If you spend more than 10 minutes on Instagram, perusing beauty posts, you will likely see a TON of videos and images of overdone trends and ‘tricks’. Just take a few minutes to search the hashtag #thepowerofmakeup and you will be in awe of how one can transform themselves. It is so easy to get caught up in the artistry of it all, the way they move their brushes along that wing, and dab their beauty blender along their contour. The techniques are so entrancing and the outcome is so unreal.
But that is the point. It is unreal. These people look like photo-shopped, airbrushed, Kim K mini-me’s. The goal is to produce a perfect face, intended to be photographed from limited angles in the perfect lighting, solely for uploading on social media. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of makeup technique and application! I WISH I was as talented as these artists.
But these works of art are not for real life.
Here are five Instagram makeup trends that you don’t really need to wake up early to fit into your AM routine before going to work. (Unless you want to- Do what makes you happy!! But also, don’t feel less beautiful if you don’t do them. too many disclaimers. Ok. Here we go!)
1 – Perfectly stenciled, arched, faded eyebrows.
Hey did you know that your eyebrows are hair? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good arch, and some of those Instagram eyebrows can SLAY. But you don’t need so many steps in your eyebrow routine! If you maintain a decent shape, the Benefit Gimme Brow will give you all the slayage you need for every day. And if you’re like me and don’t have a lot to work with, that product will actually make the hairs appear thicker.
Another thing that irks me about excessive eyebrow routines is the ‘cleaning up’ around the edges with concealer – basically a white outline around the brows sometimes. Just a light eye shadow right under the arch (no shimmer!) is all you really need to draw attention.
2 – Excessive Contouring
When done correctly, and blended properly, contouring can have a very beautiful finish. It definitely has its place in the makeup world. However, contouring is meant to create shadows and actually fake a different shape for your face. The shadows created from one angle, in one type of lighting (for photography or video) can look like a dark streak on your face in daylight. Not to mention the TONS of additional product that needs to go on your face when doing the routines you see in tutorials. Layers of product will accentuate wrinkles and pores. That much product can look cakey and, quite frankly, gross, in daylight.
For me, as I get older, I try to focus on a softer ‘contour’. I typically use bronzers to warm up just below the cheekbone with a large fluffy brush, and highlight areas of my face with a brightening concealer. I haven’t done any tutorials yet, but maybe ‘nontour’ can be my first one!
3 – Baking
After you contour, you’re supposed to bake, right?! I’ve tried baking. And maybe I haven’t found a powder that is perfect for it. Or maybe I don’t let it ‘cook’ long enough. But I just don’t see the need for it in every day life.
The idea behind baking your makeup is to use a damp sponge to apply a translucent powder to all areas of the face (after H&C) that you want to stay highlighted and crease free. Leaving this powder piled on, for as long as you can stand it, will cause air and heat to get trapped underneath the layer of powder and literally COOK the layers of foundation and concealer into each other and create a more bullet proof area. When you dust off the powder, you will have a beautifully highlighted area of the face, that looks photo-shopped like a porcelain doll and will (allegedly) last for hours.
And this is all FANTASTIC for photography and stage! But I have a desk job. With fluorescent lights. I don’t need to bake my face every morning.
Also- if you bake and happen to go to an event with flash cameras- BEWARE! Most powders will cause flash back and all the areas you cooked will be bright white in the photo and you will look like you have no mirror at home.
4 – Cat Eye & Bat Lashes
Maybe this is a soft spot for me- maybe I’m just super jealous that I have baby fine, short lashes and hooded lids that make a super dramatic wing look absolutely stupid. But even though I have short lashes- I don’t think I’ll ever do the false lash thing. There are some extremely natural looking styles, but most of the pairs are meant to be dramatic. When they touch your eyebrow- they are probably a lil much.
The wing is so popular right now. And it looks so great on so many people! It is one of the things on this list I think you can get away with in everyday, natural style. However, you have to know your face and eye shape. My eyes are not shaped for the same cat eye wing that is all over Instagram. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I don’t need it just to feel like my makeup is done properly.
See what works for you, not everyone else.
5 – A highlight to signal the astronauts
I may have been guilty of this a time or two. But then I remember that I have oily skin, and everything will become that glowy by day’s end 🙂
I’m not sure why the metallic cheekbone and tip of the nose thing is so in right now, but it’s a touch dramatic for even photos. I prefer a lit-from-within type of feel, something I can get from products like Becca Backlight Priming Filter and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. Or a luminous blush!
TLDR- do you. If these trends make you happy or you need perfect skin for a photo shoot- Do them!
But if you are just trying to make it to work on time without looking a hot damn mess, totes skip ’em.