Junior sees makeup as an art form, not a daily task

January 17, 2017 — by Frederick Kim and Jay Kim

Trying to keep her hand steady, junior Kelly McLaughlin, then in seventh grade, did her best to make put on mascara. It was the first time she tried putting on makeup.

However, in the end, her eyeliners fluctuant and her eyelashes unevenly curled, she couldn’t create the look she wanted.

It was during freshman year she was able to become proficient enough to help the drama team.

During sophomore year, McLaughlin helped with the makeup on the student production of “The Magic Flute.” She had to take into account the costumes application time and portrayal of the character into consideration as she created the face designs.

In the play, Papageno, a bird catcher, is supposed to look like a blue bird, so McLaughlin incorporated various shades of blue into the final makeup look to transform the actor into the character.

McLaughlin undergoes a similar design process for all of her drama production makeup creations. As an avid lover of makeup, she has transformed her passion from experimenting with her own makeup to creating elaborate face designs for drama productions.

McLaughlin said she tries to keep characters’ facial features in mind because a certain makeup look will be more flattering on someone who has strong angular features than someone who has a rounder face.

Senior Zach Grob-Lipkis, who is also in drama, said  McLaughlin is “great at makeup design and [thinks] that if she wants to go into this field when she's older, drama and competitions will be good practice.”

Aside from competitions and makeup for productions, she also helps her friends put on makeup for dances, including prom.

“[Prom makeup] is just for my friends, but if someone were to come up to me and say ‘Hey, let me hire you,’ I’d do it,” McLaughlin said.

Learning to become skilled at makeup didn’t come easily.

“Seventh grade was the first time I put on makeup, and it was terrible,” McLaughlin said. “It was eyeliner and mascara, and that was it.”

In freshman year, McLaughlin discovered the art of makeup and since then has constantly experimented with various makeup looks.

“Once I realized that there was a huge world behind makeup, it really got me interested,” McLaughlin said. “I realized that it was super cool and fun and an excuse to put bright colors on your face.”

Despite all the time and effort McLaughlin put into makeup design, she does not plan to pursue a career in it because she thinks it is a difficult industry. But she believes that she will continue makeup design as a hobby and still “have a passion” for it.

“I like makeup because to me, it’s is not just getting ready in the morning, it’s an art form,” McLaughlin said.