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Why You Don’t See Before And After Makeup Photos On My Feed: A Cinderella Analogy

While traveling, I found a copy of the children’s book Cinderella in a gift shop and thumbed through the pages. There were 2 side-by-side pages that helped me better understand my role and beliefs as a Makeup Artist. The first page depicted the unrecognizable Princess in her ornate gown leaving the ball at the first stroke of midnight. She was desirable and high society. The other page showcased Cinderella back to her normal self, camouflaged in her soot and rags.

I don’t mind Before and After photos. I enjoy seeing homes, cars, garden spaces transformations. I used to LOVE watching makeovers in their entirety on the Style Network Show “How Do I Look?”

Most beauty services are maintenance-based. They last an extended amount of time (days, weeks, months, years) on the face before needing to be reconditioned. They have a permanency aspect. 

I think Before + After documentation can become quite tricky in the human space with ephemeral makeup applications. Sure, including the Before photo guides the viewer to perceive a complete transformation. But with the way culture has primed our subconscious minds, this can also signal that someone is less attractive (and therefore less capable, less worthy and less of a person) without the makeup and “when the clock strikes twelve”, will return to what they were before.

Before + After photos of ephemeral makeup applications are actually Before + After + Before photos. Just like Cinderella’s transformation, the underlying issue is that the comparison praise of someone’s almost metamorphosed face is that it can devalue their previous state and subtly remind viewers that this individual will go back to this state.

I believe the role I am pursuing as a Makeup Artist is less about display, glow ups, and comparisons. My mission with ephemeral makeup is to operate in a beauty space compassed in calibration, connection and confidence. I hope this mission is reflected in my work. There is no Before + After,  there’s merely the look that we work together to achieve.

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