Friday, 01 April 2011 08:07

The Metamorphosis of Camouflage

Written by   Christine Heathman, CPE, CME, Master Aesthetician USA

Camouflage makeup therapy is unique to all skin types and conditions and supports an emotional rehabilitation providing a metamorphosis for the mind, body, and soul of the recipient. According to the English Word Dictionary metamorphosis is a word that indicates a complete or marked change of physical structure or a marked change in appearance, character or condition, or someone who has gone through a complete or marked change.

Camouflage makeup therapy is the application of a specialized composition to cover, poise, and minimize imperfections while enhancing natural beauty, correcting facial deformities, and/or reducing the effects of skin trauma brought on by congenital, accidental, dermatological, surgical challenges, or environmental assault.

One's "beauty," "handsomeness," or "strength of character" is generally mirrored through an individual’s face and hair and the degree to which these features are properly accentuated or emphasized can significantly determine the level of acceptance by peers and society in general. Looking normal sometimes is the only goal in life for many individuals. This suffering can come from the influence of birth defects, disfiguring scars, abnormally distorted features, skin imperfections, dermatological conditions, or post surgical after effects. Even the challenges of aging are physical obstacles that include skin discolorations, pigmentation, uneven skin texture, and ‘broken’ capillaries that present their own barriers to normalcy.

In society, it can be a great challenge to overcome the aforementioned maladies. Everyone can recall the many fairy tales of their childhood that cast the heroine as beautiful, and the witch as ugly and mistreats her. These perceptions start early as innocent anecdotes yet the visual snapshot of these stories remain with us forever. The reality is our reflective/self image determines self-esteem and how we act or interact in society with a positive or negative behavior pattern.

Why is corrective camouflage makeup essential for all skins? Simply put, makeup provides a cosmetic therapy unique in its psychological ability to help promote self-esteem and well being while the camouflage physically supports a healthier skin protecting it from aggressive environmental assaults.

To understand the value of camouflage makeup therapy it is important to acknowledge how mankind has waged war against the aging face and sought out remedies of correction for imperfect faces since the beginning of time. Historical reference provides us with a myriad of documentation that includes surgical remedies, holistic applications, skin care, makeup and, in the last few decades, camouflage compounds. Even in Biblical times there is reference to cosmetic preparations used to disguise imperfections. Camouflage products are coupled with the diversity of specialists such as aestheticians, makeup artists, physicians, and other professionals who work together for the improvement of human enhancement.

Each year the number of individuals who undergo cosmetic and reconstructive surgery increases. The social and economic influence that places emphasis upon appearance is quite evident at both ends of the age spectrum. Younger people seek peer acceptance; older people face their own challenge in maintaining positive attitudes for an extended time; and the facially challenged strive to seek normalcy.

before-and-afterThe philosophy of cosmetic rehabilitation is simple regarding camouflage makeup therapy and goes beyond surgical boundaries. As makeup professionals, making the physical changes with the slight of our hand and the swipe of a brush, we are also able to offer psychological support, encouragement and exhortation, factual information, physical therapy approaches to improving appearance, and experience along with emotional support different from the sympathy of friends, relatives, and lovers to burn survivors, cancer patients, accident sufferers, and skin trauma’s brought on by the aging process.

With the use of camouflage makeup therapy after surgery, the individual can be instructed to minimize the swelling, bruising, and discoloration’s which affect their self-image thus impacting the physiological well being to reduce the stress, thus elevating the immune system to combat possible complications. It is always important that the camouflage makeup artist not just “apply” but teach the patient the correct use of cosmetics to hide the trauma and enhance their appearance.

Due to the delicate nature of any skin traumatized through surgery, birth marks, dermatological circumstances, cancer, burns, pigment morbidity, aging consequences, and other skin challenges, I strongly advise against the use of regular makeup or “powder” mineral makeup. This popular “powder” is too often mistaken for true camouflage. Great for the perfect skin, powder mineral makeup is not the appropriate choice for the majority of distressed skin conditions.

The “true” definition of a camouflage makeup is a high pigment, opaque substance formulated in a concentrated cream or fluid that is water proof, heat and muscle resistant, with long lasting ability to withstand many long hours of wear on the skin’s traumatized surface. The ability of camouflage makeup should also include adhering to slick, nonporous surfaces, such as hypertrophic scars. A significant benefit of using camouflage makeup is also for the physical protection it provides the traumatized skin and sealant ability to protect against a hostile environment. Titanium dioxide, an in-organic substance, is the primary pigment in camouflage makeup providing an effective barrier of sun block. The rule of thumb in camouflage SPF block is; the lighter the camouflage color, the more titanium dioxide, the more sun block ability against environmental damage for lighter skins.

Camouflage makeup therapy can be of significant benefit when:

1. The patient needs to develop confidence in reflective self-image during their lifetime.

2. The patient is healing (for example: After elective cosmetic aesthetic surgery).

3. The patient is in between revisions of surgery in order to minimize the condition during transition.

4. The patient is emotionally accepting what has happened to their physical image and is working to regain self-esteem after an accident.

5. The patient has dermatological problems, i.e., vitiligo, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, et cetera.

6. The client wants to diminish or disguise birthmarks.

7. The patient wants to counteract visible effects of medication or disease, chemotherapy/radiation, et cetera.

8. The client is in need of a powerful environmental shield to protect against photo-aging.

It should be noted skin trauma has many sources: Aging, acne, burns, injury, birthmarks, dermatological, post-operative scarring, and swelling. Camouflage makeup therapy is an important and valuable asset to reduce the negative effects caused by these conditions. Aging is a form of traumatized skin due to the cosmetic consequences brought on by ultraviolet radiation assault. Camouflage makeup has also become an integral remedy for the injectable procedures to minimize the bruising that often accompany Botox and the facial fillers.

Whatever the skin trauma, camouflage makeup therapy is one solution to resolve the image of many conditions and assist the individual to move forward and take back control of their life. Camouflage is empowering. In conclusion, camouflage makeup therapy is more than a physical covering of makeup. It lends support in the journey of an individual assisting in restoring one’s identity, confidence, innermost self, happiness, humor, and return to normalcy.

Christine Heathman 0510Christine Heathman CME, LMT is a licensed master aesthetician, aesthetic pioneer, and nominated Legend in American aesthetics who has practiced clinical skin care for over 25 years. Synonymous with age management, Heathman is a powerful speaker, world-wide lecturer, educator, author of several skin manuals, has written hundreds of skin science editorials, selected to the editorial board of a leading skin journal, and is an innovator in the research and development of unconventional and progressive skin care and protocols used in the most prestigious skin care and medical clinics all over the world. A leader in her industry, Heathman steps out of the box to challenge the traditional by developing methods for skin care success that get results to build a successful aesthetic business. Owner and CEO of GlyMed Plus, a professional only skin care line, Heathman has appeared several times on the popular health care program, The Doctors, to share her skill and expertise in medical skin care. Heathman is a powerful speaker on the world-wide lecture circuit and has appeared on The Balancing Act on Lifetime TV. Recognized as a major influence in the field of aesthetics by the American Aesthetician Education Association, she has remained loyal to the professional, applying her extensive knowledge and experience to facilitate American aesthetics and remains a commanding and authoritative influence in the skin care industry today.

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