Is the Art of Makeup Coming to an End?

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, all I see is the same thing. Picture after picture of pretty girls, and boys, with flawless makeup. Most young women, and some men, show an expressive interest in makeup and many people own professional standard makeup brands such as Urban Decay, Nars and Smashbox. Even I find myself wishing I could take a Mac 217 to the eye of every person I see who hasn’t blended their eyeshadow! However, what does this mean for professional makeup artists?

There will always be a need for professionals on the runway and in the theatre, but when so many people are learning how to do their makeup to a professional standard (using professional products) will the need for makeup artists start dying out?

My flatmate remembers, from when she was young, how her grandmother would regularly hire a makeup artist to come to her house and do her makeup for events and nights out. Today, it is unheard of to hire someone to do your makeup before a night in Ocean!

I believe the sudden public interest in makeup and beauty is caused by a rise in accessible information through social media. Youtube has become a platform for viewers to be told by self-proclaimed ‘Beauty Gurus’, such as Zoella and Tati, which products to buy and when, as well as being taught how to flawlessly apply products to a professional standard.

The world of beauty and makeup has expanded and spread across all social media platforms. Even logging onto Facebook, you will see a barrage of people sending pictures of beauty blenders to their boyfriends, testing to see if they know what they are: you will be surprised by how many do!

The effect of social media on attitudes to makeup is particularly seen in the younger generation, who seem to be bypassing the “Lipsmackers” makeup phase. They are skipping the orange foundation, pale lipstick and blue eyeshadow, heading straight for contouring, strobing and colour correcting by the age of fourteen. If people in their early teens are already applying their makeup so well, who knows how advanced their techniques will be by the time they are in their twenties!

Social media platforms also provide a free space for men and women to promote their makeup skills and attempt to build a clientele, I believe this is causing a surge in the amount of young people trying to become makeup artists. I regularly spot people I went to high school with promoting themselves, trying to get into the business. With the increase in the amount of makeup artists and the decrease in the need for them, does this mean trouble for professional makeup artistry?

Jessica Housego

Image Credit: Jef Harris via Flickr – License.

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3 Comments on this post.
  • Andrew
    6 March 2017 at 15:55
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    Very intriguing article in an area I know nothing about! This Jess Housego is good. Can we get more from her Editor?

  • Becky
    13 March 2017 at 16:59
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    Another interesting question. Will we have less demand for trained professionals because we have easy access to DIY instructions on Youtube, Instagram and via Pinterest? I think there will always be the need for people to have their make-up done professionally, for events like weddings, photoshoots and such. And how the new talent fits in, only the future will tell.

    • Jo Grimwood
      15 March 2017 at 11:29
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      Thank you for your response Becky. I definitely think that accessible tutorials through these social media platforms makes it much more difficult for trained professionals to progress within their careers. It will be interesting to see whether there will be a decline in demand for trained professionals for events that you mentioned; if a laymen can prove they are as capable as a professional, will people opt to get their makeup done by them rather than opt for the expense of someone trained? Unlike other careers, the qualifications required by makeup artists seems to be in decline.

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