What's your favorite makeup "rule" to break?

Probably not to wear all shimmer eyeshadow (like you have to incorporate mattes into your look). I also don’t care about wearing only warmer shades or only wearing makeup that “flatters” me.

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

1.) The utterly stupid one that says that women of a *certain age* should not wear shimmery, glittery or metallic eyeshadow! Baloney skins! I wear them and I rock them at 57 y.o., because I can.
2.) Never wear your eye color in your eyeshadow….um, I LOVE teal. And sage greens. So once more with feeling; if I look good in it, I’m gonna rock it!
3.) I too don’t subscribe to the “rule” that warm ought to only wear warm or vice versa. If I love it on me….you guessed it!
Rock it out, my friends!

Jaz Avatar

I have always found that eye color rule kind of silly … because then I would never be able to wear a brown eyeshadow. And I love a good copper/ chocolate brown shadow with shimmer.

Mariella Avatar

I forgot about the “eye colour rule” because I guess I’ve not heard it in such a long time but, yeah – my eyes are brown and I love brown eyeshadows and shades in the “brown” family (golden, bronze, warm taupe shades). No way would I not wear those!

Glenda Avatar

I’m with you Nancy! Those rules are so silly and btw, change so often that they can’t be taken seriously!
I may not rock a blue shadow like I did back in the day, but yeah a lower lash line in a striking blue is awesome with deep dark brown eyes!
Let’s rebel yell for all the ladies making their OWN RULES!

Irene Avatar

I violate all these rules all the time. I’m 33 and still sometimes wear glittery eye shadows. I have brown eyes and wear brown/neutral shades 95% of the time (because really, how can you say no brown-eyes people should wear any shade of brown?? It’s universally flattering and you can find appropriate shades for every setting/occasion!!!) and even though my skin is cooler toned, I actually think I look better in golds and coppers than grays and taupes (even though i have eye shadows in the latter too)

Emily Avatar

I’m with you, Christine! I really don’t care for rules about what colours my skin tone limits me too. I have cool undertones and am on the pale end of the spectrum but I love my coral blushes and peachy lipsticks. Any any red lip I wear is going to be an orange-red, not a blue red. I love the warmth those shades add to my face and I think those pastel pink blushes look fake on me. They feel very girly, same with pink lipsticks – I live in Asia where most women gravitate towards those shades so I’m a bit of an anomaly here.

Generally, I think rules telling us what season we are, what colours to wear and avoid, etc are overly rigid and drain the fun out of makeup and clothes. Plus, I think the ‘science’/theory is a little iffy, not to mention very Caucasian centric.

I say go with what you want! At the end of the day, it’s our face and we are in a better position to know what suits us.

bibi Avatar

Wearing pink eyeshadow- I’ve even been known to use lipstick as an eyeshadow. I’m not sure if it still holds with the current shades of red eyeshadows I’ve seen trending, but there was a time when we were warned that pink/red near the eyes makes us look tired. For whatever reason pink eyeshadow makes my the hazel/green color in my eyes pop.

Shimmery browbones- Yes, I’m over 40 & wear shimmer around my eyes. I know a certain Mr Goss says it’s ‘out’ & passe for all ages. But I love my shimmery disco browbones & lipstick. And thanks to MAC Nylon you can probably see my browbones from another galaxy.

Since the age of 14 I’ve been known to sport some rather dramatic lash & liner looks. I love ‘over the top’ false eyelashes and eyeliner that would make Amy Winehouse look meek. Daytime or night makes no difference to me. Even when nobody was wearing false lashes in the 80’s (although gobs of clumpy mascara was fine) I wore my strips!

Irene Avatar

Me too!!!! I used to adhere to this rule thinking I’d look too clownish or over the top until one day I tried and LOVED it on me. It’s now my default holiday party look.

Jade Avatar

I feel the same way! I have undereye circles, don’t get me wrong, but I rarely bother with concealer because I have to make such a effort to blend it, and it often breaks down differently and more noticeably than my foundation. Once I’m done with the rest of my makeup I find my face looks balanced.

Bonnie Avatar

I agree…that concealer often makes they eyes look worse. A trick I picked up from watching a video years ago backstage at one of the VS fashion shows is that they sweep bronzer at the top of their cheekbone/under the eye to give them glow without being mask-like. I do that most days. The right bronzer is key for that though – nothing too too sparkly or too muddy.

Ae Avatar

Probably using primer or thinking that it’s an absolute must if you’re going to wear eyeshadow. I tried an eyeshadow primer once and I was weirded out by how difficult it was to blend my eyeshadow. I haven’t bothered since.

Holly courtney Avatar

I wear a smokey eye morning, noon and night, it just suits me. I don’t differentiate between day looks and evening looks. I also line my waterline in black, again, it doesn’t make my eyes look smaller, rather it gives much needed definition. I only believe in one rule with makeup, if it makes you look and feel pretty, do it! ?

