Masks, as imperative as they are to slow the spread of COVID-19, have added another layer between us, thus diluting human connection. It is now considered a privilege to engage in a face to face, maskless interaction and view the entirety of another person’s face.
As a result, the daily cosmetic needs of women have shifted from using products with heavy coverage to lightweight makeup that enhances natural beauty rather than altering it. This is especially true for products like foundation and concealer, which are typically applied to the entire face in the pre-mask world.
Many women agree that wearing a full face of makeup only to cover half of it with their mask now seems purposeless and unnecessarily time consuming. COVID instigated this sentiment.
During lockdown, The Guardian reported that foundation and lipstick sales were down by 70%. Nearly two years later, the market has minimally grown. Adweek stated face makeup, like primer, concealer, and foundation are still down 17% while lipstick and lip gloss have decreased by 36%.
The mask, although we’ll (hopefully) not be wearing them forever, has permanently altered women’s priorities regarding correctional beauty products. Face makeup, which many women once considered an essential part of our daily makeup routines has become obsolete.
Kaylee Feather, 22, a student teacher and previous makeup fanatic, spends eight hours a day wearing a mask with her 1st grade students. She no longer feels pressure to wear any makeup at school since the mask mandates have been in place.
“I started wearing a full face of makeup in middle school and it was fun for a while, but it quickly became annoying,” Kaylee said. “In high school it was a must for me because I felt like I needed to cover blemishes. But now that I wear my mask, no one sees my face and the pressure to have flawless skin is gone.”
Her makeup routine has evolved since COVID to a much simpler process. She now prioritizes convenience and looks for products with dual uses.
“I recently got into tinted sunscreen,” she said. “It protects my skin and gives me a light layer of coverage that doesn’t scuff with my mask. It’s way more practical than the three or four step process I used to do every morning.”
Sales of foundation and concealer have suffered greatly from these adjusted consumer attitudes, but other cosmetic products like eye shadow and mascara have increased after idling for years prior. We presume this is because eyes and eyebrows are the only features that masks leave exposed.
By reducing the number of makeup products we are using, we are inadvertently reducing waste caused by the beauty industry while fostering creativity with bold new looks.
Masks have shifted makeup’s purpose from a shield to conceal our uniqueness from the world, or a vice that we feel burdened by when getting ready every morning, to an empowering expression of individuality. The masks have proven, makeup should be worn for us.
Makeup may bolster us up and give us confidence, but more than anything, wearing makeup should feel beneficial and worth your exertion.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: woman wears a white mask. Featured Photo Credit: L’Oreal Paris 1,920 × 1,080.