Monday, August 27th, 2012

This morning, I came across an article about makeup on the internet (as posted by PinkSith) that decided to post photos of the “worst makeup on the internet” featuring photos of real people–not celebrities–who had the audacity to share those photos on the internet. Aside from the article being poorly researched (several of the looks I recognized as done in a certain vein/for a specific purpose, some even as parodies, most notably Queen of Blending’s hilarious makeup tutorial), their commentary and the purpose of their article seems largely intended to be mean-spirited given the focus is on how “horrible” the makeup is rather than “do this, not that.” No doubt intended to be seething and go viral–but what a shame to see a large, professional website look to drive the self-esteem down of real women.

We’re not trying to be mean, we just thought these pictures were bad enough to bring to your attention. In fact, we even think these real women are brave — or a little nuts — for not caring what people think about their makeup, and freely posting their photos online for all to see.

There are enough problems with boosting the self-esteem of our youth (and our adults, for that matter) in general that the last thing we need are dedicated articles that put down people for doing what? Expressing their creativity? Having fun? Parodying a look? Deliberately doing something avant garde and out-of-the-box?  Isn’t the reason why we all love makeup so much is because of the way it allows us to express ourselves in colors, hues, finishes, textures, and shapes?  Isn’t one of the greatest things about makeup that it’s washable?  You can wear blue blush and rock it and love it, and you can wear beige eyeshadow the very the next day.  You can go as bold or as subtle as you want to.

There’s a big difference in giving someone constructive criticism and being cruel.  Constructive criticism is about genuinely trying to help someone improve an area, which means it points out the problem and provides some detail about how to fix it or why it is a problem.  If you have to start a statement with, “I don’t mean to be rude, but,” or “I’m not trying to be mean, but” you may want to re-think what you were going to say.  Apologizing in advance for being mean, rude, or what-have-you, is not a justification to be such.  “I’m sorry, but you look hideous in blue eyeshadow,” is different from, “I think it could work if you just used it on the inner corner” or “Have you tried purple eyeshadow? I think that would be more flattering on you!”

Just this weekend, I saw part of an old episode of What Not to Wear, and yet again, a woman who broke down at being asked if she felt or thought she was pretty.  Why can’t we feel beautiful about ourselves? Why are we taught to criticize ourselves and everyone else?  Why do we spend more time breaking others down than building them up?  I don’t understand it, and I lived through it to a T when I was in junior high and high school.  I didn’t start believing I was beautiful and worthy of praise until a few years ago.  I want people to feel good about themselves and be honest with themselves; to know their flaws and to work on them but to also appreciate all of the positive attributes they possess as well–and not just how they look but how they feel, how they think, and what their abilities are.

 

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224 thoughts on “Worst Makeup on the Internet: A Culture of Negativity

  1. I would far rather offer advice of ‘I think if you changed your color placement a bit this would look great,’ or ‘I think X would be really flattering on you’ than be rude and say ‘I’m sorry but y looks awful on you.’

    I put myself out there on an almost daily basis, and I’m open to constructive criticism. But negative comments just meant to be rude and cut you down? No thank you.

    I think it’s much better to hold your tongue if you can’t say anything nice. Personally, I’d rather be lifting each other up, rather than tearing people apart.

    Love your post. You’re so right.

  2. Debora

    And this text comes to show why you are so respected in the makeup community! Awsome post!

    xoxo

  3. Avatar of Kate K.C.

    Wow. Just wow. She’s talking about people ‘making mistakes’ by putting on certian makeup looks and showing pictures on the internet, but that article is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever seen put up online. Those women being targeted are some of the most beautiful, real women online, and they do not need to be slammed for having fun with makeup. I would like to see the author of that article build up the confidence and courage to put herself out there instead of just being a name put to an article. This is YouTube trolling x1000. So ignorant and hateful. I am so glad you brought our attention to this, Christine.

  4. Roxanne

    Great piece! That article is mean and obviously shows poor research. I think most of those pictures are taken with a specific reason e.g. entering a challenge of some sort or participating in a special event (where overdone makeup is needed) or just having fun with makeup in general. Some of them are CLEARLY photoshopped. I would like to see this “reporter” post a picture of her with makeup and take the criticism for it.

    It’s always a bit of risk to post your makeup skills onto the internet but it takes guts. I have to admit I’m not a saint (I’ve criticised people before… hello Facebook) – no one’s perfect – but this really isn’t the way to go about these things! Also: why aren’t these images sourced?

    I like how you always try to encourage the positive, Christine. I could learn a lesson or two from you!

    • It’s hard not to criticize! It’s a habit I am always working on!

    • Avatar of Jillian Jillian

      Roxanne, I think you make a valid point about the source of the photos – by not sourcing them, it clearly shows that the writer is being cowardly and cruel. If we were able to see where the photos came from, it would be more obvious that they were taken out of context in a cruel way.

      I think the other thing to consider is that there are many people out there who are judgmental of makeup-wearers in general – some people consider wearing makeup to be a demonstration of vanity. Like so many of us, I love makeup for the artistry, that I can treat my face like a blank canvas and have fun with it. Having people WITHIN our makeup community put others down for what they’re doing (regardless of context!) is another way to put them down for their love of makeup. Above all people within the makeup community should encourage others to play around, not make fun of them for doing so. It’s kind of similar to those posts about “Celebrities Without Their Makeup” – sure, it’s interesting to see to maybe get an idea of how much airbrushing may occur in photos, but no one should be making fun of anyone for wearing makeup or not wearing makeup.

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Christine. It’s sad that you had to… here’s hoping that over time the hateful judgment will cease! Apparently the author is someone named Jane Chung (or maybe an alias) – I’d be interested to hear a response from this person…

  5. Ugh, What Not To Wear. Full of two slut-shaming women-shaming hosts that don’t always look that great themselves.

  6. Avatar of Bridget Bridget

    Thank you for posting this. As Xtina sings, “We are beautiful, no matter what they say. Words won’t bring us down – so don’t you bring me down today.”

  7. SLM

    Love this post!! Awhile back Urban Decay posed a question on Facebook basically asking how old was too old to wear glitter. I was so disappointed that they would put that online and horrified by how many people were just plain mean with their answers!! You are right…the beauty of makeup is being able to express yourself. No one needs to put others down for that!! :)

    • Megan

      Girl, I love glitter like there’s no tomorrow. If I please, I will rock it all the way to my grave, ha ha. I might not always look “age appropriate”, but sometimes people should lighten up and live a little! Be yourself and have fun with your life!! :) It’s not like this is Russian Roulette or something….

  8. I think it says so much more about the person who has time to shred the confidence of others. Bear in mind that happy people don’t behave that way.

  9. Avatar of Dana Dana

    Very well said. Thank you so much for your insightful comments. I hope the “reporter” reads your post.

  10. Great post, Christine! I hadn’t seen that horrible article yet so thanks for drawing attention to it. I find a lot of people are really brave “behind a screen” and willing to criticize anyone and everyone if it’s not to their face. Makeup is personal expression and should be seen as such. If the author doesn’t like a particular look, then they are more than free to not wear their makeup that way! I love the community I’ve found through blogging, particularly how positive, encouraging and downright sweet most of the other bloggers are. There have been cases where I don’t like a look that another blogger has done, but I would never comment about it or think to use be cruel about it. This author clearly didn’t do their research, obviously isn’t a beauty blogger and has way too much time on their hands. Articles like this that are meant to be “fun” just come off as petty and immature.

  11. Yumi

    Thank you for bringing attention to this. It seems like that article is just being catty with a bunch of pictures taken out of context, for the sake of trying to create a “controversial” piece that will hopefully go viral, like you said. I hope it doesn’t, it’s completely disgusting. I especially hate the part where they say how she’s not even supposed to wear blue eyeshadow with blue eyes. And the obvious Snooki parody. SMH.

  12. Avatar of Lauren crystallinity

    It’s like when people start a sentence with “I’m not racist, but…” No but. If you have to qualify it, then yes, yes you are. People who tear others down and fling sh*t at others tell us more about themselves than they could ever tell us about anyone else. Great post!

    • If you’re already apologizing, close your mouth, think about what you’re trying to say, and I’m sure you can find a more appropriate way to express your opinion.

  13. Avatar of Elizabeth Elizabeth K.

    Such nastiness! Once I saw a sales associate at a Sephora who had the Amy Winehouse look to the 10th power: black hair sprayed and teased to the sky, black eyeliner an inch thick, red lipstick overdrawn an inch past her natural lipline. She was just being herself and owning it! It takes cajones to do that, and I loved her for it.

  14. danza

    I am absolutely disgusted and appalled. I’ve seen makeup done wrong and these are not it. In any case, what you put on your face and what you wear (as long as you’re not violating public indecency) is none of anybody’s business.

    Girls and guys and gays and lesbians, wear whatever you want on your own time. If anyone is uncomfortable with it, it’s their problem, not yours.

  15. I think a lot of people have low self esteem issues, and a lot of people never grow up. A person could be 45 and have the emotional maturity of a 7 year old. It is easier to criticize others than admit that you’re flawed yourself. I am sure a lot of the people who tear apart makeup looks (and the people who wear them) don’t really know how to do makeup themselves. It seems to be a projection.