Erica Avatar

I think it can make your eyes look smaller but why is that a bad thing? It also like you say defines the eye and makes them smolder imo too. Nothing wrong with that!

Alecto Avatar

Lining the waterline in a dark color … this! I once posted a comment that I will never understand the supposed makeup goal of making one’s eyes look larger, as I am neither an infant nor an anime character. Dark colors on the waterline make your eyes *intense*, which is a much more understandable goal for me than “look at my huuuuge eyes … aren’t I appealing in a helpless little baby doe kind of way?” Ugh.

I think the “rule” developed from two things: One, this idea that women need to look as young and vulnerable as possible (did I mention “Ugh?”). Two, from professionals seeing some women who put the black liner only on the waterline, but no color (eyeshadow or otherwise) below the lashes, which can create a stark, puffy-eye look. Anyway, it’s a rule that’s begging to be broken.

Irene Avatar

I almost always line my waterline in black. I have big eyes though so I wouldn’t mind if it made them look smaller but it actually doesn’t. I have protruding dark brown eyes so it just looks better to line the waterline than my lower lash lineup help create depth. And black just defines my eyes better because they’re so dark. I think I just made myself sound like an alien!

Erica Avatar

I don’t really know. I just do what I like to do and what works for me. I guess I break the notion that there is a red for everyone. Red is just not for me. It’s too high maintenance and just is not me so I just don’t follow that one. I don’t do the heavy brow trend and I don’t tight line. People act like you have to do these things bc they are on trend. Great if you like it and want to try it. I rather not. Am I breaking rules… maybe not but I’ll be darn if I do anything in regards to makeup just bc everyone else does it!

Amy Avatar

I like breaking the rule about not pairing strong eye looks with bold lipstick. I get that balance is good but I also think bold eyes can look great with a statement lip color.

Also the rule about making sure your skin looks flawless before doing any other fun makeup. Most times I just want a fun eye look without spending 15 minutes making my foundation look like skin.

Erica Avatar

Well I like what Tim Gunn and Michael Kors (I believe) say. There are no rules. It is all about how you do it. Of course they were speaking of clothing but I think it applies to makeup too. Rock bold eyes and a bold lip. If it works for you, then go for it!

Mariella Avatar

“Women over 40 shouldn’t wear shimmer”. I don’t know who wrote that “rule” but it’s absolute nonsense (just ask any woman over 40!) and I break it daily. One rule I (almost) ever break is “never go to bed with your makeup on” – I think the only time I’ve broken that “rule” is when I’ve been really, REALLY sick.

Kendra Avatar

For me it would have to be eyeliner in the waterline. I keep trying it but it never looks right. Besides, it never lasts on me.

Oh, also, eyebrows. Mine are pretty substantial and I can get away with not “doing” them.

And while I’m at it- I’ll even skip mascara often.

Oh! And highlighting the tip of my nose.

Haha! I’m a rebel.

Wednesday Avatar

The all warm all cool thing. I have neutral olive skin and neither extreme or full face of is particularly flattering. Warm blushes and lipsticks makes me look like I need a liver transplant, cool like a ghost. I tend to mix it up. On the eyes coolish shades better at receding, but warmish colours softening the overall look. I think cosmetic companies have become much more clever at at creating balanced shades.

I’m in my 50’s and wear shimmer shadows which are supposed to be a no-no. Shimmer breathes life, a full on matte eye sucks features in,. For me with hooded eyes, I can wear one and done shimmer on mobile lid and into the crease, but usually I’m hard pressed not to sneak in a skintoned or slightly darker matte above crease to knock the hoods back. Also, shimmer pencils are amazing for making my eyes look brighter (less tired) and bigger.

After years of thinking that matching shadows to my eye colour does not work, I’ve just ordered a selection of greens for my green hazel eyes. Green eyeshadows are difficult for me to gauge temperature, particularly olive greens like my eyes. I can wear more neutral bronzey olives or coolish blue greens and they really flatter and play up. With green undertones in my skin, the slightest shift can make a big difference in win or epicfail.

Alecto Avatar

Well, I definitely break the rule that makeup should flatter you (e.g. I don’t choose colors for their warmth, coolness, etc., based on recommended shades for my skin tone and value, but rather because the colors intrigue me); I *have* blended lipsticks and eyeshadows to achieve “better” shades because I found the original colors (especially the eyeshadows) tough to work with in creating a cohesive look, but otherwise, there is no wrong color, other than more typically “feminine” colors, which I’m finally willing to admit I have a problem with *because* they’re feminine — medium to light pinks and corals, specifically on the lips (those colors on the cheeks or eyes can be blended out and made more “appropriate” if altered by my skintone or surrounding colors).

I also don’t care what someone my age is supposed to wear — I tell people I’ll be wearing blue lipstick when I’m 80, and I fully expect that to be true. Also, non-matte eyeshadows are just fine for any age.

