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Why It’s High Time We Accept Makeup as an Artform

Makeup like other forms of art, requires skill and passion from the artist.

It’s taken me a lot of time to understand the concept of art. I don’t think I still fully understand it yet. Fortunately, the nature of art is subjective, which means that my understanding of it can be different than yours and we can still both be right. Bear this in mind as you read this article. Art is a form of expression, design, and creativity. But at the same time, art has the responsibility to be either moving, groundbreaking or thought-provoking. Chuck Klosterman, author and music journalist says, “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” This essentially suggests that art is nothing more than self-expression projected onto something else. So then the question arises: Is makeup art?

I once went to an art exhibit where a man in nothing but white slacks was one of the “installations.” I didn’t get the chance to interact with the artist of this particular piece, but the other gallery frequenters didn’t blink an eyelid at this half-naked man. This instance proved one thing to me. This man, standing still, was a statement, an expression. He was art. I may not have understood or cared for it, but its designer/creator breathed life into it when s/he conceptualised it. Our ability to change and create anything is art. We all may have different perceptions about it, but the mere fact that you have given someone a right to have an opinion, expression or statement, whether good or bad, is the ethos of art. And in such, makeup is also art. For it is nothing but the manifestation of self-expression.

You may have heard the phrase, “she’s painting her face,” when someone is applying makeup. lIt’s quite literally just that. Editorial and avant-garde makeup are definitely considered art, with the level of consternation and skill it requires. But even everyday makeup done with the purpose of inspiring, changing or transforming something is art. When I apply makeup, I’m creating and projecting an image of myself I want to see. Red lipstick that is bold; black eyeliner that is striking and sharp. And not to mention the skill that actually goes into even the simplest makeup-related tasks.

There are many that associate makeup more with ornamentation or design than art. But I think that takes credit away from the makeup artist, who is essentially creating art from scratch. Much like photography, poetry, and other forms of art, makeup is a medium that requires skill and passion from the artist. From line work and colour correction to the very tools that are used in the process, makeup is undeniably a form of art and expression.

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