If makeup was initially Grinch Hand Holding Scissor Christmas shirt. conceived to hide imperfections and enhance physical beauty, these nightmare-inducing looks are put together without a whiff of concern for the beauty standards that have policed women’s self-presentation since skin-lightening lead powders first made their appearance in ancient Greece.
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Tomasyn Hayes, 22, a New York-based artist who goes by @lustsickpuppy on Instagram and resembles a cross between an insect and the Queen of the Damned, sees her extreme makeup routine as a form of shape-shifting Grinch Hand Holding Scissor Christmas shirt. “I think that we all have an immense range of emotions inside of us and at times we don’t allow ourselves to express those emotions because the world will only accept so many,” she says. By creating looks that involve bleeding gums, smeared lipstick and flecks of mould, she’s able to channel her emotions and present them outwardly as a comfortable form of self-expression When I was a kid, I started doing makeup just to appease my classmates so I could be the prettier girl and get more attention—of course it didn’t work,” says Elle Vatel, a 19-year-old college student from Florida who goes by @uggiebbyboy on Instagram. Instead, Vatel, who uses he/him pronouns, began to develop his own unique style of doing makeup that involves sprays of confetti, clusters of undulating lines and fortuitous daubs of colour deposited with precious little regard for the orthodoxy of human features. “We’re living through a time now where diversity is the mantra of the younger generation,” says Philip Fimmano, trend analyst and director of trend forecasting agency Trend Union North America. “Regardless of your paraphernalia or fetish, everybody is allowed to publicly display it and feel comfortable with it.” Fimmano adds that anyone born after 9/11 has only ever known the world in the context of economic collapse, with fear of terrorism and airborne diseases and climate change permeating the global consciousness. These harsh social conditions coupled with a growing yen for diversity have created the perfect climate in which these transgressive looks can thrive.