Makeup and Me

This piece was inspired by this post over at Nudemuse. Confound me for leaving it in my idea journal so long! I promise I’m gonna get better about putting my posts on the actual blog in a timely manner, really I am!

I remember a conversation I had with my lil’ bro when I was sixteen (this would make him ten). We were getting ready for dinner, my family and I, and mom and I were getting all dolled up with the make-up.

Him: *intently watching me line my eyes* “Why do y’all put all that stuff on your face?”

Me: “What stuff? My eyeshadow?”

Him: “All of that stuff. It makes you look fake. Are you hiding something?”

Me: *quietly shoves him out of the doorway and shuts door*

My Mom: “I’m gonna have to learn that boy some tact.” (No, she seriously said it like that. I cracked up and nearly poked my eye out with the mascara.)

At the time, I had no idea how to really answer the question about why I wear makeup. I just liked the stuff. I fancy myself a bit of an artist, and for me, my face was just another place to wear extravagant colors or try different color combinations. Granted, I typically did my makeup oddly in those days. I never put shadow in the creases or browbones. I only shadowed the lid and lined my eyes, and wore plenty of mascara. And I don’t know if this applies to anyone else (I mean, I could see everyone else’s lids when I stared directly into their faces), but it’s like my lids disappear when you look directly in my face, so all one really saw was my liner and lashes. Great if that’s all I wanted to show…but it wasn’t. But I digress.

As I became more adept with the shadow, I found myself pairing yellow shadow with orange and black (I looked like some type of tropical bird, y’all. Real talk.) and the question my lil bro asked arose in my head again…”Why do you wear that stuff?” Well, I could wax poetic about how I’m enhancing my natural beauty and further encouraging myself to step from the shadows into the light, but seriously, y’all?

I wear it because I like it. Nothing to hide, as 10 year old lil bro assumed. In fact, I made my first foray into makeup when I was in my tomboy phase my freshman year of high school. I used clothes to hide away. It drove my mom absolutely nuts. So, to make my mom feel better (she worked at a cosmetics company at the time) I would wear super shiny gloss, then graduated to brown glosses (she took what she could get, ’cause I wasn’t gonna wear pink). The rest was history. Essentially, I just think makeup is pretty.

Interestingly enough, I went slightly dramatic with the eyes when I went to lil godsis’ graduation. I had false lashes, pretty black liner, hair yanked up so you could see the full effect (I also had on a FIERCE spagetti-strapped dress), the whole nine. My mom peeked her head in my room as I was admiring my work, and she says: “Wow. That’s pretty. It’s the most makeup I’ve ever seen you wear.”

Me: “Wait. Is it too much?” (I love color, but I tend not to be heavy with it.)

Her: “No, it looks great. It’s just..I’ve never seen you wear that much. I didn’t know you could do that. It’s amazing.”

Me: *smile*

Heh. Well, maybe I also wear makeup for compliments on styling–at least, every once in a while. I’m a bit conceited, I guess. 🙂

So, what makeup do y’all wear? Do you have a favorite feature you like to play up? Do you go wild with lipsticks and gloss? Or are you all about the eyes, like me? Are you all natural, like IntellectualFeminist? Oh, and what are y’alls favorite lines? I just got some great beauty swag I’ll be sharing with y’all soon, but I’m always on the lookout for new lines to try.


17 Responses to “Makeup and Me”

  1. June 16, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    I love eyeshadow! I own about 20 individual colors that I like to mix and match; I’ll take 3 or 4 colors and mix them up, creating a whole new color. Because of the way my eyebrows are shaped, I can put eyeshadow above my eyelids. Eye makeup is my favorite because it’s so versatile; I can go super subtle or extravagantly dramatic. One of these days I want to learn how to put on fake lashes.

  2. June 16, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Oh, putting on fake lashes is much, much simpler than it looks, really! You want to grab your lash (I use strip lashes instead of individual), place a thin line of adhesive on the lash, and count to 30, just until the glue is tacky.

    As a point of reference, if you slap your lashes on your eye BEFORE you let it get tacky…you’re gonna have glue everywhere. Trust me, I know.