Nancy’s comment about wearing your eye color in your eyeshadow … hello! Some very amazing intense looks can be created that way and ONLY that way. I searched for years for eyeshadows that matched my exact eye color, and when I finally acquired some and played with them, I found the effect is amazing.

I wear intense looks during the day (smoky eyes, strong colors, etc.) and don’t bother waiting for darkness.

kjh Avatar

Agree with you all. Esp about shimmer vs matte in aging lids. I think matte accentuates the texture, and sometimes put light shimmer over it. It breaks up the light, refracts it, and takes away from the texture. Makeup is an extension of your personality. You do what feels comfortable and expresses ‘you.’ Some folks like natural, some like bold. Some like contrast with their coloring, some prefer to echo it. You may prefer to go with ‘acceptable standards’ in the workplace, but there are no rules for the rest of your life. I’m over 65, and they will pull my reds, oranges, browns, purples, whatever I feel like, from my cold, wrinkly, dead hands.

Eileen Avatar

Every time I read some so-called, self-proclaimed makeup artist or guru say that women over 40 can’t do this and can’t do that, I take it as a direct challenge. At 73, I’m confident enough and inventive enough to try anything–even if only once. LOL

Katherine T. Avatar

I feel like I’m always breaking make up rules! I’m 47 yrs old, and I’m wearing full coverage foundation, bold shadows (blues, teals, purples, greens, hot pink), shimmery & glittery shadows, purple blush, weird lip colors (true purples, grays, blues), bold lipsticks, warm shades on my cool skin tones, etc. etc. I don’t wear them all at once, but I usually incorporate at least one item into my looks. It’s funny, but the toned down, neutral face recommended for more mature women (sheer foundation, matte neutral shadows, neutral blush, neutral lips) makes me look totally ill, and really boring, it’s so not me.

Dreamer19 Avatar

The whole contour, bronzer, blush, highlighter shebang. I usually just use blush and if I have time, highlighter. But I never use highlighter on my nose or cupid’s bow. 🙂
I often do bold lips and eyes together and have a full face mu even during the day if I go to the mall, for example.
Avoiding matching your mu and your outfit. I almost always match, but in a tasteful way, I’d like to believe 🙂

TheOtherHelen Avatar

I personally don’t follow any makeup rules. I skip eyeliner on the lash line and water line sometimes when doing a full eye look. I wear warm and cool colors even though I have warm brown skin. And the one I despise the most is the seasonal colors rule. I wear whatever color I want whenever. I wear bright lipstick in the winter and dark lips in the summer if I feel like it on any given day. Having rules for makeup seems like an oxymoron because it’s supposed to be all about self expression. But to each his/her own. I respect people who stick to the rules. I just refuse to be limited by rules that someone else made up.

McKirsty Avatar

Cool toned pale skin = only cool toned shadows. Yes, cool tones look great against my skin, but I have green eyes and I’m peeved that I spent ten years avoiding warm browns, reds and purples. The right shade blended carefully looks great!

Rachel R. Avatar

All of them? 😉

1) I really despise any rules that say women over 40 (or 30!) shouldn’t wear: Shimmers, brights, glitters, black eyeliner, unconventional colors, etc. It’s all a bunch of BS stemming from ageism. I’m 47, and I look awful in all matte, all neutral looks. I’m not going to look drained and feel bored because society thinks I’m “old.”

2) Hooded eyes should only wear mattes. It depends how hooded your eyes are, I suppose. Mine are somewhat hooded, and I’ll even wear shimmers in my crease. I find as long as I avoid light, frosty colors in the crease, I’m good. And I love shimmers on the lids.

3) Seasonal colors, day vs. night looks, etc. I wear whatever, whenever. (Exceptions would be workplace rules, and special occasions such as weddings, funerals/memorials, etc. where my makeup should not be competing for attention.)

Bonnie Avatar

I agree with you and everyone else here – no rules! They ARE based on ageism, and probably made up by old men. I also agree that you do have to respect workplace convention, and the fact that there are times when you shouldn’t want your face to compete for attention. A lot of people don’t get that.

I disagree with you that you would look awful in all neutrals. While, from your picture, I do think matte isn’t going to be your best look, I think you would look AMAZING in shimmery neutrals – silvery and or rosy shimmers in your neutrals. Would look great with your pale skin and bright hair.

Rachel C. Avatar

I like mixing warm and cool tones in my eye looks. I don’t like rules that say certain colors go together. It’s more about creating dimension and using your creativity. If the look is pretty, I’m ok with breaking the rules.

Celeste Avatar

I love lined lips, and I don’t care if they are not supposed to be obviously lined. Whenever a cosmetic salesperson wants to put lipstick on me without lining first, I stop the whole operation. For me, wearing lipstick without a good strong lip definition is a waste of effort.
Without that liner ( and it must be a good deep burgundy) I just look like I got my head stuck in jar of jam.

