Makeup is occasionally a source of controversy, there’s no doubt. But for many, many women across the world, it’s also a source of great pleasure. When applied correctly, it can totally transform a person’s appearance and give them an extra confidence boost.
And some makeovers can serve as a rallying cry. When YouTuber Kimberryberry posted pictures to Tumblr showing herself before and after makeup, she rapidly became the butt of cruel jokes. Two years later, though, she released a YouTube video calling out body-shaming.
19. Vitiligo coverage
Cheri Lindsay has vitiligo, a condition which causes the skin to lose its pigment. In 2014, to raise money for charity, she posted a video of herself using Dermablend to disguise the white patches on her face. The result was incredible.
18. Subtle transformation
The Instagram account “Paint Dat Face” specialises in featuring women whose features have been remodelled by makeup and then posting their pictures. “Subtle Transformation on my naturally gorgeous model,” was the caption written beside this elegant makeover. “Your smokey eyes are LIFE,” read a comment.
17. Acne cover-up
Acne can be a huge, embarrassing problem for young people. But, if you know the right products to use, covering it up can be an easier job than you might have thought. YouTuber Heidi Hamoud did it with creams, powders and foundations.
16. A younger look
Make-up artist Tea Flego decided to practice her skills on her 80-year-old grandmother, Livia, in 2016. The results were frankly amazing. Grandma Livia was made to look a lot younger, and she was delighted with her new look.
15. The power of makeup
Beauty blogger Nikkie was another woman who was mocked online for wearing makeup. So she bit back by sharing a video of her face only half made-up, and encouraged others to do the same with the hashtag #ThePowerOfMakeup. The haters quickly retreated.
14. Johnny Depp transformation
Make-up artist Rebecca Swift is so talented she can even make herself look like a person of the opposite gender. Her celebrity self-reimaginings include Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, Donald Trump, and of course Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
13. Full face transformation
This Paint Dat Face client underwent a makeover so intensive you’d barely believe it was the same person. Her skin, her eyes – everything had changed. Even her nose and lips, difficult areas to get right, had been completely altered.
12. Freckle cover-up
Among the many people inspired by the #ThePowerofMakeup hashtag was nail technician Kelsie Swygart. Her transformation saw, among other things, all the freckles leave her face. It was downright spectacular, and the photo was reposted many times on social media.
11. Enhancing natural features
Makeup doesn’t always have to be bold to be effective. This Korean Instagrammer only really enhanced the features she already had, but it was still impressive enough to break the language barrier. “Oh wow,” read one of the comments on her post.
10. Chemotherapy patient makeover
In 2016 blogger Nadina Ioana did a very special makeover for her mother, who was undergoing cancer treatment. The physical result was extremely impressive, but even better was the confidence boost it gave to others who were going through the same thing.
9. Coverage, not cake
Getting acne-covering makeup right can be tricky. Too much, and you risk making your face look unnatural. Too little, and the acne will be obvious. But beauty blogger lil_kaitie, who tagged this photo #coveragenotcake, got it right.
8. Burn scar cover-up
YouTuber Shalom Blac suffered burns as a child and still bears the scarring. But she didn’t let the trauma defeat her. Instead, she began to study makeup, and now she’s so good at covering her burn marks, you can barely tell they’re there.
7. Pale skin improvement
Em Ford may have called her beauty blog “My Pale Skin” but she knows how to make her luminous features shine. She uses foundation to cover up her blemishes, and bold eyeshadow palettes to draw attention to her eyes.
6. Eye and lip enhancement
Mee Yang is another Instagrammer who posted her pictures in the #powerofmakeup hashtag. She made her eyelashes, eyebrows and lips pop with careful use of cosmetics. But she kept her freckles intact – good, because freckles are great!
5. Ed Sheeran transformation
It takes a special kind of skill to turn yourself into someone who looks absolutely nothing like you. But that’s what Promise Tamang, who is unsurprisingly known as the Human Chameleon, did when she transformed herself into singer Ed Sheeran.
4. Smoother skin, plumper lips
Makeup blogger Jasmine Hand plumped up her lips and smoothed out her skin for the #powerofmakeup movement. But she also wrote beside her picture, “I don’t wear makeup to impress anyone but myself and that’s how it should be.”
3. Birthmark cover-up
Many people born with birthmarks, even ones which cover their whole face, eventually grow to love them. But seeing someone use makeup to cover one up, like Amy Elsegood in her first YouTube video, is still extremely impressive.
2. Acid burn cover-up
In 2008, model Katie Piper was attacked with acid, and her burns were so severe doctors thought she would die. But she lived. Now she uses cosmetics to cover the scars, but she also happily shares makeup-free selfies with her 563,000 Instagram followers, too.
1. Acne transformation
After her friend helped her cover up an acne attack, Ashley VanPevenage was harassed on Twitter. Haters turned her makeover into a “this is why you take her swimming on the first date” meme. She spoke out, shamed the bullies and continued to look fantastic.