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Break out the warpaint

My mother never wears much makeup. She works long hours so she only really spends time on her makeup when she goes out. When I was young I vividly remember, watching her do her makeup to go out. As a little kid, I was obsessed. I couldn’t wait for the days that I would be able to wear all that makeup. A few times, before getting ready, she would wink at me in the mirror and tell me, “Its time to break out the warpaint”.

When I was young, I never understood why my mother or other women would refer to makeup as warpaint. Warpaint was supposed to be intimidating. Makeup didn’t make my mother look intimidating, it made her look prettier.

In the last three years, I’ve become obsessed with makeup. With that obsession has finally come understanding. When I put on my makeup, I feel different, more invincible. Apparently, I am not alone in this because, in my research, I found that “Nearly half of women in the United States feel that wearing makeup makes them in control.” and
“82% of women believe wearing makeup makes them feel more self-confidence.” 

This is something that I relate to. When I wear makeup, I feel better about myself. I feel more in control of my day. These feelings can come from taking 15 minutes to put on a little mascara, and lip gloss or they can come from 45 minutes spent fixing my entire face. Makeup relaxes me, and I don’t feel like myself without it.

Almost half of the women in the US feel the same way. According to further research, “the average woman owns a whopping 40 makeup products … Even more shocking: On average, women typically only use five of those 40 products.” Personally, I have a lot more than just 40 products and I typically use more than five every day.

Makeup makes women feel a certain way so they are constantly buying more, even though they may not need it. In the United States, cosmetics are no joke. The industry is always growing, there are hundreds of well-known brands and more, smaller, indie, brands all over the world. “The United States cosmetic industry is the largest in the world estimating a total revenue of $54.89 billion.” This ever growing industry is a wonder to me.

Every day, brands are launching newer and more innovative products. A lot of women feel like they need their warpaint at some point in their lives. Throughout this semester, I am going to cover a variety of topics involving makeup. I want to talk about my experiences with it while I delve into the psychology behind it. I want to talk about brands and new products while looking at the growth of the industry and economics. This is my introductory post so, get ready, I’m putting on my warpaint and heading into the wide world of makeup.



What do I want to talk about all semester?

In sixth grade, my parents told me I was too young to wear makeup. In sixth grade, I went through a brief rebellious period where I thought I was grown up enough to make my own decisions. I went to CVS and bought a cheap eyeliner and mascara. I would leave the house in the morning with no makeup and rush to the bathrooms at school to line my eyes and lengthen my lashes. By the end of last period, I was rushing to wash it off before I took the bus home. This lasted about a month until I gave up on makeup. I was late to class twice and missed my bus home three times in that month and decided that makeup wasn’t worth the hassle or the 15 minute walks home.

By eighth grade, my parents were ready to let me wear makeup, but after seeing the girls at school, layer it on so thick that they looked as if they were wearing masks, I decided I didn’t want to deal with that and forgot about makeup.

In my junior year of high school, an older woman tried explaining to me that if I wore some foundation it would all help cover up all my freckles and the natural rosiness of my cheeks. That was the first time I wanted to change how I looked. I went and got a foundation and wore it for three days before it caused me to breakout, and then I decided that freckles and redness were better than pimples. Again I decided to give up on makeup.

The summer after my freshman year of college, I worked at an internship filing paperwork for eight hours a day. In those eight hours, I watched millions of Youtube videos. One was a video by Jaclyn Hill and she went through her daily makeup routine. That video changed everything for me. As a painter I knew that I could recreate everything she did, I would just have to practice. In one week, I had spent $300 on makeup and watched at least 75 videos.

I started to learn everything that I could about makeup and applying it until I knew enough about it to apply it better than some of the beauty bloggers I so religiously followed. Then an ULTA Beauty store opened near me and I knew that that was a better part time job for me than waitressing. I got the job and spent hours researching makeup, techniques, applications, and brands so that I could prove that I was just as good as any of the other girls who went to cosmetology school.

I am going to write about makeup this semester. I will talk about society’s view on it, I will talk about beauty bloggers, brands, trends, techniques and new products. I have dedicated a lot of my time and money on makeup over the past three years and I really think that it is something I can discuss all semester. I think I am just as qualified as someone who went to cosmetology school, and it is something that I will never be bored with.

Want to get to know me?

I am a recent graduate from Quinnipiac University with a BA in Interactive and Digital Design. All my life, I wanted to pursue a career that is involved with art. I have wanted to be an art therapist, an art teacher, or even just an artist ( though I would definitely be a starving one). In my senior year of high school, a teacher whom I was very close with suggested that I look into graphic design. Quinnipiac’s Interactive Digital Design program was everything that I wanted. It isn’t exactly a career path that is focused on art, but it is something that I have come to love in the past four years. I’ve loved my time at Quinnipiac so much that I have decided to extend it and pursue a Master’s in Interactive Communications with a focus on user interaction and user experience.

In addition to being a grad student searching for work in the design field, I work part time for a cosmetics company and occasionally do freelance work as a makeup artist. I have a lot of different hobbies, I love reading, painting, crafting, finding new music, and watching movies. I love young adult fiction about dystopian societies, ruled by corrupt adults who are challenged by a group of kids because they always have a happy ending.My tastes in music vary from the Beach Boys and Frank Sinatra to Queen, Lord Huron, and some old Eminem or Kanye. I love superhero movies, Star Wars movies, Lord of the Rings movies, and Harry Potter movies. I also spend ridiculous amounts of time obsessing over dogs and reading a variety of Buzzfeed articles.


