Just Wing It

The More Color the Better, Sophomore and Junior Utilize Makeup as a Tool for Expression


Lexie Stewart

Not always sticking to the typical black eyeliner, Stewart lines her eyes with a color that she was feeling. Stewart doesn’t only wear colored looks, but instead bases her choice simply off her mood. “Some days I’m just feeling the brown vibe,” Stewart said.

Deana Trautz, Reporter

Looking down the makeup aisle at common grocery stores, the racks are lined with neutral eyeshadow pallets and black eyeliner. Though these products seem to be what sells to the typical makeup user, junior Cameron Davis and sophomore Lexie Stewart are not buying.

Neutral tones set the foundation for both of them, however Davis says it was when she purchased unconventional colored products that makeup became a mode of expression.

After purchasing a blue mascara, junior Cameron Davis said that everything changed for her. Now leaning more towards colorful, expressive looks, she talks about her confusion as to why people choose more natural tones and shades.

Never limiting herself to only using one color, Davis practices her everyday look. She says how experimenting with makeup is not always easy. “I sometimes mess up and don’t have time to start over,” Davis said. “I’m like, let’s make this look like it was on purpose.”

“I began to think, why are you wearing it just to make it look like you’re not wearing it,” Davis said. “I wanted my makeup to be seen, because if I’m taking my time to do it, I want people to notice.”

She also said how she got contacts to make it easier for others to see her eye makeup.

In middle school color guard, sophomore Lexie Stewart needed to do makeup for performances and at one point she got hers done at Sephora. Stewart says how she watched the lady apply many things onto her face and suddenly felt the urge to recreate everything the employee had been able to do.

“Before I started doing unconventional makeup looks, I used to lock myself in my bathroom with my sister’s makeup and create the weirdest looks, because no one would see it and I just wanted to mess with it,” Stewart said.

Stewart talks about how she eventually had to change her point of view and determine what she truly wanted to get out of wearing makeup.

“I stopped going for the ‘natural and trying to make myself look a little bit prettier’ mindset to simply wanting people to notice that I put purple all over my face,” Stewart said. “Most of all, I wanted them to notice that I intentionally matched my eyeliner and lipstick because I had a purple vibe that day.”

Stewart says she loves makeup for the fact that it holds no restraints. Both say how they think of makeup similar to drawing and keep the mindset that if it can be drawn on paper, it can put it on one’s face.

Davis tells how her perspective on what makeup should be led her to holding herself back.

“It was when I stopped thinking of makeup as something that had to look good for other people, when I could finally stop overthinking it,” Davis said. “I started viewing my eyelids as more of a blank canvas.”

These two don’t believe in typical looks either, but say that they enjoy themed looks as well as those that cross the boundary of your eyelid. Stewart says she takes pleasure in being able to go outside the lines of what most people see as ‘normal’ makeup.

“I could wear sad faces on my eyelids if I wanted to, and when I opened my eyes no one could really see them,” Stewart said. “Being able to create art and have it subtly written on your face is to me, very empowering.”

Not everyone enjoys wearing makeup, Stewart acknowledges, however she says it is completely up to that person. Contouring and highlighting is a relatively new makeup technique typically used to accentuate cheekbones. However, it does not have to be used for the sole purpose of portraying admirable bone structure, Stewart says, addressing some misconceptions on the intention behind makeup.

“When I see a someone, I see the person and on the side I see their makeup,” Stewart said. “I don’t see a person trying to make themselves look prettier, but instead I see art being put on their face.”

Expanding on this, she says how makeup is an artform and not a representation of the person wearing it. Stewart clarified that she uses contour simply to use it, not for the objective of making herself look better to others.

“I don’t contour to make people look at my cheekbones, I contour because I want my contour to look good that day,” Stewart said.

Both Stewart and Davis talk about how everyone reacts differently to their makeup decisions. Some reactions however, as they confirm they have had several critics here and there, are not as positive as others.

“When I do get a negative reaction, it just makes me want to do it more,” Stewart said. “Once I decided I was going to do bright pink on my eyelids and purple on my lips cause I wanted to show everyone that I can.”

Having experienced similar criticism, Davis adds on, theorizing the intent of those putting down their more unconventional makeup looks.

“It’s always out of jealousy, because I can pull it off and they can’t,” Davis said. “Or they don’t have the confidence to do it themselves and they are jealous I did it first.”

Other than the difference in how people look at her, Stewart says that wearing colorful makeup feels no different than wearing a more neutral look. She says this is because her decision between colorful and neutral depends purely on her feelings. Regardless of what she chooses to look like each day, Stewart ensures that what she is creating is genuine and from the heart.

Almost every day, Davis creates her look according to her mood. If she is feeling angry, she’ll do a darker eye look. If she is feeling light and happy, she says her makeup will most likely be more pink and purple. Davis describes how she uses makeup to express her feelings.

“If I’m feeling angry, then I’ll do my makeup like I am just unstoppable,” Davis said. “Not only does it portray my feelings, but also whether you should compliment me on my makeup, or not talk to me.”

Recognizing that everyone has insecurities and they may change day to day, Davis recommends to not only dress and look how you feel but sometimes even better than you feel. She advocates for using makeup as a tool for emphasis and says how by creating bright lips or using colorful eyeshadow, it makes her feel like people are more likely to notice the things she loves most about herself.

“For those days that I’m feeling a little more insecure, makeup always helps me, even if it’s just a matter of putting on a bit of lipstick,” Davis said. “I think it is about taking the things that you like most about yourself and making them more vivid.”

Davis clarified that how she expresses herself may be completely different than how the next person expresses themselves, and that is okay.

“Expression comes in different forms,” Davis said.

She tells a story of how one day she wore a pink dress and soon everyone commented on her new pastel aesthetic. The following day when she wore all black, they became confused and immediately mentioned how she must have turned emo. Davis says that people wish to see patterns and if one does something unexpected, those around will not hesitate to point it out. However, she says in order to be one’s true self, it is vital to push aside these expectations.

“Never label yourself or limit yourself to others expectations, not even your own,” Davis said. “You should never put yourself in a box because expression is about being open.”

Confirming that it can be easy to go with the flow and live according to what other’s want, Davis says that it is just as easy to tell when one is faking it. Though people may judge her for wearing unconventional makeup, she stresses that there is only one way to rightfully be confident.

“It’s always clear when someone is trying to portray someone that they are not,” Davis said. “The best way to keep your confidence is to be genuine.”