Holly courtney Avatar

I hear ya Celeste! Some people have a nice crisp delineation between where their lips end and skin begins, I do not and without a somewhat darkish taupe, plum, burgundy or whatever shade, my lips just look messy. My one concession is I will usually run my lipstick over the liner to blend it in but just a bit. So refreshing to see and hear so many confident women who aren’t suppressing their own sense of beauty under a bunch of limiting rules!! Wooooo Hooooo! We rock!?✌️️

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

I’m not very good at following rules, at lesst when it comes to color. I will try just about anything once or twoce in my own house. If it doesn’t work then I know. Obviously i experiment within the limits of safety. I wouldn’t put lipliner asewaterline eyeliner bc the dyes arent safe for eyes.

Glenda Avatar

The one that says that “women of a certain age” shouldn’t wear too much makeup, or wear shimmer eye-shadow (although I don’t because I don’t like on it me), shouldn’t wear bright colors (bright colors look fantastic on me), or use more than 1 coat of mascara. Etc.Etc.Etc.
Those “rules” may have worked in the past, but women should be free to wear the amount of makeup they want. Granted, it can be a struggle to figure out how much is too much, but that automatically at age so & so, you should STOP, I don’t think so. That doesn’t even make sense.
I do think, however, that makeup shouldn’t stay the same. And you should allow for changes in your skin texture, tone and aging. Also products are allowing for aging skin so much better than in the past!

Helene Avatar

What a fun question. I love that we are limitless, and tastefully express ourselves.
I think I break a lot of rules on a daily bases, if someone thinks I look awful, I guess it’s their problem and they can look away 🙂
I really get frustrated by the age rules, it’s like we are supposed to fade into the background after 50, or 40 or even 30.
I agree with all of you who have answered this question, and I have had so much fun reading all answers.

Kyra T. Avatar

I grew up with the idea that darker skinned/ African Americans can only wear certain colors and that’s it. So, as a woman of color, when I first started out wearing makeup I only got very neutral tones. Now I wear any color because it’s my face and I like what I like lol it’s all in how it becomes cohesive and makes since to the person individually rather than these “rules” ?

Donna Avatar

A few rules I break:
l love a bright eye with a bold lip, match my clothes, wearing a lot of mascara – just not clumping – adding different colors (pink on 3/4 lid & green pencil on the outer half lash line both upper and lower). Small brows, boy did I over-tweeze in my 20’s.

Laia Avatar

I can rock a smokey eye AND bold lips, I wear cool AND warm toned colours regardless of my undertone (sometimes within the same look) and basically I do whatever the heck I want whenever I want to. I am one who thinks that preferences should dictate your make up, not rules that somebody else has written nor aired via YouTube.

Brenda Avatar

Ha Ha, I just bought the Pat McGrath Metalmorphosis 05 Kit, it is all glitter eyeshadows, gorgeous. I am 56, and I will wear it until I die! Her Lust 004 LIp Kits are full on sparkle, you are going to see me shining from the moon this holiday season. Not to mention the Skin Fetish 003 Kit that I will be highlighting my face with. There is no harm looking your best and if a blue lip fits in go for it!

lizalea Avatar

I wear shimmery eye-shadow all the time, rarely matte. I don’t do day or night makeup, people would probably consider my eye makeup night makeup most of the time. I say if you like it and it makes you happy wear it, never mind rules.

Silvia Avatar

Absolutely no highliting under my nose for me. To me it reminds me of kids with a runny nose in the winter in Chicago. Lol! But I must admit I have fallen hard for beautiful highliters and do wear them on top of my cheeks sometimes all over my blush also, a bit in eyes. Just love them! I’m a pale ghost and do have to be aware of the colors i choose but I choose something that calls my eyes not exactly recommendations on whether I’m cool skinned or not. I’m not listening to any hype and will wear whatever I prefer I love glittery eyeshadows, eyeliners! I’d love to be a mermaid! Lol! Lately for winter I purchased a few dark lipsticks and surprisingly looks awesome! I like a bit of color instead of so much boring neutrals and nudes. I have hazel eyes and find rose/golds, purples make them pop! Also immediately with lipsticks as in Summer a pretty coral really brings them up instantly or these later vampy colors. Some kits recommend green for my eyes and I don’t agree it does not do anything, much better is some contrast. I don’t follow any rules except of course, I wouldn’t show up at a funeral or job interview wearing glitter but one of these days just might. I do wear natural but I do fill in to darken my eyebrows, my light natural foundation (thanks to my parents for great skin), my blush and lipstick, eyeliner, highliter. No fake eyelashes although I love them in younger girls. Or darker than lipstick lip liner I find it horrible. I believe if you like a style go for it! The same goes with hair length, women with beautiful high cheeks and eyes can show them off so much better with a short haircut than long boring long hair just because is the norm. Brake the mold be yourself and enjoy it!

