Beauty in a Bottle


Photo by Photo courtesy of Abbey Rindlisbacher

Makeup vs. a natural look

Abbey Rindlisbacher, Staff Writer

Throughout history men and women alike have endeavored to acquire youth and beauty using various tactics. In today’s society it is the cultural norm for women to wear makeup, but have some girls taken it too far? With fashions always changing and makeup use evolving it’s difficult to figure out the correct application and amounts of socially acceptable makeup.

Today’s taste in foundation has changed quite dramatically since the Renaissance days of layers of white makeup. Now it’s all about layering on the bronzer. It seems that everyone is striving for that perfect sun kissed tan, but some girls may take it a little too far. While caking-it may have been great in medieval England, it certainly is not anymore.

Senior Anika Brock said, “I feel like it’s gone too far when you’re able to see the foundation and creases and when you’re paying more attention to the makeup than to their face.”

Men actually wore makeup until the late 1850’s. There is evidence of Egyptians, Romans, Early Africans, and even Biblical references of the use of face-paints, or cosmetics. Today though, unless you’re Adam Levine, boys tend to leave the guy-liner at home.

Brandon Cash says, “[Guys] don’t use [makeup] because we have facial hair, like you can’t get foundation all in your beard.”

One thing that hasn’t changed much throughout the history of cosmetics is the extensive lengths people are willing to go to get it. The drive to look beautiful is so thoroughly ingrained into the human mind that we’ll do some crazy stuff to get “the look.”

In ancient Rome, Greece, the Dark Ages, and other eras people would powder their faces with white lead. They were literally dusting poison onto their face, daily.

While no one is rubbing poison on their bodies nowadays, we are going through extensive lengths to obtain idealistic beauty. Women spend on average $15,000 on makeup yearly. That’s a lot of dough, and seemingly half of the products are scams claiming to tighten, brighten, lift, and even-out the user’s face.

Senior Rebecca Newman stated that she chooses her makeup by whatever is cheapest. Although cheap may not really be all that ‘cheap.’ The cheapest mascara is roughly $10.00 per .25 oz bottle (that’s $40 bucks for an ounce of product.)

An article from Forbes magazine rated the top ten vainest cities in the United States of America in 2007. Salt Lake City rated #1 on that list with a total of 46 practicing plastic surgeons in the area (6 per 100,000 people), and millions is spent on beauty products. For a city of our size, this is outrageous.

The cosmetic industry is making easy money off it’s unsuspecting prey. They’ve convinced girls that true beauty comes in a bottle. Many girls have been lead to believe that it’s the only way to attract that special someone or that it’s the only way to stand out against their competition.

Gabby Gailtlee, junior, said, “I think girls wear makeup for better self-esteem and they think boys will like them more; I feel like it’s almost expected of girls now in today’s society.”

Interestingly, makeup can actually have the opposite effect on guys if worn incorrectly. Every guy interviewed agreed that girls who wear tons of makeup come off as insecure and scary looking.

“I think it becomes extreme if it’s too showy and if it immediately grabs our attention, then it’s too much,” stated Brandon Orullian, Junior, “You can wear it if you want, as long as you’re not overdoing it.”

As the use of makeup has increased and popularized, the age of use has gotten younger and younger. Fifty years ago girls didn’t wear makeup until they were at least in high school. Now you can find some girls as young as three years old plastered with cosmetics (Toddlers and Tiaras.) Most students at Bingham High School agreed that makeup should not be worn until around 13 years old, some boys even argued that girls should wait until high school.

Makeup, like so many other human tendencies, has changed with the times. It’s important to remember that sometimes less is more. Have confidence in yourself and try the natural look every now and then, if you can’t go without any makeup then try to gradually decrease amounts overtime until you reach a suitable amount. Don’t let the beauty industry bog you down with their attempts to make you “need,” makeup.

You don’t have to be chained to your cosmetics, beauty comes with being who you are. The use of makeup over the course of these 6,000 years has steadily increased and intensified. Maybe it’s time for people to get back to the basics.