Minerva's Breakdown

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DEAR MINERVA:

I have a friend who flat out needs help with her makeup. She’s a sweet gal, but she seems to struggle with how to apply makeup properly. Not only does this do her no favors, it makes her sort of an eyesore. It’s like a kindergartener has gotten into the finger paints and made a mess. I know this sounds mean, but she’s less Mona Lisa and more Picasso. I want to help her but she is very stubborn and I just think it will be a huge fiasco to try and say anything but something needs to be done. What can I do?

—Sincerely,

Less is More

DEAR LESS:

Listen, if this is you Mom, I WON’T STOP WEARING MY MAKEUP JUST HOW I LIKE AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! Kidding aside, I wonder if the problem is less her makeup and more the response that you have to it. Just as someone may go into a museum and be moved by a Matisse or electrified by a Mondrian, who was, incidentally inspired by Mae West’s unnatural use of cosmetics, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Artists in any medium will tell you that the rules are made to be broken. Makeup can be a constrictive thing if you tether its use to too many societal constructs. Makeup can be liberating and tell a great deal of truth about the wearer and their creativity if you open your mind. Try to reframe how you see your friend. If you truly believe that it is just a technical issue, then encourage her to hone the craft. After all, Monet wasn’t made in a day. If you just don’t like her style, then mosey on to the next exhibit.

SUBMIT questions to Minerva's Breakdown at bit.ly/AskMinerva. All submissions remain anonymous. Illustration of Minerva by Adam Rosenlund.

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