In my chair — a makeup artists perspective on beauty: Eva DeVirgilis at TEDxRVAWomen

In my chair — a makeup artists perspective on beauty: Eva DeVirgilis at TEDxRVAWomen


Translator: Sherry Yan
Reviewer: Jiwon Lee “I’m sorry you have to touch my face. Look at this breakout; I look disgusting.” “I’m sorry, but I am not a pretty woman.” “No. Thank you, but no.
I look like crap.” “The doctor says
that I have to lose weight. So, sorry. This is what
you gotta work with.” “I look in the mirror, and
all I see is a tired mom. And I see these wrinkles,
and I feel old and ugly.” And this is what I hear every single
solitary day of my life. I am a makeup artist,
and these are real words from real women. I’m also an actress,
but for my past 7 years of doing makeup, I have discovered, within the first 3 seconds
of sitting in my chair, almost every single woman apologizes
to me for the way she looks. Doesn’t matter how young, how old, what socioeconomic background
she comes from, how traditionally beautiful she is, almost every single woman apologizes
and does not feel that she measures up to this new standard of beauty. And I’m sure that maybe some of you
might be able to relate to this apology thing? I see some of you nodding. Well, it just so happens that I was actually the makeup artist
for TEDx last year, and the same thing happened
when these incredibly innovative women sat in my chair. They apologized. Now, I have discovered that
there is a very small group of women who don’t apologize. And these are the movers, the shakers,
they’re the powerhouses. They could be CEO’s, or stay-at-home moms, but they don’t measure themselves
by a mirror. Sure, they wear makeup,
but they don’t apologize for it. They live in the moment, and they let themselves have
that pleasure of living in the moment and in the now. And I am in awe of these women. And there’s probably some of you
very rare, precious, confident creatures in this audience. And to you ladies, I say go ahead
and take a bathroom break! You can be back in like 5½ minutes
or something, because you don’t need this! You don’t need to hear what I have to say. And the other women
in this very small group are the women who are aware
of their own mortality. And I’ll get back to them in a little bit. So, a woman will make
an appointment with me for a variety of different reasons. A lot of times, she just feels down
about the way she looks, and her friend will tell her, “Oh,
you have to go see Eva, she’s amazing. She’s great. She’ll teach you
makeup tricks, it’s going to change your life.” But I have to be honest. I think that makeup
is the very least of what I do. But I’m not saying, denying, that makeup does not play a very real part in making a woman feel more attractive,
and thus more confident, because we’re all aware of those biological cues
of attraction between human beings, like symmetry, and color, and light. And when we see them in ourselves
or somebody else, it pleases our primordial senses. And I, as a makeup artist,
am very adept with the skills and tools to very easily manipulate and enhance
those bio-cues on the face. That’s my job. But I’ll be honest with you. I think every single woman
who sits in my chair is beautiful with or without makeup. She just has no idea! Which is why I like to think of myself as treading in the deep end
of a shallow profession. (Laughter) Because I use makeup as my tool
to help her believe it. Makeup is my therapy puppet to help a woman open up
about how she’s feeling, and express to me what her concerns are,
so I can address them. And you know what?
It works! Almost every time, I see
a woman leap up out of my chair with this new skip in her step. I see her actually look in the mirror
and actually smile at herself, even if it’s temporary. There is a very real transformation
that happens in this chair. “Oh no. What are you talking about?
I am not a pretty woman. My mother-in-law says that
I have a round face, and there is no way to make
a round, fat face pretty.” And I can’t believe what I hear,
because all I see is a beautiful woman. And I say, “Matir, but look at your
gorgeous, golden skin! Here, hold the mirror,
watch what I’m doing. Look at these perfect almond eyes, these lips, my God,
in my next life, I want these lips. Your smile just lit up this room!” “You’re right.” Now, you would think
because this is my job, and I do this everyday,
and I hear what women say, and I have this unique perspective, that I would be different. But — here’s what happens
when I sit in somebody’s makeup chair. “Oh, God. I’m sorry,
I have a very tough face. I hate that I am actually dependent
on eyeliner to even walk out my front door. Oh, oh no, don’t worry,
my nose is like a Muppet’s fist. Just like ee, ee, erh. So, no worries trying to cover it up.” I have said those exact words
in somebody else’s makeup chair! I, too, do not feel that I measure up, or can hold up to this insane,
new measure of beauty in this world, that’s like porn and fashion,
and Photoshop, all mixed up in one. (Laughter)
(Applause) Yeah. Good luck with that. (Applause) And it’s not going away.
So what are we going to do? What am I going to do
to feel and appreciate what I have? Which brings me back to that other
small group of women that don’t apologize. Oh — all right — ah “It’s my birthday! I’m 96 years old,
and I’m on borrowed time now, honey. But, I think I look pretty good.” “Ah, this feels so good,
I’m going to fall asleep. Yes, I have two little ones.
Two and four year old. And I just had a double mastectomy,
and six rounds of chemo. So, I’m just so happy
to be pampering myself. And I have to say, I love my new wig!” Is this what it’s going to take for me? Is this what it’s going to take
for me to appreciate what I have? To be confronted with the prospect
of illness or death? Is that what it’s going to take for us
to appreciate what we have? Well, I’m not going to take that. I don’t accept it. So, in desperate need
for a solution to all of this, I thought, “What can I do?” So, I thought, “Well, why don’t I do
what other women do? They do it, and it works for them,
even if it’s temporary. Why don’t I try it? Why don’t I sit in Eva’s chair?” “What would Eva say to me
if I apologized to Eva?” I know. It sounds cheesy. I know. But it’s actually very scary. It’s the reason why I didn’t even want
to finish this TED talk to begin with. Because it’s what I know I need to do. Eva, stop saying that about your eyes. You have your mother’s eyes, and you would never think for a second that this woman who gave you life
and wisdom was not measuring up. Okay, stop.
Eva, stop saying that about your nose. You have your father’s
and grandmama’s nose. Yes, your Italian genes are prominent, but so is your spirit because of it! And you can identify the notes
of a lush, jammy Primitivo wine better than most because of it, probably. So, I guess I’m deciding that if lining my eyes brings symmetry
to my face and to my mind, then I guess I’ll do it. And if adding a touch of color to my lips allows me to bring joy and color
to my speech — then why the heck not? And if adding light reflection to my skin
gives me the little boost of confidence for me to shed light on a
seemingly superficial topic to a group of intellectuals, then I will do it! And that makes me feel beautiful. And I will sit in my chair,
and I will listen, and believe, that we are all beautiful. I will make that appointment. Thank you. (Applause)

