pores and lines, tweak the levels of brightness, contrast, etc. to enhance the shadows and concentration in the photos. Some use high end cameras and photoshop to take it to a whole other editorial level. All of this is fun to play around with - but I feel that if you are an influencer putting out tutorials on makeup application and techniques, your work should not be so highly edited because essentially you are displaying something that is unattainable... sound familiar to those photoshopped models in magazines we all used to complain about?
Think of all the boys and girls, men and women, out there watching these videos. They all believe the images they see online, they all want that smooth perfect makeup look, they all watch those tutorials on how to look "flawless". I've seen young girls upload videos on Youtube titled "how I do my makeup", and these girls look to be 10 to 15, with glowing perfect baby skin, yet they are using foundation, concealer, contouring, highlighting, paired with dramatic eyes and lashes and bold lips. Young girls! Talking about hiding dark circles they don't have, and baking their faces for a brighter highlight and sharper contour.
When I recently attended The Makeup Show in Los Angeles, it was very clear that the overall message of this year's show was anti-Instagram-makeup. It is understandable because the show is full of trained professional makeup artists who have seen the waves of trends over the last few decades and they all had an underlying message to the masses - stop excessive makeup; polished is timeless.
Even when walking through the show, you could distinctly point out who was inspired by instagram with the style of makeup they were wearing. It was actually very eye opening to see all these makeup artists under one roof, some were wearing full faces of instagram makeup while others weren't. The contrast was like night and day.
This month I finally had a "that's enough" moment and decided to take on this little project I called Instagram Beauty Trends & Filters. The idea was to follow the popular tutorials online from some of the top influencers out there, and then photograph my face with and without a photo filter. I wanted to prove that these tutorials are excessive, this style of makeup is heavily layered, and in real life the skin looks smothered with product. You cannot apply filters to your face in real life, so while your makeup might look flawless in photos and all over your social media, it is a false representation of yourself to those that follow you and look up to you.
Initially I posted this photo on Instagram without mentioning my secret project, I used the Camera 360 app on my phone with the Magic Skin Glossy filter to smooth it all out, this also perked up the contrast and coloring:
Then I posted this side by side photo of the same picture unfiltered and filtered to show the Instagram illusion we see most influencers doing with their photos. I also captioned the photo explaining my Instagram Beauty Trend & Filter Project:
Real Life vs. Filtered Life "IG Beauty Trends" I mean, in person, I don't look that textured (thx a lot ring light) but I definitely look like I'm sporting drag makeup. I spent hours on this face. I followed popular Youtube tutorials on how to do full coverage foundation, contouring, baking, eyebrows, glam eyes, and overdrawn lips. I did this little project because I'm sick of seeing extreme makeup tutorials telling you to pile on products and then bake the hydration out of your face, all while filtering the hell out of their pics so they appear smooth and perfect - when in reality you're wearing way too much makeup! I feel absolutely gross in this thick mask, and trust that I was very light handed with every step I followed from these beauty youtubers. Follow the true makeup artists for inspiration, and they will teach you less is more, and good skincare aids in perfect makeup. These dramatic looks are fine, but layers upon layers will make you look cheap, it is what it is. I'm much more proud of my realistic makeup looks and unfiltered unedited photos than this illusion beauty trend. ✌ #makeup #beauty #cakeup #bbloggers #beautyblogger #nofilter #realmakeup
The next day I posted a photo of a minimal makeup look, which is my go-to everyday makeup style, and in this look, I didn't use a foundation, I didn't contour, I did light filling in my brows, skintone shadow on the eyes, some fluttery lashes, a soft pink blush, and a glossy pink lip. This is my version of my face but better :)
Minimal makeup day 😗 This is my ultimate favorite face to wear, you can still see my skin and freckles underneath the @veilcosmetics 2N Complexion Fix that used as a light coverage all over my face, with a bit of 2P underneath my eyes to brighten. I set under my eyes with the @elfcosmetics HD Undereye Setting Powder, but all over my face I lightly applied some @LauraMercier Translucent Setting Powder. I applied a little @crownbrush Matte Bronzer, @milanicosmetics Tea Rose Blush, and @macosmetics Soft and Gentle as highlight. A sheer fill in my brows to groom, set with the @anastasiabeverlyhills Brow Gel. Lips are @yslbeauty Sheer Candy in 17, and the water line is @occmakeup Feathered pencil ♡♡♡
Details on my Instagram Beauty Trends look:
I followed a tutorial for a flawless foundation routine, this also included tips on how to contour and highlight and baking:
- For primer, I used the Make Up For Ever Skin Equalizer in Smoothing.
