Behind the Mask

By Edona Hasanaj

Sophomore art student, Isabel Velasco

Imagining a smile through a crease of the under eye, a slight rise of the eyebrows, a twitch in the forehead, are some of the only ways of understanding what somebody feels. Looking for the eyes to drop or rise, wander or stay still, as it follows the path of someone’s inner thoughts, can only make us guess what they must be thinking.

With half of our faces hidden because of masks, it’s difficult to imagine what’s going on behind the mask. The eyes tell us more than the body does. They can be shocked or excited, nostalgic, or joyful, loving, or hateful. But what do they tell us when they’re still? It’s harder to imagine the face behind the mask when the eyes leave no hints. 

Bold pink eye shadow, graphic black eyeliner, and sparkly highlights across the eyes—these are the things that catch our attention. We look at the eyes as forms of expression, trying to see what’s behind the person in the mask.

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts’ (FSSA) students utilize makeup in order to accentuate their eyes, expressing themselves creatively through bold lines and bright colors. Their bold makeup looks represent who they are to other people, when their faces can’t express it.

After being remote for almost two years, students have come back expressing themselves now more than ever. 

Online platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have really inspired teens to be more creative with their eye makeup. Sophomore art major Liliana Martinez draws inspiration from specific people on Instagram who inspired her.

Sophomore art student, Isabella Orta

“I would say the more recognizable ones would be Doja Cat because I love her makeup looks from her new album,” she said.

Finding inspiration from different artists isn’t an uncommon trend. With everyone on their phones more than ever in the past 2 years, celebrities and Internet stars have had more influence on their viewers. 

However, not all students wore makeup prior to the pandemic.

“At first I didn’t (wear makeup) I would do it just because I saw everybody on social media doing it but then when we got into school and I was planning on maybe I just won’t wear makeup and then I was like you know I just don’t feel like I have as much expression in my face so I was like maybe I’ll start doing makeup again for school,” sophomore art major Amina N. Jarski explains.

Finding influences from social media was a common experience, but even things like art have an influence on makeup.

“What did inspire me was looking at art and paintings. I noticed a lot of paintings would always have pink around the bottom of their eyes which is what always made me want to put the pink around my eyes,” Amina said.

There’s an element of personalization to makeup, even when someone is following a routine or specific look, that they can really make their own. 

Although makeup is fun, it can be very time consuming and adding it to your early morning routine looks different for everyone.

“I wake up earlier because at first I thought it took me 10 minutes to do my makeup and then I realized it took me 20-30 minutes to do my makeup so I started to have to wake up at around 4:45 A.M. in the morning since I do live far away,” Amina said.

Even with waking up extremely early, people still feel as if it’s worth it.

“I definitely could wake up later if I wanted to but I wake up earlier in order to do my makeup cause it kinda just gives me something to look forward to in the morning because I enjoy doing my makeup. I’d say it takes me about 20 minutes tops,” Liliana said.

Not all students take as much time to do their makeup.

Sophomore art major Charlize Gonzalez says she just does it on the fly.

“It only takes me like 10 to 20 minutes to do it. It’s very easy and I mostly just like to do it 10 minutes before I’m leaving,” Charlize said.

Sophomore art major Angelica Acevedo wakes up at the same time, but take less time to get dressed and saves time to do her makeup.

Students at Sinatra love doing their makeup regardless of how much time it might take them because of the way it makes them feel.  

Individualizing ones makeup routine by picking up unique techniques from art and artists is what allows the students at Sinatra to stand out in the hallways of school. Whether it be makeup, hair, or outfits, students aren’t afraid to express themselves.