Seen as eccentric and loud, young women everywhere have utilized the brightest of eyeshadows and shiniest of glitters to create festival looks in an attempt to represent their carefree lifestyle. However, as these looks are without a doubt expressive in their nature, they are also seen as quite unprofessional and inappropriate when worn outside the confines of said festivals. So I decided to challenge those ideals.
In order to bring some liveliness into a dreary workplace, I took it upon myself to create some excitement by wearing festival makeup looks to work everyday for a week. And with festival season still in full swing, I definitely carried some festive vibes – and lots of glitter – along with me all week.
Working to create a classic festival look, I felt that a sharp and bright colored wing would definitely do the job. And as soon as I smeared on my last layer of glitter eyeliner and added some final accents to the end of my brows, I knew that the first day of my little experiment was definitely going to be an interesting one.
Walking through the doors of my professional internship, the anticipation for the reactions of my coworkers grew stronger and stronger. Although, to my surprise I was immediately greeted at the front desk with, “Wow! Well you’re very sparkly today.” As I smiled and continued on my way I thought, well great I’m through the front doors without any awkward run-ins. And that’s exactly how I continued to feel for the rest of my day. There were no weird stares or awkward conversations with any clients or staff, and I pretty much handled my day like any other Monday.
Compared to any other work day, day one of my little week-long makeup adventure was pretty damn normal.
Since I experienced such a sense of normalcy on day one of my festival makeup madness, I felt I just had to step up my game for day two. So, that’s exactly what I did. I decided Tuesday was the day I was going to experiment with unusual eyeshadow colors – and of course I had to add some extra sparkle to my overall look. Because what’s a festival makeup look without some rhinestones and glitter eyebrows, am I right?
The reactions from everyone I encountered that day were definitely a bit different from what I got on day one. My coworkers greeted me with a few very noticeable double-takes and some awkward smiles as I walked through the building. However, once I walked onto my unit I was welcomed with bright-eyed expressions and a sense of excitement from all of the clients. Interning at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, I work firsthand in the treatment of adolescent clients. So for them, this form of expression I was able to display served as a sense of relief from the stressful days they often experience. Excited about my arrival, I was greeted by several clients, both male and female, who all asked “Miss Amber, I really like your eyes, how did you do that!?”
Being only on day two of this challenge, this reaction from the clients already made me feel successful in being able to create a creative outlet throughout my workplace, so I couldn’t wait to see the reactions on day three.
Getting well into the swing of creating these festival looks, hump day was no match for me. Day three was all about the purple wings and colored mascara. Having two days already under my belt, the overall reactions I received that day were actually pretty great. Uninformed of the experiment I was conducting, I even had one of my coworkers say, “Damn girl, look at you – all colorful out here, got you looking like a pack of skittles or something.”
Day four was all about representing everyone’s festival favorites – bright neon colors, the signature festival eyeliner dots, and tons of glitter highlighter. Inspired by the over-the-top looks that girls flaunt at EDC and festivals alike, I tried my best to resemble any kind of mystical creature. My goal was to look as much like a unicorn as physically possible – and personally, I think I crushed it.
My last day of this makeup escapade had finally arrived, and I have to say it was met with bittersweet emotions. So I decided to I used this day to create my boldest look of the week. With some fierce egyptian-esque eyeliner and some smoky eyeshadow, I felt that this bold of a look could only be worn on a Friday.
Having been able to accomplish my goal for the week by creating a lively, creative release for both my coworkers and clients, I was extremely happy with all of the positivity that was generated from my adventurous makeup looks. And although I started this experiment a bit nervous of other people’s reactions, I was pleasantly surprised with how it was all received. For the majority of my week, I was met with compliments and genuine excitement for how and why I chose to create these looks – which soon translated into the creative expression of others as well. Taking my colorful and creative looks and spreading the carefree vibes that surround music festival culture, I was able to transform a traditionally stressful environment into a carefree, judgment free environment merely through the use and power of makeup.