Friday, 16 November 2012

Burgundy Lips! Or, Why Makeup Trends are Stupid

If you type "burgundy lips" into Google images, you'll find lip colors ranging anywhere from deep red to light mauve. It's the hot new lip color for Fall, but no one seems to be able to agree on what burgundy is. My impression has always been that burgundy is a deep red/purple wine color, but the lips above prove that even that doesn't narrow it down much.

Ditto the Oxblood phenomenon with nail lacquer.

You'll find a lot of articles advising you how to avoid looking overpowered by a deep burgundy, or washed out by a matte burgundy, or too splotchy from a hot pink burgundy -- further confusing matters. In a recent article in Vancouver's Metro, YouTube makeup artist Tanya Burr recommended MAC's Rebel as a great burgundy for deep skin tones. For reference, this is Rebel on Christine from Temptalia:

Really more of a dark fuchsia, isn't it?

But even if we could decide what exactly constitutes burgundy, there looms the larger and more important question: why would a huge group of women from all over with different skin tones, undertones and overall coloring want to wear the same damn lip color? More importantly, what am I supposed to do with all of my newly-bought burgundy lipstick once this ubiquitous trend is over?

I understand the changing tides of fashion for practical reasons -- you need a coat when it's cold and you need a t-shirt when it's warm and you might as well have fun with this necessity for new clothing every few months -- but there's really no reason for changing your makeup from season to season. Most people obsessed with tanning in the summer keep it up all year long with a fake bake, so it's not as though they have to change up their cosmetics routine to fit their fading complexions. And people who stay pale all year don't suddenly have need of a radically different eye color.

Makeup should be about flattering your own face -- not about reacting to a strange, and seemingly intractable, trend.

I love new makeup collections because I like all of the new options -- not because I'm dying to be told that hot orange lipstick is in and green eyeshadow is out and that I must run to the store to get a lipstick that will look terrible on me because Vogue and Chanel say so.

The other side of this spectrum is someone like Dita Von Teese who never changes her makeup.

Since the age of 18, Dita has had exactly one look -- an iconic 40s/50s pin-up style -- and only deviates from it for the occasional photoshoot, or on Halloween where she dresses down as a normal girl. I couldn't imagine sticking with the same makeup routine for my entire life. It's Dita's image and career, so I understand why she does it, but I would hate it if I couldn't ever experiment with a bit of bronzer or some nude lip gloss.

I guess the point here is that the burgundy lip trend, like most makeup "fashion" trends, is ridiculous. If you find a gorgeous burgundy lip color that flatters you, awesome. But don't obsess over getting the season's "hot color" if you have to pore over several articles to figure out how you're supposed to wear it. If something truly flatters you, it won't require that much effort.

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