    Anyhow, once the glue is tacky, position your lash strip as close to your lashline as possible, and stick carefully (so as to not get glue in your natural lashes)and that’s it! Now, I’m sure you could put mascara on, if you need to blend your natural lashes with the falsies, but since my natural lashes are pretty short, all I do is comb them to make sure everyone’s in place.

    If you have trouble with the positioning, they have lash grabbers (like this one: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P130229&categoryId=C11091&shouldPaginate=true ) that can help.

  3. 3 integgy
    June 17, 2008 at 1:41 am

    I go au natural with my face pretty much all of the time. This is not because I don’t like to wear makeup, because I really do, but until recently I never really wore the sorts of clothes I would have felt comfortable wearing makeup with. (In highschool I was a jeans/sweatpants and t-shirt kind of gal, though I’ve since branched out into what I really want to wear). So since I felt like makeup didn’t fit with what I wore, I didn’t bother applying it. I do like to play with it, on occasion, and try things I’ve seen other places, or things I’ve never seen before, but I don’t wear it on a regular basis.

    I think it’s just that I never got into the habit of it, and I’ve become so comfortable without it, that unless makeup is directly in my sight, I never even think about it. Part of my does want to get myself into the habit though, since I think it’s a fun way of expressing oneself to the world, but then on the other hand, I remember that I’m really not a morning person, and doing makeup might require me to wake up a teensy bit earlier than I usually do. Which might make me grumpy. xD

    (Wow this ended up being a long post. Totally unintentional, but once I get going, I tend to blabber, in person, and on the internet as well, it seems)

  4. 4 nuckingfutz
    June 17, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Before Children, I was one of those girls that wouldn’t leave the house without hair done and makeup on. Part of that, I think, was my fatness: I couldn’t wear cute clothes, because I was fat, but I could damn well do my hair and my face!

    But After Children…. eh, not so much. Sometimes I miss the BC me, because she always made an effort to look nice. But the AC me just doesn’t have the time. The AC me has to get 4 children up and ready to walk out the door by 8 a.m. Just finding the time to wash my face and brush my teeth is a luxury.

    Nowadays I wear makeup maybe once every couple of months. And I’m so out of practice that I usually just do one color of eyeshadow, mascara, maybe some eyeliner, and something on my lips (gloss/lipstick/whatever). Would I like to wear more makeup? Definitely. But the fact is, even if I had the time, I just wouldn’t know what to do with my face.

  5. 5 Bee
    June 17, 2008 at 5:41 am

    I’m all about trial and error when it comes to make-up. Every couple of years I look back at old photos, and think: what the heck was that?!? 😉

    Being a natural redhead (pale ginger eyebrows, eylashes, the whole fish-like deal), I always emphasize my eyes with brown liner and mascara (black would look ridiculous on me) and I like to wear lipbalm at all times (D. hates it, but my lips are very sensitive so I kind of have to). As for the rest, well, I just slap on some good quality mosturizing cream and then a little bit of transparent powder. The end.

    Why do I do it? In the past, it certainly felt like my face was the only domain I could be sufficiently happy with, but now I do it because it’s fun and cute, just like the rest of me 😀

  6. 6 ksfeminist
    June 17, 2008 at 8:42 am

    I’m far too lazy to “do makeup” I generally wear concealer and loose powder to take the edge off of my blotchiness and a little pink gloss to brighten my face, but that’s it. If I have an interview or a big date or something I’ll brush on a little eyeshadow, but that’s it. I cannot put on mascara. I just can’t do it. I freak out anytime that wand gets near my eyes (I can’t wear contacts for similar reasons). If it’s a special occasion and I feel like lining my eyes, I can’t use eyepencil or liquid liner. I have to use a thin brush and dark powder.

  7. June 17, 2008 at 9:47 am

    When I was younger, I always begged my mother to let me wear makeup and she never did until I was a teenager and started wearing it anyway. Ironically, today I don’t really wear a lot of makeup. I usually use Almay concealer to even out my complexion and because Almay doesn’t test on animals and that’s it for most days. If we’re going out somewhere nice or special, I may put on lip gloss and eyeshadow, but that’s rare. When I went on the M & J Show in January, they had a makeup artist cake on the stuff as if I were dead. It felt so odd having it on and it made me look so much older and sophisticated than I really am. I remember looking in the mirror after I put my glasses back on and saying “Wow, where were you for my wedding?” But I wasn’t comfortable in it… it was like I was someone else.