    I think if you’re secure as a person and have a healthy amount of self esteem, you would never feel the need to tear apart another person’s look/style/feelings. It’s just childish.

  16. Avatar of Kafka Kafka

    Your comments about self-esteem, trying to feel pretty or not being self-critical, and the culture of negativity really, REALLY resonate with me right now and for some reason, your post makes me feel slightly sniffly and upset. I have a 39-yr old friend whose anorexia came back after more than a decade because of such self-criticism and because of trying to meet society’s expectations. She almost died because of it, and I really think *part* of the cause is how easily societal expectations as reflecting in the media can amplify or bring out one’s underlying feelings. Feelings that would otherwise be somewhat fleeting, minor or controllable. I myself am going through a hard phase right now for various reasons and my self-esteem has really taken a hit. I hesitate to post photos of my eye looks not even because I can’t take self-portraits with a cell phone and not even because I’m far from an expert but because, in truth, no amount of amazing products are making me feel pretty right now.

    I can’t turn off the self-criticism, even though I *know* a portion of it stems from ridiculous media-created expectations regarding looks and “beauty.” I *know* photos in magazines are all photo-shopped or air-brushed, I know Hollywood told Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried to get Botox while they were in their 20s (!! WTF?!!), I know none of it is real or cool or normal, but still…. *emotionally,* it’s hard sometimes to look in the mirror and not feel as though you’ve fallen short and are ugly/old/whatever. Logic and rationale (along with all the arguments in Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth) seem to have nothing to do with it.

    I can’t imagine being the subject of an article like that, at ANY time or age, and the fact that they intentionally distorted the purpose of many or all of those looks makes me feel sick. I’ll quote a blurb from The Beauty Myth that Wikipedia conveniently had up and which I think really applies here (and not just to the cruelty involved behind that article):

    “The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us… [D]uring the past decade, women breached the power structure; meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest-growing specialty… [P]ornography became the main media category, ahead of legitimate films and records combined, and thirty-three thousand American women told researchers that they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds than achieve any other goal…More women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off than our unliberated grandmothers.” – Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

    Sorry for the length of this. I’ve just been really upset about this overall issue for a while now.

    • Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

      Ms. Kafka this whole comment could have pulled straight out of my head a la Harry Potter ( the memory bit). My sister almost died from anorexia and still struggled with it and now bulemia daily. I set a horrific example for her when she was younger and don’t know if I can ever forgive myself. I can’t even look in the mirror sometimes, and detest reflective glass. People around me have no clue because I don’t project this image at all, but my esteem has taken some major hits over the past four years and I am still reeling. Ever want to talk- my FB is on the articles page with the Lord of the Flies comment.

      • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

        I’m really sorry about your sister, Ms. Fox. :( My heart goes out to the both of you. I hope she reaches out for help, as my friend did, terrified though she was. And, I too hide things under a mask of nonchalance or humour, so I completely understand what you’re talking about. I loved your sweet offer and it made my day (not so much about talking about *this* stuff but for the friendship in general). Alas though, try as I might, I saw no posting that referred to Lord of the Flies on the Beauty Riot site. It is that site to which you referred, right? Was it perhaps a post about Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis & damning the torpedoes instead?

    • Do you like The Beauty Myth? Is it a good read? I’m off to go look it up, but as always, am curious about your take.

      Hugs!

      • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

        I was going to email you this but perhaps my description of the book will lead other posters to consider picking up the book. I think “The Beauty Myth” may be one of the most powerful books that we, as women, can read about the world we live in. It’s not about the beauty industry, per se, but about the myth of flawless perfection, an ideal which women strive to meet, only to fail, leading to self-hatred, then greater efforts and obsession, but always, failing, again and again. It’s about being aware of the ways that expectations of beauty can control a woman in all aspects of life and about how one should accept one’s own, innate, intrinsic natural beauty.

        It talks about how movies, ads, TV, magazines, etc. all perpetuate this perfect ideal that no woman can live up to, leading them into an endless cycle of shame and feelings of inadequacy that can bring down even the most confident of women. The result impact in self-esteem can, in turn, sometimes make her turn to destructive behaviors or things like anorexia and excessive plastic surgery.

        It covers 6 areas of life where the perception and expectation of flawless “beauty” and womanhood impact women: work, culture, religion, sex and one other one. (Hunger? Violence? It’s been a while.) The Work section talks about sexual harassment but also how pretty/beautiful women aren’t taken seriously *because* of their looks. If they’re too pretty, they’re essentially asking for it in terms of sexual harassment (the book was written in 1991 when things were much worse in that regard in the workplace). But if women are homely or aren’t attractive enough, then they get screwed in other ways, not given chances, not promoted or fired.

        She goes too far in some ways, imo, like claiming that the Beauty Myth is all political. On the other hand, given today’s world and the war against women in the US, perhaps she’s right about how expectations for women are often intended to put women down and take away some of their power.

        All in all though, the book will really leave an impact and, most likely, make you see things differently and have a light bulb moment. It was written in 1991 but, imo, it’s still dead on for today’s society which is arguably worse and even more beauty-obsessed than ever. BUT, she doesn’t talk enough, imo, about how women can be the worst attackers of other women and talks a bit too much about the Botox/cosmetic surgery industry. Regardless, Naomi Wolf is pretty brilliant: summa cum laude at Yale & a Rhodes Scholar. She’s considered to be one of the foremost in the new wave of feminists today.

        I think you of all people would really appreciate the book, its message and even the legal aspects/cases (in the Work section). You may not agree with *all* that she says (I don’t) but it’s truly, truly a POWERFUL, brilliant read. And many sections are pretty autonomous, so you can skip around if you lack sufficient time. I hope you get it. xoxoxo

        • Thank you! :) I knew you’d give me an excellent summary with pros and cons, LOL! Hopefully it’s available on Kindle – but I will check tonight! It sounds very interesting.

        • Vitória

          I’ve just ordered the book, thank you so much for the tip.

          • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

            Really? Seriously? You have no idea how touched I am by that, Vitória. I really hope you like some of the book. I won’t say “all of the book” because, imo, she really does go a bit too far with her extremist feminist views about patriarchal/male societies and power conspiracies, but if you ignore that, it’s still very powerful. I wish there had been something like that out when I was a young girl; I would have had an easier time of things. Be warned that some people have had a bit of a difficult time getting through the beginning bit. It’s been so long since I read it that I can’t recall if I did or didn’t but, hopefully, it will be a powerful read that you find very thought-provoking. Wow, I’m so stunned that you ordered it. I’m so long-winded, I always think everyone reacts with a groan to my posts and just skips them. *grin* Let me know what you think of the book. :)

            • Vitória

              I’m a bookworm, and your comment was so persuasive, I just HAD to have this book!

              By the way, I hope you get better. You’re a very smart person, so I’m sure you will.

              Again, thanks for the tip! =)

  17. Avatar of MonicaP MonicaP

    Yeah, most of those pics were probably for a worst make-up contest or something .. I mean, there’s no context behind the photo’s so this Beauty Riot site decided to say what every they want. Rather juvenile if you ask me.

  18. Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

    I just left an angry comment on there referencing Lord of the Flies LOL

  19. Avatar of T Violet Lee

    Yeah, the negativity and “groupthink” on the web can really be overwhelming sometimes. I used to occasionally visit the “bad make-up” LJ and was amused by some pretty horrible and ill-conceived gothy looks. But the tone became so overwhelmingly nasty and any attempt at make-up that wasn’t as polished as a magazine photo or that tried to experiment with color would be relentlessly mocked but a chorus of mean girls.

  20. Here! Here! Thanks for drawing attention to this! This type of bullying under the guise of being an editorial or “how to” is completely disgusting. I still struggle with putting my full face on the web for fear of ending up a victim of trolls like this website.

  21. Well said, Christine! I think the post by Beauty Riot is horrible. We should recognize and celebrate everyone’s unique beauty. You asked why we can’t feel beautiful about ourself and that’s a valid question. It’s hard to feel beautiful when our culture is obsessed with perfection. I can’t imagine the horror at being one of the women singled out in that feature–it was ruthless, mean-spirited and cruel. Honestly, is that the best they can do for content?

  22. Megan

    As if I didn’t already love you enough, Christine. This is so awesome. I’m really glad you took the time to address this issue. Why does everything have to be so negative? I’m not saying if your clothes are a little tight or your makeup is a little heavy that I’m going to tell you it’s “oh so fabulous” but I’m not going to be mean about it, it’s like you said, “constructive criticism.” Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, and everyone should, because we all are in some way, shape, or form. And those “flaws” are what makes each of us different and beautiful in a unique way. Even if I’m not the prettiest, most confident, smartest, or nicest person, etc, etc, I’m glad to be who I am, because the respect that I am capable of giving to other people is beautiful. I wish everyone could learn to recognize the beauty in his or herself and then maybe they could more easily see the beauty in others. Beauty is only skin deep if you let it be that way. Great post and you’re beautiful, Christine!! :)

    • Thank you! And of course, there is a time and place and space for our opinions – not everything invites us to stick our nose in it and give our two cents. Even what we think “needs improvement” may be someone else’s signature look that they love. Who’s to say our way is the right way?

  23. Avatar of Kaye Kaye

    Your comments are articulate and so true. Good for you for taking the time to put that together. I’m going to save it and share it as needed. Thank you for standing up for all the right things.

