Corrective Makeup, Ethnicity and Cultural Diversity

Corrective makeup defined

For makeup artists, the skin is our canvas. Corrective makeup is one of our art forms, by using cosmetics to address one’s appearance-related concerns. These concerns can range from a temporary blemish, to a more lasting scar.  Corrective makeup techniques can be subtle, so as not to look like one has on makeup at all. Or, techniques can be more significant; so one can look glamorous while areas of concern go unnoticed.  Using cosmetics to address these factors can help restore one’s sense of self, enabling them to resume daily activities at work, school or home with more confidence.

My background and perspective

In my 25-plus years working as a hair and makeup artist, I have worked in a wide variety of settings. I’ve provided corrective makeup in media settings like advertising, and medical settings such as university hospitals. Through all my work experiences, I have had the opportunity to work with men and women with very diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.

"As a makeup artist, diversity is not only celebrated, it is sought after."

How corrective makeup can support cultural diversity.

Through my work with the nonprofit Suite HOPE (Helping Oncology Patients Esthetically), I frequently use corrective makeup techniques to help women recreate the appearance of eyebrows that have shed due to chemotherapy. Some of these women, say as a matter of their cultural beliefs, have never worn makeup. Honoring one’s beliefs about makeup while teaching them ways to look natural and more like themselves during treatment helps restore both privacy and confidence.

The key

Sometimes the goal is for my work to go unnoticed. This may be due to cultural beliefs, gender orientation or a simple desire to look like oneself free of makeup. For whatever the reason, there are many different ways to provide support through corrective makeup. The goal is to do this in a way that will help neutralize one’s concerns and support their position on makeup.


Corrective makeup provides a diverse range of techniques to support both cosmetic and cultural concerns. Finding the right techniques to address these concerns is key to restoring one’s sense of self, enabling daily life to resume naturally and confidently.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

 Join me at

Jeanna Doyle


What is corrective make up?

(And why I don't like the term).

Corrective makeup (or grooming as I refer to it for guys) can be as simple as using makeup to address excess shine, a blemish or darkness under the eyes. Other times, corrective makeup may be more complex, like working with someone who has had a facial trauma, is experiencing illness or has a congenital effect (note the intentional lack of word ‘defect’).

The History of the Term

Early in my career corrective makeup was often referred to as camouflage or paramedical makeup, sometimes even called restorative makeup. Whatever the term, it is often more important that my work go unnoticed than noticed, so as not to look like one has makeup on at all. The makeup should give the appearance of balance to features affected by any number of factors like the ones listed above.

The goal is to neutralize these appearance-related concerns, but this is not the only goal. I believe corrective makeup should be coupled with products and application that support the integrity of the skin.

My Experience

I've been a hair and makeup artist for over 25 years. In that time, I have worked in both media and medical settings. In the media setting I worked with advertising and fashion for print, television and film; with models, musicians, movie stars and the like.

In the medical community I have worked in private practice, hospitals and cancer centers. I have had the privilege of working with plastic and reconstructive surgeons, dermatologists, oncologists, and psychologists. I have worked with persons with cancer, traumatic facial injuries, congenital factors and elective procedures.

These combined experiences guide my definition of corrective makeup. It was in advertising where I realized that everyone gets some form of benefit from corrective makeup, whether that’s reducing shine or addressing darkness under the eyes. The experience I received working under the guidance of the medical community helped me understand the sensitivities of working with patients. After all, aren’t all patients people first?

The Key

The key to corrective makeup is discussing, and sometimes helping to manage, a person’s expectations. In some cases, the makeup creates amazing transformations. And yet in others, makeup itself does very little to 'correct' one’s appearance related issues.  With expectations set, I've seen the placement of color and choice of product that makes a slight, almost negligible difference to the eye lift the spirit of my clients immeasurably.

-How one looks is not important. It is how one feels about how one looks that matters.-

The Modern Term

My modern definition of corrective makeup: the use of makeup to help bring balance to one’s appearance (rather than to cover up or correct).

Whatever the reason one seeks this service, for me, the term corrective makeup feels, well incorrect. I prefer the term medical makeup. This is not recognized yet, but it seems more appropriate and doesn’t carry the almost judgmental tone that can come from the word ‘correct’.  I'd love your thoughts.

 Join me at

Jeanna Doyle




Future Instructors

An international group convened in Canada for the launch The HOPE Method Training. We are beyond thrilled to have this group as our future instructors. Click here to see feedback.

From left to right: Morag Currin, Kerry Kourie, Angela Noviello, Luisa Gullace, standing: Vivian Walwyn, Annemarie Puppe, seated on couch: Becky Kuehn, Jeanna Doyle and Drew Flanagan

From left to right: Morag Currin, Kerry Kourie, Angela Noviello, Luisa Gullace, standing: Vivian Walwyn, Annemarie Puppe, seated on couch: Becky Kuehn, Jeanna Doyle and Drew Flanagan