Fashion is often associated only with clothes, shoes and accessories from luxury powerhouses and high street heroes. Fashion is thought to be universally inclusive, given that every one of us must get dressed in the morning, and do so in order to communicate a particular image of ourselves to the public. However, even in the golden era of the blogger and street-styler, fashion remains just a little out of reach for most people. Bloggers such as Jessica Stein, Tash Sefton and Elle Ferguson claim to mix high end with high street and as much as we all like to believe that is a realistic representation of what fashion is today, the average person simply cannot drop hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars on an ‘investment’ piece.
An element of the fashion world many of us tend to overlook is beauty and cosmetics. Influenced just as much by trends, designers and seasons as its material counterpart, the beauty world is a more accessible and affordable way to follow the trends and engage in the luxury market. Once dominated by the world of women’s glossies, the beauty realm has been revolutionised by the internet. Just as the street style blogger revolutionised the way we consume fashion, so too has the blogger and its youtube counterpart, the vlogger, changed the way we receive information about cosmetics. Where a magazine beauty editor once stood, selling a fabulous product she was sent for free, now stands a fellow consumer with recommendations on everything from skin types, textures, techniques for application and cheap alternatives.
Today the online world is a rich resource for cosmetic enthusiasts, allowing the average consumer access to real-person reviews of products detailing everything from what skin type it suits to the way it feels and the best way to apply it. Make-up artists such as Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo share in-depth video tutorials on how to recreate the makeup looks seen on runways and in magazine editorials.My recent decision that I trusted no one but myself to do my hair and makeup for my wedding day had me turn to this online world for education and guidance. While I found everything I needed to perfectly create the look I wanted, I also found a deep love for makeup and beauty products.
While fashion editors attend runway shows for the new season collections, beauty editors take note of the hair styles and make-up looks that accompanied them, and while both sides of the same coin will be regurgitated upon the pages of various glossies and blogs, only one is truly transferrable to the real world – beauty. This years favourite trend, normcore, marks a time in fashion where the consumer has blatantly identified the fashion world, from runway to editorial, impractical and out of reach. However, hair and make-up trends, as fleeting as they may be, remain consistently popular. It’s the transferrable, achievable and affordable nature of beauty that makes it welcoming and inclusive for the average person. Recreating a runway makeup or hair look for real life is easy and doesn’t require you drop the equivalent of three months rent on this seasons must-have bag or shoe. More to the point, beauty allows the average person access to the luxury market.
The luxury clothing market excludes the average consumer, with a classic Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere .25 starting at AUD $1,580, the prices are hardly affordable. However, pop over to your local cosmetic department store and you will find Dior, Chanel, Burberry, Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani and YSL with prices starting at $45. Not to mention the small touches of luxury that go along side cosmetics, such as brushes, tools and fragrances by the same houses.
Fashion is a fickle friend when it comes to the wardrobe. Magazine editorials showcase outfits and ‘investment’ pieces that cost more than my monthly rent which, even if I could afford them, wouldn’t guarantee my ability to achieve that effortless chic so often captured on those glossy pages. When it comes to style, a lot of those effortlessly chic looks are carefully selected and stylised, the ability to create the perfect outfit is learnt just as one learns to create the perfect feline flick with liquid eyeliner. The difference is that when it comes to the eyeliner, I can pop online and search for a tutorial, whereas I’m still struggling to nail that ‘effortless’ half-tucked shirt trend from last winter.