When people find out that I write a beauty blog in my spare time, be they a new friend or old, I can’t always be sure how the conversation will go. Some seem genuinely surprised and find it to be a very cool hobby, others brush it off like I just told them the sky is blue (presumably because most of my friends know that I love me some makeup). One thing I can predict, though, is that within a few minutes, when it has all sunk in, or perhaps during the next conversation we share, I’ll be asked a question that goes along these lines: “What are the makeup essentials?” If it was that easy, makeup artists, magazine columnists and beauty bloggers alike wouldn’t do what they do and the world would be a very boring place. There is no such thing as a makeup essential; makeup is a very, very personal thing and it takes some time to find what you like and what works for you. What I can share, however, are some “rules” that I hold very near to my heart in regards to makeup. They go something like this:
1. The Power of Makeup
Don’t be fooled, makeup is much more than a creative art form that we happen to apply to our faces. Realizing the truth about makeup and the power it wields/what it can do for any given person is something that I feel every makeup wearer should know. You may laugh, but think about it, people turn to it for various reasons, and those reasons may not necessarily be what you think. Perhaps some apply an extra layer of mascara when they’re feeling blue or wear an extra bright lip when they are feeling under the weather. I haven’t really talked about what makeup does/did for me publicly before, but now’s a good a time as any. When I first came out of my brain surgery nearly 5 summers ago, makeup went from being something I liked and would occasionally look at to a total obsession. I would peruse the aisles of Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall, trying to find the next product I could own and I literally befriended the makeup artists at Sephora and MAC, I was in there so often. Now that I look back at it, I realize that I used makeup and the beauty world as my coping mechanism (you know, besides food :P). I had just been through such a traumatic experience, and my world went from normal, to me nearly dying, to normal again in the space of 2 1/2 months, so I guess I turned to an outside force to get me through it. Don’t get me wrong, I am still a makeup lover (and borderline hoarder) today, but I do believe that looking at beautiful press release photos and buying yet another MAC lipstick (hence why my little makeup collection that consisted of 2 mascaras and a few lip glosses grew to what my friends lovingly call “The Makeup Store” almost overnight) made it easier to get through what I still view as my most difficult year on the planet. Makeup does things to you. Not to get all cheesy, but it can easily make you feel all warm and fuzzy (much like it did for me in 2010), sexy or even dreadful (when applied incorrectly or when covering up for a deeper issue, like lack of self-esteem or the like). I guess that’s why they call it make up… 😉
OH MY. I had to go an get all seriously deep on you right away. I’m sorry…let’s move on!
2. No Makeup, No Problem
You know that saying, “Makeup is a supplement, not a requirement“? Believe it. Far too often I hear women say “I can’t leave the house without my makeup on.” The first question that always pops in my head when I hear this is “WHY!?” Why on Earth have we all become so cynical or judgmental that women don’t feel confident enough to leave the house without some makeup on their face!? Let me just clear this up right now, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL (in every single way… :)). So you have a few breakouts or dark undereye circles…we’re all human, aren’t we? That’s what makes us real. Nobody is perfect; don’t hate it, embrace it. And guess what? You didn’t come into this world wearing makeup (or at least I HOPE NOT), and chances are, you won’t leave it wearing any, so ditch the cosmetics from time to time, okay? I truly believe, deep down in my heart, that makeup is not and should not be considered a necessity. Sure, wearing it can make a person feel more confident, or maybe you wear it because you genuinely like the application process or makeup in general (like me), but it doesn’t make you who you are. Cosmetics are just an external layer. What makes you you and what makes you beautiful comes from within you, and trust me when I say that there is beauty in all of us. Plus, it’s good to give your skin a breather every once in a while; wearing makeup day in, day out is actually pretty bad for you. So, ditch the makeup and find the confidence within you to break free of the “perfect” mold that you put yourself in. You can do it, beauty! 🙂 #beautifulwithoutmakeup
3. Skip the Pancakes
This one is a touchy subject but it’s something I see often, and it actually pains me when I do. I had to include this as one of my “rules” because unfortunately, this would be the most common “makeup crime” I see day-to-day. Makeup is a tool that is meant to enhance a person’s natural beauty, not undermine, fake or replace it. So many people forget that when they apply their makeup as they get ready, and it honestly looks like they’ve slapped a complexion-coloured pancake on their face and tried to make it work. It doesn’t. It never will. Sorry, but I’m not really sorry, it’s the truth. Take it slowly when you apply your makeup. Apply products in thin, even layers. Look in the mirror frequently when you do. Check what it looks like on a regular basis. If you have the time, consult your favourite beauty guideline books or the internet (YouTube, your favourite beauty bloggers, etc.) if you feel you may have done something wrong. Or, given the chance, remove it and start fresh. Maybe even ask a friend’s opinion when you see them, because there’s nothing worse than looking at a pancake face, especially when we are all beautiful in our own way. If you do feel like you need extraordinary amounts of it on any given day, easy there, back up a sec. Much like anything else, it’s much easier to make something work for you if you build up to it rather than the ol’ slap and go. If you have a scar that you’d rather the world not see, or a really annoying patch of dry skin, focus on the root of the problem. Your skin is acting out? Could it be hormones? Your diet? Maybe you’re not drinking enough water? Or maybe that new serum that you’re trying isn’t working for your delicate skin! Or, say, you’ve got darker undereye circles than normal, instead of slapping on your heaviest concealer in an attempt to hide it from the world (which, by the way, it doesn’t. In fact, seeing lots and lots of makeup on any given area of the face just calls attention to it, as it isn’t “normal” to be walking around with what looks like inches of makeup on), try an undereye mask or strategically applying eyeshadow to take attention away from it (ie. skip the mascara on the bottom lashes and use lighter eyeshadow and darker eyeliner on the lids :)). There’s always other options to make your current situation work for you. And it isn’t applying 40 extra layers of foundation, I promise. Always remember: makeup is just an outer layer. Furthermore, it’s a layer that shouldn’t be obvious. Subtlety is key.
