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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Making Up Your Image: Is it Really Necessary?

Cass Palor
Makeup samples placed out on shelves at Sephora in City Creek Mall on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. Cassandra Palor | The Daily Utah Chronicle

To Jordan Dyches, an esthetician at Got Beauty and a teacher at Skinworks, “beauty means confidence.” However, the art of painting your face seems to be an important part of any girl’s daily routine.

According to The Huffington Post, 44 percent of women “feel unattractive without makeup on,” and it only takes five seconds on Pinterest to find the latest trends, both terrifying and beautiful. In the past year, we have embraced unicorn nails, overuse of highlighter, new extremes in contouring and just too much lip filler. We have made our hands into claws, our lips into dark, shiny leeches and our faces into a contrast between light and shadow. We remake our appearance on a daily basis, and for what? When did we lose sight of what beauty means? And when is it going to stop being so much work to be considered beautiful? Flowers don’t primp and preen, but they are considered effortlessly pretty.

Beauty by Today’s Standards

We have created such advanced beauty aids as gluing individual hairs to our eyes­ — don’t worry, you can pick silk or mink. We dye our hair every color of the rainbow, but if you bleach it too often, your lovely teal hair will crumble off in your hands thanks to the many damaging chemicals. Remember the scary shower in the corner of chemistry class? What that is meant to wash off is what you are willingly putting in your hair. There are tapes that can lift your eyes and masks made of charcoal that will peel the top layer of your skin off. All of this is apparently for beauty.

The Huffington Post says the average cost of your face is $8 per day including all beauty products, skin care and makeup. That is $2,920 per year on your face alone minus add-ons like highlights or eyelash extensions. One in three women refuse to leave home without makeup according to The sad thing is, despite all this money we are spending, only 4 percent of women in the world consider themselves beautiful, though 80 percent recognize beauty in others. It has almost become snooty to say you think yourself pretty, but it isn’t. It’s confident. And as long as you don’t get too full of yourself, it’s also honest.

We talk about self-love and body image, but how do we really start change and give our wallets a break? You don’t need to walk around with perfectly curled hair or bright red lips to be beautiful. At the same time, if confidence is key, how do you get the confidence without the little helpers?

Dyches has a few pointers.

“If you are confident, capable and strong, then you will feel beautiful,” Dyches said.

So the secret becomes attaining confidence, which can be easier said than done, especially in Utah.

Dyches’s tips start simple: The key to beautiful skin and hair is a youthful appearance, and in order to achieve that you have to “respect your skin.”

“You can cover a lot: acne, texture differences and even complexion, but you can’t look 20 again,” Dyches said.

Simple things, like drinking enough water, can make a big difference, but the first place to start is your daily routine.

“Makeup can do wonders but it isn’t magic,” Dyches said.

Tips and Tricks

When you start looking at skin care, there are a few things essential to your medicine cabinet. You need a good face wash and, most importantly as a Utahn, you need a good moisturizer. One of the biggest misnomers here is the use of Cetaphil. Cetaphil is a moisture-based cleanser. This sounds great because we all could use a little more moisture, right? Wrong. Cetaphil is like trying to wash your face with a moisturizer. It doesn’t really clean, and cleaning is important. When you go to sleep at night without cleaning your face, the pores in your face can become clogged with whatever is sitting on the surface. That means if you sleep in your makeup you are basically allowing grime and dirt inside your pores. So don’t do it.

Drugstore cleansers like Neutrogena are fine, although try to stay away from the St. Ives brand. Next, you need a good moisturizer. Lighter weight is fine if you have oily or acne-prone skin, but drying out your skin is not going to prevent breakouts. Serums are a great alternative, even in your 20s, because they are chock full of vitamins and healthy minerals for your skin to absorb overnight.

Be careful what you are buying at a drugstore, though. If you are buying a brand like Big Sexy Hair, which is a professional grade product, it seems like a no-brainer to grab it. However, when you see those products at grocery stores for half the salon price it is unfortunately too good to be true. Places like Sephora and Got Beauty are able to contract with the professional brands because they agree on a minimum sell price. For a product to dip below that price, like in the case of the grocery store or Amazon version, something has happened to it. Either the product was damaged, stored for too long, expired or returned and sold back to the manufacturer. If you are going to splurge on the big brands, go to a store that sells them at its actual price. Trying to find them at a discount is a recipe for disaster.

Next is sunscreen. I know it seems like you shouldn’t need sunscreen when it’s overcast or winter and you are inside a lot, however, sunscreen is actually a screen for UV rays. There are three kinds: UV A, B and C. UVA and UVB are what come from the sun, but UVA are the ones that cause aging. Dyches recommends always wearing at least SPF 25 sunscreen to battle off the UV rays, and if you are outside all day, say skiing, you need SPF 50.

Next, let’s talk makeup. The difference between grocery store brands and high-end brands you might find somewhere like Got Beauty, Sephora or Ulta is not the pigment, it’s the quality of the ingredients. Lower quality brands have silicones and sulfates in them which can actually clog pores. High-quality foundation is most important because it is the barrier between you and the world throughout the day. With a good foundation, you wash off all of the dirt, grime and damage from the day.

“Wash the day down the drain with your foundation,” Dyches said.

If you want to save money, save it on lip and eye products, but splurge on a nice foundation. Properly cleaning your brushes will go a long way towards clearer, healthier skin.

This in conjunction with assuming you wear full-face makeup on the daily, you want to clean your brushes once a week. This doubles if you have acne-prone skin.

“Let’s say you have a hormonal breakout one day, so you use your beauty blender or a coarse bristle brush to put some coverup and your foundation on,” Dyches said. “Well, especially with liquid foundation or BB cream, that wet environment holds bacteria. If you don’t clean your brush the next time you put your makeup on you are putting the bacteria from that breakout back on your face, causing another breakout.”

Keep in mind, cleanliness and moisture together are the keys to success in Utah. Dyches recommends light makeup on a daily basis.

“Everyone is looking for glow — that is what youth is,” Dyches said.

You can have something as simple as a five-minute daily routine. After you have washed and moisturized your face, simply even out your skin tone with foundation, swipe on a bit of blush and apply a shiny gloss. You will look radiant without cakey makeup and it will last all day. Plus, that foundation is your healthy barrier so you can protect your skin while looking fantastic. If you want to add a nice taupe eyeshadow, that’s pretty and easy, too. Just remember that confidence is key and makeup should serve to highlight your beauty, not cover you up.

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