A look at my past work

As I look back on my past four years of college, it is difficult to pinpoint my best piece of writing. The piece I ended up choosing is a final essay for my first class in the Interactive Media graduate program. This essay (minus the intended graphics), talks about how social media has changed us, the people formerly known as the ‘audience’.

Social Media has Revolutionized the Audience

This class has spent the semester analyzing social media and our experiences with it. Social media platforms have greatly impacted the way that we live. There are platforms for everything. We can use social media to communicate in short pictures and video clips, we can see what friends and family are up to by scrolling through an endless newsfeeds, we can send or receive money with the touch of a few buttons, we can even network and look for work. Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Venmo, and LinkedIn are just a few of the numerous social media platforms that have revolutionized the way that we interact with one another. Social media is all about connecting and interacting with friends, family, and information. In today’s society, there are many people who use social media for more than simple interactions; they use it to keep up with current events in the news. Social media has brought about great changes in society and a shift away from the traditional news model.

Interactions on social media have changed society as a whole. We spent part of the semester discussing audience and how they have changed. People are more active in sharing news stories, writing blog posts, and posting videos. Jay Rosen, a teacher at NYU, posted a blog to the Huffington Post defining, the “people formerly known as the audience.” His definition stated “The people formerly known as the audience are those who were on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way, in a broadcasting pattern, with high entry fees and a few firms competing to speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in isolation from one another— and who today are not in a situation like that at all” (Rosen). Mr. Rosen’s definition explains how being a part of the audience is no longer a passive act thanks to social media. In the past content was given to the audience from a few large media producers. Today, the audience can get content from a multitude of sources and more importantly, they can interact with it or even create their own content on a variety of different social media platforms.
This graphic was taken from the article “8 Key Takeaways about Social Media and News.” The article was written by Katerina Eva Masta and Amy Mitchell and posted to the Pew Research Center. It further illustrates how the audience has evolved. When scrolling through a Facebook or Twitter newsfeed you can see that there are hundreds of stories or videos shared on a daily basis because as the graphic shows, 50% of users share and repost content (Masta & Mitchell). Typically with each piece of shared content, the person who shared it makes a comment as to why they shared it. This process invites others to interact with the same content. According to the Pew Research Center, 46% of people have discussions about news, issues, or events while on social media (Masta & Mitchell). Social media has given the audience the ability to interact with each other, share opinions, start meaningful conversations, and even produce their own content; as the graphic shows, 14% of users post pictures and 12% of users post videos that they took of news events (Masta & Mitchell).

Social media and the changes in the audience have also had a great impact on the news industry. As we discussed this semester when we watched Page One: Inside the New York Times the traditional newspaper model is dying out. Jeff Jarvis, an ex-media executive stated in the film, “The old newspaper model is dying…News is not dying; news is much cheaper produced now because we can gather and share in new ways…”(Jeff Jarvis). Printed newspapers are a thing of the past as more and more people join the technological revolution. With the Internet, smart phones, and social media, people are always connected and able to stay current with big events happening in the news. Charlie Beckett, a British media scholar discusses this more in depth “We are drowning in a sea of stories about our world. There is a daily flood of news through the new channels of the Internet combined with the traditional media that is bigger than ever before despite the business model crisis for some parts of the industry. News consumers have more access, more easily to more journalism than ever before” (Beckett). This quote is very accurate. News is being put out into the world as soon as something important occurs and social media is making sure that the news spreads far and wide. The traditional newspaper model is dying due to the fact that people have a wide variety of news sources on their smart phones and they do not have to pay to view them. Social media has played a large role in phasing out the newspaper because it spreads the news and it is among the first things that people see when they log into their accounts. Below is a graphic from Pew Research Center that displays the percentage of US adults using the listed social media platforms measured against the percentage of them that actually get their news from that site. “Half of Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites as do 62% of Reddit users” (Masta & Mitchell).

The graphic below is also from the article by Ms. Masta and by Ms. Mitchell. The graphic gives a breakdown of the different types of news that are regularly seen on Facebook. This graphic serves to further illustrate the fact that there is a lot of information available on popular social media platforms, which lessens the need for formal news broadcasts and newspapers. There are quite a large variety of news topics that can be seen on media platforms such as Facebook. The majority of the articles are related to entertainment, community events, sports, politics, crime, and health sciences (Masta & Mitchell). According to the graphic, there are 11 different categories and 49% or users see articles that belong to six or more of those categories on a regular basis (Masta & Mitchell).

In conclusion, social media has played a great role in developing a more interactive society. People love to share pictures and posts about what is going on in their lives as much as they love seeing what is going on in the lives around them. In recent years social media platforms have become a permanent fixture in the daily lives of many. It has changed the way that we do everything. Social media has helped shift the audience out of its passive role, to a more active and interested role. Most people do not wait for the weekly paper or the nightly news to find out what is going on in the world. Most people actively check in on their social media accounts at least once a day to keep up with current events, friends and family. The changes in the audience are due to the growing popularity of social media in recent years. These changes are also responsible for the change in the traditional news model. Technology and social media will continue to impact our lives, as there are new developments and updates available every day.