Makeup artist Eve hosts gender-affirming makeup event, ‘Makeup on My Mind’ in Hyderabad

From contouring to eye makeup, everyone’s requests were explored in an environment of safety and euphoria.
Makeup has now evolved into an art form of self-expression that can be shaped however any individual loves themselves most.
Makeup has now evolved into an art form of self-expression that can be shaped however any individual loves themselves most.Photo | Express

HYDERABAD : Over the past few years, our perceptions of makeup have changed and grown. Where it was once the lot of women to cover blemishes and project a flawless, “natural” picture of perfection crafted through a lens of Eurocentric beauty standards, it has now evolved into an art form of self-expression that can be shaped however any individual loves themselves most. In keeping with the spirit of Pride Month, the talented independent makeup artist and drag queen Eve hosted the gender-affirming makeup event, ‘Makeup on My Mind’, at the Queer-Trans Wellness and Support Centre in Habsiguda.

“Clothes and makeup are often the gateway to self-expression, and not just in terms of gender, although even that becomes more realised. The gender stereotypes that are put in place push people to take certain shapes, and makeup is a great way to shape a more authentic image of yourself,” Eve explains. “Realisations can start simply with the joy that you feel when you use a kajal pencil or lipstick for the first time. And that’s why I think it’s so important to make makeup skills more accessible for queer people.”

A warm, welcoming atmosphere set the tone for the event, where the tacit inclusivity and the fun, friendly, creative individuals created a space that truly embodied the phrase “come as you are.” While all the attendees brought the makeup supplies they wanted to experiment with, Eve also provided a generous — almost staggering — array of vibrant eyeshadow palettes, brushes, and all that was needed.

Eve began with a fascinating demonstration about the anatomy and lighting of the face, and how to play with it to create space and highlight different features. The makeup tips also covered how to make the face appear more “feminine” or “masculine,” keying into aspects we never would have considered otherwise — never underestimate the power of a well-shaped eyebrow!

After this, it was a free-for-all; everyone was free to try out the makeup tips they had just learned, turning to their friends and applying eyeshadow for each other, practicing on themselves, while chatting and joking and having a good time. Eve also gave a step-by-step demonstration on herself, and then went around teaching everyone how to achieve the effect they wanted individually. From contouring to eye makeup, everyone’s requests were explored in an environment of safety and euphoria.

“For me, gender expression is an art form, and makeup gives people the ability to be creative with it and shape themselves,” Eve says, while creating magic with her makeup brush. “It is a revolt against the standards placed on us, that men shouldn’t do makeup, and women should only do a certain kind of makeup — but we are out here, doing colourful makeup, not trying to look like any gender, but to look like a piece of art.”

“Society views gender as something very rigid, where you have to compress your feelings, conform, and worry about how society sees you. To me, personally, gender is something that you can be creative with, and you can explore, and makeup is a great tool for that,” says Aditya, who is part of the QT Collective and has been working at the QT Centre since it began in 2022.

This event was one of the many queer-centric events held at the Queer-Trans Wellness and Support Center, which aims to create a system of support for a community that is systemically oppressed. They also provide services including a 24/7 helpline, a mental-health support partnering with Pause for Perspective, regular community workshops, and a legal-aid clinic. They are also aiming to create a temporary shelter and a community hang-out space where queer people can visit, meet other queer folks, and simply be themselves, comfortably and safely.

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