  24. Mai

    I think within the realm of constructive criticism, it’s also important to consider the concept of policing others based on what you think would look good. Saying “I like the ___ but you’d look so much better in ___” is good natured to be sure but it is judging others against your standard of beauty.

    • Very true, Mai – not everything is asking or inviting us to give our opinions, and they’re always just that, an opinion, born out of our own experiences, viewpoints, backgrounds, and ideas.

  25. Avatar of Snoe Snoe

    Way to go, Christine! Thank you for bringing our attention to this matter. It really needs to be addressed.

  26. Avatar of Gabriella bella

    great post! I think it’s awesome that you write about things like these, we all need encouragement to be ourselves without anyone pushing us down! :)

  27. I’ve always been overweight, and if there’s one thing it’s taught me is to ignore their criticism about my appearance. I don’t think I’m beautiful, no, but I don’t even care about it. I don’t think I should be treated like a third-class citizen only because I don’t look like everyone’s fantasy girl. Needless to say I’ve long since learned to minimize or even eliminate contact with people who would rate me as a person solely based on my appearance.

    So fellow readers: Do what makes you happy. Wear what you want. Keep your chin high. There’s nothing wrong with being yourself, and you’re not responsible to make answer everyone’s expectations.

  28. Meep

    I don’t get how a bunch of girls having fun with themselves deserved this nasty article. It’s just laughable the amount of ignorance the writer has. She is also very cruel and can be classified as a HUGE bully.

    But, I also feel like we should pity her. What does this show you about Jane Chung? It shows that THIS is the reason she is writing for a website making fun of girls playing with makeup, rather than writing for the New York Times. She doesn’t cite her sources/ask permission to use those photos, and she doesn’t research the purpose of those photos.

    That must be a really sad life :\

  29. Thank you, Christine, for writing about this. I’ve always disliked that site because of it’s slow loading time & the badly placed ads, but I’ll never go there again after hearing about this.
    That is truly awful, especially when you can tell that some of these ladies put thought into it. We might not like something for ourselves, we might not even like it on others, but flaming hate and mockery are not for anybody to dole out. As you so rightly say, constructive criticism is fine, ridicule is not.
    I constantly do looks on my blog that might very well have qualified me for that article, if for no other reason that I’m a plus-sized girl who loves bold makeup. I’m not one who is into that sue-the-pants-off-everyone culture, but I do hope some of these women see it and sue the hell out of that poor excuse for a beauty site.
    We, as women, should strive to support and encourage one another. It’s not necessarily in our biological makeup (pun intended), but that doesn’t mean we can’t transcend that. We need to empower, teach and love not put down, mock and hate.

    • Agreed, Anna! :) Would I wear green lipstick out and about? Probably not if I could wear something else. I’m not that confident, but I love seeing others pull it off and rock it!

  30. *Standing Ovation*

    Christine, you are GORGEOUS inside and out. Thank you for recognizing that this kind of cattiness is just another form of “mean girls–the next generation”.

    I’m 42, a mom and wife, and I’m definitely plus size. No one taught me how to apply makeup, and this past year I have learned SO much from so many ladies. And while I may not have all the techniques down, you all have helped me feel beautiful, even if my eyeliner isn’t perfect, or my colors aren’t what someone else would wear, or even if my home dye job isn’t terrific.

    SHAME on them for getting their rocks off at someone else’s expense. And thank you for speaking up. YOU are awesome!

    • I read the article, and I totally had that moment where she’s with the clique and they’re all criticizing themselves – it just brings me back to junior high and everything I felt then and continued to feel for so, so long.

      Very few people even claim that they’re the best, most creative, etc. – so we’re really all learning and improving as we continue to play with products and practice more :) I’ve learned so much through the blogosphere, too!

  31. Lizzy

    Wow, just… wow. Agree with your comment on boosting self-esteem, this is one topic I’m always on about. It’s really sad to see this actually happened. Makeup is all about 1.experimenting and 2.having fun with it! No need to be mean, just to feel superior. SMH

  32. I’m so glad you are addressing this Christine. There are so many self-esteem issues for girls that to make fun of anyone doesn’t help at all. You have an important voice that reaches far so I hope your message is heard loud and clear by that site.

  33. Your post is spot on. Thank you for bringing attention to it. Why do women even feel the need to bring down other women? I do not get it. I am tired of all the bullying. Calling out someone for anything related to how they look in 2012 is despicable. They should be ashamed!

  34. Avatar of Sarah Sarah

    Christine, this was incredibly well written! I just really appreciate the fact that such a well known beauty website like yours is run by someone who clearly has their priorities in order and their head on straight! As usual, you have brought such an unfortunate matter to our attention with a beautifully worded post. I thank you for sharing this with us and letting everyone know that being ourselves and being confident in our own skin is key!

    • Jessica Thomson

      I completely agree with everything in the above post and couldn’t have put it better myself! ;)

    • Thanks, Sarah! I’m with you on confidence… there is nothing more beautiful or essential to feeling and being beautiful (inside and out!).

  35. I’m with you in this… thank you for this post, Christine.

  36. Natalia

    Huge thumbs up for this post!
    Whenever I see a blog post critiquing a celebrity’s make-up and there are things like “She should fire her makeup artist”, or “Is the makeup artist blind”, I cringe! Clearly those make-up artists are working really hard, how can someone diminish their work in such a way?

  37. Avatar of marta marta

    i totally agree with you christine… thank you for this positive thinking post!

  38. Great post Christine! You´re absolutely right, there´s too much criticism and negativity these days, so much pressure to be perfect and people value looks too much. Internet has great power and it´s good to see that someone who has that many followers puts our nose to the facts. I think a lot of women and men will be very happy that you bring this subject to our attention.

  39. Marta

    What a sensible, well thought comment, Christine! Of course we see negativity by comparison in media everyday, but in a way that article is even worse, because there isn’t a hint of usable cristicism other than “haha, you clumsy”. Honestly, worst than mean kids. I had very low self steem during high school so now when I’m working with teenagers I always use positive criticism. It’s the only one that won’t hurt them. So if a 14 year old comes to class looking like the Joker, I compliment her the days I have her after PE and her face is clean, or tell her how good she looks in neutrals. Most of the time it works. And it’s ok if it doesn’t: it’s their stylistic choice, and like you said make up washes, so it’s no drama.
    Last year a 13-very-developed-year-old was wearing very skimpy outfits with very low neck lines, that she obviously had outgrown during the summer months. She was a very nice girl, and I think oblivious to the fact that she was flashing way too much cleavage. The classmates started commenting, laughing at her back and making fun of her, but to her face they would complement her, probably so they could keep the jokes going. After a month I was thinking of just talking to her mother, in private, after class, so she could help her with her wardrobe choices. After all she’s only 13, right? Then the highschool secretary yelled at her in the middle of the hall with her friends present “Don’t you have better clothes? I can see your breasts. Does your mother know what you’re wearing now?”. It was horrible. She stopped wearing those outfits at school, but she also started skipping classes, bullying and talking back to teachers to try to get some power back. So brutal honesty isn’t always the way.
    I would ask what is the value in truth when it’s mean spirited and not useful. Just because we have the right (the luxusy, really) to express our opinions doesn’t mean each one of them is a perfect pearl of wisdom!
    In Spain there is a magazine, Cuore, where pictures of celebrities are dissected. And sure, they are celebrities, and somtimes there was something grotesque about them, but most of the time it was “haha, look he is sweating” or “haha, look she has a red spot on her chin”. I read it some years ago but now I find that kind of publications perverse: it makes the young girls who buy them aspire to an impossible physical perfection under the silent threat that one day they could be the ones being laughed at, and also teaches them how it’s ok to be mean with someone as long as they dare some flaw in public.
    Sorry for the rant, and must it look incoherent and negative! But I do like your website and others because they help me discover beautiful things, and for that bit of daily positivity I’m SO grateful. Thanks for your hard work!

  40. Avatar of Sophie sophie

    I love you for this, Christine! I’m currently getting really sick of the culture of negativity that seems so endemic to the Internet. Yesterday I downloaded the Comment Blocker extension on Firefox (keeping certain sites, like this, unblocked obviously ;)) and I already feel so much better just for not having to absorb all that negativity and bile. I’m sick of it! I want to be happy and I’m constantly being dragged down by other peoples’ misery, insecurity and bile!

    Here’s to positivity and being happy with ourselves!

    • I didn’t even know they had something like that! There are some sites where you really can’t let yourself get caught up in the comments’ sections!

    • Avatar of Jeanne Jeanne

      I didn’t know comment blockers existed! I just found an extension for Google Chrome that I’m excited to try out. I know I shouldn’t read comments on YouTube and such because I know they’ll piss me off but I often can’t help myself. Thanks for the info :)

  41. I agree with most of your response, I think makeup is such an awesome outlet and it’s basically an art. But sometimes people look a bit a hot mess. I also believe that I’m way to honest! It drives me nuts, but I will tell someone if their makeup is off. I think people need to be truthful instead of coddle and be PC about everything.

    • I don’t think you need to lie – there’s nothing wrong with being honest, but there’s a difference between wanting to help someone improve themselves and trying to make them feel bad, ashamed, inferior, etc.

    • Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

      Yes but who made you the arbiter of what’s beautiful or acceptable on another? How does one go about designating “Hot Mess” status? I don’t think that is a matter of political correctness, rather an ability to acknowlege your opinion is not automatically superior to others. Now if a friend, who shares similar taste and knows your aesthetic sense were to ask your opinion I can understand your honesty.

  42. Yuan

    You are a wonderful person for posting this. Thank you!

  43. Avatar of Jolene Joli

    Sadly, this is nothing new. Back in the days of livejournal makeup communities, there were already communities created just to troll the regular comma and grab pics just for the purpose of reposting and mocking them. There is no purpose other than to be mean. I got posted in one once for clown makeup I did for circus day at the preschool I worked at. The pic got snagged from my personal journal and mocked as if I actually wore it as normal makeup. Fortunatley I’m not one who gets bothered by that kind of thing. Mostly it’s just sad that other people ate so desperate to get attention by ragging on others.

  44. Violet

    I had to check it out. I really thought there would be something of me on there – I’ve posted so many intentionally funny ones on MUA that I wouldn’t have been surprised. Fortunately, there aren’t any of me, but I agree with you and all the others, Christine – seriously, this is of interest to anyone? Clearly all of those people were either in it for the fun or it was their own personal style which they’re entitled to.

  45. Avatar of Thu Thu

    It’s just a shame that whoever wrote the article will see the hit count go up (because we’re all going to see how atrocious the article is), and feel that they were justified because they’re getting attention :/

    • Yellowlantern

      Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of. I’m not very familiar with the beauty riot website, but as far as I can tell that article was just trolling plain and simple. And I’m a huge believer in not feeding (feeding=commenting to, linking to) the troll.

      I guess it’s a catch 22, you want to speak out about these sorts of things because they’re so offensive, but giving trolls attention and letting them know their actions made you mad (their two reasons for being) just encourages them to do it more in order to get even more attention. :/

  46. Melody

    Great and very genuine post, Christine. I’m glad you have used the popularity you have on the net to address this issue. You are beautiful and worthy of praise and all of us deserve to feel that way.

  47. Prissy V.

    Right on Christine!! Wonderful post!

  48. Shannon

    The wording at the start is a bit confusing. At first I thought it the article was written by PinkSith and it was only upon reading the comments at the end of the article that I realised it wasn’t.

  49. Tyffani E.

    “By the way, blue shadow isn’t even the right makeup for blue eyes, according to these tips.”

    That irritated me too. When it comes to makeup, you shouldn’t have to follow any “rules” such as, “This color looks bad with blue eyes, and that one looks terrible with green eyes.” You put on whatever you like and whatever makes you feel pretty!

    The comment was just really childish, actually the way they commented on ALL of the photos was childish. Is the author 12 years old?

  50. Lindsay Z

    >> Just this weekend, I saw part of an old episode of 
    >> What Not to Wear, and yet again, a woman who
    >> broke down at being asked if she felt or thought she
    >> was pretty.

    Excellent post, Christine, but this part jumped out at me the most. It angers and disgusts me that we have two completely contradictory attitudes pushed onto us:
    “love yourself! You’re beautiful and special just as you are!”
    And
    “don’t you think your lashes are really thin/skin is dull/hair could use more/less volume/lips could be plumper/etctoinfinity….?”

    It especially angers me that those who *really* believe in the latter attitudes are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They know that they “should” espouse the first attitude and so they pay lip service to it, but they can’t maintain the façade for long. Everyone is beautiful!….. Unless you have a feature or like something I don’t like. Then it’s totes ok to mock you! Duh!

    And that woman on WNtW… Ugh. She breaks down because no, of COURSE she doesn’t think she’s pretty; she’s had a lifetime of people, magazines, adverts and more pointing out every single way she should be ashamed of and dissatisfied with her body. She feels like a failure for not living up to an unattainable ideal. And THEN? She goes on this show (which is yet ANOTHER judgmental jerk, telling her that her style and entire appearance is awful and embarrassing) and is made to feel like a failure for letting all of that bother her instead of letting it be like water rolling off a duck’s back! That is SUCH BULL*#%€!!

  51. Nadia

    Amazing post. I agree 100%.

  52. Doing this article and saying “I’m not trying to be mean” or “I’m not trying to be rude” is the same as people that say “I’m not trying to be racist but”. You preface your statements with that because you KNOW you’re about to be wildly offensive. Quite a few of those are just photoshop editing so who knows what the actual makeup was. You can tell some where done for a certain theme (my assumption with the gal wearing a head band, feathered hair, and bright blue eyeshadow is it’s 80′s themed Xanadu something). Whether some of these were intended as parody makeup or not, it’s makeup. It’s removable and unless someone is paying for it it’s no ones place to say how it should be used. People that get online and do tutorials or snap quick pictures of what they’ve done deserve props. One they’re putting themselves out there, BUT the more you play with makeup the more you learn and adapt and advance your skills. I personally don’t believe in rules with makeup. Everyone has their own opinion with aesthetics, but folks that have attitudes like this wreck it for people that take chances.

    “Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can’t put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you’re doing it from a position of correction.”
    Kevyn Aucoin

  53. Great answer to such a bad article. Thank you for your thoughts, that of constructive critism is a very strong one, it helped me realize a situation in my life wasn’t a bad one, I only misunderstood it. All in all this is the answer women hurt by the article need and should listen too!

  54. Jenn

    Make-up is our creative process. For those who can’t draw, sing or dance, but are great with a (make-up) brush, it’s our way of saying how we live and how we express ourselves. Sure sometimes we can wear over the top make-up, our we do it as a joke.
    There are days where I go smoky eye, which is rare. There are days where I will rock the navy blue sliver flecked eyeshadows and days I go bare faced, days with teal eyeliner, etc.
    Even if I get teased for wearing eyeliner at a swim meet, deal with it, it’s who I am, it makes me confident… confident enough to kick everyone’s asses. Haha, true though! If I’m beating people at meets, if I’m swimming at Junior Olympics, if I’m going to Australia to compete and show how we Americans do it or if I get the cuts to the meet I want- that’s more important than: “Why the f*** are you wearing eyeliner, it’s stupid”.
    I think Michelle Phan said it best in her Sailor Moon video tutorial where she said think of make-up as a superhero costume, that you are invincible and don’t let anyone bring you down.
    When I was in middle school, I was teased a lot and contemplated plastic surgery. It wasn’t until high school where I had more confidence in who I was and how I looked. I shed the make-up a lot more and was proud of who I am as an athlete. Hell, some people thought I modeled! So I know it feels to be brought down and having my confidence get rebuilt, but I’m still shy.
    And to those who bring down other women by criticizing them so you can feel better- shame on you for resorting to low measures to try to feel confident. Why can’t you just pick up something to do to make you happy and feel great doing it? That should give you more confidence and whether you choose to do with with make-up or to go barefaced- go ahead.

  55. Honeybumblebee

    Thanks for posting this. You see this ALOT on makeup sites. Not just this horrible trash. Women who can’t seem to live by the motto “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Something we are taught at a very young age. The beauty world is somethings very very ugly.

  56. Avatar of Sally Sally

    The reason why we as women can’t feel beautiful about ourselves is because of the precise type of females who post such things. As women, our method of gaining power is through manipulation and there are several disorders diagnosed almost exclusively in women that are founded on that specific symptom (the need to manipulate). I’m not saying that whomever posted these pictures in a mean spirit has a mental disorder or that all females are manipulative or that manipulation is all bad. However, I do think that it is important for females, young and old, to understand that females do exist with this disorder and it is a symptom of their disorder. When you look at things from this perspective, you are more likely to not take it personally. It doesn’t make their actions okay, but by trying to understand them we will perpetuate a culture of empathy instead of a culture of competition and denegration.

  57. Bianca

    This article is just as ridiculous as the original one. How about instead of teaching people not to criticize, we teach people not to care about what others think? Everyone is going to get criticized at one point or another if not more than once. People with low self esteem CERTAINLY DO NOT need sympathy; this only adds fuel to the fire and does not fix their problem. Enough with the sad sob story about having self esteem issues when you were young and how bad you feel for someone with the same problem. People should be taught to simply NOT CARE when being criticized and proudly wear/say/do what ever they please, and most importantly to stand up for THEM SELVES. What an overreaction to an article. I understand the article was poorly written and I am DEFINITELY not supporting Beauty Riot for it, because it is, in fact, ridiculous. I just believe people need to rethink what we are trying to teach here. Teaching those with low self esteem to stand up for themselves is more important than trying to end criticism and bullying, because sadly, those will never cease to exist.

    • People should absolutely stand up for themselves and not let other people’s opinions dictate their life, but to accept that there’s no end to criticism or bullying (which I think are two different things) and that we must learn to deal with it and put up with it is letting others get away with bad behavior. Why can’t we attack it full-throttle? Teach people to be more respectful of others, more accepting of each other’s differences, and learn how to give proper constructive criticism while not letting people bully you, either by telling an adult or standing up to the person. We need more caring, not less of it. :)

      • Bianca

        Very true, I’m just sick of seeing only one side of the argument!

        • I understand :) I’m a believer in finding the source of the problem and trying to fix that first and foremost, but of course, we have to find ways to handle/temporarily fix/bandage or what-have-you consequences of the problem until we’re able to fix it! So the answer is never black and white – and there are always multiple solutions!

