The Art of Makeup and Self-expression: Depiction of One’s Self-image Through Alternative and Traditional Media

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 3345 |

Pages: 7|

17 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2020

Words: 3345|Pages: 7|17 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2020

Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Statement of the Problem
    Scope and Limitations
  4. Definition of Terms


Makeup has been around for the longest time in our society. It has been used for ages in helping to boost people, especially women's, level of confidence. It ranges from, foundations, concealers, eye shadows, blushes, bronzers, highlighters, and of course, who could forget the glorious and glamorous lippies. In our society today, make up has been booming with the rise of high-end and drugstore products. It has been a popular culture for the people and is currently considered as an art form, especially to us millennials.

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Alongside the bloom of the art form, come with it are negative stereotypes and point of views. With the conservative past of our society and it's limited knowledge about certain subjects, people who often express themselves in a contrasting way from the traditional beliefs and manners of our society, are boxed into categories of which places them in a restrictive state that most of the time, severs their potential to be good citizens in our community.

An example of this is the problem that the artist-researcher aims to address, which is the negative generalization and prejudices that people give to individuals who love make up also known as, “makeup shaming”. The artist-researcher seeks change in this mentality of our society and aims to at least influence the way of thinking that people have towards makeup loving individuals through art, helping alleviate make up shaming and promote body positivity.

During the artist-researcher’s early years, he has already been fascinated with colours, resulting in him being interested with makeup as he grew older. As he got more familiar with this new fascination, he also realized just how makeup shaming was prevalent in the society, viewing makeup loving individuals as unhappy people. This particular social issue inspired him to pursue the study. The artist-researcher will be executing his work as a diptych, mounted on a wooden case with a frame that has hinges in between.

On one of the panels, lights will be attached surrounding the framed work, resembling a vanity mirror. His choice of mediums are Makeup and Acrylic, the new and traditional medias will be applied on two 4x4 ft. Watercolour papers using the traditional paint brushes and makeup brushes ranging from, fluffy kabuki brushes, foundation brushes, blending brushes, eye shadow brushes, and the like.

Two portraits of a girl in different versions of herself is the subject of the artwork. One will be a barefaced looking Filipina, giving off a simple and contented vibe, and will be done in Realism. The other girl will have a more confident and modern feel to her and will be done vibrantly in Expressionism. The two subjects will be facing each other in a mirroring manner.

The reason for this composition is that the artist wanted to portray a simple and contented woman doing her makeup, looking at herself in the mirror and seeing a more confident and free version of her because of makeup. The artist aims to depict how the art of makeup gives people a different type of confidence that isn’t necessarily coming from an insecure use of the art but because the individual wants and feels more free to express and enjoy oneself in a recreational way just as any other art form offers us.

Lastly, the reason for placing mirrors with the work is for it to be an instrument of reflection. For the artist knows that most people’s reflexes when faced with an object reflecting them almost always make them want to check themselves out. The artist-researcher hopes for the mirror to be something where the audience can view themselves while observing the artwork and may it help them to re-access how they feel about their own self-image and confidence.

For every big change starts with something small, so why not start with us. The artist-researcher's work will be having an inspiration from several artists namely, Liza Kondrevich for the concept of the artwork which is face charting, Fabian Dela Rosa for the realistic subject, and Amedeo Modigliani along with Soleil Ignacio for the expressionist subject.


This book will introduce you to makeup and what it offers to an individual’s self-image and confidence, helping to explain how and why it is recognized as a modern day art form. It will also tell you about the artist-researcher's advocacy for the makeup community and the society in general, the other aims of the study, what sparked the idea for his seek of change in perspectives, how he will execute his objectives, and the process of his artworkMakeup and cosmetics are getting more and more prominent in our present day world.

With the rise of drugstore and high-end beauty products, and as our generation shifts from its conservative past to the modern day expressive era, a lot of people of any gender are starting to explore the art of self-expression through makeup and recreation. The growing popularity of makeup isn't really that shocking, as our times change and perspectives transition from a restricting era to a more free-expressing modern day world, art evolves along with it.

Thus, paving way to undiscovered art forms and helping people to realize and classify makeup as an art form, for like the traditional art that rose decades ago, makeup is also something that has elements of colour, gives structure, a new look, and especially a way of expression to an individual who uses it. Makeup gives people a different approach to bring out their individual personas through making their faces as canvases. It made way for new opportunities for people to explore and recreate as to how they want to present themselves.

The said art form gave individuals freedom to let their uniqueness shine in this world of ours where we are often expected to be just like everybody else and restrict ourselves as to what society's standard of beauty is and how it views its people especially women. The artist-researcher decided to pursue this topic because it is very close to his heart.

As an individual who loves to recreate, express and present his uniqueness to the world, he grew a fascination and love for makeup. He discovered as he grew that it gives a different touch of life and vibrancy to someone who sports it and that it allows people to recreate and express themselves the way that art i. e. Painting does. With that in mind, he was inspired to pursue a study about two of the things he loved in the world the most, art and makeup.

