Makeup shaming made a big, loud comeback last week when Lindsay Lohan commented “Too much make-up” on two of Ariana Grande’s Instagram posts.


Although the celebrity female criticism is new, Ariana is no stranger to shaming. She’s been body-shamed, ponytail-shamed, and endlessly trolled. She wrote on Instagram, “Sigh….. tweets, comments, statement like this are not okay. About anyone!!! We live in a day and age where people make it IMPOSSIBLE for women, men, anyone to embrace themselves exactly how they are. Diversity is sexy! Loving yourself is sexy!”

Celebrity feud bait aside, this seemingly small action – a “too much” comment — is part of a larger trend. Can you provide feedback without shaming? Is it ever okay to comment on someone else’s personal care choices? Is the line at highlighter, glitter, contour, filler, cosmetic surgery?

We all need to hear this message loud and clear: you can love yourself and still love makeup and cosmetics.

That’s doesn’t mean we live in a no-feedback zone. We can provide feedback on appearance. The key is to do it without shaming. It takes a little practice, but we can learn to support different without adding good or bad. After all, who among us hasn’t found herself with sideways eyebrows or mismatched foundation?

If you’re not sure how provide appearance feedback constructively, sit down at a makeup counter and ask what your artist thinks of your current look. Brand ambassadors have a wonderful way of telling you what could work better or differently, versus saying your choices are wrong or bad. For example, “How do you feel about this color? I feel like this look is a little orange on you. Tell me what you wanted, and let’s figure it out.” Or, sometimes they’re more direct: “Can I be honest? I’d like to see a stronger brow on you. Could I show you?” They know how to convey a positive message while building your excitement to try something new. You can use that same technique with friends, co-workers, even strangers to align them to your vision.

We can also own the beauty of our natural faces. Let’s be honest: we all wake up some mornings, look in the mirror, and say, “Ugh.” (Especially during the holidays!) Makeup can give us the aircover to work on owning our beauty.

A split-frame photo is a great way to start empowering yourself. During the summer of 2015, beauty vlogger and #mua NikkieTutorials started launched the hashtag #ThePowerofMakeup (video) to combat shaming. She posted a half-face photo to showcase how she uses makeup to change her look. Thousands of people have since joined in, posting and tagging their own photos. By posting a photo with and without makeup, #ThePowerofMakeup both shows the person is comfortable with their bare face and that they use make-up for themselves. It’s a simple and brilliant way to shut down shaming.


#ThePowerofMakeup focuses on the positive reasons that we use makeup. It’s fun. It makes us feel great about ourselves. It let us try different looks, explore other parts of our personalities. Makeup can give us a little pick-me-up on a day when we’re not feeling so confident, or a boost to reach the next level.

Taking it a step further, ipsy founder Michelle Phan has written about how we can feel empowered in our makeup choices. Makeup can help you fake it ‘til you make it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Use all the tools at your disposal to be YOUR very best.

Let’s celebrate our own choices (hello, bright Tuesday lips!) and continue to defend one another’s choices. Let’s wear makeup for ourselves, because it’s fun and we love it. Let’s take care of our skin because it’s important to our overall health. Let’s celebrate the wider scope of people and looks being added to Big Beauty advertising campaigns. Your face is yours. Celebrate it!

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