It’s seven o’clock on Saturday night. Liana is frantically rushing around her tiny
bathroom desperately trying to fix her attempt at a smoky eye, which has left her
looking like a panda- not the look she was going for. A desperate search online fails
her miserably and the words ‘crease’, ‘transition’ and ‘tapered’ make her feel even
more frantic. She has no idea what’s happening and her date is picking her up in 10
Make up and make up artistry has evolved greatly from the early 1900’s into a
worldwide phenomenon. And it’s not just as a physical thing but a new world online
too, where YouTubers film tutorials on topics such as how to achieve a flawless face
and how to create a perfect smoky eye.
Make up through the Years
Make up has been around for centuries in one form or another. Back in 70,000 BC
people would paint their bodies using a green plant and earth based materials.
Imagine if that was being done now? It would be flower petals for lipstick! Another
big throw back is to 1 AD, when it was common for Romans to use kohl, which is a
black powder made from sulphide or lead sulphide to darken eyelashes and eyelids,
to make their eyes appear bigger. They would use chalk to make their face appear
whiter and use rouge, a red powder or cream on their checks for a ‘flushed’ look.
Moving forward a few thousand years, in the 1920’s to the 1940’s Kristen Stewart,
who owns a make up school, describes this era as ‘classically beautiful’ with simple
neutral eyes and a classic red lip. Travelling to the 70’s and 80’s it was all about
disco with bright colours everywhere you looked including make up!
There are so many variations and extremes that have been shown through the years
and that’s no exception for the years we are living in! In reality -anything goes, from
brights to neutrals, a full face or nothing at all. Your creativity is the limit to do what
Millie Clark, a year 12 student likes to use a bright baby pink lip when she applies
her make up. Her ‘go-to’ look is natural eye shadow and a baby pink lip.
The Art of Make Up Artistry
Slap foundation two shades too dark all over your face with your palms to get that
‘natural’ tanned look, dip your finger in blue eye shadow and rub it all over your
eyelid and finish off the eye look with clumpy mascara. Finally smear that nude lippy
all over your lips and slightly over your lip line for that much-desired ‘Kylie Jenner’ lip
look. Unfortunately if make up were that easy, we would all be make up artists! Make
up artistry is a profession; it requires creativity, product knowledge, latest trends and
an understanding of what works and doesn’t work. It’s definitely not a case of having
a few different colours of foundation, eye shadow and lipstick. There are so many
different types of make up artistry, not just the girls who work at the make up
counters in department stores, who else makes the celebrities look amazing? Who
makes sure that models don’t end up with a white face on a photo shoot? Who
makes the unrealistic look realistic? Not only can make up artists make people look
flawless and amazing, they can use the skill of special effects make up and make
you look like you survived a lion fight.
Stacy Blanfield, a Christchurch based make up artist, said “It’s not just a glamorous
life style, we work as hard as anyone else.” She adds that you can be getting up in
the early hours of the day to prepare for a photo shoot ahead and be working very
late into the night because it can be very pressuring and difficult to get the look spot
At the end of the day, why should we value other professions more than make up
artists, not everyone has the creativity needed to nail a certain look.
The Beauty of YouTube
Shannon Harris, a young kiwi YouTuber who blended, winged and contoured her
way into the YouTube world and is currently living her life off the money she is
earning from her successful YouTube channel, commonly known as ‘Shaaanxo’.
Alongside her busy schedule of filming, editing and uploading videos three times a
week, she is also managing her own brand ‘xobeauty’ which sells a range of make
up brushes, false eye lashes, hair ties and rings. This has been very profitable and it
was a wise business move for the 21 year old. It is estimated that she earns
approximately $260,000 per year, just from her YouTube channel, excluding the
profit from her business and from the various products being sent to her!
17 year old Mikayla Hamilton enjoys watching Shannon’s uploads to give her
inspiration to change up the way she applies her make up and for an honest opinion
on a product she might be interested in purchasing.
How to achieve a smoky eye (side bar)
A good base – this is essential for any dramatic eye look, it helps to make the
colours blend easily together and avoid any creasing.
Pat on a small amount of dark coloured eye shadow – this could be a dark brown or
black (Smoky eyes can be black or brown)
On a new brush smudge in a darker colour into the crease of your eye on the outer
half, this will add shape to your eye and make them appear bigger.
BLEND! This is so crucial for any look because it helps to merge all the colours
together to avoid any harsh lines that make your eye look unfinished. If in doubt,
blend it out!
Once again, on a new brush sweep it in a white/highlight shade and smooth this
under the arch of your eyebrow and the very inner corner of your eye. This helps to
make the eye appear brighter and bigger.
With a dark eyeliner, carefully line your lower water line, to shape your eyes and to
add to the smoky effect. If you wish, you could carefully add a thin or thick line of
liquid eyeliner to the lid and if you want, smoke it out a little bit.
Finally, coat your lashes in black mascara and if your feeling adventurous gently
place some false eye lashes onto your eyelids to help enhance your natural lashes.
After Liana has looked tirelessly at different tutorials to sort out the black smudges
covering her eyes, the decision is final – she grabs a make up wipe and quickly dabs
at the mess until the smudges are bearable. If her date asks, she will say it’s a new