Maggie Avatar

The only rule I follow is being appropriate for the occasion if there is an occasion. So I wouldn’t wear teal lipstick and pack on a ton of glitter to mimic a disco ball if I am a guest in a conservative church wedding for example bc the attention and comments should All be focused on the couple, and not on the odd guest. Or if I were on stage, I wouldn’t be bare-faced, I would put on dramatic makeup so the audience in the back will be able to make out eyes and hopefully my expression from a distance. But if I am just dog sitting or going out then do whatever.

Shannon. N Avatar

The first one that comes to mind, is bold eyes and lips. I don’t do super dark black smokey eyes and say vampy lips. For me, I spent years dressing up my eyes to do nothing to my lips because I wanted to hide my big lips. Now I wear a bold lip every single day!! Like, for today for example, I’m going to use a golden brown (Think MAC woodwinked) MUFE shadow, and a matte warm brown, with a deeper brown in the outer half of the lid. And then MAC Rebel. So both bring attention, but it makes my face look balanced IMO!!

I also rock super vampy, bright lips without lining my lips first!! I have large lips. And because of that, I find it so easy to apply vampy lipstick and get a crisp clean line, because I have lots of space ahaha. I’v been known to apply my lipstick in the car everyday and have smooth lines!!

I have severely hooded/Half monolid eyes. But I’v been known to buff some shimmery highlight on my brow bone!!

This is a personal thing. But. I have NEVER in my life contoured my nose, and I NEVER WILL. I have a very “Non European” nose. It’s wide, and flat!! I have my Native Grandpa’s, mother’s, EXACT nose. So I feel very blessed to have such a strong First Nations women’s nose!! So I don’t want to make it more European looking!!

Roxi Avatar

Looks like I’m late to the party but I had fun reading all previous comments!
I am personally a “good student” when it comes to makeup, and I “obey” a lot of rules: I never line my waterline but always tight line my lashline; I only do one point makeup, either lip or eyes or even cheeks; I always incorporate a matte eyeshadow in my eye routine; and I never overdo my eyebrows or highlights. That is not too say I believe in these so-called rules though, especially for other people, they happen to agree with my features and my tendency towards a natural look.
However what I don’t like is when your eye shape / face shape / even skin tone “determines” how you should apply makeup. If i google “round eyes” and “round face” there are tons of infographs telling me to contour here or there and make my eyeshadows this shape, also seems like I should always drag my blush towards my temple, just because I have “round face”. I mean, who wants to look like a youthful radiant looking Lolita by putting blush on the apples of their cheeks, right? Who wants to look like Bambi with their super round and innocent looking eyes, right? Because we apparently all hate our features and need to compensate and change our face shape with heavy contouring and strobing and draping and whatnot.
Another thing I’ve noticed since a few years ago is when so-called professional makeup artists are authoritative on how to do Asian eyes. One thing they (often non-Asian) fail to address or simply are ignorant about is that just like white people have a variety types of eye shape, asians do too. Not all asians have monolids; as for all the other asians who have double lids, no, we don’t always look like we have hooded eyes in the “western” definition. I’ve even seen many great makeup artists teach people to always drag their transition colors to their eye socket (so a tiny bit above the crease), although the notion is nice they tell you how to find it even if you have flat eyes, but I just don’t see these kind of rules being universally flattering for every person of different bone structures out there. When I first moved to Europe from Asia six years ago I was absolutely horrified by how much eyeshadow all the MAs in the department stores like to cover my eyelids with, let’s just say I would totally sport these looks if I were in a different, more explicit profession. Where I come from, girls only fill eyeshadow in the parts below their crease (or their double lid to be more precise), and they tend to use darker colors to make a thick line on the outer 1/3 of the lashline, then they blend it with the lighter colors, so it’s different from the “western” way of blending darker color into the crease. While I don’t like how Asian gurus have their rule of never looking muddy or dragging more colors above the double lid than needed, I always question a makeup artists’ ability when they apply everything in the “western school” without adjusting on an Asian (mostly eastern) model.
As for myself I do either eye looks whenever I like! Haha.

Emily Avatar

I agree up to a point. I don’t like the whole emphasis on fixing your face through contour and highlight, etc – like you said, it assumes we all want to change our features in a way that conforms to pretty narrow standards.

I feel a little different about the differences between Asian and Western makeup norms. I’m actually half white and half East Asian so it’s particularly interesting to me. I don’t think Western makeup artists are particularly presumptuous about what eye makeup ‘Asian eyes’ look good in. If anything, I think they tend to be aware of the challenges and Asian beauty magazines and bloggers write a lot about it.

