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What an interesting question. Make-up has a pretty long history (about 6,000 years), used to signify all different kinds of things, from ritual to Ancient Rome's use of lead based formulas to whiten the skin! Having a natural casper the ghost appearance, I'm not sure I'll be cracking out this Ancient Roman lead-based stuff any time soon...!!
I don't have a particularly strong personal opinion on this- I don't wear it that much (my skills are limited- I mean, what the hec is this 'contour' thing everyone's talking about? I've just about mastered mascara!). But am equally happy for those blessed with such talents. Provided no-one's forced to wear it, I'm in full support of people using it for self-expression!
Make-up clearly has distinct cultural links though. There's a really interesting article here about the cultural 'affinities'- http://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/news/g3034/global-beauty-makeup-trends/. Perhaps something of cultural identity and 'fitting in', as well as self-expression. What an unusual, even slightly uncomfortable expression of 'expressing yourself', but also fitting neatly with what's expected and 'on trend' in culture. What do you think?
As for the lead-based Ancient Roman foundation, I'd probably say today it'd be seen more as a form of punishment and poisoning. So, perhaps, oppression fits this more closely...!