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  • The Current UMSL

The Skin We're In

By Tyler Smith

With most of the world slowly beginning to open back up again, there will definitely be some new social norms around to stay, even if only for the short term. One of the more interesting things is how wearing masks daily and only meeting via zoom have changed the way we use makeup and skincare, and how we as a generation view our skin.

A couple years ago, full coverage makeup was the fashion. If you didn’t have primer, concealer, color correcting concealer, foundation to contour with, eye primer, eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick and highlighter, you weren’t wearing makeup. The beauty community had taken off on youtube, and people were putting out tutorials that would take upwards of forty minutes to complete. They had a whole lineup, sometimes hundreds of dollars worth, of products and entire sets of brushes, sponges and blenders in each video. and people were getting millions of views- and dollars by making tutorials and pallets to sell to subscribers.

Fast forward to 2020, and everyone’s at home. Most people didn’t see the need to have full coverage in the comfort of their own homes. And because Zoom has a tendency to make even the earliest of morning birds look like they haven't slept in a week, a full face seemed hardly worth the effort. And when they did go out, they had a mask covering half their face. I can tell you from personal experience, lip gloss under a mask is just as uncomfortable as it is useless. So, eye looks took center stage. People started adjusting their routine to add emphasis to the eyes. This trend made it all the way to Hollywood, where this year’s socially distanced award season was punctuated with bright dramatic eye shadow and graphic liner whereas before subtle color and smokey eyes reigned supreme.

Another side effect of this shift in how we prep our faces for the outsider world, is the rise of skincare. Personally, I’ve always loved looking at different products because I don’t wear makeup very often. But, I noticed a lot of my friends and family, who normally preferred makeup started asking me about skincare when we all started staying at home. They aren’t alone; according to, the skincare market grew 13%; the makeup market only grew by 1%. It makes sense, having not much to do, people tend to spend a lot of time staring in the mirror during nightly routines. We started to see the things that normally spend time being covered up. Also, because of the fact that this time was stressful for many, taking time to do clay masks or doing a nightly routine was relaxing for a lot of people. Routines bring structure into lives, something that has been more or less missing for the past year.

Youtube has seen the change too. Hyram is a skincare expert on Youtube who makes videos on hundreds of products and brands in all sorts of price ranges. He has 4.57 million subscribers and his view count per video averages anywhere from 4-10 million! He’s not the only one on Youtube who highlights skincare. Media channels like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar have started posting celebrity skincare routines as part of their daily content. Instead of makeup and perfume, celebrities like Kylee Jenner and Rihanna have put out skincare lines.

Personally, I hope this emphasis on skin care stays around. One of the silver linings of not being able or not wanting to wear makeup everywhere is that people are learning to love the skin they’re in- flaws and all. I think it’s especially good for the younger girls who grew up in a time of photoshopped images and impossible beauty standards. Learning to like your face is more important than you might think. Putting effort into taking the best care of your skin makes it a point to celebrate instead of something to hide. Not to say makeup is just to hide things- makeup looks even prettier when the skin underneath is well taken care of! I think we should all take a little-or a lot of time to take better care of ourselves.


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