4. Be YOU...
…there’s only one of you on the planet, so you might as well! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, both literally and figuratively speaking. With makeup, as with everything, you need to find your own unique style. When I first got into makeup, I got pulled in by eyeshadow and bought every eyeshadow under the sun (see point #1). However, once I found my makeup style, which is more of a laidback approach, if you were wondering, I settled into using the products that I still use today. Then, I was all about the eyeshadows, be they bright or neutral, whereas now, I mainly stick to simple looks on top (read: no eyeshadow, some liner and tons of mascara) with either a nude lip or a bold one, depending on how I feel. In fact, it was so common for me to go full out with my eyeshadow, I used to have to tell people when they were doing my makeup to focus on somewhere else on my face, as it grew boring to walk out of MAC events as “the girl with the crazy eyeshadow” (makeup artists tend to enjoy my dark complexion because I can pull near anything off…fun for awhile but then it gets annoying; I’d literally walk out looking like a clown…yea, not a good look). Don’t get me wrong, I still wear eyeshadow sometimes but it’s not my “go-to” (aka lazy girl) look, and if I do, I usually play it low-key with taupes, bronzes or other neutrals. When I first “discovered” the different albeit beautiful look that took the attention off my eyes and how well it worked for both my character and my time schedule, it took some getting used to. In other words, I think my parents and close friends were a little thrown off by me busting out deep red lips in the middle of the day (I’ve been known to wear Hourglass Icon to school or Starbucks with no regrets :P, I just like how it looks and makes me feel), but I’m just being me, you know? And who would’ve guessed it, this look that I absolutely love has now become my signature look! With some time, practice and listening to yourself and not what others expect you to do, you’ll find your signature look, too.
5. Have FUN!
You may or may not have noticed that everytime I’ve used the word rule today, I’ve put quotes around it. That’s because, with makeup, there simply aren’t any!!! Suggestions, yes. Guidelines, sure. Rules? Nope, not here! Don’t take things too seriously! Experiment. Mix things up. Explore. Don’t let anything – be it judgement, stares, what other people do, etc. – confine you. So you really like smokey eyes and don’t think they should be saved for nighttime. Or, you really enjoy the look of glitter eyeliner, so you wear it more often than others recommend. So what!? Is applying that gorgeous smokey eye or playful glitter eyeliner hurting anyone? No, didn’t think so. Go for it. Honestly, makeup is all about being true to yourself and making only one person happy, you. Forget the haters, so the speak. Do your thing. At the end of the day, you have to live with and more importantly, love yourself. I certainly don’t want to look back in 60 years and say “If I’d only worn turquoise eyeliner more often,” or, “I should have bought that bright purple lipstick, despite what my friends said.” Makeup provides pleasure, in various aspects, hence why it can be considered an art form. Let it please you. Have fun. Smile. Laugh. Play. Basically, break the rules!
Well, there you have it! I know, I know, that was a mega-long post, but these things needed to be discussed. Now, you can go further into the makeup world armed with the 5 essential (ha, see what I did there?!) facts you need to know. With these thoughts/tips/suggestions/”rules” in your arsenal, nothing can stop you now! Good luck on the colourful, glorious journey, friend! You might want to buckle up, it’s a wild (but awesome) ride! 😉 😀 ♥ #makeuploverforever
So, tell me, what are some “rules” you consider important enough that you think everyone should know? You know what to do! ↓
Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to comment below should you have any questions or anything, I’d love to chat! 🙂
Until next time,