Why Beauty?

In light of recent discussions about beauty, skincare, and its popularity, I thought it might be interesting to examine why it is that the beauty trend is so strong. For me, beauty was never an issue for me until I was around 18, and started wearing makeup and taking an interest in skincare. Sometimes I wish I’d gotten into skincare sooner so I’d have been able to combat my skin...

Is it a con?

By now we’ve all read that piece on “the skincare con” on The Outline. Thankfully, Racked has focused on debunking many of the false claims of the piece , like the idea that evolution has fine-tuned our bodies to perfection and thus we don’t need skincare. And I can agree – we don’t need skincare, but that doesn’t mean we can’t prefer it. As Racked pointed out, there’s plenty of scientific...

Makeup for girl-women.

Ok y’all, it’s that time again. I’m getting on the soapbox, yelling indignantly et cetera. But can we talk about how so much of beauty has this unpleasantly infantilizing tone? Looking at a lot of beauty ads, there are strange references to girlhood and childishness. The unicorn trend is, I’d say, the most obvious illustration of this – unicorns may just be the ultimate symbol of female virginity, innocence, purity...

The beautiful world of empowertising

When’s the last time you heard the term “empowering” in a context that wasn’t completely ridiculous? Empowerment has gone from being a feminist concern to an advertising buzzword used to sell anything and everything to women. I’ve seen sexy lingerie, menstrual products, snacks and pussy highlighter all being sold as “empowering”. Clearly, this word means nothing of value anymore – it’s window dressing for a “woke” female consumer. You can...

Men, beauty & homophobia

There’s a disturbing but unsurprising tendency among men – primarily straight, cisgender men – of extreme reactions to other men’s style choices. This is especially prevalent when men in one way or another uses feminine attributes in their self expression. I read an article in a major Swedish newspaper where a man was making a big deal about men who wear perfume, going so far as to compare their wearing...

Makeup is not a weapon.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Peter Phillips – creative director of Dior beauty – makes the bold claim that makeup is a feminist weapon: “To Philips, it’s not something to hide behind, but a tool that enhances women’s feminine power. “A lipstick, an eyeliner is something a woman can use, and should use, to really put forward her strengths,” continues Philips. “She can totally control how she wants the...

Cool Girl, Where Art Thou?

There’s a lot of buzz around the ‘cool girl’ beauty movement – rumours and legends spread like wildfire about what ‘cool girl’ does and what ‘cool girl’ likes. But who the hell is she anyway?! Googling the term ‘cool girl beauty’ leads me to headlines like “What’s the deal with cool girl beauty?” (That’s what I wanna know!) along with “5 Cool-Girl Beauty Trends for Spring Brides”, “Top 5 Picks...

Cinematic Cosmetics: The Fifth Element by Luc Besson

Possibly one of my favourite movies to date, The Fifth Element is a sci-fi cult classic with a seriously strong aesthetic. Full of amazing costumes (by Jean-Paul Gaultier, no less) and meticulously developed environments, I could easily pick apart every facet of its visual qualities because there’s just so much material. That would be a long text, so let’s just talk about makeup. What makes The Fifth Element so appealing...

Chocolate is good, but makeup is carb free!

Photo: SKØN Magazine There’s an undeniable link between cosmetics and food. Going through my own collection, I find items shaped like, named after and scented like food – primarily sweets and fruits. I have a lip gloss that looks like a cupcake, and nearly every lip product I own smells like vanilla or toffee. The NYX Butter Glosses, which I’ve mentioned before, smell like the caramel syrup you put on ice cream,...

Advertising, Beauty, and the New Woman

Whether you’re discussing the American “Flapper”, the French “Garconne”, the Japanese “Moga” or the German “Neue Frau”, the new woman of the 1920s has become a fixed, international symbol of her time. With her bobbed hair, heavily made-up face and slim figure, the new woman met your gaze from the magazine covers, print ads, movie posters and satire drawings of any major city. The most conspicuous and – in the...