Is makeup considered as an art form?

An argument on the topic of makeup being considered as an art form, or not.

Please leave comments on this essay.

Is makeup considered as an art form?

Is makeup considered as an art form?

I have decided to base my argument on this topic, as I believe it to be an important and relevant topic in society today. Makeup is commonly used day to day by every one of any age and gender, but the argumentof it being an art form is one that is always being debated.

People nowadays may argue that people are very open to using makeup, claiming that it expresses who they are, and it is a form of art. Well this is not true. The question of how can your makeup express you when it is exactly the same as a million other girls on social media? Instead of expressing themselves they are simply expressing the person before them, who they copied the makeup ideas/inspiration form. So surely this cannot be art? Over lining your lips and painting your face to a whole new perspective of yourself is not art. Covering your blemishes is not art, nor is drawing out your eyebrows exactly the same as the model on Instagram. However when make up is used for drag, costume and theatre, it can them be considered as art as it is a part of a performance/act and is used to express the character. As well as this, eye makeup although it can look pretty artistic with bold colour and cut creases with perfect eyeliner, wearing basic everyday eye makeup every time you put makeup on and claiming it’s you expressing yourself through art, does not make makeup an art. Your face can be a canvas but not everyone can create art.

Furthermore, how many times has this image been seen on social media?

Image result for makeup looks

Art is supposed to be unique and its supposed to stand out. Many people will say that a bare face with no makeup, natural blemishes and maybe a few spots, with not so perfect eyebrows or facial structure is more artistic than a flawless makeup, because everyone looks different and imperfections are beautiful. Artistic makeup like drag and pop art is definitely more interesting to look at compared to a makeup look like this. More to this, an anonymous person quoted “I find that people feel like you have to wear makeup, and you have to be artistic and have it perfect to be excepted, but I wear makeup because I like to yet I wouldn’t call it art because its basic”. This shows, first hand, that people who wear makeup are wearing it not because they’re insecure or want to express their artistic traits through their faces, but because they like too and feel that some people make it that you have to be arty to do “good” makeup.

Arguing against this, people argue that faces are made up of lines. Makeup artists, much like a painter or someone who does sketches and sculpture work, create lines in there working using dark colours and blending them all out. In makeup you can clearly see the use of lines when doing contour, eyeliners and lip liner, so how is this not art? As well as this we need to put colour correction into consideration. Much like the way painters mix colours to create new colours, a makeup artist will mix foundations or different colours eye shadows to match there desired finish. Understanding that everyone’s skin colours are different, and blemishes and spots often affect the colours used; the colour of wheel is an important aspect of a makeup artists journey with makeup. It is also important for them to consider hair colours eye, skin colours of different shaded, all so the makeup will mach. Now if this doesn’t sound like art then I don’t know what does, because this procedure of matching and making new colours is exactly what an artist’s goes through when designing his/hers work. 

As well as this, when discussing this topic we need to understand the use of tools. As a painter has there paint brushes and a palate, sketch artists have their pencils and paper and the occasional box of chalks, makeup artists also have tools. They have their numerous amounts of brushes used at different parts of their faces and palettes containing different coloured eye shadows and blushers. To an untrained eye, paint and foundation brushes may seem like the exact same thing, but they differently are not, yet this does not mean makeup is not an art. Makeup artist will often grow the amount of tools they use as there makeup skills advance, much like an artist would as they; earn new things when either painting, drawing etc. Finally, makeup is an art form because of artistic abilities. Much like those who love to paint or draw, etc. Makeup artists will love doing what they do. “a creative soul cannot be kept still for very long”, this is said for artists so why can’t it be for makeup artists either? An artist is wild, and you can clearly see the difference between people who are more individual with their work and are unique, compared to those who are or mainstream and stick to the more basic and common makeup looks.

Personally, I find that makeup should be considered an art form as much like artists, creativity and skills are used to create a final piece. I believe that a face is a canvas, used to express yourself and try new things using makeup. Although I don’t believe that you need to be artistic to do makeup, as there really is not a proper way to do makeup, it is completely personal to the person doing it and how well the makeup[ colours match their skin, hair colour eyes etc.

This is a user generated post from our Arts Award on Voice community and was not edited by the Voice team. We would love to hear your views too! Sign up for an account and make your Voice heard!


ellie sallis

ellie sallis

This author has no bio :(


  • Jenna Beattie

    On 22 May 2019, 14:17 Jenna Beattie commented:

    An interesting take on the argument between the for and against of make up being an art form. This post left a lot to be thought about and was overall an interesting read.

  • Vicky Green

    On 22 May 2019, 18:29 Vicky Green commented:

    I see both sides, but my belief is general day to day make up is usually used for the individuals purpose such as to help with confidence.
    But the elaborate make up of theatres/film and specific make up for a specific look could well be called art as it can be spectacular and not just anyone could create it.

  • Katie Walker

    On 22 May 2019, 18:48 Katie Walker commented:

    I believe you make some really interesting points! It's a shame that young people nowadays think they have to put so much make up on just because of our culture. I think that make up in general shouldn't be an art form; it's nothing new like you said. It should only be an art from when it truly has an inspirational message or view to it: watch the new series of Glow Up on BBC! That follows a competition of make up artists, that is what I truly call art, spending hours creating a meaningful piece not hours creating the perfect eyebrow that at the end of the day every other person has tried to recreate 🤷

  • Elissa Gillies

    On 24 May 2019, 06:53 Elissa Gillies commented:

    A well argued point and certainly 'food for thought'.
    Rather like the other readers, I feel that it probably depends on the context. You could compare the daily wearing of make up to the symbols and emojis we often draw, such as drawing a heart on a birthday card next to a kiss. Drawing these basic symbols isn't really art, but they do convey an emotion as does the act of even applying the most basic of make up.
    Ellie May, this is a very interesting read and I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

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