Friday, 23 December 2011

Make-up transformation!

I wanted to do a post on make-up and how much better it makes me feel. On the days I roll out of bed and stumble bleary-eyed to the bathroom (most days) at the very least I know in a few minutes I can improve my face so I look awake and feel more attractive. I'm 33, I'm starting to get wrinkles, I had a whole teen-hood with acne, major acne that continues to reoccur when I eat badly or drink too much alcohol. Pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones give me clear skin, but the dreaded pustules are lurking threateningly, waiting for a chance to rear their ugly (white)heads.

So from about the age of 15 I learned to apply make-up to improve the appearance of my skin. Our catholic girls school forbade it, so it had to be subtle, just concealer and a little foundation in places, sometimes some brown eyeliner. My pale eyelashes have always been something I loathed. I hated the "piggy-eyed" look I have without mascara. I used to wish for sallow skin that tanned, and glossy chestnut hair and dark eyelashes. I tried tinting my lashes for a while, but the strong chemicals burning my eyeballs were so uncomfortable I gave up. Now I don't mind the pale eyelashes so much, and I realise I don't have the need to wax/bleach other areas the way darker haired women do, so I'm probably lucky in that way.

Performing arts college forbade make-up too, and we had to dress in all-black. So for two years in my twenties I was expected to go bare-faced into town and spend my days in college, with a naked face?! I got really good at a "natural look" which ALWAYS included a coat of brown-black mascara. When I first got together with Barry, and would stay over in his (parents!) house, the next morning would see me scrabbling around for some semblance of make-up to improve my face. Once, caught with no make-up at all, I grabbed a black BIRO! and lined my eyes badly, but I felt it was better than nothing. Ouch, did that scrape!

Now that I'm a working adult I wear make-up to appear groomed and professional. I've noticed people speak to me differently. If I go to the local shops in a tracksuit with no make-up, or if I go in "nicer" clothes and made-up I get a totally different reaction. Especially if I wear deep red/pink lipstick. It just goes to show how much appearances count. You can give out about it, or you can go with it. I've gone to both extremes. In Australia on our gap year, I got into the whole "rainbow child" way of life, going everywhere barefoot, and stopped shaving completely for a few months. The hair under my arms grew to about an inch long and I felt like a 70s hippy. I swear I didn't look in a mirror for about 4 months straight. Nowadays I really enjoy experimenting with my "look", and I don't have a signature "style". Some days I am "rocker mom" in black, with a smoky eye and deliberately messed-up hair. Some days I'm all classic in a navy and white breton striped top, slim trousers and simple hair and make-up. Some days I want to be a 40s pin-up, so on goes the pencil skirt, the tight cardigan, the winged liner and the red lippy...

This week I just took a break from it all, and as I have only left the house once in 9 days I'm officially hibernating. I wore no make-up all week, except when having visitors, because I'm too vain/insecure to even entertain people in my own house without a little make-up. Part of it is respect for other people, I think it shows you are respectful of them if you put a bit of thought into what you're wearing and how you're looking, i.e. a bit groomed. The only real time I've not bothered with this was after my births when people visited and I was "au naturel" (as in naked face, not naked body!) Barry prefers me without make-up (the perfect line, isn't it?!) and Charlie gives out to me if I wear my hair in a ponytail, he likes it down. I'm uncomfortable looking at the first few photos below, until I start to see my eyes becoming defined, sad isn't it? I love the photos of celebrities running to the shops with no make-up,  love how "normal" they are; you'd walk past them in the street. It makes me feel better to know Cameron Diaz has acne, and Jennifer Lopez does major make-up contouring to get the look we all know as the sexy J-Lo. (That said I haven't read a celebrity gossip magazine in a few years, I'm actually a bit sickened at the exploitation of their private lives by themselves and the media)

I photographed every stage of my normal make-up routine. I change a product or two every day, I have a thing about never wearing the exact same outfit or "face" twice, probaby comes from the unspoken peer-pressure as a teen to always have a great outfit to compete with the other girls!

With moisturiser
Bronzer contouring sides of face and forehead
Eyebrow pencil
Cream-coloured eyeshadow highlighting inner eyes and browbone
Brown eyeshadow in the crease of eye
Concealer around eyes
Winged eyeliner
First coat of mascara
Second coat of mascara
White eyepencil on waterline

I've compiled the shots into a video on my youtube channel, please click below!

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