    • Coco

      I think both things are important: not living your life by what others think & having tough skin AND teaching others not to criticize.

      However, I usually think it’s even MORE important to teach NOT to criticize. It’s just like when kids go to school and some people say “Fix your hair or don’t be overweight or change your personality so you don’t give bullies a reason to pick on you.” Of course it’s important not to be overweight just because it’s unhealthy, but I think it’s worse that people are so negative to others about something as superficial as looks.
      I would much rather hateful people were more considerate and tolerant. Why make fun of someone for their looks? Is it really bothering you? Why is it so important to you? And why so hateful?

      • Miss J

        Well said, Coco. I said something similar, but the comments haven’t gone through, and they probably won’t considering I refused to say it nicely. Thanks for making the point that it’s silly to say the one’s being criticized are the ones who need to change, but not the one’s who are acting out. :)

    • Nicoco Chanel

      “There’s a big difference in giving someone constructive criticism and being cruel. Constructive criticism is about genuinely trying to help someone improve an area, which means it points out the problem and provides some detail about how to fix it or why it is a problem… ”I’m sorry, but you look hideous in blue eyeshadow,” is different from, “I think it could work if you just used it on the inner corner” or “Have you tried purple eyeshadow? I think that would be more flattering on you!””

      She didn’t say *don’t criticise*. She said *don’t be a douche when you do* (essentially). There’s a major difference. Yes, this piece didn’t speak too much about self-esteem issues and fighting them, but that’s not relevant to the article that was referenced – not being a douche was. Besides, nothing is stopping anyone from teaching both *don’t be a douche to others* and *ignore mean comments*, but one of them is infinitely easier to do than the other (and it’s not the latter!)

      Sorry about the mini-rant here, but this hits a spot with me. I’ve seen way too many people use that argument so they can justify being a dick – “well, it’s not my problem they’re so thin-skinned!”

    • Yellowlantern

      This sounds an awful lot like victim blaming to me.

      Instead of it being the responsibility of people to stop being rude, stop being a bully, etc. It’s the victim’s responsibility to just take the rudeness and bullying and attempt to not be affected by it?

      I understand the importance of thick skin, and sure there will always be hurtful people, but to claim that all the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the victim is something I don’t agree with.

      • Kasey

        I think the umbrella point might be you can only control you. we can spend forever trying to make other people be nice, but that really only works if they want to be nice, you can’t fix other people, but you can control you. thats not to say you can make nasty comments not hurt, because they will, but you can not let change your outlook or ruin your day.

        • Yellowlantern

          I absolutely agree that you can’t control others and you can only control the way you react to others, but I still think the original post is victim blaming.

          That person made a choice to behave as a bully. Why is that behavior getting some sort of pass as something that “is always going to happen”, but when I feel down because of said bullying I am subject to people telling me it’s my fault for being affected by their bullying?

          I take my hat off to people who can go through life completely unfazed by even the most nasty bullying, but not all of us are like that and I don’t see why we all should have to be. Bullies should be called out for their bullying behavior, we should not be calling out victims simply because they aren’t stoic enough to take abuse and not feel hurt.

          This is a complete double standard and is placing the blame on the victim (because they’re not “supposed” to feel upset when they’re abused) instead of on the bully where it rightfully belongs.

  58. That was pretty terrible.. mostly because you can just LOOK at the photos and tell the girls were just playing/messing around. It’s so completely obvious! Mean girls EVERYWHERE! At EVERY AGE!

    Haters gonna hate, ladies. F-ck ‘em.

  59. Megan

    This is really heartbreaking. I hate to see women tearing each other down instead of building each other up. We live in a time when our politicians seem hellbent on taking away any power we have over our sexual health and well being and misogyny runs rampant. We need to act as a cohesive unit for the betterment of our gender instead of tearing each other apart on the internet. Those girls looked like they were joking around and having fun. Why make fun of that?

    • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

      Brava! I couldn’t agree more, particularly with the part referencing the current war against women.

  60. Reprehensible behaviour.

  61. Safyre

    Amen, Christine. Thank you for bringing this straight up heinous behavior to lighr. In addition, thank you for being an open minded person who embraces the creativity of others and distinguishing the difference between constructive and just rude/hurtful criticism. It’s sad to see that because if some ignorant comment, someone can be driven to really self-distructive behavior and the bully may never be held accountable. Everyone has something that makes them unique, beautiful, and special and if these nullies/trolls/critisixers would fovus their enetgy on finding that good and complimenting people for it, that’d probably feel better anout themselves. Besides, isn’t it bettet.to get.a “thank you” instead of an “eff you” :p p.s. I’m sorry about all the typos , I’m on my.phone andit’s difficult to edit :p

  62. Thank you for this; I think it is important to be a supportive community. Makeup should be a creative outlet, and a fun one! I hate thinking that anyone who is interested in beauty would be put off it because they are embarrassed or scared of really cruel criticism.

    • So, I know I already commented, but I just went and looked through the gallery… it occurred to me that if we saw the exact same makeup looks done on models for a high-fashion editorial shoot, most of us wouldn’t question it; it’s the idea that your average Jane thinks she can play with makeup that seems to offend the authors of this article. That is really upsetting.

  63. I actually didn’t click over, because I don’t want to provide another hit to that article. So I’m just replying generally to the concepts.

    We are a culture saturated with the idea that if a woman is not underweight and underage, she’s not very valuable – and she should accept this “fact” humbly, without showing any signs of self-esteem. This whole internet beauty niche should be an alternative to the media’s ugly statements on beauty, not an extension of it. This is an arena for those people are actually tired of seeing the same looks on every actress/model. I love faces you might call unique, interesting, “handsome” or just plain “striking.”

    Personality makes faces interesting. It’s corny to say “beauty comes from within”, but your memories, experience, values and ideals do become “written on your face” over time. I’ve noticed that sometimes I see someone for the first time and think they’re not at all good-looking, but then I get to know them and like them, and suddenly they look much better to me.

    That’s what people are missing out on when they embrace the ideas in that article. The world is really so much more interesting than that, and they aren’t getting it.

    • It’s very true – everyone I love is beautiful, and I imagine that how I feel about them is as much a part of how I view them as their physical attributes are!

    • Avatar of Gina Gina

      I absolutely agree! The more I get to know a person, the more beautiful they seem to become. It’s so much easier to look past flaws when you have a beautiful personality.

  64. Thank you for writing this – you’re setting an example that I know will make a difference to young girls, or anyone struggling to feel their own value and worth.
    Makeup is such an incredibly fun outlet for creativity and expression. For me, it’s absolutely an art, and it’s grown my appreciation for the beauty of each unique person and style. It’s sad how something that’s positive for so many of us can be twisted into negativity. I’m so tired of the criticism and meanness and this ridiculous idea that there’s a “right” way to look.

  65. Adele

    Another reason why you are the only beauty blog I read. If those women were 100% serious about their makeup– not a parody or a costume–I totally respect how they choose to present themselves.

    The other day at work I was wearing Candy Yum Yum–not even full-on, I was using it like a stain–and a rude customer, trying to get my attention, said “You! IN THE MAKEUP!” I started cracking up. Yes: me, in the makeup! That’s right! :)

    • Savannah

      That makes me laugh. I work at a grocery store and this lady came through my line (& idk if I’m allowed to say this on here) but she was wearing a shirt, that said ” YO B!TCH” on it, in caps. & she had turned around and made a stunned face and said “Oh, wow, look at that lady’s lipstick. It’s soooo bright” *it wasn’t btw* and in my head I was thinking…. You’re wearing a very offensive shirt and you’re commenting about someones lipstick….?

  66. Rocza

    Christine,
    What a great post! The culture will only change when enough of us stand up and say that it’s unacceptable. Thank you for such a heartfelt post.

    • Anne-Marie

      Could not agree more! I am so happy to see someone as highly esteemed and intelligent as Christine publicly standing up for women everywhere. I feel almost a hint of feminism here, oo la la! This is great!

  67. Rebecca

    Just today I saw CoverGirl share on their facebook wall a photo of one of their recent CG spokesperson (An Olympic Medalist) holding up her own CG ad, she was not wearing makeup in the photo and one girl commented how terrible she looked without makeup! I couldn’t believe it, instead of congratulating this Olympic Medalist for being the knew CoverGirl, this girl decided to belittle her just because she thought the woman looked terrible without makeup, its incredible how some girls are so ready to put down another woman’s looks, its like inner beauty doesn’t even matter anymore. Disgusting.

  68. Miss J

    Amazing post, Christine; thank you so much for writing this blog post in response.

    Ladies and men on Temptalia: Each and every one of us is beautiful and fiercely fabulous in our own right.

    “I want people to feel good about themselves and be honest with themselves; to know their flaws and to work on them but to also appreciate all of the positive attributes they possess as well–and not just how they look but how they feel, how they think, and what their abilities are.” I couldn’t agree more with what Christine said in that part. Beauty is subjective. I know it’s hard to do, but we need to stop caring so much about others approval of our appearance. At 26, I still care what men and other women think about me to some extent, but I have realized this is a truly destructive behavior because if we focus on what others say, WE WILL NEVER BE HAPPY. Within what’s reasonable, figure out what will make YOU happy then work towards that. If you are happy with yourself and working towards a better you then other people that say nasty things are the ones with the problem. A beautiful heart/soul/mind/inside will always be more beautiful and long lasting than any external beauty. Please, please, please – STOP the woman on woman hate. Try complimenting another female. It feels really, really good! I remember a time I was in a bar/club, and I saw an attractive woman with fantastic cleavage — now, I know ya’ll know this scenario — the one where we see an attractive female, jealousy comes up, and our minds go to “that bitch.” I was having one of those moments and hating myself for it. Anyway, later I ran into same girl in the bathroom, and she was totally nice. Instead of being pissed that she was gorgeous and sweet, I complimented her on her outfit and even mentioned that her top gave her really awesome cleavage. The jealousy totally dropped and I could tell that the compliment was appreciated. It felt so much better saying that over something like, “Wow, your eye liner is a little crooked.” Cuz girl, you know your eye liner has been crooked too at some point! :P None of us are perfect, none of us should be criticizing others. Look in the damn mirror before looking at someone else, mmmkay!

  69. Avatar of Maria Ida

    You are SO right!

  70. Anne-Marie

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Christine, it’s really ridiculous. I am loving all the comments on the article that agree with your sentiments (and mine!). It was deliberately cruel, and made of what seemed like only cheap shots creative, parodying, or otherwise not-attempting-to-be-the-norm looks. Ugh, frustrating! I hope that author gets dragged over the hot coals for this one.

  71. Luiza

    You’re king of AMAZING.

  72. Well said, Christine. I love that you are so passionate about empowering women. It’s such a shame that people still do this kind of stuff, but it seems like they are getting a lot of backlash for it (thank goodness). In the end, whoever posted that ridiculous “article” looks like a jackass

  73. Mae

    Ugh, this sort of thing gets me so riled up. Unless someone asks for constructive criticism on their makeup, people shouldn’t say a thing! Not even “It would look better if…” or “This colour would look great on you…” type of comments, that sound helpful and innocent but are just a more passive way of tearing the wearer’s self-confidence and individuality down. *It’s not ABOUT you, so don’t act like it is!*

    • Vitória

      Agreed. That’s what I was thinking when I read Christine’s article, and I’ve seen people here saying this kind of passive-aggressive crap to her. Like “Honey, those (insert whatever here) look gross! I’m just sayin’ it to be nice!” or something.

      No, “honey”, you’re not being nice, you’re being an asshole.

      Seriously, when it comes to beauty blogs, I’m there for the kick-ass reviews and wonderful pics. I’m not saying anything about anybody’s face or makeup skills, unless he/she specifically asks for advice.

      • Denise

        Couldn’t have said it better. I made a comment once about a statement made being passive aggressive and her reply was, “actually I think I am being rather aggressive…”. Yes, passive aggressive IS aggressive, but the passive part comes from trying to say your intentions are to be nice, funny, caring, and so on.

    • Patrick

      I completely agree with you. I find those type of comments very passive as well.

  74. Jillian

    This is a bit funny to me since just recently on Temptalia, a bunch of commenters were bemoaning women who do “natural” looks, saying how much it bugs them because some women spend time on their make-up but still prefer a more natural look, insinuating that women who do that are wasting their time- some people almost seemed to be making character judgments about “us”. I was surprised to see that here, but I didn’t bother commenting on it because I’m one of those women and I don’t care what other women think- natural colors look best on me, and I occasionally do my make-up so that it doesn’t look like I have all that much on. Omg, THE HORROR :P

    • I’m really sorry to hear the comments made you feel that way! :( It can be a really fine line of giving your opinion and insulting someone who would be on the opposite side (even if it was not the intention).

    • Miss J

      Um. I don’t think you’re quite getting it. This isn’t about natural vs. colorful makeup. It’s the fact that this chick took photos of people (most I’ve seen posted by the person in the photo, and the makeup was strictly intended to be a joke) for the specific purpose to tear them down; it appears to be done without research or consent from the people in the photos. Someone stating they think it’s a waste of time to use 20 products and spend an hour to come out looking the same as they went into the process is a bit different from specifically picking you out and telling you that you’re stupid or wrong. Most people stated that they personally don’t understand the point, not that you or anyone else who did see a point or enjoy it was stupid. No one was tearing anyone down for wearing natural makeup.

      • Denise

        Her feelings are legitimate, or she wouldnt have felt that way at all. Perhaps instead of saying “I dont think youre quite getting it”, which could be considered a bit condescending and mean in and of itself, you could have been compassionate and posed another interpretation with more thoughtful wording.

        It is not just what you say, but how you say it that is important if you want to get your point across in my humble opinion.

        • Miss J

          I never said her feelings weren’t legitimate. I could have worded it better, sure, but she said that other people were tearing down people who chose to wear natural makeup, and that the two situations are the same. All I was saying is that in that post, people only said they didn’t see the point FOR THEIR SELF, which is the complete opposite of article linked.

          • Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

            Thank You, Miss J ;) for my part it’s the irony that :: clearing throat::: the people I have known who do this DENIGRATE those who use the same amount or fewer products and their
            face is clearly “made up” That is *my* irritation. It is only with the hypocritical behavior of these girls/ women- not their personal cosmetic choices.

            • Miss J

              I used to wear 90% colorful makeup and 10% neutral/none – now it’s flipped, and I wear 90% neutral/none. I don’t really give a f*** what anyone wants to wear on their face, how many products they use to put it there, or how much time it takes to put it there. My agitation (clearly displayed in my original response) was the attitude that came from the comment. Also, the fact that the only post recently that brought up no-makeup-makeup was one where readers were asked what they thought were overrated beauty techniques. A handful of people stated no-makeup-makeup, but I saw maybe one that could be taken as judgmental, but the others just stated that it wasn’t for them. I didn’t see this attack on natural makeup, so it seemed over the top to say the same thing happened here when it was far from the same. It just seemed as if this was being turned into a natural vs. colorful makeup issue. No one went tearing down natural makeup. I digress. Those who’ve read my comments know I’m only bitchy when I feel necessary.

      • Jenny

        I don’t understand how tearing someone down by saying it’s a waste of time to use alot of products to achieve a natural look is any better then tearing them down because their look because is over the top. How is denigrating their choice as a “waste of time” any better than calling them stupid?

        • Miss J

          Uhhh, that’s not what was said, or what I said. People were saying that FOR THEM they did not understand the point, but did not tear anyone else down. No one told her or anyone else it was a waste of time for them to do it if that’s what they enjoyed.

          • Jenny

            It’s your own words that I am responding to YOU said, someone stating it’s a waste of time to use 20 products to achieve a particular look is not the same as calling something stupid or wrong. If that is not what was said, then why use that phrase, “waste of time”?

            • Denise

              Agreed. However, I dont think your point, or my point for that matter, is understood or even somewhat agreed with. I can see both sides…while I tend to agree with yours. Words are not black and white in all cases…thus the term “read between the lines”. Some, however, do not realize that what they have said clearly means more than they intended. Also, when someone starts defending their views with what would be considered a teenage-like response, you kind of have to throw your arms up and realize you won’t get anywhere trying to show/explain the “grey” if you get what I mean:) And, yes, that last comment will likely irk some. But, hey, then that means they CAN read between the lines but simply do not want to even remotely see someone else’s point of view without hacking it down right away.

            • Miss J

              AHEM. I said that someone stating that the specific TECHNIQUE is a waste of THEIR time is not the same as tearing down another who enjoys that technique. I am referencing a blog post where a handful of people mentioned AFTER BEING SPECIFICALLY ASKED what techniques were overrated. If someone feels a technique is overrated FOR THEIR SELF to do, does that equal an attack on another person or their choice? The waste of time comment from someone was in reference to it being a waste of THEIR OWN TIME, not anyone elses!! GOOD GRIEF.

    • Miss J

      Jillian, I apologize and am truly sorry if my comment came across as an attack on you. I disagree that the same thing was happening here as in that post, though. I know the post you are referring to from this blog, and all the comments I saw stated that for the person specifically that they did not understand the point, but I didn’t see anyone tearing anyone else down for their choice to do such. I just don’t see how the two posts were anywhere near the same, considering one was asking specifically what each individual thought were overrated beauty practices. The post linked above was created with what appears to be obvious/clear intent to tear others down.

  75. Jane

    Hi Christine, that is just absolutely terrible behaviour from a website! And I wholeheartedly agree with you that we shouldn’t be tearing each other down like that, especially when media and society already pits us women against each other. :(

    There is just so much negativity floating around on the internet, especially since anonymity gives people such power. It just reminds me of, and I’d completely even forgotten about this, what is your take on GuruGossip (and websites like it)? I’m not sure if you’re familiar with them, and kudos to you if you are and just let it roll off your back because that takes a lot of self-esteem. I’m not trying to start anything, promise, I’m just curious because things like this, they just seem like a waste of time for both parties involved.

    Anyways, I’ll understand if you don’t want to respond to this but I’d be equally appreciative if you did! :)

  76. Vitória

    Couldn’t agree more, Christine. What a shitty article. I mean damn, if you’re going to be a troll, at least be a funny one.

  77. Nicki

    Christine you are the best! You always keep it classy and real. It seems like you would be a great role model for women and or young female adults. I’m 18, and theres nothing else like your blog/videos. I really hope you become big in this area, because your so helpful and amazzzin!

