Friday, May 22, 2009

This week, I was surfing when I came across Michelle Phan’s channel. She’s one of those Youtube gurus that do makeup tutorials. (I kind of secretly wish it would rain on her parade) After watching some of her tutorials, I realized how much makeup I have. What makes it worse is that I don’t actually wear half the stuff I have. My morning makeup routine takes two minutes. Maybe three for special occasions. I swirl my brush in the middle so it tends to make a dent in the middle until it “hits pan”. Once this happens, I throw it away.

After watching Michelle Phan’s tutorial, I realized that there are several creative things I can do with makeup. Instead of throwing the makeup away when it hits pan, I can grind the left over makeup powder to make pigment. I can then use this pigment for things like lip gloss, eye shadow, and blush. This works well especially if I decide that I want to mix colors. On this note, I will also be a more conscious consumer when I buy makeup in the future. I never really took the time out to think about corporate responsibility or earth friendly products, but I think that these are some important factors to consider when purchasing a makeup product.

The second thing that came to my mind after watching Michelle Phan’s makeup tutorials is the dramatic ganguro makeup. This made me realize how makeup can mean different things in different contexts. For the ganguro of Japan, it is their way of expressing their group affiliation. “I asked the difference between a mamba and a celemba…mambas use white eyeshadow around the eyes but the celembas use silver instead.”

As you can see from the upper right corner of the sephora image above, the US has also adopted a milder form of the ganguro look.The paradox here is that ganguro has roots in the tan look of many Southern California natives. (It is essentially the US copying the Japanese copying Southern California.) The US has transformed the ganguro look and reappropriated it so that it is “culturally odorless”. This is just an example of how makeup can have different meanings in different contexts.
Japanese teens as producers of street fashion

No comments: