Our world has become increasingly obsessed with perfection. The illusive (albeit perplexingly desirable) trait is something we aspire to in both the day-to-day as well as the grander scheme of everything. Whether this manifests itself in the pitch correction of vocalists who (quite often) don’t need it, or the relentless waxing and plucking we put ourselves through bi-weekly (even if the bush is making a comeback), or our increasing fear of sharing selfies that aren’t “just right,” achieving perfection (or pseudo-perfection — because we’ve yet to figure out what “perfect” even means) has become a need, a must, a want, or a combination of all of the above.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t actually care about how others perceive me. I select the photos I use on my blog or in my work carefully. I don’t try to conceal my fatness or pretend not to have a double chin or anything, because I actually do like being plus-size, and I enjoy the wobblier areas of my body and my high-boned yet chubby cheeks. But I do tweak lighting. I do angle my face in the way I know will make it look more glamorous or beautiful or interesting. I play with the things I consider my best attributes, just as most of us do. It’s rare that I post a photo or step out of the house without my powder, eyeliner and lipstick on. Not because I’m ashamed of my natural face — I’ve always been told I’m a “natural beauty” and though it’s taken me a few decades to see any derivative of that claim for myself, I think I’m getting there. I’m not saying my face is perfect — I think it’s actually rather strange. But I try to embrace that as best I can, and use makeup to highlight its peculiarities in a way that represents my style and personality.

All that being said, I find Photoshop a fascinating invention. It’s a tool often used in that same pursuit of perfection. It’s a tool magazines, advertisers, models, graphic designers and just about everyone with an Instagram account (granted, Instagram isn’t Photoshop, but it serves a similar purpose) use constantly. My partner — who is my main photographer and subsequently my main photo editor — will always edit my pictures in some way. But he never does anything he’d consider “immoral.” Lighting and basic color scheme, sure. Slimming of cheeks or removal of visible belly outline, never. He’s my very own ModCloth, what with the brand’s ”No Photoshopping Pledge” and all.

Earlier this year, human interest journalist Esther Honig set out to find out how nearly 40 individuals across 25 countries would alter a basic image of her face if asked to make her look “beautiful.” In her description of her project, entitled ”Before and After,” Honig writes, “Photoshop allows us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty, but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more elusive.” Some editors widened her eyes. Others gave her long and luscious locks. Others gave her neon makeup. Others slimmed down her already slim face. A scroll through her photographs reveals that our notions of beauty are totally indecipherable. They vary from continent to continent, from nation to nation, from person to person.

Shortly after Honig’s experiment went viral, her friend and fellow journalist Priscilla Yuki Wilson conducted a similar experiment, to see how editors Photoshopped a biracial woman. Just as Honig pointed out, it quickly became clear that what we find beautiful is not as universal as it often seems. Perhaps predictably, however, the majority of the editors did play with the tone of Wilson’s skin. Some lightened her; some darkened her. Others narrowed her face, just as they did Honig’s. But overall, there was no one strong correlation. Once again, our interpretations of beauty prove themselves to be not necessarily ubiquitous, but individual.

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We will pay attention to the final stage at the base of every makeup. Namely – the blush.

These little tips will help you not to fall into the unpleasant situation to look like a Russian matryoshka doll but as a stylish and sophisticated lady, as we know you are such:


1. Select the color of the blush according to what goals you are looking for right now and where you are going – a formal event, meeting, work, coffee… It is best not to look older, but to pick shades that give you fresh and youthful appearance. In this sense you have many options – the market has all kinds of variations – from soft matte, through natural and up to brilliant colors blushes. Each of them can be a very good choice at one time or another. Aim for the balanced and harmonious colors that match your overall look – from your eye makeup and lipstick, up to the shoes.

2. Powdered blush with a slight matte effect is combined great with the powder that you have put after the foundation. If your whole face is covered with powder, it is better to wear such a blush with you to get it refreshed from time to time, no matter what kind you have chosen initially.

3. The use of cream or gel blushes is recommended when you apply them immediately after the foundation, but before the powder. If you want to keep the special finish that gives the powder, do not use it immediately after you have put your cream or gel for face. Instead apply it only where the face is shiny (for example – the forehead, nose and / or chin) and everywhere else apply blush. If you have selected the correct color, the effect will be a very natural and fresh-looking face.

4. Experts advise that you apply the blush with tapping movements on the cheekbones and up to the hairline. You can use the blush and for sculpting your face, as you put it on the nose or somewhere else, so that you change their shape:


1) If you have very high or broad forehead and a small jaw, apply the blush down towards the soft part of the ears and to the tip of the chin.

2) If you think you have a wide chin and lower forehead, spread the blush around the outer edge of the eyes and through the forehead.

3) If your nose is too wide and too flat, use the blush applying it to the center of the nose.

4) If your nose is too thin, but on behalf of that – long, put some blush on both its sides.


Remember that the bright and vivid colors will focus on the features to which you have applied them and make them more noticeable. Dark, subdued colors do the opposite – darken and hide what you do not want to be visible that much.


Makeup looks different in artificial and natural light. Where possible, do your makeup similar to the lighting under which you will “shine” when you go out.

And finally: do not be afraid to experiment and try different things. You’ll be surprised how different you will feel only when changing your style of makeup or if you wear that skirt, for which you dream for so long.

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