Fangyi “Frank” Fan: Meaning of Makeup

Photo: Frank “Fangyi” Fan, Copyright 2018


Photography, Text and Video by Fangyi “Frank” Fan, Copyright 2018




Is there relationship between a girl’s emotion and her makeup? The answer to this question is obvious, while this portraiture project tries to dive deeper to examine the true meaning of makeup. Observing Rongrong’s (my subject) daily routine after waking up, I came up with the idea to shoot portraits of her with and without makeup, asking her to demonstrate her natural emotion based on her appearance.

The stark contrast in the eye and mouth before and after the makeup illustrates the value of makeup – concealing imperfection while fully disposing beauty. Certainly that was just a part of the meaning of makeup. Someone who has long established the habit of putting on makeup everyday knows the importance of it – it is not only about the appearance, but more of a way to stay confident and bring a special type of respect to everyone she would encounter throughout the day.

Makeup brings confidence to people and even empowers them to shine through different phases of life. No one could keep young forever, which means natural appearance would eventually fade away; however, the aspiration for beauty and perfection will be everlasting. Makeup, a seemingly trivial yet extremely convoluted process, is a great illustration of such mindset.


About The Author: Fangyi “Frank” Fan is a Senior enrolled in the School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Fangyi “Frank” Fan, click here


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