Statement of the Problem

As someone who spends his time reflecting about social issues and how he can possibly contribute to the betterment of these, the artist researcher sought problems within the makeup community that he thought needed attention:

  • How can the artist use his artwork to be an instrument of change not only for the designated community but also to the society?
  • How will the artist be able to influence people to see body positivity towards make up through his artwork? -What can the artist do to help voice out the perspective of people who love the art of self-expression through makeup that are victims of makeup shaming? -Who will benefit from the empowerment from against makeup shaming that the artist wants to address through the artwork


The artist-researcher was inspired to give recognition to makeup, a new meaning that will contribute for the people to see it in a different light not only for self-expression but also art. The study has four main objectives:

  • Advocate the use of makeup against makeup shaming by portraying it as a recreational art form that people use to express themselves and add to their confidence not because they are unhappy with how they are, but because they want to be able to recreate themselves and further channel their expressiveness out to the world. .
  • Help with the recognition of makeup as a modern art form that can not only be used on the face but also on a canvas by introducing it as new type of medium alongside a traditional medium.
  • Pay homage to our country's own creations by including Filipino brands as materials to be used in doing the artwork.
  • Promote resourcefulness, by as much as possible, gathering and using expired or almost expired products to maximize resources.

Scope and Limitations

This study will tackle makeup as an art form, its personal connection and how it influences an individual's self-image, confidence and self-expression. It will also discuss a bit on the different types of makeup specifically used on the face which the artist-researcher will also be introducing as a new type of medium along with the tools, but more than that the main focus of the study is how the artist-researcher’s artwork can advocate against makeup shaming.

On that note, although the study is in the category of beauty and cosmetics, it will not be tackling other areas such as skin care and the like. Data for the study will be gathered from books, magazines, journals, blogs, surveys, and interviews to summarize important details of the research. The artwork will be presented as a diptych, mounted on a wooden case with a frame that has hinges in between. It will be executed using Makeup and Acrylic paint as mediums on two 4x4 ft. watercolour papers and set with fixative. Inside, two portraits of a girl will be found, the other one is a simple and barefaced Filipina that gives off a contented ambiance to her face and will be done in Realism.

The other girl will have a full face of makeup on and will be done in Expressionism as a more vibrant, confident, glamorous, and modern version of its counterpart. Also, there will be vertical mirrors attached on the isles of each panel right next to the division of the diptych. The reason for the composition of the artwork is that the artist wanted to portray a simple girl looking into a vanity mirror with contentment with her while putting on makeup.

On the latter side of the vanity shows her view of herself with makeup on, a different and much vibrant version, showing the transition of a simple and gleeful beauty to a more confident and glamorous appeal. Lastly, the reason for placing mirrors with the work is for it to be an instrument of reflection. For the artist knows that most people’s reflexes when faced with an object reflecting them almost always make them want to check themselves out.

The artist-researcher hopes for the mirror to be something where the audience can view themselves while observing the artwork and may it help them to re-access how they feel about their own self-image and confidence. For every big change starts with something small, so why not start with ourselves The artist composed the work in this manner because he wanted to address his message through his artwork that tackles makeup shaming where in individuals who love makeup are viewed and boxed as unhappy people.

This is the artist's stand on body positivity about using makeup, for he believes that there are people such as the artist himself who sports makeup not because they are unhappy with how they are, but because it is for the love of the art form and the different kind of self-expression that makeup allows an individual to experience. The theories that will be incorporated in the study and the artwork are Instrumentalism by John Dewey and Feminism by Bell Hooks.

The artist-researcher’s inspiration for the artwork will be Liza Kondrevich, a Ukrainian makeup artist, Fabian Dela Rosa, a famous Filipino Realist, Amedeo Modigliani, one of the masters of Expressionism, and Soleil Ignacio, A Filipina fashion artistSignificance of the StudyThey say every good thing in the world comes with something bad, for the artist this is especially true.

The booming popularity of make up as an art form in our modern day world is such an awesome opportunity for people of all genders to be able to explore, express, and recreate themselves but along with it are the mentality, stereotypes, and negativity that evidently arises. In our society, people who think or act “out of the box” are most of the time, looked down upon especially if it is contrary to what has been done in history and tradition.

Our times are slowly evolving and transitioning from its conservative past to a new era of liberation. Liberation, not in a negative sense, rather, a time where people are discovering new things each day that add up to their knowledge about certain subjects. With that in mind, it is not really shocking for individuals who love to express themselves with the art of makeup to experience discrimination.

One instance is through Makeup Shaming, it is a term for when people shame an individual for expressing or recreating him or herself through the art of makeup i. e. a lady wearing a full face of makeup on a daily basis. This is especially true in our country, with due respect to our conservative culture, this kind of mentality should really be thought through and be reassessed as something toxic and restricting to an individual’s freedom and right of expression. This is exactly what the artist-researcher was inspired by, he wanted to voice out his own stand about the issue of shaming individuals who love the art of makeup and boxing them as unhappy people.

