16 May

Always Made up

I was just looking through Jezebel (again…) and came across this article. (

Charlotte Tillbury never removes her makeup unless she’s alone. She is a makeup artist that caters to many celebrities and believe that she is helping women feel better about themselves. She says that people reactions about her appearance change depending on if she is or isn’t wearing makeup. The majority of the article is her discussing her makeup routine and all of the products she uses. At the end she says, “I realized makeup is a huge part of really enhancing and playing up somebody’s features to their advantage. Beauty is power, and makeup is something that really enhances that; it’s a woman’s secret weapon”. This reminds me of several readings from class about how makeup and other beauty rituals are often done not only for the individual but also for the audience. 


Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Always Made up

  1. leafelhai

    May 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I was really struck by this quote from the article:

    “I made the mistake of showing a boyfriend my un-made-up face once, and it was a big disaster. He was like, ‘What happened to your eyes?!’ And I told him, ‘…No, you’re right, those are my eyes, not these.’” [Laughs]

    For Tilbury, her naked (natural) eyes don’t reflect her “real” (internally defined) eyes, and makeup helps to bring her inner self and her outer body into agreement. This idea reminds me a lot of the conception discussed in Bordo of body and self as separate entities. For Tilbury and many others, makeup helps to tame and train the “bear” that is the imperfect human body.

    This article also made me think of permanent makeup (tattoos that create certain cosmetic effects), something I don’t think we’ve discussed much in our class. I think permanent makeup serves a different function than temporary makeup because it alters a person’s basic image in a more fundamental way. Regular makeup can be applied and taken off depending on the occasion (darker eyeshadow for nighttime events, for example), but permanent makeup provides a new “baseline” for the appearance of someone’s face. Permanent makeup adds dimensions to the natural/artifice and makeup/cosmetics binaries.

    For examples of what permanent makeup can do, check out these sites:

    And in case you thought permanent makeup was a modern idea, think again– it’s been happening since your grandma was a young girl!:

  2. goodyeak

    May 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    The quote “You’ve just really matured; you look really great now. It was like, Oh my god. This is the power of makeup. It made a massive difference on my face. After that, I never wanted to be seen without makeup ever again. And I made that pact, from that day onwards: I sleep in my makeup.” really stood out to me when reading the article.

    When Tilbury returns from boarding school in England all of a sudden wearing makeup she transforms herself from a little girl to that of a mature young women. This reminds me when Kathy Peiss talks about makeup as a right of passage from childhood into womanhood. In “Hope in a Jar” Peiss states that “for young women, makeup declared adult status — social and sexual maturity” (188).

    Tilbury’s choice therefore to continue wearing makeup upon returning home signifies her own change, from a little girl to an independent woman. I think it is significant therefore that she discovers the application of makeup after moving away from home as it suggests that her choice was really a personal one. For her makeup gives her the confidence and the power to achieve whatever she wants on her own. I wonder therefore if she acquaints not wearing makeup to herself as a little girl, associating makeup with her independence?


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