On Love & Labour

Let’s take a serious moment. Today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday with plenty of controversy attached to it. How can a celebration of love be controversial? Isn’t love a universally pure, good thing? Well, I want to say yes. But also no. Love can be as draining as it can be energizing. It can be productive or destructive. And unfortunately, the type of love we celebrate most – especially for...

The publicity and privacy of applying your lipstick

As a chronic over-sleeper, I do my makeup on the bus. More or less every day, I squint into a tiny pocket mirror and apply my eyeliner and brow pencil and so on under the watchful eyes of my co-commuters. Aside from the fact that it’s kind of tricky and it’s taken me a long time to even be able to apply makeup on a bus ride full of bumps...

Limited editions and the illusion of rarity

This time of year is rife with “holiday” beauty launches. Aside from the ubiquitous celebrity perfume gift sets, it seems like the fall-winter season is the event of the year for makeup. You have everything from holiday palettes to bizarre christmas tree ornaments with mini beauty products inside to advent calendars stuffed with shower gels and body butters. To say the least, it’s overwhelming to the point of exhaustion. And...

Beauty Ritual as Coping Mechanism

I don’t necessarily hide the fact that I’m mentally ill. I don’t always talk about it, but that’s because it’s not always relevant. But today it is. I have a stubborn case of depression, with some ptsd and anxiety and dissociation sprinkled in for a bit of spice. I have good days and bad days, and lately, they’ve all been bad. I cry a lot. Over anything from dirty dishes...

Can makeup be feminist?

Short answer? No, I don’t think so. Does that surprise you? Well, the long answer is – surprise surprise – it’s complicated. I identify as a woman, a feminist and full-time aesthete. Beauty, not only in a cosmetic sense, permeates all my interests. But beauty is not apolitical, and for women, beauty is a prison. To think otherwise would be kidding yourself. For thousands of years, the way women look...

COLLECTION – An Essay

It’s almost one in the morning. I’ve poured out all my makeup on the floor in front of my sofa, having decided to count it in a fit of insomnia-induced madness. Plastic packages in all sorts of shapes and colours are jumbled in a big messy pile. My mom is a collector, but I’m the type who gets rid of things. Or so I thought, until I saw all this....