Beauty and Make Up in North America

Discussion in 'The Beauty Cupboard' started by Eurasian Mélange, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Eurasian Mélange

    Eurasian Mélange New Member

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    I guess this isn't really a trend since it has been around for I don't know how long, but if you know a better place to put this, please move it! :flower:

    Please also note that I'm talking about something so general there will obviously be exceptions to my observations (many of which I have seen myself).

    I've noticed that flip flops and painted toenails are very common in North America. Women there tend to pay a lot of attention to their feet, many often getting pedicures. Yet I rarely saw any with painted fingernails and almost all other make up was only used for very special events and never for day-to-day things. Most who chose to wear a little would only opt for a bit of concealer and lip gloss.

    To an outsider it gives the impression that feet are cared for above all when it comes to beauty and make up. Whether I'm right or wrong, I'm curious to know why caring for feet seems to be the most popular. I won't guess because I don't want to end up unintentionally creating a leading question and then people only repeat what I've asked as an answer. :P

    For any of you who fit the description, what are your personal reasons for choosing to wear flip flops showing off your painted toenails or new pedicure, yet using little to no make up everywhere else?
     
  2. CarolineRose

    CarolineRose New Member

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    Well, I live in LA which is a "style" all it's own, like it or hate it . . . but I also lived in Germany. Especially in CA and the warmer states, we wear sandals more and it's more normal to go barefoot. Whenever I come inside my house, I walk around in bare feet. But when I went to Germany, everyone thought I was sooooo weird for not wearing socks indoors! I only ever wear socks with boots (I just wear flats or flip flops most of the time) or when exercising, so I thought it was funny. It might be just that where it's warmer/closer to the beach or park, people go barefoot more . . . which leads to them caring for their feet, because they are more visible. But I think it's a cultural thing as well . . . Europeans and Asians wear socks indoors but all my friends here go barefoot (and in public too haha. I don't like wearing shoes).

    As for makeup, again I can only speak for myself as a native of LA which is a really strange place. There are so many blonde, plastic, heavily made-up types here that I have learned to really hate that look. So personally I wear tinted moisturizer and mascara and I prefer to maintain my natural skin rather than wearing lots of coverup. But I also surf and swim a lot, AND I don't know lots about makeup . . . so personally it's a combination of things that keeps me from wearing too much. And even the girls I know who wear a lot of makeup take care to make it look as natural as possible. There's a look, you know, where you can look "clean" while wearing lots of cover-up. When I was in Germany i noticed lots more contouring/heavy eyeliner and a more "done up" look. I think both look nice, but as a sporty and lazy person I just don't wear too much.

    One thing I often talked about with my host sister is that in LA and also in lots of South American countries like Brazil and Colombia, there is an emphasis on the body as a whole as opposed to the face, just because it's warmer and it's more common to wear revealing clothing. So maybe less attention is paid to the face? Also, wearing makeup in the heat is awful!

    Sorry this is so long and rambling, I'm not very eloquent today :smile: It's only my opinion, and I'm not a big beauty guru (although I'm trying to learn more!) so I'm not an expert on the subject

    edit// forgot to add, for the nail polish, the US health department forbids you from wearing fingernail polish if you work in a place that serves food, because it could chip and go into the food. myself and most people I know have worked in a cafe at one point, and I just got in the habit of not wearing nail polish, just Nailtique. The dishwater destroyed my nails anyways!
     
    #2 CarolineRose, Jul 3, 2010
    Last edited by moderator : Jul 3, 2010
  3. bellatulipa

    bellatulipa New Member

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    CarolineRose hit it exactly. I, too, live in Southern California. It is a very laid back, casual atmosphere which allows for a 'natural' look. I'll add, that with the weather here, I don't want/like to wear makeup as it often melts off by mid-day. I wear high SPF, and a light tint (I LOVE Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Enhancer at the moment). For eyes, just a simple line using powder/shadow; lips get a gloss as opposed to a lipstick. In winter (when the temps dip into the 60s {15c}), I do have more fun with eyecolor, especially in the evenings.

    Additionally, I enjoy the pampering of a pedicure. I wear sandals (even to work in a corporate office) from March to November, so I need my feet to look best. And many of the pedicure places here in SoCal are a social atmosphere ... I mostly go with my mom, but have gone with girlfriends in the past. It is an activity we can enjoy together.

    *you'll always know a native California because we wear Flip-Flops in winter* :smile:
     
  4. Eurasian Mélange

    Eurasian Mélange New Member

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    Thanks for replying. :flower: I would love to hear more from people living in other areas. North America spans such a large amount of space, I'm sure others have different opinions to share.

    CarolineRose - It's funny you mention the barefoot thing because I also go barefoot without any socks and people have always found it strange! Most people I've met in different parts of the world wear shoes and socks indoors. Apart from Asians, who typically swap shoes for slippers. Though I have never lived in a very warm place, so perhaps that's why I've never come across people who do this.

    I agree that wearing make-up in the heat is awful. It's 10 times worse for someone like me, as I have an extremely oily face! Though, despite temperatures hitting 30C (86F) at the moment there are still plenty of French women going to work with a lot of make-up on. I live in a pretty superficial place, but they go for more of a refined elegant look rather than a plastic look.

    I have been to Brazil and, although bikinis can be very revealing, I found most people weren't wearing shorts much higher than the knee. Even when it was somewhere around 38C (100F). I found skintight clothing to be more popular than clothing that showed skin.

