What is a feminist approach to wearing makeup?
Makeup artist Mark Carrasquillo backstage with M.A.C Cosmetics at Chalayan.
I wasn’t expecting to have a chat about
feminism and makeup when I interviewed Mark Carrasquillo backstage at Chalayan, but he launched into the discussion while effortlessly drawing in an arched and angled brow on a model. “I’ve had a lot of conversations with
young women who are feminists,” said Carrasquillo. “And I started thinking we went really far away from female beauty for a long time. So now I’m playing with every trick of the female.” Tricks of the female? “An eyebrow is a trick; a lip is a trick,” he said. “That’s why I did a lot of lips this season. I am playing with the idea of femininity in a female, feminist way. So it’s empowering. We are using the colour blue on the eye, because often women are afraid of colour. It can feel beautiful and uplifting and powerful. It’s not making your eye bigger or more sexy or changing anything. Wear it because you love it. We’ve been telling them to use no-makeup makeup for so long that we’ve basically embarrassed women out of wearing colour, and I’m bored with that.”
This isn’t your “old-lady blue” either. Using products from M.A.C Cosmetics, Carrasquillo blended Acrylic Paint in Pure White with Hi-Def Cyan to create a soft blue that he then applied to the crease of the eye and covered with clear lipgloss.
He says that young women are smart, savvy and secure in who they are, so when they use a “beauty trick,” it’s because they want to; it’s not to correct some perceived failing. “It’s not like they are saying they want bigger lips,” he said. “No, it’s like, ‘I want to wear fuchsia lipstick so I am going to wear it. And if I don’t wear it, I don’t care either.’ They switch back and forth between being scrubbed clean to made up. They live their lives much broader.” “Sometimes it seems that makeup is becoming a shameful thing,” he said, his eyebrows raising in disbelief. “How did that happen? I still love it when I go out and I see a woman in a full-blown look. I’m excited by it. It’s so boring to see people with no haircut, so to speak. It’s all under the umbrella of good taste.“ He paused for a moment, thinking about what he just said, and then shook his head. “Maybe we need to un-umbrella ourselves and get some bad taste.”
ELLE Canada on feminism
Why a fashion girl can also be a feminist
Feminism’s online renaissance