(via Atessa Nicole/Amused Eye)
The Cultural Basis of the Natural Beauty Trend
Yesterday, I wrote about the 4-steps I take to get myself natural-looking coverage using clean, green, cruelty-free beauty products. Most of the time, including right now, that laid-back look is what I opt for.
There are also shifts taking place in the industry, which seek to redefine what contemporary society views as desirable, or beautiful, in a more inclusive way. Beauty and fashion are reflecting the drive for social change to reflect contemporary values, from environmentalism and animal rights, to the demand for more stringent regulation and non-toxic products, and even gender inclusivity.
We are collectively sending the message that modern beauty is inclusive. They are socially constructed, after all, shaped and formed by communities and social contexts. In order to make it clear that true beauty does not mean conformity to an unhealthy or unnatural standard of perfection, natural, real beauty is being given a chance to shine. Not to mention, non-toxic beauty that won't harm us, the environment, or our animal friends.
I consider this to be an important social development, particularly when the billion-dollar high fashion is paving the way towards adopting new, pro-health, inclusive beauty standards for all.
4 Steps for an Even Base
Without sending the message that we have to hide ourselves or cover anything up in order to socially accepted or considered beautiful, my self-esteem takes a major blow when I have a breakout marring my face. I'm literally a nicer person when I feel empowered by my makeup and my outfit. And that being said, some days call for better coverage. If I have an event for work, a formal dress code, a date night with Tom, or want to look and feel more put-together, this is how I achieve an even complexion using all non-toxic, cruelty-free beauty products.
Crunchi Smart Primer ($48)
As I explained yesterday, this green, clean, anti-aging miracle-worker is my favorite primer right now. It blends cosmetic capacity with skincare's function. As a Virgo, multi-tasking is obviously ideal.
Lawless Woke Up Like This Foundation ($46)
This entire line is incredible, I am a huge fan of Lawless. This is medium-coverage, high quality foundation. The bottles are glass just like a luxury product, although the pump does tend to get a little bit messy.
1 Pump Oasis + 1 Pump Kalahari = My Perfect Shade
Finding the right shade can be a bane. I use my customized foundation from Bare Minerals (link) to achieve mine, which is how I discovered that mixing one pump of these two shades — Oasis and Kalahari — is what creates my perfect shade. If I just use Kalahari, I look a little bit too tan; if I just use Oasis, I look undead (too pale).
Lawless Seal the Deal Loose Setting Powder ($36)
Set your foundation to reduce shine and make it last longer by applying some loose powder. I like this one because its talc-free. I learned from an M.U.A. named Paris Manning that if you mix a bit of translucent powder with your foundation, you'll get a fabulous filter-like finish in your photos. This is totally true! The only challenge is that when you have dry skin like me, this can make you look extra dry up close. That being said, the beauty hack really does make a difference in photos.
(via Celebrity Who Not)
What does this have to do with wellness? Everything! It's no accident that messages of self-love, self-care, self-acceptance, and support are rampant in the media. The reason is that for years, beauty and fashion have taken flak for perpetuating unhealthy beauty ideals and unattainable standards of perfection. Now, they're responding by challenging us to open our minds to the broader conceptualizations of beauty they are presenting. In order for the change to take place, we, the consumers, have to open our minds to the healthier beauty standards they are circulating.
Above, runway model Winnie Harlow and totally-inspiring badass owns her unique look. Rather than allowing us to stigmatize her or deem her the unfortunate recipient of a disease, she is trailblazing the way as an unconventional It-girl. Suffice it to say that I adore unconventional It-girls, as well as unconventional everything. She inspires me like whoa.
Most are kind of aloof to the social undercurrents driving the industry. But millennials are totally on board with this, consciously or not. In general, they tend to prefer skincare to cosmetics. They are all about owning and proudly repping a self-asserted definition of individualized and inclusive beauty — just like Winnie does. For the younger generation, they will forever be able to associate runway models less with cookie-cutter ideals, and more with the inner-strength and boldness it takes to strut down a runway in front of the world's most discerning crowd.
Whether your personal sense of beauty comes from an internal or external source, the vibe of the day is very much to respect the individual's right to self-determination. Whether the social construct is gender, or the concept of beauty, we are all being challenged to broaden our minds, to push back against our lifelong conditioning, and to value our differences — not just conformity.
You can totally support this movement and still feel free to cover up the imperfections on your complexion — but to do so with the new self-awareness of our times means to know that you're beautiful both with and without the even-tone brought on by foundation. You don't need that flawless base because we all have bad-face-days (except for Angelina Jolie). We even have role models like Alicia Keyes, a celebrity who has eschewed makeup altogether, to prove that a new way of thinking is taking root.
No matter what, you have a right to feel good in your own skin. If cosmetics and makeup are a part of that, power to you (they obviously are for me). Just know that your intention matters. Think of beauty as that which allows your truest self to shine through optimally, not as covering up something to be ashamed of.
What is your favorite foundation? Tell me on Instagram!
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