Make it up

Full disclosure, I am NOT amazing with make-up. Mostly I know the theory. I can make a semi straight, almost symmetrical cat eye. Yeah!

But have you seen kids these days? Go around Instagram for a second, They. are. AWESOME! Like, seriously, that's black magic right there.

Truth is I love it. My relationship with make-up started the same way as with many others: trough my mum. Now, you don't know her, so you'll have to take my word for it when I say she's awesome. I've referred to her look many times as Dark Queen of the Eighties. You know that brown eyeliner, dark lipstick and the mystery look of someone that has a dirty little secret that no one knows of? That's the one. She's a cool cat.

When I stole her make-up box to make some experiments of my own (at a pretty young age... around 4/6 years old?) two very obvious things happened: a) I ruined a lot of make-up and b) had a blast! Now I've told you mum is amazing, so she wasn't even mad. She grabbed the things with me and taught me what she knew. I felt so cool.

Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood 2015

All this to tell you that make-up is a subject close to my heart. Do not tell me that "it's just make-up". It's on your face, that's your first impression right there! And you tell me it's nothing? Please.

Make-up defined movements trough the generations. You can't have the punks without eyeliner. You can't have the 60's without false lashes. You can't have rockabilly without the lipstick. It's an expression of you, your group and your era,

But let me continue this story. Somewhere along life, things came up that I do not love about make-up. And all tough we started out as playful friends, trying out all the colours (yes, believe me, ALL the colours... it wasn't pretty but hell it was fun!) and enjoying every second of it, today I see it more as war paint. It became about giving me power: if I'm wearing my grey lipstick just to go grocery shopping, it probably means I used all my strength to get out of bed that morning.
Twiggy in her signature look

If my eyebrows are extra sharp I believe that I can ace that job interview (even if I really don't). And if I just need to be on top of the world, red lipstick is the way to go! It impacts my mood in a way that is even hard to explain. It's that big.

Make-up is not about beauty. It's so much more. Over the last years the conversation about gender has been a pretty hot topic, with make-up at it's centre. Just look how much more we're seeing of the world of Drag Queens, masters of make-up. I'm a firm believer in equality and couldn't care less about gender definition (you do you), but the interpretations on the ultra femme do make me smile. And I remember once again that first clash with make-up, I remember it being all about having fun, going crazy, experimenting! And I wonder about all the people who never tried on lipstick and how that must feel. And that maybe I'm wrong and no lipstick is a very cool life.

What I do know is that Make-up is a statement. It can be a weapon and a shield. And calling it frivolous annoys the hell out of me.

Ryan Burke