We Asked 305 Women To Tell Us About All The Ways They "Fake" Their Appearance

Ashley Batz/Bustle

If things keep moving the way they have been, 2018 is going to be the best year yet for beauty, both for the product industry and for the people who love those products. Although beauty standards certainly still exist, the world feels a bit more accepting of different points of view when it comes to appearance than in past decades. Looking back, it'll likely be harder to pinpoint the "signature" look of the late 2010s than it is to identify the thin brows, rosy cheeks, and red lips of the 1930s, or the voluminous perms and oversized scrunchies of the 1980s.

Two of Instagram's favorite brands perfectly exemplify the range of today's beauty trends, especially with regard to makeup: On the one hand, we have Glossier, which puts an emphasis on a minimal-makeup aesthetic and using skin care to create a "natural glow." The brand's Instagram, which reached 1 million followers in February, has the tagline "Skin first. Makeup second." Then, on the other opposite side of the spectrum, there's Huda Beauty (which had 24.6 million followers at the beginning of this month), the creation of makeup artist and blogger Huda Kattan. Huda Beauty sells heavily pigmented eyeshadow, highlighter, and lipstick made to create dramatic makeup looks, and Kattan often posts about wild Instagram beauty trends, like Fishtail Brows.

Arguably the best part about this range of celebrated options is that many people who wear makeup find it easy to volley back and forth between the two extremes — or somewhere in between. In the month of April, Bustle launched Fake AF: six stories about people who lean toward the more dramatic side of the beauty scale. As part of this initiative, we also wanted to see where our readers fell on the beauty spectrum.

So, we asked 305 Bustle readers (all women ages 18 to 35) about their relationship to beauty and the idea of "faking it" with appearances, with regard to daily beauty routines. Here's what they said:

For these Bustle readers, makeup isn't a sometimes thing; 21 percent of those surveyed said they wear it every day, and 86 percent wear makeup at least three days a week. One respondent explained, "Any time I’m not at work at my service related job I’ll wear [makeup]. Anytime I represent myself and not my company. I tend to care more when people encounter ME and not 'bakery counter girl.'"

The level and type of makeup they wear varies, too. One person said they wear "at least lipstick five days a week," while another said they wear makeup "every day, but only concealer under my eyes and mascara."

For the majority of people surveyed, makeup isn't about covering their flaws; it's about enhancing the parts of their physical appearance they love the most.

62 Percent Regularly Dye Their Hair

The most popular shade to dye it is blonde (21 percent), but many also opt for brunette, red, and, as one respondent put it, "whatever looks good with my lipstick."

While pink might be the color most associated with millennials, these survey takers are more about purple hues (perhaps the Pantone color of the year has become an inspiration?). Many also noted that they switch between purple, pink, blue and other bright colors on a pretty frequent basis. One person said they color their hair according to "any Instagram dye trend."

For 57 percent, that means plucking or tweezing. Waxing and microblading are also popular methods. One person said that microblading, a semi-permanent brow shaping technique similar to tattooing, was the "best decision and investment of my life."

While most people who took the survey said they saved their wigs for special occasions, a handful say they wear them on a daily basis.

And 8 percent get them every time they get a manicure.

After all, sharing your best tips and tricks is half the fun.


So, no, we aren't there quite yet in terms of letting people wear exactly how much makeup they want for any situation. But clearly, progress is being made.