Elon University’s organization fair never ceases to excite and overwhelm new students each fall. When sophomore Julia Burnet wandered around the fair her freshman year, she knew someday she wanted to stand behind one of the tables. And this year, her opportunity came.

Burnet started “The Art of Makeup,” a new club devoted to a shared passion for cosmetics. Though the club is new, interest in cosmetics has been around long before Burnet’s time at Elon.

“I started wearing makeup in eighth grade. I’ve always found it fascinating. Seeing my mom get ready in the morning, and seeing the way some people transform,” Burnet said.

“The Art of Makeup” club treasurer sophomore Katelyn Johnson, also began her makeup journey early on. But her experience was not as positive as Burnet’s experience — something Johnson is hoping to change.

“I used to use it as a cover up, something that shielded me,” Johnson said. “I want people to feel more confident about themselves, but not feel more confident about themselves because they’re wearing makeup.”

Eliminating the stigma that girls who wear makeup are insecure was the foundation behind the idea for the club and is something Burnet is passionate about as the club president and founder.

“I want them to accept how they look just normally. But I also want them to accept how they look with makeup on,” Burnet said. 

Burnet and Johnson were able to experiment with makeup transformations firsthand in “Fundamentals of Makeup Design and Application,” Elon’s makeup course.

“We both really enjoyed having that outlet of putting on makeup, but it was the theatrical one. We wanted something very different, very casual,” Johnson said.

Burnet and Johnson teamed up, among other founding members, to transform their passions into something they could share. They soon came to find that forming a new organization is a lengthy process.

“It was a little tricky. I had this idea first semester freshman year and I didn’t get a form submitted until the end of freshman year,” Burnet said. “I didn’t get approved until a week before we came to school this year. And that was just for developmental status. I’m still not technically approved as a full-functioning organization.”

Starting a new organization is a 10-step process. The process begins with an application, adviser agreement and a recommendation form. Once these forms have been accepted by Student Involvement, the organization is granted developmental status — the stage in which “The Art of Makeup” is in today.

“The process was long and I wish I did it a little sooner because then I would’ve had a budget sooner and could’ve gotten this thing rolling,” Burnet said.

Under developmental status, organizations are only allowed to host interest meetings using Elon’s name. Once bylaws have been written and accepted by the Student Life Committee (SLC), the organization is granted provisional status. After at least six months, one leadership transition, one meeting with SGA and a completed review form, the SLC may grant full organization status.

“I just have so many ideas and I’m just so ready to do it,”
Burnet said.

Though the club can only host interest meetings because of their developmental status, Burnet and Johnson are ready to include anyone who can hold a makeup brush.

“The organization is for those who have never worn makeup to those who wear makeup every day of their lives,” Burnet said.

Not only will members be able to discuss their love for lipsticks, lashes and liners, but they will be taught and be able to teach every aspect of the makeup process. Each club meeting will have a different theme focused on a certain product or technique.

“Let’s say the theme is eyeliner, and we will explain how certain shapes of eyes go with certain eyeliners and how to get that perfect wing,” Burnet said.

Perfecting the craft in meetings will be accompanied by discussing controversial issues in the cosmetic industry. 

“There’s so many shades of white, yet little shades of any other color. We want to talk about that,” Burnet said.

Exposure to these issues is not only inclusive, but it also highlights the club’s vision.

“Our motto for the makeup club is just trying to look your best and feel your best with or without makeup,” Johnson said.

If sculpting, drawing or painting is not something you’re interested in, Burnet believes that this craft deserves to be appreciated as an art.

Whether you have no idea what contouring is or embrace cat-eyes every day, those who are interested in joining “The Art of Makeup” can join via PhoenixConnect and attend the first interest meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25. Location to be determined.

“You can be artistic with makeup. It’s not just for insecure girls. Makeup is so much more than that. And that’s why I titled it The Art of Makeup not just makeup club because there’s so many different parts to makeup, and it’s an art,” Burnet said


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