Meet the MUA behind the ‘most hated’ beauty account on Instagram

@makeupbrutalism has divided the internet.

by Roisin Lanigan
07 May 2020, 5:00pm

Images via Instagram

If you’ve come to Eszter Magyar’s Instagram account in search of a tutorial for a perfect smoky eye or how to correctly line your lips, you’re gonna be disappointed. Instead, the makeup artist populates her account with, in her own words, creations extreme enough to earn her the title of “most hated beauty account on Instagram since 2018”. There’s a cornea covered in dayglo yellow liquid eyeliner, matted lashes dripping in sloppy glitter, crooked teeth covered in acrylic paint and tinfoil, and nail polish dripping down fingers. In one picture, a model wears eyeliner which reads “I hope you go blind”. They’re hard to look at without cringing.

Eszter calls it makeup brutalism. She’s pretty accurate, actually. “I’m obsessed with ugly aesthetics, architecture and photography,” the Budapest-born, Berlin-based makeup artist says. Describing her style as “controversial, conceptual and raw”, Eszter was inspired by the futuristic and divisive aesthetic of brutalism, channelling the architectural style’s new and futuristic appearance into her beauty looks. “People call brutalism ugly,” she says. “But that’s just because they don’t understand it, or they don’t understand the reasoning behind the concept. That’s where I feel a connection in my own work.”

The path to success for most Instagram MUAs is a well-trodden one. You make an account. You post some gif-style tutorials, the kind you would see on TikTok or Instagram. You gain a following and get some sick sponsorship deals along the way. The aesthetic is typically uber-curated, sunshine and smiles, and imperfection-free. That prettiness is anathema to Eszter’s core beliefs as a self-styled “makeup activist”. Shunning the beautiful to embrace the ugly and obscene, she celebrates features typically considered abhorrent by an industry seeking constant perfection. “Makeup trends monopolise and standardise our notions of ‘beauty’,” she says. “I’m working against that. Our society is obsessed with perfection and youth, and I’m going against that.”

Eszter found that as her account grew, so too did the amount of hate comments each post would receive. “When I uploaded pictures of my teeth people accused me of promoting health issues,” she says. “People have called me disgusting and told me I’m a bad influence. One person even told me to pour bleach in my eyes.” The comments though, have inspired some of her most eye-catching looks. The bleach commenter, for example, birthed one of her most infamous posts: the “I hope you go blind” eyeliner. Another commenter, who wrote “THIS IS NOT MAKEUP” inspired a post influenced by René Magritte’s iconic painting The Treachery of Images (“Ceci n'est pas une pipe“). “Viciousness has always impressed me so much,” Eszter says. “So I started to capture and collect the comments very early. Now I just upload them to my highlights and embrace being the most hated account on Instagram.”

With Miss Rona throwing a spanner in the works of her usual day job as a full-time makeup artist, the time off has allowed Eszter to throw herself fully into her online art project. “Now I’m a one-man-show,” she says. “I took a huge breath and decided not to give up my career. It’s still really hard to plan anything for the future, since we don’t know what the future holds for the beauty industry. But I’m more productive than ever before. Maybe it’s my self-defence mechanism against the world.”

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