- For the full coverage foundation, so I chose to use the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. Per the tutorial, I used a damp sponge, I chose the Esum Pro Finishing Sponge, to blend.
- For the two full coverage concealers, a brightening shade and a contouring shade, I used the ELF HD Lifting Concealer in Brightening to put under the eyes in a triangle shape, along the cheekbones, down the nose bridge, on the forehead and chin. I then used the ELF HD Lifting Concealer in Medium to put along my hair line, under my cheekbones, along my jawline, sides of the nose, and underneath the bottom lip. Per the tutorial, I used my damp sponge to blend.
- For baking, I used the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder Translucent, pat onto the skin with damp sponge to the undereye area from inner corner to cheekbones, between the brows, chin, and upper lip. The tutorial said to keep this on during the powder contouring steps, then dust away when done.
- For powder contouring to put on top of the concealer contouring, I used the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette. I used a mix of Shadowplay and Subconscious on top of the areas I put the darker concealer shade. I used a mix of Lucid and Lyric on top of the areas I put the lighter concealer shade.
- For bronzing, I used the Milani Tantastic Face & Body Baked Bronzer, around my hairline, cheekbones and jawline.
- For highlighting, I used the NYX Illuminator in Ritualistic mixed with Beccca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop, applied to the cheekbones, nose bridge and tip, above the brows, upper lip and chin.
Next I followed an eyebrow routine tutorial:
- For the brow cream to shape the brows, I used the ELF Lock On Liner and Brow Cream in Espresso because the tutorial said to choose a shade that matches your brow hair, so since my brow hairs are black, I used the darkest brown black I have. I used an angle brush to draw the shape of my brows, and blend into the body and tail portions while feathering the front of the brows for a faded effect.
- For "definition" I used the Artistry Automatic Eyebrow Pencil in Soft Black to fill in the brows.
- To set the brows, I used the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel.
Next I followed a tutorial for a full glam eye look using the Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes in Self-Made and World Traveler:
- I used Buttery all over the eyelid area as the base color, Morocco as the crease transition shade, and Treasure to highlight the brow bone and inner corner. Per the tutorial, I put tape on my face to get a straight line to my eye look. I used Hot Chocolate on the outer corner, blended to the crease. I used Metallic Plum on the outer corner, blended towards the center lid space, with a tiny bit of Noir in the outer most corner "for depth and dimension". For the center lid space, I used Pink Champagne with a damp brush. The lower lash line, I used Metallic Plum and Noir to "smoke it out".
- For the eyeliners, I used the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper for the dramatic wing, with Marc Jacobs Highliner in Blacquer rimming the upper and lower waterlines.
- For dramatic lashes I used the Lilly Lashes Ghalichi Glam in Vienna.
Lastly I followed a tutorial for contoured plump lips:
- For overdrawing the lips, I used MAC Lip Pencil in Stone, I also contoured the natural indentations in my lips to make them appear deeper for a plumper effect.
- For the lip color, I blotted some Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Pure Hollywood in between the Stone contouring I did, and a tiny bit of Milk Shake to the center lip area to mimic a pouty look. I topped it all with the Lancome Gloss in Love in 222 for shine and plumping look.
I did the same style of makeup on my model. Afterwards she mentioned that the makeup felt very heavy and drying on her face. We only kept it on for a couple hours before removing it because she said her skin was starting to create bumps underneath all the makeup and we didn't want her to break out in blemishes. I used Bioderma Sensibio H2O to remove the eye makeup, Pond's Cold Cream to remove the face makeup, Pond's Evening Soothe wipe to remove any residue, then finished with a Hada Labo Tokyo Facial Mask for deep hydration.
Here is her side-by-side without a filter and with a filter, as well as a photo of her natural beauty before applying the makeup: