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Stop the Beauty Bullying: Let's Embrace Each Other, Flaws and All

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Photo Credit: Alexandra Butler Makeup Artistry

As a full-time makeup artist, I use my personal Instagram and Facebook accounts to showcase some of my work. Recently, the photo above featuring a makeover I performed on one of my clients has been floating around on blogs and social media along with very hurtful and negative comments. The makeover has been called “deceiving,” “misleading,” and even “scary.” I have also been accused of using Photoshop while others have suggested that the woman in the after picture is not the same person. Really?

It is my job to apply makeup to enhance my clients’ natural beauty and make them look their best for special occasions. In no shape or form am I in the business to “trick others" or make my client appear to be someone she is not. This particular client has very noticeable acne scarring which has made her very apprehensive about walking out of the house without makeup on. When she first voiced her concerns to me, as a makeup artist, I wanted her to walk away appearing to have flawless skin. However, even with the skin imperfections, my client is beautiful. I created a look to conceal her blemishes and then used simple enhancements to bring out her natural features.

In response to many of the negative comments, I do not agree that wearing makeup is “deceiving.” Is it deceiving when a chemotherapy patient wears a wig? Is it deceiving when a woman wears Spanx to make her clothes look better? Is it deceiving when a person has vitiligo and wants to even their skintone? The answer is no. We all want to look our best. Everyone has flaws and almost everyone has blemishes, and the way that my client has been ridiculed and picked at is absurd. No one has the right to point fingers and name call especially when my client cannot control the fact that she has a hereditary skin condition. (For the record, my client has tried several acne treatments and is currently undergoing professional help to improve her skin.) My client has been ridiculed for walking out of the house with blemishes all over her face and now she is being accused of “deception” for covering those blemishes. How unfair!

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Makeup is an art. A true makeup artist is able to apply makeup in such a seamless way that the contours, highlights, color correction, and color enhancements bring out the best in a person's face and compliment their every feature. I have worked very hard on this craft and have truly found my niche in makeup. I am extremely blessed to do what I am passionate about for a living and have had many great experiences with all types of clients. It breaks my heart to hear such harsh feedback on the photos above via Instagram and Facebook. My clients are real women with real feelings just like you. These women could be your mother, wife, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunt, or cousin—or even you. Would you want someone to make nasty remarks about your loved one or rude comments about you?

We need to be very mindful of our words and how we use them in the real world and online. Instead of using social media to tear each other down for having flaws, let’s be positive and build each other up. All of the mean-spirited remarks are a form of online bullying and it needs to stop. Allow makeup artists to do our job without trying to put down our talent or even worse, take credit for work you didn’t do (many artists have reposted the photo above claiming it to be their work). If you see a makeover that looks amazing, in whatever form, compliment the work and keep your negative remarks to yourself. Use your words to uplift and make someone else feel beautiful just as you would want someone to do for you or someone you love.

Alexandra Butler is a professional makeup artist and creator of the "A Beautiful Face: Makeup 101" makeup education tour. Her work has been featured on brides across the globe and celebs on the red carpet. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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