[Makeup Trend Report] is a series of posts that focuses on the trends of makeup in Taiwan. They are all personal observations and do not represent the whole of Taiwan in any way.
Hello world! This is Lenny, reporting from Taiwan J
To start off this series, I would definitely have to start with the most popular “makeup trend” for Taiwanese women, which is the no-makeup look. I am not talking about the “no-makeup, makeup look”, but literally NO-MAKEUP, BAREFACED looks.
In Taiwan, there was once a fad where TV shows would invite pretty girls to remove all their makeup in front of everyone, and reveal their "true (and not as pretty)self ". For dramatic effects, the girls on the shows are usually ones that have drastic changes after makeup, and if you are a fan of Taiwanese entertainment but not familiar with average Taiwanese citizens like me, you probably thought that all Taiwanese girls are obsessed with makeup and can't leave the house without putting anything on their face. The reality is, most girls and women don’t wear much makeup, at least not on a daily basis. I am totally biased saying this, but I personally think Taiwanese females in general have fairly nice facial features and look good even without makeup :) Anyone back me up on this?
In middle school, some girls start to experiment with loose powders, lip glosses, mascara etc, but because most schools forbid wearing makeup to school, and most parents don’t approve either (aiyo you're only a kid why wear makeup ah? not fitting lah!), girls usually only wear makeup when they hangout on the weekends. I remember buying and trying out different products, but my makeup trials were confined to my dresser, because my parents were always taunting my attempts. (Way to build your kid's confidence!)
Moving on to high school, my school is very liberal and has no restrictions on makeup, but even so, there weren't a lot of people who wears makeup to school, I personally didn't know anyone who does. (though there was this guy who rocked heavy black eyeliner daily) For those who did wear makeup, a light base with some filled in brows and clear lip gloss was the best choice, while a full-coverage face with falsies and lipstick was definitely not going to sit well with other girls, even boys. Basically, before you get your butt into a nice college, you are supposed to study hard and be good in school. Since makeup is a vanity item and not a exam subject, it is certainly not on the encouraged extra-curriculum's list. Girls (and boys) who wear too much (or any) makeup in grade school or high school might be labeled as rebellious, vain, or even trashy. It's the same with uniforms, when everyone is wearing the hideous over-the -knee ill-fitted skirt, wearing a tailored mini skirt will not make you the homecoming queen, instead, people will just stare and go tsk tsk at you.
In college, because students have more freedom in regard to appearance, more girls start to wear makeup daily, and the ones who never wore makeup still can’t bother. To give you an better idea, in my class of 40 girls (and 20 boys), only about 5 girls wear makeup on a daily basis, maybe a dozen girls will wear makeup for special occasions, and the rest have never worn and no desire for makeup. I was in the "meh, can't bother" category for the major part of my college life, but my love for makeup have rekindled and I am experimenting with makeup lately. FOTD posts in the future perhaps?
What about women in the work force? You might ask. My theory is, because in the past Taiwan’s economy thrived on small home-owned companies all over the country, there weren't a need for makeup at work, why would you want/need to dress up and make up if you’re working alongside your aunt and grandpa in your living room?
Nowadays, while some women have the mindset of "wearing makeup is showing courtesy to others"(footnote1), a mindset heavily influenced by Japan, and some women are required to wear makeup by their employers, most women wear makeup because it makes them feel good.
In my opinion, the no-makeup trend is caused by several factors:
1. Girls aren't encouraged to explore makeup when they are most interested in their appearances.
2. There is no need for makeup. (ie for work or special occasions. A lot of people never go clubbing or partying.)
3. People value natural beauty over artificial beauty.
4. It’s high maintenance to wear makeup. Since it’s hot and humid in Taiwan, very often your foundation melts off or your eyeliner smudges into unattractive raccoon eyes ten minutes after you walk out your door.
5. No time for makeup. High school students have to get to school by 7 am. Working women have more time in the morning, but because overtime is common,the trouble of remove makeup when you’re exhausted can be discouraging.
The upside of this trend is that most people have great skin because they don’t suffer damage from chemicals in makeup products, but the downside is, it can be difficult sometimes to find a makeup chat buddy!
I was once part of the barefaced trend, even though I had interest in makeup, I was just too busy and lazy to wear makeup, and it did not help that my features are nothing like the pretty faces in makeup tutorials. Recently, I have decided to start practice makeup and go through the inevitable road of makeup disasters, so I can end up at the decent-looking phase and put on a satisfying face when I ever need to. After all, it does feel nice to look glam once in a while!
What is the biggest makeup trend in your country? Do you wear makeup on a daily basis?
footnote 1: I personally hate this saying, because I feel the under laying message is "you're not pretty and you hurt my eyes, can you at least try to look less ugly?" It is only polite to keep yourself clean and presentable in public, but I don't feel that makeup is necessary to achieve this. Besides, why the guys don't have the same rule applied?