As for Western MAs wearing too much makeup, I think that’s a little insulting, especially when you company them to adult film stars. I’ve lived in North America, South East Asia and the UK and if I go to any MAC store, you can be assured they’re just as caked in makeup in Asia as they are over in Europe. It’s sort of the brand’s aesthetic. But if we’re going to discuss makeup norms in the East and West, I’d say that for me, the striking thing is how infantile and little girlish women the aesthetic is here. Pink cheeks and baby pink lip gloss and dramatically brightened (read: lightened) skin, Maybe that’s ‘subtle’ for some but it looks fake to me and very much part of a tendency to conform to the prevailing aesthetic. In the West, you see more experimentation – and that’s a good thing. Also, I think Western beauty isn’t necessarily loud – if anything, the subtle, gently golden, glowy look (think RMS Beauty and the French laissez-faire chic trend) is really popular at the moment.

As a mixed race person, I’ve definitely felt like I wasn’t adequately catered to by the beauty industry as well. MAC is a serial offender in that they seem to label every vaguely Asian looking person walking into their store as NC/warm toned. For years, I didn’t wear foundation because of this – I wondered why it looked so off on me. Well, the reason was I’m actually pretty darn cool toned. Also, I loathe being complimented on being pale and seeing whitening products pushed so hard. At the end of day, we can’t generalise. We know our faces best and I usually am correct when I stick to my instincts.

Roxi Avatar

I was saying that western MAs tend to use too much eyeshadows on my Asian eyes that made me look like an adult worker, not insulting them. I totally agree with you on how MAC MAs (along with many others) tend to grab warm toned foundations for almost anyone that looks slightly Asian. I myself find Mac NCs too warm and NWs too cool on my skin.

Roxi Avatar

I know exactly what you mean by the Asian trend of youthful looking, man-pleasing type of makeup. I also don’t like it that much and enjoy the freedom in the “western” beauty communities. All the popular shades there are coral/pinks, some lipsticks are called “straight-men-slaying color” in China, and even when beauty bloggers there are rocking a dark red or earthy colored lips, they feel almost apologetic or even mention that “men would not like this”. This is what I hate, which is why I’m glad I don’t live there anymore. How dare I walk around with smokey eye, instagram brows, heavy bronzing and a dark lip, on my not so pale skin (around NC20, so considered to be dark-skinned) on the streets of my hometown! Haha it’s probably an exaggeration but you know what I mean.
However I also don’t like it when some “western” people make fun of how people want to have white skin in East Asia and mock the excessive amount of brightening skincare over there. I’ve even been asked by quite some colleagues, if Asian people really want to be white (as in Caucasian), do they make surgeries on their eyes also for this purpose. As much as I don’t like how media and average aesthetics generally push for these kind of big eyes, porcelain white skin as the norm, I think Asian people have as much freedom pursing white skin as some white people preferring to look tanned. I hate it when I see an Asian youtuber applying foundation to make their faces look paler, just as much as I feel uncomfortable about a Caucasian youtuber using a foundation that’s 3 shades darker/more orange than their real color, not to mention there’s fake tanning that sometimes look overdone on some people. However, It’s just some people’s preferences, not one is superior to another.
I think the both worlds are even more connected than before and beauty communities are learning from different trends and that’s great. There are many people who have faces or eye shapes or skin color that cannot be categorized to one or another general types or whatever, more people are racially ambiguous than before, maybe the global beauty community and beauty trends will change into sth better and absorb more greatness everywhere.

Emily Avatar

Everything you said. It also really gets under my skin when white people assume Asians are trying to make themselves look ‘white’. It’s condescending (but typical of Western expats in Asia I’m afraid) and also inaccurate because the aesthetic that is popular here is totally different from the Western one. Most societies in the world have fetishized pale skin at some point in their history, white people included. It’s deeply rooted in class-based and socioeconomic assumptions, and it was around way before Western colonialisation of this part of the world. In a way, the real relic of the colonial era in regard to beauty is the Western (ok, mainly the UK’s) inability to accept the loss of empire and their decressed significance in the world. It’s a balm to assume the rest of the world wants to look just like them. I hope I didn’t sound like I was arguing against that btw. I hate it as much as you do, I’m pretty sure.

I still haven’t figured out how I feel about the double eyelid surgery trend. That one seems more convincing as an argument but I don’t know. I suspect it has much more to do with emulating Asian celebrities.

I like bronzer and a bold lipsticks too and yeah, there’s much less latitude tor experimentation here. On the plus side, bronzer is never sold out so lucky me.

I agree that the beauty community is developing and there are still plenty of issues that come up again and again. That said, I appreciate forums and blogs like Temptalia and MUA where we can all chat about this stuff. Hopefully,m that will make beauty more and more inclusive,

At the risk of possible blasphemy, I’m not a fan of MAC at all. The MAs get it wrong so often and quality appears to be diminishing (especially the brushes). Half the time I visit a mac store, the MA will be preoccupied with doing their own m.u and ignore my requests for assistance,

I’m glad we got to chat about this =) I think we agree on the main issues!

