It’s no secret that makeup can be a powerful tool. But it seems that no matter what a person does, either they’re not wearing enough makeup, they’re wearing too much makeup, or they’re trying to look like someone else. What people talk about less often is that makeup can be empowering, allowing a person to choose which of their features they want to stand out using a variety of colors and textures. Makeup gives people control over how they present themselves to the world and encourages them to celebrate their own features—and that is the message YouTube beauty guru NikkieTutorials wants to send to her followers.
In a new video, Nikkie shows us “the power of makeup” by applying cosmetics to just one side of her face. She makes the look “full-on glam,” false eyelashes and cheekbone contouring included. She leaves the other side of her face bare to show the transformation makeup gives her. The difference is notable: glowing skin and wide, open eyes that pop. But Nikkie still looks—and feels—like herself. “By no means do I want to say that if you have insecurities you should slap makeup on, feel better, and just never be content with your own self,” she says. “There are no rules to makeup. It can be whatever you want it to be.”
Nikkie says that her video is in response to criticisms of people who wear makeup. “Girls have been almost ashamed to say they love makeup,” she says. “Nowadays when you say you love makeup, you either do it because you want to look good for boys, you do it because you’re insecure, or you do it because you don’t love yourself.” Nikkie recounts some of the comments people have given her when they see her bare face: “You look so much thinner with makeup!” But she isn’t the only YouTuber who has received harsh criticism: Business Insider highlights a host of other women whose beauty videos have seen aggressive backlash, like Em Ford, who made her own video in response to the unkind, negative feedback.
Nikkie’s message is that makeup is about celebrating natural beauty; its purpose is not to cover up, but to show off—and for her, makeup is about confidence, comfort, and fun.