  78. Jasmine

    What an absolutely beautiful post!

  79. Avatar of Cindy Cindy

    Amen, Sister! I think when someone makes negative comments about another person’s make-up, she forgets that there’s a real person underneath. Yes, makeup is art. Yes, makeup takes expertise to apply and choose the correct products for one’s coloring and skin type. Yet, the most important reason why many women love makeup is that IT’S FUN and PERSONAL!!! We create our own canvases. Everyone has something special when it comes to features. Play it up! Have a blast! That’s the point. Unless you’re Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier, you don’t need to impress anyone but yourself.

  80. Avatar of Carmen Carmen

    I agree and also disagree with your comments, Christine. My feelng is that if someone is silly enough to post those pictures on the internet, then they must expect that people are going to comment on them -good or bad. I mean really, some of them are ridiculous and almost as bad as the New Jersey overtanned mom from that overused/abused the tanning bed that was in the news. How can anyone think that is attractive by any stretch of the imagination?
    Just my opinion.

    • Avatar of Sarah Sarah

      If the person wearing it feels good then more power to them. Like Cindy said below, the only person you need to impress is yourself.

    • Great post! People should be able to feel safe and comfortable about self-expression and makeup does that for a lot of women. It takes guts to post a picture online. What Beauty Riot did, picking out people and making fun of them was uncalled for. I agree with Pink Sith – it’s a form of bullying. I hope they take down that offensive post!

  81. Amy

    It is really sad how some people always have to tear apart people and criticize them. I’ve lost count of how many times on various blogs or pages on facebook post a look and there are rude and mean comments. If you don’t like the look, then don’t say anything at all. Like you say, makeup is supposed to be fun. I just wish people had more respect these days.

  82. Avatar of Margaux Margaux

    This is a well articulated article! Instead of reciprocating the negativity, it brings the article to attention and offers constructive criticism. You have done such a wonderful job Christine!!! Beautifully worded.

  83. I just watched an episode of What Not To Wear, where a naturally pretty young lady did the same thing. I guess it doesn’t help that they got notimnated for their bad taste in clothing and in some cases makeup too! Still makes me cringe everytime I see it though.

  84. Zulaikha

    I understand exactly what you’re saying. Once my mother in law commented about my dressing sense in public saying how sloppy i look, it was this one time when we went to grab a quick bite Coz i hadn’t made any dinner as i was down with the flu and had no strength to walk. Even though she tells me now at times when i dress up that i look v pretty, i just can never ever believe her. Deep down I’m so hurt and can never forget what she said.

  85. Well said Christine. I love you and your blog.

    I’m afraid of posting some of my more eccentric looks on the web for fear of ridicule… I like to experiment and I thought that was a GOOD thing, but I’d be really upset to see my face staring back from a website like that- especially taken out of context, as I often post shots of “I did this and quickly realised it was awful!” or even I’ve taken photos of my bleached hair before I’ve put coloured dye over it and I look like a scarecrow! If I can’t feel free to express myself through make-up and show my friends online without fear of ridicule, I don’t want to live on this planet any more… :( Paintings I can distance myself from, but my face is attached to me and feels much more personal.

    Well done Temptalia for standing up to the bullies and saying it’s not acceptable. <3

    • I can only say that you get used to the kind of comments people leave on the internet over time, but you definitely have to be prepared for it :(

      • It’s sad that it works that way- we have to get hardened to the comments rather than hope the comments will stop. I find it hard to remember that, for the most part, for every awful comment, there are several positive and constructive comments too. I have a nasty habit of forgetting all the positive ones and only remembering a single negative one. I think we can all be guilty of that at times, because that one bad post seems to have as much power as ten good ones!

        I think experimentation and expression is a good thing, and when it come to make up, people grow and improve, and we’ve all been “n00bs” doing it wrong at some point in time. Also, my style isn’t the same as everyone else’s and what looks good on me, could look odd and others etc etc. I’m not as keen on how I look in neutral, natural make-up, so I wear insanely bright stuff, and that’s just me and it make’s me feel good to do it, so sod people who don’t like my style, I like it!!

        Sorry, I went off on one there. It does make me sad that we can’t all like each other, but sadly, the beauty world can be snarky and bitchy at times :\ Hopefully your positivity will spread to lots of people reading your blog, and put the beauty back into people’s attitudes too! x

        • What I like to do is save really awesome comments and use them as inspiration, motivation, etc. if a negative comment has gotten to me, or if I’m just feeling a little down or tired or whatever. Because it’s very true – for every one negative comment, there were probably many more times positive/constructive ones, but the negative comment is always the easiest one to remember. That file I have is a reminder to not let one comment overcome so many other, more constructive, helpful, and insightful comments! :)

          • What a good idea! That’s a really good way to keep things in perspective. I’ll have to try to remember to do something similar :)

          • Wow. After posting here, with a link to my blog (which I’d forgotten I’d added on here) I had my first cruel comment on my blog, telling me I’m ugly. They must have followed from here as I’ve not posted anything new in months or linked there from anywhere lately, so that is really, really low. I expect more of Temptalia readers. :(

            • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

              It might very well NOT be a Temptalia reader, at least, not a regular posting one. If it’s true that the website has now posted an Editorial Note, they must have seen the reaction here, especially after Christine linked this post to that site. Consequently, anyone who came here from Beauty Riot and wanting to troll could have seen your link, gone to your blog and posted a comment. I truly can’t believe that a (regular, posting) Temptalia reader would do such a thing. Please, can you try to shrug it off? I know how hard it can be, but the only ugly person in this story is the person who would do that. *hugs*

  86. Avatar of Elsa elsa

    Wonderful job Christine, Beautifully worded.

  87. Stephanie

    Did you see that the author of the article not only has an opinion on make-up but tattoos too? they wrote another article like this one, full of negative comments and nastiness – on tattoos – they branded them as “19 ugly tattoo mistakes” – I don’t understand how this person has decided that they are the best person to judge everyone?

    who said they could tear people down? why pick on people? its such a cowardly thing to do behind a computer screen and heaven forbid we have a photo of what they look like so we have what they measure everything against!

    I wear make-up to make me happy, to make me feel great about myself, to help me express how I am feeling. I have large beautiful tattoos that I get nothing but compliments about and when I get old I’ll be wrinkly, colourful and interesting. I will be happy.

    I don’t like that these anonymous cowardly trolls behind computer screens feel that they have the power and the right to judge people and tear them down. shame on them!

    • I don’t know anything about the writer, and I don’t know if she’s just writing what she’s told to write to keep her job or who’s really behind the topics of choice. I didn’t bother reading anything else on the site, because I could see there were a lot done in poor taste. :(

      • Stephanie

        It came up as a suggested read. And I agree with you 100%. Also I think what you do, and the attitude you have is wonderful. Thank you for being awesome :)

    • Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

      Yeah the tattoo thing really did a Grind my Gears on me. You can feel free to say those things to my face, not hide behind a computer, and see where it gets you. I was raised in an accepting and peaceful household and in some ways that has taught me to bite my tongue until it bleeds. I don’t need people to like my appearance, but I will not accept rude behavior. I’ve always felt Hannibal Lecters opinion of rude people was the one thing we could agree on. Something about making the move from CA to NV has really allowed my inner goddess of vengeance to move about the cabin freely. I don’t duck my head and pretend not to hear or see, I am vocal and if you try to crush my spirit even a little with your uncalled for judgements- I will call you on it. And it will not ruin *my* day one iota.

  88. lily

    I just read the article and saw the picture,and Christine, I agree with you 100%. And this meanness and negativity dont go away with age. I’m 23 and I still that going around my college campus and my parents who are 44 and 50 work with people that are well into their 80′s and they see hate and gossip and hurtful chitchat going on everyday as well. I especially hate it when I see people critique children, its sick. On TV and in magazines, and in public parks I hear chit chat on how this kid is better looking than that kid…etc and I just dont get it. Why do people have to belittle others to feel better about themselves?

  89. Avatar of Sarah Sarah

    “featuring photos of real people–not celebrities–who had the audacity to share those photos on the internet.”, to me, reads: “it’s perfectly okay to do this to celebrities, because everyone knows they aren’t real people”

    I sincerely hope it came off this way to just me – doing this to anyone isn’t okay.

    • I don’t agree it should be done to celebrities at ALL. That’s why we don’t even *turn on* comments on Temptalia when we post celebrities from award shows – they completely degenerate into something ugly. For me, though, as a celebrity, it is part of the territory (and it shouldn’t be, but alas, that’s another issue and even harder habit to break), but targeting real people on the internet I think makes it an even worse offense.

