This is super cheesy and I didn’t really feel like I could share it with anyone directly, so it’s going here… I guess that’s what blogs are for. It’s about makeup.
Growing up, I was never particularly skinny or fat or pretty or ugly, I got picked on a lot for… I don’t really know. Being too average in the looks department I guess. I certainly wasn’t one of “those girls”. You know what I mean, flawless in the sixth grade with tan legs and perfect skin and eventually perfect makeup too, seemingly without a care in the world. I spent my whole life being jealous of girls like that, be it in magazines or in the hallways, in my yearbooks and in movies. I was never going to look like one of them – effortlessly flawless, clear skin glowing with confidence, and definitely looking like they have their shit together. That just isn’t me. Or at least, it wasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, at almost-27 I most certainly do not have my shit together, but about a year and a half ago I decided on a whim that I was finally going to learn how to do my makeup. Makeup was always fine for me, I did the bare minimum that I could figure out on my own, but it wasn’t really anything spectacular – just enough to [incorrectly] cover up acne and make my eyes sparkly with a solid wash of one eyeshadow. I just wanted to look pretty for an event we had coming up, a wedding I think, little did I know how far down the rabbit hole it would go! I spent hours and hours in the makeup worlds of Reddit, watching YouTube videos, and painting my face, I was hooked. Even on days when I wasn’t leaving the house, I put on a full face of makeup…sometimes twice, never mind that I didn’t actually put real clothes on that day.
For the past week I have practiced the exact same look in preparation for a special dinner date with The Boyfriend to celebrate our three-year anniversary, if you follow me on instagram you have probably seen a few of the attempts. Same look, every day. We snapped a few photos before heading out to the restaurant tonight and looking at them now, I see what I saw in those “effortless” girls – I see confidence, a smile glowing from within, seemingly perfect hair and makeup, and a handsome man with his arm around me.
So what happened? I didn’t suddenly get a hair stylist or plastic surgery, I didn’t really do anything drastic. I spent enough time playing with and staring at my face and learning about myself that, against all odds, I actually like what I see in the mirror every day – yes even without makeup on. Sure I still get breakouts and dry skin, I’m not actually flawless, but I have learned to love my body…well so far just my face, but I’m getting there! It wasn’t magic or Photoshop or filters or fillers, just hours of time spent taking care of myself with a creative outlet, it’s not something you can fake.
For me, makeup started as a hobby for days when I was in too much pain to focus on my other hobbies – mostly cooking and weightlifting. When I just needed to sit down and clear my head and do my own thing, I turned to makeup more and more. I learned different tricks to highlight or downplay certain features, I learned about skin care and hair care and the best types of products for different types of skin. It’s funny really…for such a ridiculous industry fueled by outrageous expectations for how humans should look, there was a product or some kind of information available for literally anything I could think of. Hooded eyelids or semi hooded eyelids? There’s a subreddit for that. There’s even a sub[reddit] for makeup lovers who wear glasses, started by me, but the point remains. Got allergies? Check out an indie brand. Dry skin? There’s a YouTuber like that. There is even an entire website dedicated to recommending makeup YouTubers based on your features, everything from skin type and tone to how your eyes sit on your face. Someone somewhere could relate to any issue I encountered or discovery I’d made.
Let’s be clear, it’s the Internet and mean people are everywhere, but there are also amazing people with great advice or tips or support who will welcome you with open arms and constructive criticism. At no point did any aspect of makeup make me feel or even let me feel like any of my features were not completely normal.
You can really do anything with makeup – change your nose, change your eyes, highlight, contour, false lashes, overdrawn lips, you name it.. You can become a completely different person if you want to (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that), but for me… three weeks shy of 27, for the first time ever I am perfectly okay with just being me.
This isn’t meant to be a dig at anyone and hopefully it isn’t perceived as such. If you don’t care about makeup, more power to you. If you are just learning about makeup or you’re way better than me at it, more power to you. I’m just trying to say that, after all that time wanting to look or be like someone else, I finally was able to just accept myself with my face and my features and that is when it clicked. Today I saw a picture of a girl who looked confident and happy and dare I say flawless. She isn’t, of course, but she certainly looks like she has her shit together. That girl is me.
TL;DR: Makeup is cool. I am happy.
Product List: will be updated shortly to include product links/photos.
- Lush Ultrabland
- GlamGlow FlashMud (day 3 of 3)
- GlamGlow ThirstyMud (on cheeks/dry areas)
- Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel
- CeraVe moisturizing lotion
- Lush Mint Julips lip scrub
- MAC Pro Longwear paint pot in Painterly
- Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadows in Birkin, China Rose, Sangria, Pink Champagne
- Makeup Geek eyeshadow in Corrupt
- Benefit Rollerlash Mascara
- Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascara (bottom lashes)
- ABH Pro Pencil (waterline)
- MAC Eye Brows in Brunette
- ABH Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso
- MAC Strobe Cream
- MAC Prep+Prime Skin
- MAC Lightful C tinted cream in Light
- MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15
- ColourPop highlighter in Monster
- Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Water Blossom
- Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light
- MAC Prep+Prime Yuzu Fix+ (LE)
- ColourPop Ultra Matte lipstick in 1st Base
- Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray
- Herbal Essences Tousling Hairspray