With all due respect, the artist-researcher acknowledges that there are people in the society who use makeup as a way to hide or because they feel the need to be confident, but as an artist, he wants to use his artwork to advocate and voice out a part of the makeup community that feels and utilizes the art form as how he does, not because they are uncomfortable or unhappy with how they are but because they enjoy it and find the art form as something that can add to their already existing confidence and helps them to express themselves even more. The artist-researcher not only hopes to inspire the designated community but other people and their self-images as well.

For there is a saying, if one feels great, it will surely radiate and that state of confidence can actually help a person to feel good and do good which what our society really needs today. This book will contain bits and pieces of information about the uprising art form which and how it is connected to an individual’s confidence, image and expression. The study will introduce makeup in a new light in the art scene and help people realize and recognize it as something more than just cosmetics. Ranging from an advocacy to the promotion of Filipino products and values, it will show artist-researcher’s process in delivering his message through art using self-knowledge, research facts, and the newly discovered media which is make up.

All this in hopes of influencing a positive change within our society. The artist-researcher hopes to influence and inspire a huge number of people through his work, but the main beneficiaries that he could see are the: People in the makeup community, for the main advocacy of his research are for those people in the society that have the same stand as he does, where they use makeup to better express themselves and to inspire others as well.

The artist-researcher hopes that the people in this community sees that though there are different stands about the art form, there will always be someone that will relate to their choice of self-expression and that what they stand for is valid. Filipino brands and culture, for the artist-researcher’s aim is to promote his own country’s products and values by incorporating them in his artwork. He plans to use make up products created by Filipinos to pay homage to the brilliance of our own creations, the product of our countrymen’s hard work.

He also aims to promote the Filipino value of resourcefulness by using expired or almost expired products to encourage people to maximize their resources and find areas of recreation where they can reuse materials rather than just scrapping resources without full consumption.

Lastly, to the dear Audience, this book is filled with information that will introduce make up to people who don't usually associate with cosmetics and can help them better understand the art within it. The artist-researcher hopes that this study will be an instrument of change that influences and opens people’s minds about what good change and recreation make up can do to an individual and that we should always encourage body positivity in any form we can rather than berate others’ choice of self-expression.

The artist-researcher decided to incorporate the theory in his study because it relates to his advocacy about empowering make up loving individuals, specifically women, who are affected by makeup shaming which is a form of oppression against women. InstrumentalismAccording to the theory, the value of art lies in its social intention and can be used an instrument of change through helping to advance some cause that will, presumably, advance the interests of humanity.

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The theory states that the excellence of an art work is measured by its capacity to serve a purpose and change human behaviour. Cited by Dewey, theories are measured as useful, not whether it is correct or incorrect but how effective they are in explaining a phenomena and that an experience is something that personally affects your life. The artist-researcher decided to incorporate this theory in his study because the main goal of his advocacy is it uses art as an instrument of change within our society’s views toward people who use make up. He aims to use his artwork as an instrument to address makeup shaming and empower body positivity.

Definition of Terms

  • Body Positivity- is acceptance and appreciation of all human body types. It is a social movement rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image, and be accepting of their own and other’s bodies as well.
  • Makeup Shaming- Makeup shaming is something that happens both when women wear and not wear makeup. It is a kind of discrimination towards women concerning makeup.
  • Face Chart- it is a newly discovered way of planning and making studies of makeup looks by makeup artists for their clients.
  • Bronzers- It is a type of makeup that is applied on the skin, specifically where the contours of the face should be i. e. the cheekbones and on the nose. It is used to give shadows and dimensions to the face.
  • Lippies (Lipsticks)- are products applied on the lips to give a pop of colour. It is commonly used to fit the mood of the makeup but now a days are also used to define and sometimes make the lips look bigger.
  • Fluffy Kabuki Brushes- they are flat top brushes that are usually used to apply and blend the foundation; it gives of a smooth finish to the makeup.
  • Foundation Brushes- they usually come in big flat or fluffy sizes and are used to apply foundation to the face.
  • Blending Brushes- are fluffy brushes, usually in the form of small eye shadow brushes that are specifically used for blending pigments.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

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The Art Of Makeup And Self-Expression: Depiction Of One’S Self-Image Through Alternative And Traditional Media. (2020, March 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from
“The Art Of Makeup And Self-Expression: Depiction Of One’S Self-Image Through Alternative And Traditional Media.” GradesFixer, 16 Mar. 2020,
The Art Of Makeup And Self-Expression: Depiction Of One’S Self-Image Through Alternative And Traditional Media. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Feb. 2024].
The Art Of Makeup And Self-Expression: Depiction Of One’S Self-Image Through Alternative And Traditional Media [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Mar 16 [cited 2024 Feb 21]. Available from:
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