  8. 8 Kallipygia
    June 17, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    It’s a coin flip (and a few hits of the snooze button) whether I leave the house with anything on my face. When I do wear makeup, it’s usually just eyeliner, eyebrow color, and lipstick. Partly this is because I ride a motorcycle and wear a full-face helmet, so anything else is just going to end up on the helmet liner anyway; partly it’s because I don’t like feeling “coated”, so even when I’m travelling by car, I stick to eyes and lips.

    I lovelovelovelovelove M.A.C. eyeshadow and brow powder. They last me forever and ever, and are the only shadows I have EVER used up entirely. Others get tossed long before they get used up. I line my eyes with powder eyeshadow on a brush, but I have hooded eyes so putting anything on my eyelids is kind of a moot point.

    I’ve tried lots of brow pencils and always ended up looking frighteningly Joan Crawford-esque. However, the M.A.C. brow shadow causes these fabulous soft arches to appear where vague and mousy suggestions of brow usually reside and make my eyes really pop without looking scary – especially important when they’re all you can see under my helmet. 🙂

    I also have an intense and abiding love for CoverGirl Outlast lip color. It’s terrific not leaving my lipstick on my coffee cup or my boyfriend, and not having to reapply it constantly. I found that Lizard Lips SPF 22 (from BearDog Products) keeps the color moist without removing it, and tastes _much_ better than that stuff CoverGirl includes with the Outlast.

    Prestige LashMatrix mascara is great for not leaving smooges when my eyes water, because it’s that new formula that makes little tubes on each lash. However, the scent is pretty intense so I don’t usually wear it unless I’m going somewhere in a car.

  9. 9 Sniper
    June 17, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    The plastic surgery issue kills me. We nod our heads knowingly about other cultures or other times with “crazy” beauty customs like foot binding or using lead in cosmetics, but here we are, undergoing surgery to look better. Surgery is always dangerous, it always carries the risk or death or permanent injury. I can’t count the times I’ve heard people casually suggest body changes to others – get your ears pinned, have a reduction, try liposuction. And now I see weight loss surgery touted as a quick and easy route to health and beauty. Just… gross.

  10. 10 Sniper
    June 17, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Okay, I don’t know how I did that, but the previous comment was to the “My Beautiful Mommy” post. Sorry.

  11. June 17, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Heh. Don’t worry, Sniper. We dig your sentiment anyway.

    Kallipyga, yes on if time allows for the makeup! This morning…I just could. not. get. up. So, I had some moisturizer on and lip balm, and that was it for the day.

    And Rachel, you reminded me about promoting the cruelty-free makeup. The upcoming swag post will contain cruelty-free and vegan beauty stuff, cause I don’t want Fluffy and Fido suffering for my beaity products.

    Oh, and for the MAC lovers out there: they have a Friends and Family Promotion on (15% off!) It’s online only, and the code is MACFF8. Hurry, though, because the promotion ends today (June 17) at 11:59 pm PST.

  12. June 17, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for the fake lash advice!

  13. June 18, 2008 at 12:02 am

    I have had pretty bad allergies for nearly my whole life (all of my makeup wearing life, anyhow) so between the sneezing and the itchy eyes, nothing is sensitive enough or durable enough to stay on my face for long.
    If I could truly manage it, though, most days I would love to wear black mascara, something on my cheeks to emphasize my cheekbones, a soft lip pencil in rose color with a moisturizing gloss, and a little eye shadow that brought out the copper tones in my eyes and hair.
    I did my own makeup for my wedding, and it looked pretty good. Not overboard at all. For my best friend’s wedding, a professional did it but my skin completely rejected it — it basically melted off and looked disgusting. Not all of the powder in the world was going to make it work. I don’t know if it was my oily skin or what, but it was awful. I haven’t worn foundation since then, and that was nearly 10 years ago.
    I have huge pores, too.
    Maybe I’ll wear makeup when I’m in my 40s…

  14. June 18, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Once, when we were teenagers, my older brother told me I was too beautiful to wear makeup. Coming from the same kid who had ridiculed and tortured me for sixteen years…well, I almost dropped dead on the spot from shock.