Oh and man slayer lipstick for the win. Seriously.

Roxi Avatar

I’m really glad that a platform like Temptalia enabled me to encounter such an interesting discussion with you! And I wish more people would be as educated as you are on aspects of the western colonialism and the type of representation maintaining a social frontier between the powerful and the rest. White skin has been traditionally associated with wealth and leisure of not working in both east and west. Why can’t some people realize that the trend of having beautifully glowing tanned skin is not that different from the Asian trend of appearing pale, hahahah.
It has to be brought to attention to many people that ethnocentric standards or even thinking that western aesthetics rule in other parts of the world, is essentially damaging to the equality of different races. Actually, I am pregnant with a baby daughter, with a white man, and I have heard relatively negative comments from both Asian and white people. Asian friends of mine are constantly reminding me of potential racism that this kid would face in a western society, fearing she would be a ‘banana’. Who’re friends of mine are already saying mixed babies are the most beautiful, and that she would be a model in Asia, or sth. It feels quite ridiculous whenever I think of the “future” for my daughter. My husband and I though, are very much forward to how our daughter is going to have in combination of our genes (e.g., we asians have dry ear wax, but I came to notice that caucasians have rather wet one.. how is that going to work out? Is it a combination or a dominate gene would show up? And how about hair color? Lol).
And to tell you a ‘secret’, I am one of those asians who had a double lid surgery. I had an ‘invisible crease’ that exists but did not show up when I opened my eyes, which was quite troubling for me as all my eyelashes pointed downwards because of the small crease, and that I was not able to use eyeliner that would show up without paying my whole inner involve crease in black (so it would be like 3mm and is totally unnatural if people see me in real life). I had wanted the surgery since I was 17 but never had it in fear of it leaving scars or looking unnatural. Then at the age of 22 I finally scheduled the surgery, after years of struggling with eye makeup applications. I remember before i had the surgery, my western friends all tried to talk me out of it, with the argument that “you look beautiful the way you are, why would you wanna be white?” I tried to explain to them that even when asians use this surgery, it is not to look white, as it is impossible and ridiculous. Needless to say, after my two weeks of recovery from the double eyelid surgery, my white friends finally realized what I was going for when they saw it in person. Of course, I don’t deny it at all that I find big eyes attractive, but what I essentially did with the surgery was actually just creating an eye structure that many Asian people have – double eyelids. I remember showing my surgeon a picture of a celebrity (very true to what you said), but I personally don’t like that celebrity and I merely showed it to indicate what kind of double eyelid I wanted (the parallel line above lashline, great for eyeliners that I really wanted to apply on my eyes, to be very honest here). I am very satisfied with the way I look now, especially when all the eye looks I always wanted are enablized, and my eyelashes never poked inside my eye again. Turns out, I actually have pretty long lashes after all, and the change in the eyelid is barely even noticeable to others.

Emily Avatar

Awww congratulations on the baby! That’s wonderful news and must be so exciting! I’m going to be bad and generalise here but yeah, she’s probably going to be a real heartbreaker when she grows up! It’s a nice combination (i always feel weird when I say stuff like this because it sounds like something a dog breeder would say lmao).

But seriously, I think it’s important to talk about these issues, online with other beauty lovers and as a society, but also with your daughter as she grows older. Not gonna lie, I definitely had to work through some of these issues and it’s hard to make sense of as a young girl. I have a brother too and we always felt like our parents never really got ‘it’ – the experience of being mixed, when we complained about not being considered ‘real’ Asians by other Asians (as for white people, the one drop rule appears to still apply which is…sad)

Now that sounds negative but of course, it’s also a blessing. (On the off chance that your daughter wants to be a CIA officer one day,, her ambiguous ethnicity will provide great cover lol). But seriously, you strike me as the type of person who is going to be able to talk to your daughter about all of this, and how to react to the inevitable + highly awkward compliments she’ll get. I grew up partly in Singapore where the pan-asian look is really popular and it’s a mind**k to navigate the different treatment you get and not internalise some of the praise.

My mum and dad never really discussed these issues with me or my brother and I wish they had. I think in the West there’s less of a problem but you still get the ‘Omg hybrid babies are the cutest’ comments ?. It’s sort of interesting how we both have always gravitated towards other hapas, both in terms of our friends and who we’ve dated.

I know we’re way off topic lol but this is why I appreciate Temptalia so much. People on here are smart AF too!!

All my best wishes to you and the baby and your partner. And def keep in touch around here ?

ouineque Avatar

Love this question and all the comments! The bold brow that cannot go with the bold eye – rule! It means that I (super bushy brow girl) could never wear a bold eyelook: ha!
Also the ‘rule’ that you need to blend out eye pencil on the upper lash line, especially from a certain age on (‘no harsh lines’). Most of the times I prefer to leave the line as it is, I like the slightly greasy look of a pencil (as opposed to the matte and clean look of a liquid liner or a felt tip liner).

