Airbrushing & Mental Health

Beauty, Lifestyle, mental health, Uncategorized

So let’s talk about airbrushing and photo editing. I think by now most people know that photo editing is EVERYWHERE. From the Amaro filter on your Instagram selfie to the photo shop experts giving people face lifts from the comfort of their office chairs.

And why is this? First and foremost these images are always selling something. Whether it’s a product, a person or a concept they are always trying to make us buy into it. And by choosing not to use real images of real people they are telling us that real people are not good enobeyonce-leaked-unretouched-photos_2015-02-18_23-33-44ugh to sell their products. They are selling an unrealistic and unobtainable image of perfection.

Editors can change images until the subject is completely unrecognisable. It starts with deleting a blemish or two and finishes with elongating the limbs and changing the colour of someone’s skin.

The recent ‘scandal’ was the leaking of some photos of Beyoncé – before they had gone through the digital ‘perfecting’ process.

I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. ‘Oh my god! Beyoncé is a real person with normal skin!’. This is the kind of species we have become. We build human beings up to God like proportions and then we dig away at them until we can bare their imperfections. But the media has made us this way. Before we were constantly bombarded by an incessant stream of millions of these so called ‘perfect’ images of beauty, there were only a few of these big stars and their beauty was considered to be out of the ordinary, special. You can liken it to exams at school. Before the media took over our lives a select few people were achieving an A* in the physical beauty stakes. But now, due to editing, everyone is expected to achieve an A* at all times. Even the so called ‘real people’ in magazines are airbrushed. But now, people want to walk around as a photoshop version of themselves, bathed in photographic spotlight and blurred with a subtle but noticeable filter.

We are consistently told that we are not good enough. But they do this to make us want the products they are peddling. The beauty industry, in particular, wouldn’t survive without an unhealthy dollop of human self-loathing.

“You have terrible skin so you need to cover it up with our new foundation!”

“You’re thighs are far too big, we will slim them down with Photoshop!”

“your face has too many wrinkles, buy these poisonous injections to get rid of them!”

“The model in this advert is beautiful, you will look like her if you buy this!”

I am happy to admit that I love make up and Instagram filters. I enjoy the whole process from purchase to application to selfie. But do I really enjoy it or is the brainwashing so deeply embedded into me that it has become a part of who I am?

Extreme use of image editing makes the world a very confusing place, especially when you are growing up. I remember ploughing through endless glossy magazines and comparing my weight and looks to each one. I knew they had all been edited but it didn’t seem to matter. I would spend entire days looking up what the weight and height of celebrities are and then comparing myself to images I could find of them on the internet. I would vow that in 6 months time I would look like them – but that is not physically possible.

I find this subject really interesting and I could write for hours about it, but I just wanted to get this out there, in case there are girls and boys reading this that are taking drastic measures to look like the images they see in magazines. They are basically just artistic portrayals of what the editor has been brainwashed to think is a beautiful human.

Would love to hear what your comments are on this subject below

Makeup is NOT just for people who hate the way they look

Beauty, The Beauty Edit, Uncategorized

So, people really liked the look I uploaded on Instagram the other day so I said I would blog the products etc.

Now, I would like to add that I am not a qualified make up artist, I have just loved make up since I was a little girl – applying my mum’s products for her, to create different looks. I must have been about 6/7 the first time I remember doing my mum’s make up, it was also fun time that we shared together – which is probably why it is my go to thing to do to cheer me up when I’m feeling low.

People say that make up is only for people who hate the way they look or that they are trying to hide something. I don’t agree. I like my face – I don’t feel it NEEDS to be covered up – I just enjoy enhancing my natural features and having the skills and flexibility to be able to decide what look I would like to achieve today. With make up you can completely change the way people view you and that makes it both an interesting and powerful tool, in my book.

I also find the application of make up to be a mindful process. When I am focused on creating a smooth wing on my liquid liner, I am not able to also think about that call I don’t want to make later or how much the water bill will be. It is also something that feels like an achievement – a moment of success to start me off in a positive way. Creating a groomed look with a perfectly pencilled eyebrow gives me a sense of satisfaction that other morning activities just don’t inspire. I have never felt quietly proud of my ability to pour granola or drink a cup of tea.

Feeling well groomed is also well known to help with confidence. I have days where I don’t wear make up and I’m totally ok with that. If my skin is pretty clear then I’m fine to walk around bare faced – especially on a Sunday. But I do get a sense of self confidence from knowing that I spent a bit of time on myself today, it is well known that being happy with the way you look has a big impact on your self esteem and that translates into how you hold yourself and interact with others. Now if it’s doing that for me – surely there’s no harm in it? As long as it doesn’t become an ‘I can’t let anyone see me with make up’ obsession I would say it is both a useful and enjoyable hobby, just like most others.

I did have a battle with my love of make up when I went through a feminist realisation a few years ago. It seemed to me that if I felt women should be equal to men I shouldn’t be demeaning myself so low as to masking my female features, an obvious symbol of men’s ever present objectification and sexualisation of the fairer sex. However, I now know that feminism is about being the version of femininity that I want to be, whether that’s with hiking boots and mud under my nails or a Chanel bag and ‘sunset coral’ nail varnish on top of them. Sometimes even both at the same time. And that’s the beauty of it.

So this look takes me 15 mins or less to create. It’s very simple and I like how clean and fresh it looks.

So, I start with the Benefit Porefessional Primer – all over but concentrated on the forehead, nose and chin to hopefully prevent the mid afternoon oil slick.

Then Nars Sheer Glow foundation in Deauville – buffed in all over with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. Yes, I know Nars is on the pricier side, but once you spend s bit more on your foundation you will never go back – trust me.

Then powder all over with Rimmel Stay Matte in transparent – it might be lower end but I haven’t found a better one yet.

I had tired under eyes and a couple of blemishes that I covered with the Soap&Glory Kick Ass Concealer and fixed in place with the great powder you get with it.

I then did a quick dust of the second from the left brown shade in my Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette around the edge of my face and under the cheek bones for a subtle contour.

Eyebrows filled very roughly with the Loreal Brow Artist Shaper pencil in 04 dark brunette

Applied a little bit of Maybelline Colour Tattoo cream eyeshadow in Creme De Rose 91 with my finger, making sure it was all blended out nicely.

I then added a flicked out top liner with Maybelline Master Precise liquid eyeliner pen in Black. Now I do this most days so it takes seconds – but if you are yet to master the elusive beast that is the ‘top liner’ then this may take much longer – it used to take me aaaaaaaaages, so I really do feel your pain.

Then I just put on some Ardell Wispies (false lashes). Once again, I wouldn’t recommend putting these on if you are in a hurry and you haven’t had lots of practice with them. I actually find them quicker than mascara – with far less risk of getting black smudges everywhere (if you are clumsy or have shaky ms hands like me). Use your favourite mascara if you would prefer.

Then, just a quick sweep of blusher from my Makeup Revolution Hot Spice Ultra Blush Palette. I use the second one in on the bottom line. A nice, natural, pretty pink.

Lastly I put a bit of Clarins Lip Perfector on in the shade nude shimmer – this is a nice product but I feel its very overpriced to be honest – and mixed it with a little touch of Urban Decay High Gloss Lip Colour Pencil in crush, just to give a hint of pink.

That’s it! Let me know what you think or if you would like any more information. I have set up links for all the products, so you can see what they are and where to get them.

Is there anything you would like me to blog about – if so please do leave comments – I’m sure I can sort something out!

Until next time 🙂