The team was inspired by a simple sign in the NYC subways that tells us it’s not ok to “makeup” in public. So they decided to conduct a study and find out “why is there a stigma around applying makeup in public, and is it related to some bigger-picture judgements around wearing makeup, in general.”
The study, conducted by Ipsos, revealed that:
- More than half of women who wear makeup stated that they would feel uncomfortable doing their makeup in public
- 52% of women who felt judged for their makeup look, stated they felt they have been judged at work
- 74% of women expressed that they feel they need to wear makeup in social settings
- 75% of women noted that they wear makeup for themselves and not for anyone else
After the research, the company also conducted a social experiment around this. They sent hundreds of people onto the subway and to vanity stations set up outdoors in New York City, asked them to publicly apply their makeup – loud and proud – and then interviewed them about what this act meant, how culture has influenced their choices around makeup and how they express themselves, and what role beauty plays in their lives.
The outcome is the video, #ProjectPDA: that is, Public Displays of Application, to spotlight self-expression through makeup, and to challenge the notion that women have to apologize or hide for their makeup choices.
“The goal of this project was to shed light on the criticism of makeup application in public places. It’s as if people don’t want to know that women actually wear makeup. We are not perfect and we don’t use makeup to disguise ourselves, it’s a form of self expression, and busy women on the go (like myself) are often running between meetings or events and shouldn’t be ashamed to re-apply or touch-up as they do so,” Chiara Adin, founder of NA Collective, the creative experience agency who helped produce the event told DIVERGE.
She added: “In partnership with Droga5, on behalf of their client CoverGirl we decided building beautiful mirrored vanity stations containing a photo integration would be a fun disruption for New Yorkers as they went about their day and not only embrace but more importantly encourage ‘Public Displays of Application’.”