    I wear a full face of makeup daily, basically, but I don’t futz with eyeshadow or blush at the moment. Just foundation, powder, mascara, liquid eyeliner, and lipstick. I like makeup, always have, but I don’t like it enough to spend more than ten minutes on it. On weekends, I go out without any makeup on, and it’s fine.

    When I was a kid, I played with the stuff like nobody’s business. I bought books about makeup and my grandma gave me her old makeup case (with all old tubes of decades-old, god-knows-what to play with) and I painted myself like a clown over and over and over. In high school, I was heavily involved in drama, and we had a really excellent drama teacher and a serious theatre program, so one of my semesters of drama class was devoted entirely to stage-makeup. I learned how to make my nose look crooked, how to give myself a black eye, to make myself look wrinkled, etc. THAT was fun, though totally different from glamour makeup!

    In short, though I’ve never much talked about it because it seemed, well, girly, I’m pretty interested in makeup. Now I’ve just got to cut out that whole “being ashamed of girliness” thing 🙂

  15. 15 MayDarling
    June 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Having also experimented with makeup when I was going through a tomboy phase, I started out with mascara. Nothing exciting, just wet n wild from Walgreens. And then I had friends who worked at the Clinique counter when I was in college. And the obsession (sort of) began there.

    I’ve used everything from Revlon ColorStay (which is actually a really good match for my skintone) to BareMinerals.

    My favorite foundation now is BareMinerals. It doesn’t irritate me or breakdown like traditional liquid/powder foundations. And the brilliance of their eyeshadows is unmatched.

    For mascara DiorShow Black Out is unbeatable. It’s like fake lashes in a tube.

    I’m stuck on Chanel glosses for lips. Great colors, no stickiness and ABSOLUTELY NO TASTE. This is true. Some glosses say they have no taste but their “no taste” tastes like crap. The good people over at Chanel have figured out the no-taste secret.

    I’m always experimenting with different eyeshadows from different places. One thing that is necessary is a good set of brushes. You can have the cheapest, crappiest makeup ever but paint like Botticelli with a great set of brushes.

  16. June 18, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Woo! All the great makeup stories!

    Wellrounded, have you ever tried BareMinerals? I have very contrary skin (like, I’m oily. Like…if you dab my forehead in the afternoon with a napkin, see through the napkin oily. And during my cycle? Zits from HELL, yo.), and I found that the BareMinerals foundation stays ALL DAY. And since it’s minerals, it doesn’t irritate the skin, and there’s no scent (at least, I can’t smell it.)
    And I now realize I’ve just repeated what MayDarling just said. So, in short, I second her BareMinerals love.

    I also use Clinique Clarifying Face powder on days I can’t find the time to swirl, tap, and buff properly. It mattifies well, and on the rare occasion I fall asleep in it, won’t leave me with ginormous zits all over my face.

    Oooh! Brushes! Yeah, I’m a firm believer that one should pay good amounts of money for brushes (so as to avoid them falling apart), but since I refuse to buy brushes made of animal hair, I pay a lot less for mine. As in, I paid $9 for a 9-brush set that also came with a case. More on those beauty bargains in the upcoming swag post (you’ll get that tomorrow).

    And today, just to round out this novel I’ve written in comments, I did a semi-full face. I used the aforementioned face powder, and a combo of Too Faced and Urban Decay eyeshadow, Clinique High Definition Mascara, and I had a combo of MAC lipstick (in PolishedUp) and Urban Decay gloss. Yeah. I was inspired today.

  17. 17 Sherri
    July 30, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Not so much actual make up, but for gorgeous soft lips, try Lizard Lips Natural Lip Balm (SPF 22). It’s really healing and feels amazing on. I’ve actually used the stuff for healing purposes on things like bug bites too. I love it. Comes in different flavors and the SPF makes it great for outdoors too (under lipstick of course). It can sometimes be hard to find, but you can check their website to find retailers in your area – lizardlips.net.

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