It’s a Saturday night. You and the girls are drinking rosé, blasting RnB tunes and spritzing setting mist on each other’s faces ready for a night out.
At the club, your lipstick wears away on cocktail glasses over the course of the night. Somewhere between the last bar and the kebab shop, you lose a false eyelash. You come home sweaty and exhausted, smiling as you take off your makeup and try to remember the night’s events.
Your eyeliner is too hard to remove, so you commit the skin sin of sleeping in it, telling yourself you’ll repent with a facemask in the morning. If you knew that this would be your last night out, you’d make it last forever.
Makeup is intrinsically linked to some of the most important, happy, and fun moments of our lives. It gives us a brave face for a job interview or presentation. It allows our natural beauty to shine on a date or at a special event. It’s an avenue to express ourselves on a night out or at a festival.
But what happens to makeup when these things suddenly stop? Covid-19 has put our lives and plans on pause. While some restrictions are slowly winding back, there’s still a long way to go before life completely returns to normal.
As a result, our interactions with each other have moved at an accelerated pace to the digital landscape. We live in the world of Zoom (and Tik Tok) now – the ultimate platforms for either working, studying, catching up with friends or sharing relevant content.
So, does makeup have a place in it? It might seem pointless to put on blush and mascara when you’re sitting in your pyjamas all day. But if it makes you feel good, then why not? I’ve been using this time to go barefaced and layer up my skincare – confident in the fact that no one will see the state of my skin after using an acid serum.
However, if you’re like me and have an 8am class where the tutor insists students turn their camera on, sometimes a bit of makeup can help you look alive (thank goodness for my other classes where I can roll out of bed in my pjs and sit at my desk with the camera off!)
There’s absolutely no rules for how you can do your makeup – if you show up at an 8am class in a ~look~ then I’m in awe. But if you’re someone who wakes up 10 minutes before the zoom class starts (like me), then you’ll want to go with something easy and effortless.
Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel does triple duty as a moisturiser, glowy coverage, and SPF (however if your workspace is in front of a window I’d recommend applying a proper sunscreen first – like Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF50+).
A brow gel does the trick for quick, groomed brows. Glossier Boy Brow is my favourite, but since that’s hard to get in Australia, the Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel is also a great product that gives you a softly sculpted shape. My favourite part of a makeup routine is definitely blush and bronzer because it’s what makes me look most alive! Cream blush, like the Luma Lip & Cheek Tint, gives the skin a natural, dewy flush, and is super easy to blend when you’re in a hurry.
Morphe’s Glamabronze face and body bronzer is another multitasking product. I use the JH11 brush from the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Master Remix Collection to sweep the bronzer across my cheekbones and anywhere on the face that needs a little warmth. I get that golden glow that makes me look like I’ve actually been outside, when really I’ve been staring at a blue screen for eight hours a day. The bronzer can then be swept across the eyelids with the JH50 brush, tying the look all together.
To finish off the look, a sweep of Glossier’s Lash Slick mascara gives me the most natural, long-looking lashes (no Australian dupes for this one, it’s in a league of its own). Finish off with a tinted lip balm and your 5-minute Zoom face is complete!
If you’re finishing your uni or work day by having Zoom cocktails with the girls, the look can easily be dialled up. I keep the base look largely the same, but just add eyeshadow from the Morphe 18T Truth or Bare Artistry Palette for a bit of glam! The palette has a perfect mix of warm and cool shadows, so it can suit different skin tones. Since I’m very fair with cool undertones, the blush, plum, and rose gold shades are perfect. The gorgeous peach, coral and cinnamon shades would look stunning on warmer skin tones. Once the look is finished, Morphe’s Luminous Setting Spray adds that last touch of glow! The best part is that the entire look, from morning to night, is cruelty free!
But what does makeup look like for those in the non-virtual space? Not everyone has the luxury of being able to work online, as people are still required on the frontlines to keep essential businesses and services going. On the other hand, people have been stood down or lost their jobs completely.
Caitlin, an essential worker, considers makeup an important part of her job: “I’m representing very few people on the frontline, so I want to feel good about myself. I’ve also had a few customers compliment me on my makeup too.”
For Lucinda who’s been stood down from work, she admits she misses her daily makeup routine: “I miss taking time for myself every day, doing something I love that gets me ready to take on the world. Now when I do my makeup, it’s extra special to me and holds so much more value.”
So, what does makeup look like in this new era? Whatever you want it to look like! Whether it’s to boost morale, keep a sense of normalcy, save us at an 8am class, or simply to have fun, it plays a different role for each of us.