Before and After

This last Monday I did something scary: I shared a picture of myself without any makeup.

It was frightening for a couple of reasons. Aside from my naturally fair skin that is splotchy red (thank you Irish/Germanic ancestors), and my dark circles and sparse eyebrows, it evokes throwback feelings of my home-schooled girl days when I didn’t wear any makeup, I didn’t feel pretty, and I equated looking pretty with making friends.

Well, since 16 (almost 10 years ago!), and being allowed to wear makeup, a few things have changed.

  • I’ve learned that being pretty doesn’t have any bearing one one’s ability to be socially well-adjusted.
  • I’ve learned that looking pretty is about more than just how well you apply makeup, it’s about one’s attitude and bearing.
  • I’ve learned how to apply makeup in ways that highlight my natural features, rather than obscure them.

Most women judge themselves pretty harshly when it comes to looks. Some of the prettiest women I’ve known in my life, even with makeup on and dressed to impress can still see their “flaws” and “imperfections.”  But to a detached and experienced make up artist can easily see the features to enhance and build on, not obscure or over color. Maskcara is very good at this in her Before and After Makeover Mondays. Here is one of my favorite makeovers she shared on her blog.

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So, next time you pick up your makeup applicators, try to remember to not judge yourself harshly without makeup on. I recommend building on simple looks, and working your way up to more “dramatic” makeup, like a smokey eye or dark lipstick. Start off by just tight-lining your top lash line and add mascara. Remember to add darker colors, “shadows,” to outer corners of your face and eyes, and use lighter colors more on the center and inside of your face and eyes.

Here is my before and after, for the record. I used mainly Sephora liquid foundation and concealer and the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette.

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