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. I hate men so much for doing this to women in the first place. I really do. I wish them and their perfect thots could all move to the fucking moon and leave us normal people (regular human women and the few males that actually like us) alone.

  2. Didn't even miss a beat when that mic went out πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Awesome! I love this speech. I too work in the beauty industry and I find it can be so disheartening to hear too many women hate their own beauty.

  3. The apologizing thing, is that real? Is it an American culture thing?
    Because I am a pretty insecure young woman, and I have been in a few makeup chairs, but never have I ever felt the need to apologize for my face.
    I like to see it more as a challenge for the artist: if you can get me to look good, you have true talent πŸ˜‰

  4. it makes me kind of angry when i hear people apologize for not wearing makeup. please stop saying sorry for just being alive!!!!!!

  5. Even if some of these topics are irrelevant and even if the speaker is not notable, you can at least take from this video what fantastic and educated speakers are able to do, what Ted talks videos offer are many incredible public speakers, if any of you ever had to stand up and talk to a group of people, you know how unnatural and nerve racking that mentally is.

  6. i feel my 90 yr old grandma. so strong. want to cry. Luckily she doesn't give a shit.i feel stupid every time i wear makeup. i wear hats to hide myself.

  7. So true. I am criticized for many things. I self criticize. I believe the more we criticize others and ourselves, the more dangerous we are to our world. This is true from our President to our religious leaders, to our parents or our teachers. Criticism is the murder of life. Repent? Like hell!

  8. This is how an talk on women should be done. Real, engaging, not being confrontational about men. We are all human, and men and women are not at war with each other, as much as "feminists" would like you believe

  9. Besides the overall message, the best thing about this talk were her impressions. I loved each one. How refreshing to hear the words of real women, not the made up ones Hollywood often gets wrong in movies. I actually teared up listening to them. What a great actress!
    Last thing, after taking a drawing class I was able to appreciate and see the beauty in each and EVERY face. Yes, we are all beautiful.

  10. Truelly moving speech. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
    I am happy people like her are bringing depth and diversity in the definition of feminism.

  11. Great talk, such a pity so many women don't see the beauty others see in them. Never apologise for the way you look, if you are a good person that shines through and you will be beautiful. xo

  12. As a woman who wears no make-up, I like what she said. And as a woman who likes to draw portraits, I can say: everything on your face is beautiful.

  13. SHE'S THE BEST, MOST INSPIRING WOMAN IN THE WORLD!!! I love you, Eva, for your courage, compassion and commitment. You are amazing.

  14. I may need eyeliner to go out my front door, but give me a cat eye flick and I am not afraid to walk through any door.

  15. This has been one of my favourite songs by van halen since i was a kid. That guitar solo is fucking awesome!!!

  16. I worked as a make up artist for a few years and can identify with this talk. So many beautiful women are apologetic and shouldn't be! I too worked in the "deep end of a shallow industry" and tried to make sure that everyone who left my chair was lifted and had a better perspective of themselves. There are people out there who live with and manage to hide almost crippling body dismorphia. It's heartbreaking.

