Ok, yes, if you are a boy, you now know that you can safely pass on reading this post. It won’t be of interest to you.
My family’s rule for their three daughters, was that we couldn’t wear makeup until we were 16 — I have to confess, I broke that rule a few times by sneak wearing eyeshadow or mascara, mostly on Sunday mornings since I was embarrassed by already being the country bumpkin at church, and all the other girls there were so much prettier wearing their makeup and perfectly styled hair; sorry for doing that, Mom and Dad!
(Proof of my gawky homeschool days. My apologies to Bekah and Sarah for sharing this photo)
Finally, 16 rolled slowly around, and I was able to go makeup shopping with Mom. We picked out some neutral brown eyeshadows (nothing too dark,) some original Maybelline Great Lash mascara, some light pink blush, a CoverGirl concealer stick, and some lip gloss. I was stoked. Makeup, all of my own! No more sneaking little swipes of eyeshadow onto my eyelids. No more covering up zits on the sly. Now, wearing mascara and blush and all the rest of my little makeup collection suddenly made me feel pretty and attractive. Because a few swipes of mascara and some concealer under the eyes makes every girl transform into a vision of loveliness, right? That was what I thought, anyway, now that I had the freedom to wear makeup.
I was never really attracted to wearing heavy makeup, like some girls that went the hooker/ex-homeschool girls route that I knew; I always stayed within the safe confines of browns, light pinks, and brown mascara and eyeliner, and faithfully put on my makeup the same old way every time. Cat eyes? Who did those? Colored eyeshadow? So 80s! Tightlining, what was that? Highlighting and contouring? Smokey eyes? When I tried, it looked like I had taken a face plunge into my makeup palette. I also was under the impression that secretly, all guys liked it when you wore makeup a lot heavier, and so I always considered that the height of makeup attraction, not knowing that most guys taste for makeup is less is more. But how to perfect “less?”
And, I continued down the path of same makeup boringness until early last year when I ran across a couple of blogs that opened up mind-boggling revelations to me about makeup. The first one was Maskara — I watched several of her videos, especially about applying concealer/foundation/highlighting and contouring, and started experimenting with techniques myself. I never knew that I could apply my foundation with anything other than my fingers. A foundation brush? Never seen one in action before — the only brush I owned was a big, fluffy blush brush.
The second website I found was The Beauty Department, run by Amy Nadine, celebrity makeup artist. Her step-by-step tutorials have taught me great, new tricks, and I always look forward to new ones from her.
And the third website I ran across was written by this cute, English girl who made her “looks” appear easy to do, and they are… She explains do and don’ts for makeup in a fun way. Her website is The Makeup Chair.
And I started branching out. Learned how to walk the line between no makeup and hooker makeup. I bought a brush set with 10 different brushes and learned how to use them all. I learned how to use face primer and eyelid primer for flawless application of foundation and eyeshadows. I learned how to properly apply foundation (love my beauty blender!) I learned how to contour with bronzer and highlight with an illuminating powder. I learned where to PUT the blush for my face shape. I learned how to softly fill in my brows. I learned how to apply eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible to avoid the raccoon eyes look. I learned to put on eyeshadow artfully so as to define my eyes in the best way possible. I learned how to curl my eyelashes and put on mascara properly. I learned how to choose makeup products and brands that were slightly more expensive, but oh, so worth it in the long run for the ease of application, and quality that they gave me.
Yeah, makeup can be a touchy subject for some, and for others an overwhelming nuisance, but I choose to see it as a fun, rewarding art that, when done well, compliments and enhances the natural beauty found in all faces, and doesn’t detract or degrade said beauty. There are a lot of different beauty standards among various families, but I think a great place to start with makeup (that doesn’t get one into too hostile territory), is to learn how to properly apply foundation/concealer/blush/bronzer/highlighter, and also learn to shape and fill in your brows. A cleaned up, and flawless (NOT cakey) face goes a long way in enhancing already natural beauty. From there, one can move on to learning how to carefully apply eyeshadow (good brushes help a lot), and carefully apply eyeliner that enhances the lash line, rather than detracts from it. A good coat of mascara, and some sheer lipgloss, and a day-to-day natural look is complete. And it’s a big difference from wearing *no* makeup.
I could go on and on about different techniques for makeup, but I’ll save some of that for future posts. Embrace your ability to wear makeup as a girl or woman — it always makes my day feel a little better if I take the time to wear a little makeup, especially as a wife and mother.