Is the Way We Use Makeup Changing?
Cosmopolitan UK|April 2016

This is Laura Capon. She is 29, and this is her face on a normal day...but now she’s selfie ready.

Laura Capon

 

How many selfies have you taken this year? A quick scroll through my Instagram feed reveals I’ve shared a well-edited nine. But my camera roll tells a more truthful tale: one that reveals more than 120 failed selfie attempts. 

At 29, I consider myself one of the lucky ones; I grew up offline and all my cringey teenage photos are in a box safely hidden under my bed. Up until I was 18 all my photos were taken at a normal angle. Now that candid snap on a night out is a 12 megapixel, high-resolution photograph that’ll end up on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and god knows where else by the time this story is published. Because that’s how we all live now: camera-ready from wake-up to shuteye. And what comes with that is not only a whole lot of unnecessary pressure on the way we look, but also a huge impact on the way we feel about ourselves. 

This is the age of the selfie generation – a league of women for whom the online inspiration is the likes of Kylie Jenner, singers Pia Mia and Ariana Grande, and social-media megastar Huda Kattan – aka Huda Beauty – the 32-year-old beauty blogger who has more Instagram followers than Barack Obama. Scroll through any under-25’s Instagram feed and you’ll see them: an army of selfie clones, all pouting and posing with the most immaculate makeup you’ve ever seen. This is not the makeup I knew when I was 17; here each brow hair has been painstakingly drawn on, lips are meticulously overlined and Angelina-esque cheekbones are carved out of youthful, plump cheeks. Faces look like something out of Madame Tussauds – and they are all eerily similar. It’s actually hard to find a bad picture of anyone born the right side of 1990. The selfie generation know the art of manipulating their own image. Ask them about their makeup techniques and they’ll invoke strange terms such as ‘baking’ (using a heavy layer of powder to ‘set’ your concealer for an intensified highlight); ‘strobing’ (the new buzzword for highlighting), and even ‘clown contouring’ (literally painting your face like a clown with contour and highlight – seen as a good thing in some circles). All these, it should be noted, are not new makeup techniques; they’re practices long used by another community – one well versed in the fine art of image manipulation: drag queens.

I’ll be honest: it all sounds like a lot of hard work, even for a makeup addict like me. Still, I’m intrigued. Sure these makeup techniques work on celluloid, but in real, organic life? So I’ve decided to put these makeup techniques to the test. For one week I’ll bake, strobe and contour, and Instagram the results. And more crucially, I’ll wear this makeup as I go about my everyday life.

SELFIE READY

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM COSMOPOLITAN UKView All

'Personal Brands Are Built On Being Genuine'

Award-winning broadcaster and best-selling author EMMA GANNON, 29, on how to get ahead in a modern world

2 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
July 2019

Strong, Fit And 300lb

Model, activist and now... unlikely fitness icon. Tess Holliday opens up about her wellness journey

4 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
July 2019

Mix & Match

If February is for couples, then single people are claiming March as their own. Why? According to research recently released by Tinder, March was the UK’s most active month on the app last year, making a match more likely. The reason? Spring, thinks Tinder’s dating and trend expert Dr Darcy Sterling: “New beginnings are everywhere, so it’s a natural time for romantic connections to bloom.” Want to stand out from the prime-time-swipe crowd? The data suggests that being tagged as an entrepreneur, adventurer or scholar earns women the most right-swipes. *Changes bio immediately*

3 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
April 2019

She's A Cockney Rebel

Last summer’s Love Island winner became the most talked-about woman in the UK – simply by being herself. But when the cameras stop rolling, who is the real Dani Dyer?

10 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
April 2019

My Best Sex Ever Was… With A Reality-TV Star

For Olivia,* a work event brought her face to face with her ultimate fantasy…

3 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
April 2019

“I've Finally Discovered Love Doesn't Have To Be Limited To One Person”

A year into his polyamorous journey, Jack* has found himself somewhere he never expected – in happy, committed relationships with two separate women

3 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019

Rape Porn Industry

While Hollywood reels from the fallout of #MeToo, another film industry is imploding under the weight of its own storm of sexual misconduct allegations. The only issue: that industry is porn. Which means not everyone is willing to listen. Catriona Innes investigates

10+ mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019

How I Medicated With Make-Up

When a lipgloss soothes a young girl’s pain of being bullied, what happens next? LAURA CAPON explains what life is like when you’re addicted to cosmetics

8 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019

The Obama Love Rules

A bit of relationship advice from the former First Lady (with a little help from her friend Oprah)? Oh, go on then

4 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019

“Embrace Your Lows As The Best Lesson”

How KATRINA LAKE, 35, founder of Stitch Fix, turned her jackpot idea into a billionpound styling service…

2 mins read
Cosmopolitan UK
February 2019
RELATED STORIES

¿Las fotos sexys nos suman poder o son molestas?

Sí, te ves ultrahot en esa foto con tu bikini… pero ¿tus seguidores tienen que aprobarla? Dos lectoras explican sus puntos de vista.

2 mins read
Cosmopolitan en Español - México
Julio 13 - 2019

How Giphy Became the Internet's Go-To Gif Brand

Giphy is taking on the biggest, weirdest branding challenge online today: How to become the go-to company for a new kind of internet culture.

10+ mins read
Entrepreneur
April 2016

Why More Brands Are Embracing Plus-Size Models

Marketers are embracing plus-size models as body-positive selfies and hashtags storm social media.

3 mins read
ADWEEK
April 25, 2016

Get My Good Side

Can you change the features you're born with? Contouring says yep, you can. From skin care to surgery, here's everything you need to know.

10 mins read
Instyle UK
October 2015

सावधान : कहीं सेल्फी से खो न जाये आत्मसम्मान

एक सॉफ्टवेयर के जरिये डेढ़ लाख से ज्यादा महिलाओं की तस्वीरों का हुआहै दुरुपयोग

1 min read
Prabhat Khabar Kolkata
December 09, 2021

¿Quién eres? según tus selfies

Averigua lo que esconden tus fotos de tu personalidad; ellas dicen mucho más de lo que piensas.

4 mins read
Familia Saludable
Junio 2017, 324

Future Of Selfies

Narcissism is the security of tomorrow.

3 mins read
August Man SG
April 2017

20 Reasons Selfies Are Banned Around the World

Selfies were all over the news in 2015. And as of January 2016 Mumbai police have identified 15 places where taking selfies is dangerous.

1 min read
Woman's Era
November First 2016

An Open Letter To All The Selfies

Writer and selfie connoisseur Regina Belmonte on her love-love relationship with self-portraits.

5 mins read
Candy Philippines
July 2016