Featured Franklin students (clockwise from top left) Kara Jamieson (10), Brianna Uc López (11), Haley Nguyen (10) and Amy Cao (12). These students are exhibiting each of the makeup aesthetics they feel suits them the most. Photo via subjects. 

Makeup is more prevalent nowadays, with almost every person having used some kind of makeup product at least once in their life. Even middle schoolers are skipping their awkward phase and jumping right into their pretty, baddie era. In spite of the popular belief that makeup is just a way for people to promote superficiality or a way to mask their imperfections and insecurities, its benefits go beyond beauty and looks. It contains cultural aspects as well. For example, the Egyptians used an eyeliner called Kohl, which both men and women of all classes used for protection from eye health risks. Other cultures used makeup to signify a representation, such as Geishas using red lipstick and painting the rest of their face white. Makeup has always been a tool and platform for people of all genders to express their individuality and enhance their confidence. It brings out people’s creativity and gives people the chance to discover themselves and their preferences since makeup revolves around self-preferences. With social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube being more accessible to a lot of people, users are able to keep up with makeup trends and aesthetics, which is a way for them to discover their individuality and preferences. 

I’ve been getting more into makeup lately because of social media influencers, and also because of personal events, such as cheer. I’ve been experimenting with makeup looks, and some of them either don’t suit me, or I just can’t do them. There are many different kinds of makeup looks and aesthetics that people are fond of, but here are some of the latest looks that have been trending all over the internet, and what I usually see around Franklin (along with some of their downsides). 

Clean Girl Makeup

Pictured above is sophomore Kara Jamieson flaunting the “Clean Girl” makeup. Photo via Kara Jamieson. 

The “Clean Girl” aesthetic is something that’s been circulating the internet recently, with most people associating it with Hailey Beiber. This makeup aesthetic mainly focuses on the “no makeup” makeup aspects, or “looking pretty without trying.” Glowy, radiant skin, fluffy brushed-up brows, a little bit of mascara, blush, and some lipgloss are indicators of this look. This makeup look has been used by Black and Brown women even before it was rebranded as this “clean girl” aesthetic by White women on the internet (failing to credit the Black and Brown women who have pioneered this look for years). On top of that, this look has caused some controversies regarding its toxicity and accessibility. Online netizens claimed that this look is associated mainly with skinny women with little to no skin imperfections, which is, according to them, clearly pushing another impossible ideal and beauty standard on women. Nevertheless, I’ve seen people of all skin types and ages pull this off. Sophomore Kara Jamieson (pictured above) asserts that she likes how natural it looks, and how easy it is to be an “everyday look.” Jamieson also emphasizes the fact that it’s important to moisturize first to keep the skin healthy and radiant, which is one of the vital parts of the look.

Copy and Paste Latina Makeup

Junior Brianna Uc López with shiny black straight hair, long lashes and perfectly arched brows, the perfect description for the Copy and Paste makeup. Photo via Brianna Uc López.

If you’re on Tiktok, then you’ve probably heard of this makeup look, as it’s been all over the social media platform, along with others, recently. This makeup look typically consists of Latinas having dark straight hair, long lashes, full lips, and perfectly made eyebrows, which junior Brianna Uc López (pictured above) said she gets the most compliments with. López advises other people who want to try this style to take their time and have fun with it. However, some people from the internet commented that, though these girls are gorgeous, this makeup trend is calling for stereotypical misrepresentation because it reduces Latina’s individuality, and makes people think of themselves as only a “copy and paste” of each other. 

Asian Baddie Makeup

Sophomore Haley Nguyen representing the Asian Baddie makeup style. Photo via Haley Nguyen.

Similar to the previous makeup style, the Asian Baddie makeup trend consists of long fake lashes, well-made arched eyebrows, full lips, and typically bleached or balayage hair. Piercings, tattoos, and long nails are also the perfect icing on the cake. When asked about what they like about this specific makeup style, sophomore Haley Nguyen responded, “it’s sexy, it makes me feel confident, [and] it’s the most suitable for me.” Nguyen also added that it might be different for everyone: “People have different skin types and preferred looks, so what I would say about this makeup style is wear what you feel and look confident and comfortable in trying out new things!” Some people might recognize this makeup style from the viral “Asian Baby Girl (ABG)” trend from a while ago. However, this is the less politically correct term as ABG was used as a derogatory term for Southeast Asian females that are affiliated with gangs in the 90s, compared to the current definition which is an Asian girl with heavy makeup, tattoos, and a boba addiction.

Douyin or Cute Girl Makeup

Senior Amy Cao with the sparkly eye makeup, the main point of the Douyin makeup trend. Photo via Amy Cao.

This makeup style is what you can probably notice from afar, with the shimmers of glitter on their eyes twinkling. This is an Asian makeup trend popularized by Douyin (Chinese Tiktok) influencers. This makeup trend focuses on the eyes, and on looking like a soft, innocent, living grown-up doll. Its notable features include glittery eye makeup and accentuated “aegyo sal,” a Korean-derived term for fat under the eyes. Senior Amy Cao comments that she loves how this makeup style emphasizes her features, especially the enhancement effect it does on her eyes. “I feel like makeup is so versatile and can express,” Cao says, and adds that she mostly focuses on warm and pink tones in her makeup. Since this makeup style was specifically catered towards Asians and their features, questions of cultural appropriation arose when non-Asians started using this makeup style. 

Makeup is a great way to express and boost our creativity and confidence, however, it’s always advisable to be mindful of what products and makeup styles we use in order to avoid misconceptions relating to its cultures and history. Makeup is all about expressing and experimenting what you feel confident in and what you think suits you the most, so never be afraid of trying out and hopping on different trends!

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