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30 Eye-Opening Makeup Quotes From Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Zendaya & More

PHOTO: Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

PHOTO: Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Wearing makeup has always been a catch-22 for women. If we wear makeup, we’re seen as superficial and vain. If we go bare-faced, we’re asked, “Are you sick?” or viewed as unprofessional. However, modern makeup artists and beauty icons are here to flip the script on this restricting narrative around makeup. Here are thirty makeup quotes that will make you proud to sport your smokey eye.

The most beautiful cosmetic you can have is passion.
— Yves Saint Laurent
Don’t let today be a waste of makeup.
I’m a big believer that if you focus on good skin care, you really won’t need a lot of makeup
— demi moore
The best cosmetic is great skin.
makeup quotes
What I love most about makeup is that you can’t get attached to one thing, one idea or one approach — and once you’ve achieved perfection, you have to wipe it all off and start over the next day.
— Pat McGrath

Though she is one of the most influential runway makeup artists of all time, the average person most likely hasn’t heard of Pat McGrath. Pat McGrath is to beauty what Coco Chanel is to fashion, what Andy Warhol is to art, and what Frank Lloyd Wright is to architecture. Despite her influence and revolutionary makeup artistry, however, McGrath rarely gets her due shine outside the high fashion industry.

In an interview with New York Magazine concerning her Founders Award from the CDFA Fashion Awards, and in one of her most profound makeup quotes, McGrath describes her relationship to makeup. Some people might despair in having to destroy their art at the end of the day, but she describes it as inspirational. What’s the point in doing the same makeup over and over again if it’s going to disappear every night? You may as well take advantage of makeup’s temporary nature by trying a new technique or style every day.

If you’re sad, add more lipstick and add attack.
— Coco Chanel
When my eyeliner is on point, my life is on point.
amakeup quotes
Treat your makeup like jewelry for the face. Play with colors, shapes, and structure. It can transform you.
— Francois Nars
I dream of making women not only more beautiful but also happier.
— christian dior
Drawing a black line across my eyelids makes me feel 10x better.
All things are possible with coffee and mascara
With a good makeup brush, every woman can be an artist.
makeup quotes
I remember the first time I wore mascara, it changed my life. When I was 13 I went away to boarding school and I started wearing mascara. Overnight, I felt instantly more empowered, magnetic and mesmerising – I felt enriched with confidence.
— Charlotte Tilbury

Some of the best makeup quotes are those that explore our first time. A pivotal experience in every makeup wearer's life was the first time he or she felt empowered by makeup. Maybe it was the time you were allowed to wear lipstick for the school play, and you felt a new surge of confidence stepping onto the stage. Maybe it was when you tried winged liner and discovered a new way to express your inner badass. Whatever your personal experience, it’s always incredibly empowering to claim makeup as a tool for self-expression.

Like Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury is a renowned makeup artist who has moved on to designing her own line of makeup. Her most well-known products include her lipsticks and glowy bronzers.

When all else fails, turn it into a smokey eye.
makeup quotes
Lipstick is really magical. It holds more than a waxy bit of color – it holds the promise of a brilliant smile, a brilliant day, both literally and figuratively
— Roberta Gately
Have a better relationship with your makeup and take the time to learn what your products will do.
— Sam Fine
Beauty is about enhancing what you have, let yourself shine through
— Janelle Monae
I believe all women are pretty without makeup-but with the right makeup can be powerful.
— Bobby Brown
makeup quotes
I’m very proud of my skin and my face, and I have no problem not wearing makeup. I don’t wear makeup because I feel like I need to cover myself up or because I don’t feel confident. I wear makeup because it’s fun; it’s like painting on my face.
— Zendaya

Zendaya is well-known for her glowy makeup looks and dramatic brows. But, she also should be known for her inspiring makeup quotes. She doesn’t want her fans to get the wrong idea about why she favors dramatic highlighters and lashes.

In an interview with Elle, she explains that her desire to wear makeup doesn’t stem from any type of insecurity, but from a desire to express herself. She then comments on how makeup and beauty culture is changing with millennials and Gen Z, saying, “People don't wear makeup to impress people or because they'll be seen in public. It's more of a hobby now, just because it's fun.”

Although “no-makeup-makeup” looks may have been more popular in the early 2010s, abstract neon green eyes, rainbow eyebrows, and other extreme makeup tutorials are now the most-viewed videos.

I love natural beauty, and I think it’s your best look, but I think makeup as an artist is so transformative.
— Marina and the Diamonds
Beauty without expression is boring.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Great eyebrows don’t happen by chance, they happen by appointment.
makeup quotes
In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don’t want to put on all that makeup / Who says I must conceal what I’m made of / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem
— Alicia Keys

I’d be lying if I said there’s no pressure on women to wear makeup. In 2016, Alicia Keys sparked a mini-revolution by making a public choice to give up makeup. In an essay in the publication “Lenny Letter,” one of Key’s makeup quotes explained that she had felt stifled by makeup from a young age. As she skyrocketed into fame, the media judged her for choosing to leave her hair natural, dress in relaxed clothing, and wear minimal makeup.