  90. Avatar of Elizabeth Beth Maiorana

    Dear Christine,

    How distinctive your sensitive insight is. Thanks for this courageous post. The internet these days (and forever more, I suspect) has an almost incomprehensible impact on us all- more than any advertising angle I’ve known in my rather long-ish life- and such power can do grave harm or wondrous miracles, but my point is that I agree with you and applaud your nerve for speaking your mind. Many thanks for many of us … xoxo Beth in Pgh ;-)

  91. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    It can be hard to tell when people are being “tongue in cheek” on the Internet but in this article, they cite some mistakes that go away (smashing a friend’s car; sending a text or email to the wrong recipient) as being minor compared to makeup faux pas. Again, I don’t know if they’re kidding or not but I have a friend who accidentally sent an unflattering comment about her boss to “reply all” when she meant to send it to one person in the recipient list. NOT a minor mistake at all and a whole lot more serious than even ugly or badly applied makeup!!! If I crashed a friend’s car, I would consider that a whole lot more serious than an online photo of me wearing badly applied blush. I don’t know the pinksith people and don’t know if they were joking or being somewhat tongue-in-cheek about this. It seemed pretty clear to me that some of those photos were done to emulate a look from the past (the blonde with the teased up hair and bright blue eye-shadow….was it a 60′s or 70′s Barbie look? Ellie May Clampett? – it might have been deliberate and not meant as a serious date or work look; ditto many of the others). I honestly don’t see the long lasting, life altering consequences of having posted a photo like that online. To me, that would matter a whole lot less in the great cosmic plan than smashing my friend’s car! Unless the pinksith folks are just kidding, I don’t think much about their priorities since they certainly aren’t mine. It’s “just” makeup – you can wash it off. No need to ridicule people who posted photos of themselves for whatever reason(s). As for the photos…so what?

    • PinkSith just shared the article on her Facebook, so I wanted to give credit to her since she brought it to my attention :) She definitely didn’t write the article!

      • Avatar of Mariella Mariella

        Oh – I didn’t realize. I just quickly went over there to take a look. Whoever wrote it, maybe they were trying to be funny/tongue in cheek but, heavens, if they weren’t, they do need to remember that it IS only makeup – not a reflection of the value of the people wearing it or applying it.

  92. Avatar of Kimberly Kimberly

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Christine! I have the same outlook on makeup as you do: it’s all about freedom of expressing yourself in any way you see fit. Some people like to wear a variety of color on their eyes (like yourself! :) ) and other people like the completely natural, no-makeup look. Personally, I like to rock the red lip on a daily basis. We each have our own way of interpreting what makeup means to us personally, and I’m really glad that you stood up for that idea!!

  93. I glanced through the article and I really don’t understand the ‘journalistic’ choices made by the author. Rather than targeting the individuals in the photos- many of which are intended to be exaggerated/ humourous- she could have simply written a piece on common makeup mistakes (still her opinion, but at least not petty and directed at individuals) and used the pictures as deliberately extreme examples.

    As it is, by using images that were intended to send up certain makeup looks, the author ends up appearing quite shrewish, but also like she doesn’t get it. I noticed that many of the photos were actually taken from sites or posts parodying 80s makeup and a few of them are images that I recognised from other sites as being joke-y.

    Your piece is almost definitely more thoughtful and articulate than the original deserves, but I couldn’t agree more. The real ugliness here is that women are expected to be wicked to one another- constantly criticising and viewing other women as competition for praise and attention. It’s an extremely destructive cycle and one that fundamentally plays into keeping women disenfranchised- although things are undoubtedly better than they were, I’m shocked at how often the tactic of trying to set female employees against each other in the work place is still used.

    As a side note, it never ceases to amaze me, Christine, that you say you struggle with self-image. Since the first time I saw your site, I’ve always thought you were an exceptionally beautiful woman.

    Smart, very positive article and a great piece for discussion.

    • It is definitely bothersome that they were taken out of context – and I agree, they could have made it a “here’s how” article, even if some of us would say that these aren’t how not to do your makeup (no rules, do what you want, etc.), but at least it would be helpful/beneficial.

      Thank you, Kate!

  94. The A Culture of Negativity is not new at all I grew up with trash in tabloid before the internet attopeted it a “news worthy” as a child and trust me not a single girl growing up int he 90′ds felt pretty even the popular ones where constants bombard with the message like “You suck as a woman because you don’t look like this”.

    As a cosplayer you be this triple fold and because mean I get actually people in person saying that “She’s Ugly” when they see me in person, Rather then just viscous comment on the just the internet with photo’s where they ugly haerted people and let loose their inner bitchiness (both male and female) for that moment because they can be “anonymous”.(It still think YouTube should BAN IP address once a troller get to many complaints. If you can play nice you not allowed in the sandbox. lol).

    As a cosplayer instead of let these (Your Ugly) comments discourage me (because guess what I’ll never me a thin, tiny, build cartoon character) I developed a thicker skin and springily a heck of a lot more self confidence in my body image over the years that I would have had normally. It takes a lot of guts to be a cosaplayer because (dress up is for kids by most people idea on it and your a freak for doing it) but you know what a lot of woman but of faces/clothes to dress the part in society what’s wrong with a spending a day or a weekend in others pairs of shes. As cosplayer we wear what we love to show that we love a series/comic/designer/illustrator proudly instead of being in the “closet” you a being a fan. lol

  95. Banafshe Sharifian

    Very well said Christine! Women are oftentimes targeted for their looks rather than men, thus resulting in lower self esteem. Young girls are taught that their self worth is directly related to how “pretty” they are rather than how smart, creative, well spoken, etc….Great response! :)

  96. I think that’s the thing I love most about makeup: the community is pretty accepting of “out-there” looks. Like, “Oh, you love chartreuse eyeshadow? Let’s look for the perfect one together!” or “You like color-blocked lips! Awesome! What combos do you like?” I think being accepting of what people like is really healthy. One of my friends makes fun of my orange lipstick obsession and says I look like a clown. I don’t care – it makes me feel more confident and it’s what I like. Knocking people down because you don’t agree with their look is wrong. I think we can all agree there are some things that look…not flattering (i.e. Sharpie-drawn-on brows). However, we should be trying to support people and support the looks that make them happy!

  97. Lenita

    Errr, I doubt the writer intentionally aims at making the subjects feel bad. It’s a jest, and there is even a lot of truth in it (otherwise people can sue, right?). Just like when Tina Fey makes fun of Sara Palin. Not everyone will find it funny, but heck, some do. But there are worse things people do to each other. People are human. And clearly if these type of jests abound, some people like it. It’s a matter of taste, just like makeup (and bad makeup) is a matter of taste. Some people will prefer to keep their opinion to self, some people to provide ‘constructive criticisms’, some people jest, some people ransack and kill (and now this is a real problem). In the grand scheme of things, having people make a jest of you is really nothing. I have been at the receiving end of jokes. It probably helped me become stronger. And I think there are other worst things on the internet. *shrugs*

    • Avatar of Veronica Veronica

      Well, intention isn’t magical, so using the argument that they didn’t mean to hurt anyone doesn’t really fix anything if they did. I was on the fence regarding the post, but it crossed a line into inappropriate for me when they described the one older woman as “needing wrinkle cream.” It’s one thing to dish on a cosmetic look you don’t like – makeup being a voluntary aspect of a woman’s appearance – but it’s an entirely different issue when you attack a woman for an unavoidable part of the aging process. That thinking has its roots in a very ugly part of cultural prejudice that posits the primary value of women is their physical appearance.

    • Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

      Writing things like this, far from a jest, works on the energy of Diminishing. They seek to gain approval through diminishing another in mind and spirit in the only way they feel safe doing it. Why you would compare that to killing is beyond me. Watch a young child having their spirit shrunk through demeaning words and tell me that such things do not have visible, long reaching consequences for that child. These people being targeted are not children but you know nothing of them and their sensitivity, self esteem or past experiences. Honestly, this is not a competition about which actions are “really” damaging.. I believe in routing out The Nasties where you find them.

  98. Alex

    The article seemed like it was meant to be humorous. We’ve all made makeup “mistakes” and gotten a good laugh out of them later in life. I wouldn’t bother focusing on something like this that happens all the time. Perhaps instead of spreading the word about the article, you could have promoted positive aspects of our culture, such as giving to charity :)

    • Avatar of Adler adler

      Except it’s not a zero-sum game. Nobody has to, or is even being asked to, choose between just two options — pointing out negative behaviors and giving to charity are not mutually exclusive. It seems almost like you are responding to an argument that nobody made, and frankly, it seems like a distraction technique.

      The bottom line is that we owe everyone else the basic decency we afford ourselves. Sure, we’ve all made style mistakes, but we don’t expect our friends to ridicule us on the internet for it! Screwing up, or being at a low point on the learning curve, doesn’t entail “asking for it.”

      Ultimately, I hope we can all be more supportive of each other in the future. There’s enough self-esteem and kindness in the world that we ALL can have some.

      • Alex

        I never said people were “asking” for this article to be written. I’m pointing out that there are hundreds of articles exactly like this one online, and instead of bothering to read any of them, why not do something positive?

        Will I support others? Yes. I will- by physically going out and assisting others. By volunteering to benefit my community. Instead of drawing attention to “negativity.”

        • Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

          Well I’ve often found that ignoring negative things *does* make tend to make them go away. That’s why the world is really near perfect, in my estimation. If you don’t speak up when you see something being done or said that you feel is wrong, some may interpret that complacency as complicity. I volunteer and a large part of that *is* speaking out against the things I believe are wrong, specifically animal cruelty. I wouldn’t know how to separate the two since activism for me has never been equated with silence in the face of genuine (non cosmetic) ugliness.

  99. Great post! People should be able to feel safe and comfortable about self-expression and makeup does that for a lot of women. It takes guts to post a picture online. What Beauty Riot did, picking out people and making fun of them was uncalled for. I agree with Pink Sith – it’s a form of bullying. I hope they take down that offensive post!