  17. Yes, all women are beautiful, I should know I'm one of them. It's not what you look like, it's who you are. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so true. 😊✌

  18. i was just told that my linked in photo was not appealing. ….this was sent to me by a recruiter….i am unemployed and right now i feel absolutely πŸ‘Ž thanks i really needed a self esteem moment while unemployed

  19. Boosted my ego because I fall into the category of the few that don't measure their worth using a mirror. I could care less about what society thinks about how I look, true beauty comes with the personality

  20. She's great. Personally I'm not at all beautiful. But the main thing is o don't want to be and don't care and get slightly annoyed at any focus on my appearance even if positive. I'm defined by my kindness and intelligence and the successes I've had in life and my relationships and the volunteer work I've done for feral and abandoned pets and my sense of humor. Those thing are what I deeply care about and have pride in. And the times I've been unkind or stubborn or unreasonable etc are things I am aware of and ashamed of. People and kids and we ad a society are way too fixated on this one tiny aspect of being a person. Struggling to make everyone feel beautiful is a kind effort to address a problem that shouldn't be as big a problem as it is – if we viewed ourselves and others as whole beings and our appearance as one tiny drop in an ocean of what makes us each a person.

  21. I remember I had to tell a man I don't need him to qualify my looks. People can be mean, so we have to accept what we have and not worry about their opinions for approval. Thank you Eva, for sharing.

  22. I love the personality and honesty she exudes.

    I clicked to hear the "other side's story". Now, I'm asking myself, "why does there have to be sides, which side will I fall, why do I have to allow myself to be defined by sides". Coz the truth truth of the matter is that anti make up is a box, just like the perfection we are bullied to buy by the beauty industry is a box.

    I chose to "live in the moment", just like the women you described.

  23. didn't realize it's so common for women to apologize for their faces. i've had my insecurities, but i've personally never done that. nevertheless it was a great talk

  24. So talented and super funny πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ–’πŸ‘ i loved it
    She has clever eyes πŸ‘€ so beautiful

  25. i love your mindset combined with your vocation. it is a perfect match, ohdog.

    i had this shift to believing every person is beautiful in their way a couple of years ago. and it made my life SO MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.
    cause suddenly i realised i am constantly surrounded by immense beauty. the look in stranger's eyes, the soft gestures of my mom's hands. and i often have the urge to just tell them how beautiful they are. and when my friends ask if they need to lose weight, i try to make them believe they are as gorgeous as i see them. because it really feels freeing to lose all those restrictions of beauty standards. no heavy boots

    thank you so much for this.

  26. Eva your amazing, as a beauty therapist I've also come across these types of customers and I always try to make them feel happy about themselves, as a skin therapist that joy is what makes my day, thank you for saying the truth xx we are all beautiful xxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  27. If ULTA could work on their lighting when I try to find the foundation for my skin tone to warm in my veins Florissant isn't my best enhancement

  28. Your an actress ??? Funny I’ve never seen u before ..??? What movie were u in ..??? I mean photoshopped character were U ..???? I don’t need make up … I look beautiful without it … just born this way Brett..!!! Lol

  29. my one question: why do women have to equate to beauty and does it really have to correlate to our worth?
    INCREDIBLY WELL SPOKEN AND SO SPOT ON

  30. problem is , its because of women like her ,women feel like there not good enough on there own . like when you praise them when u put make up on them , your telling them they look better with the make up …otherwise u would tell them they dont need make up they already look perfect..

  31. If you REALLY believed you were beautiful without the makeup … YOU WOULDNT BE WEARING IT !!!! SERIOUSLY>>>>>>>>

  32. I'm kind of a makeup artist myself and the best reaction i can get from a client is tears. Literal tears when you need paper towels to save the makeup. Because they're finally feeling beautiful and gorgeous and i made that happen. Those tears of happiness is the best part of the job tbh

  33. I do agree that women should take care of themselves and look their very best. However I do not agree when some women especially old women put a lot of make up on and expensive clothes and lots of propaganda to tell people who and what theya re not. I cal it false imagery. Aiswaria rAi for exampleis a woman who does not deserve all the attention that she gets. and many really beautiful women are living their lives in various workplaces and do their jobs brilliantly and they do not get rewarded accordingly for their contribution to the society.

  34. Ok, let's just take a moment to appreciate her acting skills and accent impressions.
    I wasn't expecting to shed tears at the end of the video. I felt very sad for those women who only get to appreciate their beauty after encountering health issues.
    I'm very happy I'm blessed with confidence even though I have flaws. My hair started falling when I was a teenager and now that I'm 32, my scalp is showing in the front side of my head, but do I hide it when I go out? No. I've made peace with myself. I even go on dates without make up, and you know what I hear? "You're beautiful without makeup. I like how you look. Don't ever wear makeup"
    Love yourself unconditionally. Be a power woman
    Forget about all those idiots who measure/judge you by your appearance. They're either blind or they themselves lack confidence

  35. Her impersonation is great ! I wish she could do my makeup and show me how to do mine better, and talk to her! I'm sure it would be empowering to meet her!

  36. 1:57 I thought she was going to say, "There is a small number of women who don't apologize to me, because they don't wear make up! Or they do their own make up! πŸ’„

  37. ok you are beoutiful and what ? kids know that becouse parent love them regarless of what they look , actualy they are beautiful but their beauty will be reduce to physical beauty

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