Scroll through the Instagram of @v93oo and you’ll find a feed full of images of make-up. So far, so normal, given the app is brimming with titan-like make-up influencers demonstrating how to achieve the perfect smokey eye with their $390 shadow palettes. @v93oo’s account is the exact opposite of that perfection trap though – “it’s all about anti-perfection,” explains Mushtaq, the person behind it. “This is a place for me to explore colour, and technique, and have more fun with make-up.”
The account is also personal, growing from Mushtaq’s earlier quest for perfection. “My relationship with make-up was toxic, I used it as a cover up,” they explain. “I loved make up so much, but I started to hate how it made me feel, and I was totally insecure without it. For me, make-up was everything. I wanted to work with it, to become a make-up artist, but I just stopped using it, and for months I didn’t touch it, which was the best thing ever. I learned to love myself with and without it.”
So what makes a perfect make-up look for the anti-perfect account? “It has to be creative, and artistic, and show a different way of using six different colours on your eyelids and cheeks for example,” they explain. “I started this account to get away from this idea of perfection, so people could feel free when it comes to make-up. No rules, no step one or two. Just pure creativity.”
Diversity and inclusion is also at the heart of the account, because Mushtaq wants to show that beauty belongs to everyone. “It is very important to include everyone. For me, if you’re going to showcase people or something to do with people in general, everyone must be included. It's just that simple.” And while lots of people and make-up brands pay lip service to makeup for everyone – you know, love the skin you’re in and all – there’s still so many oversights when it comes to representation inside beauty: either it doesn’t really happen, or difference is tokenised.
“This isn’t like what you usually see on YouTube,” Mushtaq elates. And they’re right. It’s surprising that there aren’t more makeup accounts rejecting the idea of perfect make-up, because to be free with it in the ways these images show is a skill just as important as being able to highlight into the next dimension.
“I feel so happy to be a part of something like this, to just show people to be more of themselves whether it is with make-up or not... do what makes you happy,” are Mushtaq’s closing words. Easier said than done, of course, but hitting follow on @v93oo is a great place to start.