Emily Avatar

Oh man, I’m totally with you on the not blending eyeliner on the upper lashline. I like sharp definition, not a fan of the smudgy look. Tbh, I actively avoid eyeliners that tend to smudge.

Also with you on the pencil liner. I don’t like the shiny, sort of reflective look it imparts. There’s a creaminess and opacity to a good pencil liner that liquid can’t replicate. My HG are the By Terry Kohl Terryblys – they do not budge all day, and I live in the tropics, Trickier to get a precise line since they’re so soft but a q-tip dipped in moisturiser easily solves that problem.

One other eyeliner rule i don’t follow: lining the outer third of the bottom lid. I don’t mind the look initially but it’s a one way ticket to smudgeville in my experience. Same with mascara on the bottom lashes. Makes me look like a creepy possessed doll in a horror film (I think it’s my big eyes lol).

ouineque Avatar

Hahahha! Glad to find I am not the only one! And I also usually do not apply mascara on the bottom lashes (if I wear mascara at all; it is very rare). My eyes are also quite big and round too, with mascara there they look like doll eyes when first applied but after a while I just look very tired. Lately I have been using a little (yes, smudged) eyeshadow underneath the eye, but no liner there.

Recently I’ve discovered the Kiko intense color long lasting eyeliner: the stuff is so hard to get off your eyes! But of course it does not budge at all. Which is great!

Whateveramber Avatar

Contouring. Is that a rule? Because if so, I’ll never follow it. I think there are times when it’s appropriate (like on film or in pictures where there will be professional lighting) but in my real, everyday life, it just looks like I smudged some dirt on the side of my face.

Also, I agree with you when it comes to wearing all shimmer eyeshadow. I often find mattes hard to blend, so I just skip them all together.

Lulle Avatar

Definitely the rule that says you should only wear colors with the same undertone as your skin! Despite my warm skintone I really love cool eyeshadows in taupe or gray shades, and I find that cool pink blush brightens my face and gives me a fresh look. I do stick to warmer colors on my lips, because cool tones really don’t look good on me there.

Mallory Avatar

I have hooded eyes and wear shimmery eyeshadow, I pretty much ignore all the “rules” for hooded eyes and do what I want. I also have cool undertones and love LOVE those warm browns. It’s pretty much all I wear now after years of obeying and only wearing cool tones. I also have brown eyes and mostly wear browns.

I also never wear lip liner, even with a bright red lip.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things I do “wrong” but I enjoy the way I look so who cares.

Mo Merrell Avatar

-Red lipstick in the workplace (UGH annoying stupid rule)
-Dark/Black lipstick in the workplace (PUHLEASE I can make black look like nude! )
-Matching makeup to clothes – I don’t and don’t think you have to nor do I like to
-What and Where to contour – blah I contour where I want lol
-Blush – sure there are “correct” places to put it but I think since all faces are different that rule doesn’t really apply
-Eyebrow – they say “eyebrows should be sisters and not twins” LOL some days my eyebrows are sisters and sometimes they are twins

overall I hate makeup rules because they can’t work for everyone. I modify the rules to fit my personal style.

Fran Avatar

I really loved reading everyone’s comments, and I break a lot of the same rules! At sixty I wear shimmery and glittery eyeshadows, do strong makeup on both eyes and lips, and wear unusual colors, regularly. Mattes just make my eyelids look dry, and wearing all ‘nude’ or ‘natural’ colors makes me look washed-out at best. I think everyone should wear what they feel best in. I love all colors and try to find ways to wear all of them in flattering ways. I also leave my hair its natural color, silver streaks and all, and keep it very long (currently tailbone-length), often in fancy braids or ponytails. I think some ‘rules’ are made up by writers given an assignment by their editors to come up with some content for the next issue — probably often meant as much to provoke as to prescribe!

Elizabeth Avatar

The rule I break is that I apply mascara to my bottom lashes. My eye lashes are turning grey. If I don’t apply mascara, I appear to have bald patches on my lower lash line. My eye brows are also grey, but I can tint those. I don’t tint my eye lashes because most tints for eye lashes have ingredients that the FDA has banned in hair color. I don’t want to risk my eyes. I only have two eyes after all.

Bonnie Avatar

Thankfully, the rules are getting smashed by the day! Expressing yourself, your creativity, and your own inner beauty is always beautiful, no matter what the rules say. I do light lips a lot. Even white, and I use reverse lip liner. No dark or matching lipliner for me. Reverse liner (pale, skin toned, but lighter than my skin) makes my lips look bigger. And I use highlighter as eye shadow, but not all the time. And I love to use yellowish greens or sparkly emerald shades, even olive, on my dark green eyes.

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