Meet the artist at the forefront of a new wave of beauty.
If you’ve been on Instagram lately, you’ve probably noticed a shift in beauty content. It’s no longer just about contouring and cut-creases. As society calls for more diversity in the beauty industry, a new generation of makeup artists are challenging the outdated standards we hold ourselves to.
Enter Eszter Magyar, the artist at the forefront of a new wave of beauty. Self-proclaimed makeup activist and beauty disruptor Magyar is the woman behind the Instagram account @makeupbrutalism, and the founder of the Ugly Makeup Revolution. In a culture that profits from our insecurity, Magyar saw a way to both protest and empower through her work. By creating looks that straddle the space between makeup and art, she is questioning traditional norms by breaking the rules of beauty.
A chronic over-thinker, the Berlin-based artist finds inspiration everywhere. For her, @makupbrutalism is a journey. “It’s organic. I reflect on those everyday things that are impacting me at the moment. And even though I don’t have the courage to call myself an artist, after a while I just felt, I don’t want to be JUST a makeup account anymore.”
Unlike most Instagram influencers, Magyar is not out to sell us teddybear shaped vitamins or the latest makeup palette, in fact, she rarely even uses makeup in her work. By experimenting with found objects and unconventional materials, she creates genre-bending looks. Some of her favourite materials include hair, screws, miniature dolls and even the used contact lenses she salvaged from a friend’s apartment floor. Often satirising current beauty trends and politics, the images she creates are a social commentary of the world we are living in.
By day Magyar works as a professional makeup artist, but it is her renegade beauty account that has garnered worldwide admiration and a cult-like following. Through @makeupbrutalism, she has gained a wealth of like-minded followers, (76K and counting) and it is from this community of devotees that the Ugly Makeup Revolution was birthed. “UGLYMAKEUPREVOLUTION came from a joke. I had a convo under one of my posts, told someone that UGLY MAKEUP IS THE NEW KIM KARDASHIAN (referring to today’s beauty trends) and it just manifested itself into a hashtag. I started to use it and after a while I discovered that I’m not the only one. So I just created a platform for people who think about makeup and beauty similar to myself. It’s just another option -a counterculture – and hopefully helps people to be more openminded.”
For her, the Ugly Makeup Revolution is a means to further the democratisation of beauty; it shouldn’t be the reserve of the conventionally ‘pretty’. Beauty is for, and is in, everyone. This led her to create the account @uglymakeuprevolution, where she collects and curates the work of other artists and it has become something of a crusade. It serves as a safe space to educate and to challenge society’s obsession with youth and perfection- to be ‘proudly and loudly ugly’. While we are starting to see some positive changes in the mainstream beauty industry, (think Gucci’s lipstick campaign), the progress is frustratingly slow. And this is where @uglymakeuprevolution comes into its own.
As a platform, Instagram allows a kind of self publication not available in other media, and through the account, Magyar is building a community of artists. By sharing other’s work, the message and spirit of ugly beauty is making its way onto people’s feeds, infiltrating the algorithm- guerrilla makeup if you will- forcing people to think again about what beauty really means. It has become more than just a tool for self-promotion, it has nurtured this underground movement where people can come together, to connect, explore and inspire.
Often bullied as a child for her tooth gap, the moment when she realised she had created something special was when people began to share their own experiences with her. “The point where I felt that it all makes complete sense was when kids started to write me after the lip closeups. How it is easier for them to accept themselves, their gaps, because they see someone who actually LOVES her tooth gap (that’s me) I was a kid like that too. And the thought that I can help people to love themselves more – that’s priceless.” It’s clear that despite our differences, or rather because of them, Magyar is bringing people together.
“Nobody is perfect anyways. Our IRREGULARITIES make us who we are. We need more acceptance and more honesty in the world. IF we are losing our fears, that is the point where we are completely free. Like I have big ears – my love calls me DUMBO sometimes, I could hide it – but every time I see it, it reminds me of my dad – and I love it. If we would put the energy we spent hating on ourselves, because we are not ‘socially acceptable’ – if we could spend that on loving ourselves – this world would be a better place.” If we can take away one thing from Eszter Magyar, it is that we should all be embracing our true selves- the good the bad and especially the ugly. After all, bad art is still art right?