Beauty products are a creative outlet for many women (and men!). And if our own images are our art, then our bodies must be our canvases. But just like great artists must, at some point, choose whether they will draw in a small sketch book, drip paint over a huge canvas, or meticulously paint an entire ceiling, beauty enthusiasts must also choose what we want to enhance and decorate. While many of us have a signature look that we don’t change — a hairstyle, a lip color, a certain combination of mascara and liner, etc. — we also have a signature area we that change and experiment with constantly. Here are some personal canvases and reasons why a budding beauty artist one might find them appealing.
Eyes. It’s so easy to play with your eye make-up; the paint is cheap and easily changed. Not only can you experiment with looks — liner vs. no liner, shimmer vs. matte, smoky vs. clean — but then you can play with each of these looks in a new color palette. The possibilities are nearly endless and if you don’t like it, you’ve invested very little. While my signature look involves keeping my eyes pretty much the same every day (with a little wiggle room at night), I still think it’s pretty amazing that I could easily take on three new personas for just $20 spent at the drugstore.
Hair color. From Drew Barrymore to the fictional Clementine of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” many a woman has defined herself by refusing to define her hair color. This takes considerably more investment than changing your eye makeup, but that’s exactly what makes it so appealing for a lot of women. When so many women consider their hair their crowning glory, there’s something sexy about a woman who is willing to risk ruining it on some Manic Panic. While my hair doesn’t make for a very good canvas, I am toying with the idea of swapping out my brown weave for a bold Rihanna red, just because.
Nails. My nails are my beauty canvas of choice. While I think my hair and makeup is pretty classic, maybe even boring, this gives me the confidence to any and every new trendy colors on my nails. I can barely choose a polish when I go to get a manicure because I love them all so much. Committing to a bottle of nail polish at the beauty store is even harder because while I may love the one I’m buying, every day that I wear the same shade is a day on which I don’t get to try a new one. (A shellac manicure? Is something I find both amazing and pure torture.) From dark purple to red to gold to gold glitter, from smoky pastels to pearly white to black back to nude, I’ve chased many a trend and spent more money than I’m comfortable admitting on hundreds of shades that I just found too gorgeous to pass up. While I haven’t gotten into nail art simply because I don’t have a steady hand, I react to discovering new pictures of it online the way others might react at a gallery opening.
Ultimately, I think we choose our beauty canvases the same way artists choose theirs: based on what we see as our strengths and talents. I’m comfortable drawing attention to what I see as nice hands and I’m confident in wearing bold colors there. Others feel the same way about their beautiful eyes and long lashes or thick, fabulous hair that can withstand lots of dye (not to mention skin that manages to look work with every hair color).
What is your beauty canvas of choice?