    I didn't find your post long or rambling at all! I found it very interesting to read and to understand a little bit about why this look is popular. :flower:

    Don't they get people to wear gloves if they are handling food? Or do the rules also extend to people such as waitresses?

    bellatulipa - Any idea why the same emphasis is not given to hands (for example, since they're also out in the open)?
     
  5. bellatulipa

    bellatulipa New Member

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    I get a manicure every 2 weeks, but I don't use polish (except for special occasions). I have her buff to a shine every other visit. Having worked in a restaurant, as CarolineRose mentioned, I got into the habit of not wearing any. Also, I find that it chips so quickly and I'm too lazy to keep it up. But my cuticles/hands look great (in my opinion) ... aside from lack of polish.
     
  6. rachelbojangles

    rachelbojangles New Member

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    I live on the east coast near Annapolis, Maryland. This area I've noticed has a few common "looks". Right now it's summer and the temps are up in the 90s so at the moment I see girls in tanks, ripped jean shorts, huge sunglasses, acrylic nails and flip flops. They just kinda pile their hair up on their head in a top knot. Britney Spears circa 2004 comes to mind.:P
    Then there's the hipster scene girls. They're in skinny jeans, a plaid or striped top or a graphic tee, Converse sneakers, geek glasses, and flat-ironed hair.
    In the downtown area there's a preppy trendy feel. Usually the girls are in a mini dress, with a cardigan, and some gladiator sandals. They'll have their hair dyed blonde or a light brown with carefully done highlights.
    Then there is a totally non-fashion "I don't care" look. This area is close to the country and farmlands. Women walking out with a dirty t-shirt, loose basketball shorts or men's jeans, flip-flops or sneakers. And even sandals with socks:ninja: I'd say I see this look the most.

    Not many people here are adventurous with their makeup unless they work at the MAC counter or something. Most girls wear tons of liquid foundation, black liner smudged around their eyes, and lipgloss. A lot of them will get their hair dyed at the salon and then neglect it for months. When I go to the grocery store I see these girls with about 6 inches of dark roots.
    If anyone wears something different or fashion forward(like high-waisted shorts) they'll get made fun of or get funny looks. I know from experience.:rolleyes:

    I get my hair dyed various shades of red and copper once a month. I wear makeup even if I'm just going to the grocery store. I wear concealer, neutral eyeshadow, mascara, and liner, blush and bronzer, and lipgloss. When I go out at night I usually put on brighter eyelook or hot pink pink gloss. I really enjoy makeup.


    I'm visiting Los Angeles next week and I can't wait to see what women are wearing. I love it the fashion vibe there. It's so permissive.:heart:
     
  7. CarolineRose

    CarolineRose New Member

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    Eurasian Mélange - well, I worked at Jamba Juice for a year, and the only gloves we had were huge plastic ones, sort of one-size-fits-all. They were bulky and impossible to get a grip on anything while wearing. Since lots of the things we had to do required some sort of manual dexterity, it was easier to not wear nail polish than try to pour drinks or cut fruit while wearing clumsy gloves!

    rachel - I'm glad you are coming to LA :smile: I make fun of this city but I still love it to death. And the beaches and shopping can't be beat! Hopefully the June gloom burns off before you get here!
     
  8. Eurasian Mélange

    Eurasian Mélange New Member

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    rachelbojangles - Thanks for sharing. I've seen several of these looks you've described before apart from the trendy one. That one was the rarest.

    CarolineRose - I see. Sounds ridiculously awkward!

    Not many people are replying. Either your first post explained the reasons for every single North American woman who follows this style, or others are afraid to post for some reason.
     
  9. Anna026

    Anna026 Member

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    I will embrace the "fear" if I may. Speaking for myself alone, think I would describe overall style as feminine, elegant, and a bit quirky (on ideal days, I make mistakes as all women do in regards of dressing themselves well). An impulse buy for me would be finding something I’ve had in mind for a while on sale and purchasing it right there. Most things I plan into my wardrobe and wait until I can afford them.

    As far as personal care, I have never had a professional pedicure, but learned early to care for my own feet from doing ballet. If I'm going to treat myself, I will do something that will make me feel lovely and hopefully look so as well. That is why I will usually get a facial or massage. I do not splurge on things like scrubs or manicures because, like pedicures, I feel I can do these things well myself. Makeup truly depends on the event or possibilities. I love sensual evening makeup with smugged liner and red lips. For day I enjoy looking fresh and happy and usually stick with the more simplified looks that have been described here; soft blush or bronzer, a cheery gloss/stain or lip balm. I think my workplace face is more in line with what you are describing as popular on the Continent Eurasian Melange, matte foundations with a bit more refinement.

    Finally, I include caring for my body and health as very important in regards to my over all care and appearance. A generous portion of my budget goes to buying good quality food and supplements. I feel more beautiful when I eat well and choose organic produce. Going to the farmers market every weekend is as good as time spent putting on a face mask in my opinion. And, like style I believe there must always be room for indulgences and make sure those are the most wonderful things to be found (I have a particular weakness for fresh made pastries, sweet crepes, and dark chocolate).

    I do believe the U.S. being so vast and different dictates quite a bit of why people look/dress the way they do. It has certainly affected my choices at various points. I grow up/spend most my life in California and I did wear more sandals there making beautiful feet a priority. Now that I’m in the Northwest, I wear more flats/sturdy shoes (I do not own a car here) and keeping blisters at bay is the principle now 
    I would say this summarizes my philosophy in regards to beauty and I am always learning and hope to see more posts along this thread as well.
     

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