The art of makeup

Olivia Barker ’20 discusses how her interest in makeup has developed over time.


Sean Brown

Olivia Barker ’20 started her makeup Instagram page in June of 2017 as a way to show her passion to her friends and family.

When she was younger, Olivia Barker ’20 did not believe she was ever going to wear makeup, but now she has developed a passion for it as a form of art which is shown on her Instagram page dedicated to makeup. Barker shares with West Side Story how her relationship with makeup has grown as well as her opinions on it as an art form.

WSS: What does your makeup Instagram page mean to you? 

Olivia Barker ‘20: “Honestly, my Instagram is my least favorite part of doing and loving makeup. I don’t enjoy the process of taking pictures and editing them and coming up with captions nearly as much as actually applying the makeup.”

WSS: What made you begin the page in the first place?

OB: “I started the page to show my friends and family this passion that I have and to document my progress as an artist. Even though I’m doing makeup every weekend I only post when I’m really proud of the makeup I did and want to show it off.”

My favorite part of doing makeup is the creativity.

— Olivia Barker '20

WSS: What is your favorite part about doing makeup?

OB: “My favorite part of doing makeup is the creativity. I like that there are always new trends to try and different products and colors and textures to play with. I love when I get inspiration for a look and can sit down and blend colors together until it looks how I want it to.”

WSS: When or how did you gain an interest in makeup and how did it develop?

OB: “I really didn’t like makeup for most of my life. I thought I’d never wear it. But when junior high started I started getting into it and I started watching more makeup artists on YouTube and my interest has grown. I’ve definitely gotten better as an artist with practice and as I’ve gotten more and more makeup and brushes.”

WSS: Why did you develop an interest in junior high?

OB: “It was just random. I think the people I was watching on YouTube started doing more makeup and since then, the beauty community online has expanded so much, so I just got more and more exposure to it.”

Now, I appreciate makeup as an art form and I buy normal adult makeup, not kids stuff.

— Olivia Barker '20

WSS: Why did you think you were not ever going to wear it?

OB: “I didn’t like makeup when I was younger because I wasn’t very girly. Also, I had only ever seen kids’ makeup from Claire’s and it was pink and glittery mostly just goopy lip gloss, and I hated all those things. Now, I appreciate makeup as an art form and I buy normal adult makeup, not kids stuff.

Makeup is whatever you want it to be.

— Olivia Barker '20

WSS: How do you think makeup can be positive or negative in someone’s life?

OB: “I think people’s opinions are based on their own experiences.  For people who don’t understand the love of makeup as an art, they might believe girls only use it because they’re insecure, and that’s not always the case. Makeup is whatever you want it to be. If you want to use it, it can cover insecurities, be a creative outlet or anything else. If you don’t want to use it, that’s okay too.”

WSS: How have people’s opinions been formed/changed?  

OB: “People have started to see it more as an art form which has opened the doors for men to wear makeup, and for a booming makeup community and industry. Some people still might think it’s a waste of time and money, and it’s only for insecure girls, but that doesn’t bother me.”