No-Makeup Look, Target-style
Any public images of women wearing little or no makeup interest me.
Under what circumstances are women shown without makeup? I recently
came across this Target advertisement in a magazine:
The ad shows a model in a houndstooth skirt and matching jacket.
What immediately struck me, besides the strong black and white graphics
of the image, was how little makeup the model was wearing: just some
nude lipstick, eyeshadow, no doubt some foundation, and perhaps some
eyebrow pencil. Overall, the makeup is toned down and conveys a bare
face (by industry standards).
Part of this approach is pragmatic: if she appeared to be wearing
too much makeup, her look would be unappealing in that it would be too
1980s, with her defined shoulders, bold houndstooth clothing, and big
bag (complete with "I'm very well-off, you know" silk scarf). So her
minimal makeup is carefully calculated to sell these (conservative)
designer clothes as fresh, trendy, hip, and in no way retrograde.
But another aspect is connected with youth. Her hair is unstyled and
cut in an extremely simple manner, similar to that of a young girl.
This sidesteps the 80s pitfall while simultaneously conveying youth. In
fact, the young model derives her sophistication through Target's
designer clothing (an oxymoron if there ever was one).