Stop making up for the ’gram

Photo: Charmie Jane / Instagram

“Everyone talks about wanting to look airbrushed. It’s become the buzzword for any girl who wants to put up a picture or video of herself in makeup. I see these beauty selfies on Instagram and Youtube all the time.

What bothers me is that making up for the ’gram has become the look for real life. The airbrushed look refers to an unnaturally flawless, mannequin-like face. The skin does not have any texture, and the facial contours are clean and sleek. To get the look, you have to pack on foundation. And I mean really pack it on, like cement, for that supposedly flawless finish.



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But as a makeup artist, I will tell you that’s not what ‘airbrushed’ means. Looking airbrushed is actually about skill. It’s about understanding how foundation works – how it glides onto skin and blends seamlessly into it. It’s about using the right amount and spreading it out to even out discoloration. It’s about using it to get that my-skin-but-better look.

It shouldn’t be used to hide every. single. flaw, to the extent that your face looks flat and lifeless. That full-on foundation look is not how makeup should be used. It’s the first thing I learnt in makeup school. There is a place for it, and that’s stage performances, where the makeup needs to look good under harsh lighting and from afar.


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So when I see girls IRL drowning their faces in foundation to the point where I can’t see any real skin, it scares me. They’re wearing masks of makeup. To make things worse, they add on the harsh contours, beaming highlights, and dagger brows. It’s the Kim Kardashian look everyone wants to recreate, and which has became the ‘iconic’ Insta look. It gets all the double taps on screen, but looks so overdone in real life.

Outside of Insta, skin that has zero texture looks unreal; sharp contours that look sleek in photos look patchy; and those beaming highlights only emphasise the wrong stuff on your skin. It’s like wearing a mask made of concrete. I’m so afraid that their faces might crack if they trip and fall.

On social media, everyone sees a filtered version of… everyone else. And because trends kick off fast and take off far online, these Instagram Girls feel the need to look like the trend to be part of the club. It’s a pack mentality.



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So they end up in this vicious circle of starting off wrong with a caked face of foundation, then correcting, and correcting, and correcting… by adding more stuff on their faces. It gets to the point where they feel they have no choice but to leave the house with this mask of makeup because ‘there’s something wrong with my skin’.

Makeup is supposed to be empowering. I love how it lends confidence to a person. But the Insta look is overdone. And when you end up hiding behind makeup, that’s a problem. At the end of the day, makeup just sits on the skin. It shouldn’t be about who you are. Just like how the ’gram shouldn’t be about real life.”

Ahead, Larry tells you what to use and how to use it to bring out your natural beauty for the camera.


This article first appeared in the Jan issue of Her World magazine.