First came high-definition TVs. Then came high-definition faces.

According to the Associated Press, people who want to look perfect can turn to high-definition makeup.  People who are familair with HD on TV love how it makes colors (and people) seemingly pop off the screen, making them feel like they are actually at the baseball game, or alongside their favorite celebrity.  Few people, however, know about the pitfalls of high-definition. 

In this case, its primary advantage and disadvantage are one in the same: HD makes everything, and I do mean everyhting, crystal-clear.  That’s a little too clear for television personalities who want to hide wrinkles or blemishes.  Because traditional television broadcasts were fuzzier, imperfections were blurred.  The camera may add 10 pounds, but it sure makes your skin look clearer.  But with HD, one can practically count the host’s pores. 

Not surprisignly, the introduction of high-definition makeup came shortly after HD started booming.  Stars who panicked after seeing what they actually looked like (eek!) could attain physical perfection once more with airbrushed makeup, which is basically the process of applying liquid foundation with a spray can.  The composition of the makeup used is crafted to reflect rather than absorb light, visibly scattering imperfections.  Several brands have come out with HD lines, including Smashbox, Makeup Forever and Cargo.  Cargo took it a step further by naming its line Blu_Ray, with an underscore rather than a dash.  Cute.

Is high-definition makeup really necessary for the masses, though?  I’ll admit that special occasions call for spectacular makeup.  I’ve seen brides-to-be get the “blushing bride” look with the help of airbrushing.  Airbrushed tans are a safe alternative toa real tan for girls wishing to look darker for prom.  But is HD makeup for the everyday grind really necessary?  If I need to run to Publix, I’m going to pass on the airbrush.  But that’s me.

What it comes down to is competition, in addition to our society’s need for physical perfection.  If your next door neighbor’s skin looks better than yours because she’s wearing HD makeup, you’ll be more likely to run out and buy some to “keep up with the Jones,'” as they say.  People see their favorite celebutantes getting airbrushed before awards shows, and shows like Sunset Tan only perpetuate the spray-tan craze.  But what’s so wrong with looking like a living, breathing human being?  Relax, guys.  Freckles give personality, and zits happen.  I say we leave the HD to our TVs.

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~ by Stephanie Dunn on October 2, 2008.

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