Keys began to change herself to fit into a persona that the public would accept, hiding her true self behind a mask of makeup. For every woman who feels empowered by makeup, there exists another who feels trapped by it. Alicia Keys believes that every woman should be able to choose whether she wants to wear makeup or not, and shouldn’t be judged for doing either.

makeup quotes
Every woman deserves a man to ruin her lipstick, not her mascara.
— Charlotte Tilbury

Need we say more?

On a bad day, there’s always lipstick.
— Audrey Hepburn
Make-up can only make you look pretty on the outside but it doesn’t help if you’re ugly on the inside. Unless you eat the make-up.
— Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, classic film actress, beauty icon, and star of films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Roman Holiday,” knows a thing or two about beauty. She’s well-known for her doe-eyed look and thick eyebrows but claims that makeup can only help a woman’s beauty so much.

In this hilarious makeup quote, she observes that makeup can enhance a person’s outer beauty, but can’t do much to help their inner beauty. Unless they munch on some eyeshadow.

Lipstick is really magical. It holds more than a waxy bit of color – it holds the promise of a brilliant smile, a brilliant day, both literally and figuratively.
— Roberta Gately
Have a better relationship with your makeup and take the time to learn what your products will do.
— Sam Fine

All jokes aside, there is a brand called Bite Beauty (available at Sephora) that claims their ingredients are so natural, you can eat them. Though they don’t recommend you actually eat their lipstick (Why waste your money, anyway?), they assure customers that they don’t need to slather chemicals on their lips to achieve a gorgeous red, nude, or vampy lip.

makeup quotes
There are no rules when it comes to makeup
— Kevyn Aucoin

One of the first celebrity makeup artists, the late Kevyn Aucoin was a legend in the beauty world. His success came from his refusal to accept makeup conventions, a trait that would lead him to become a favorite of celebrities like Madonna, Cher, and Whitney Houston.

If you frequent online beauty communities, it’s likely you’ve seen dozens of videos or articles titled, “The Dos and Don’ts of Makeup.” Some of the “rules” featured in those guides probably included “Don’t pair a bold eye look with a bold lip,” “Don’t match the color of your lipstick and eyeshadow,” “Don’t bring your blush above the cheekbone,” and countless other makeup quotes from expert advice. But, if one of the world’s most legendary makeup artists didn’t believe in those rules, why should you?

In the age of Youtube and Instagram, we’ve seen neon green eyes paired with cherry red lips, entirely monochrome looks, and blush brought all the way up to the eye—and each look has been beautiful. Don’t let some arbitrary rules stifle your creativity.

Eyebrows are the one thing you can get into shape without exercising
makeup quotes
Makeup is no different than clothes and accessories — it’s embellishments for your face. And it also gives you creative freedom. You get to have that moment in front [of] the mirror every morning and give yourself self-love. You’re making yourself up beautiful which is essentially self-love.
— Michelle Phan

When Michelle Phan a.k.a. the mother of the Youtube beauty community offers makeup quotes, we listen! Michelle Phan was the OG beauty influencer, providing makeup tutorials to a world of blue eyeshadow and frosty lip gloss that sorely needed some beauty tips. Coming from a dysfunctional family, Phan rose to become a top Youtuber and founder of her own company, Em Cosmetics.

In one of her makeup quotes from her interview with HuffPost Life, Phan places makeup in the same self-care category as using face masks and taking bubble baths. When doing your makeup, you’re giving your full attention to yourself and therefore indulging in self-love. Not many people may notice your new eyeshadow technique or fancy highlighter, but if it makes you feel proud and beautiful, that’s all that matters.

makeup quotes
Lipstick is the most valuable weapon in a woman’s make-up kit. It has the power to transform the appearance and mood of the person wearing it, and, at the same time, arouses the admiration of everybody else.
— Monica Bellucci

In an interview with Hello Magazine, Monica Bellucci, an actress and beauty icon, discussed her collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana on their new line of lipsticks. Bellucci might not be a makeup artist, but she knows the power of a good bold lip—one of her signature red carpet looks includes bright red lipstick.

Eyeshadow, blush, and bronzer are all important, but none of them have the same influence on a makeup look as lipstick does. Each lipstick shade has a mood associated with it. For instance, red represents confidence and flirtatiousness, black represents fierceness, nudes represent natural beauty, and pink or orange represent fun and a carefree spirit. A simple lipstick change can change the way the whole world sees you.