Know what’s a little too ironic for my liking?
The amount of make-up it takes to achieve the so-called “natural” look.
I decided yesterday that I’d note down just how much work I actually put into my normal make-up routine. As far as I can tell, the only difference between natural and going out (for me anyway) is merely a matter of how dark I’m willing to go with my eye shadow and foundation. And even then, that difference isn’t too great. I’m definitely doing something wrong.
Once I’d actually stopped to take photos every time I put something new on my face (and the above collage is actually just a sample of the bunch) I felt a little bit embarrassed at how much product I was using without really understanding why I needed it all. If I’m being completely honest, there’s things in my make-up bag which I’m still not quite sure what I need them for.
Examples: I’m pretty sure moisturising is something I should be doing every day, but maybe I’m overdoing it? Also – is there genuine proof that primer really works? Are we kidding ourselves with all the little brushes we buy for applying makeup?
I really do have no idea what I’m doing. I think I’d better do some investigating into make-up products in the next while to see how many make-up faux pas’ I’m secretly making.
Anyway… here’s my list of everything that went on my face yesterday when I was doing my make-up. I added an explanation (which may or may not be accurate) for them all too:
1. Moisturiser. It’s key. Always. After a shower, before bed, make-up and everything else really.
2. Primer. Not that I’m entirely sure why, but apparently it makes the foundation for the foundation a little bit more flawless and holds it in place for longer. I’m not sure I fully understand it, all I know is that I do it.
3. Foundation. Usually applied with a make-up brush that I’m not entirely sure is meant for foundation, this part I’ve down to a tee since I’ve been smothering myself in it since I was 14. It makes “natural” me look a little bit less pasty white. See pics.
4. Pressed Powder. In lay man terms, powder is yet another thing to keep you make-up lasting longer while also taking that shiny look off a person’s face just in case they find themselves a tad too reflective in photos or general cafe lighting. Oh and the massive downside to pressed powder is that it’s near impossible not to get it all over your dress in the process of putting it on.
5. Bronzer. 6. Blusher and 7. Highlighter. I used to believe that these could never go hand in hand – either I had sun goddess OR rosy winter cheekbones. Never both. Then I watched a YouTube tutorial (as well as a bit of advice from friends) and learnt that if you really want to con people into thinking that you’ve got amazing bone structure, it’s all about playing with the lighting. Which, by the way, I still am no where near mastering.. yet. Top of the cheekbone gets covered in highlighter, then blusher, then bronzer beneath. It’s something to do with shadowing apparently. I do it because I’m told to, not because I know what I’m at. Know a word that’s only come into my dictionary in recent years? Contouring. Google it. Be amazed.
8. Eye Shadow (and primer). Even for the everyday make-up routine, I always apply a really light shade of eye shadow. Isn’t that what the Naked Palette was created for anyway? But somewhere down the line I was convinced to buy eye shadow primer too, so that goes on first again. See above explanation in point 2.
9. Eye Liner. This doesn’t go on all the time granted, but every now and again I like to think that I’m rocking some sort of 50s look with a flick of liquid liner. 16 year old emo me perfected it (along with backcombing, but that explanation is coming soon… sit tight) and since I moved on from my heavy eye liner phase, I’ve really lost my “draw in a straight line across your eye” touch. Can’t do it, won’t do it. Makes far too much of a mess when I try. Still, when it works…. it works.
10. Mascara (and eye lash curlers). I learnt the hairdryer trick a few years ago before heading out. Holding the eye lash curlers under the hairdryer for ten seconds or so before using them turns them into mini heated rollers. They work excellently. Then on goes the mascara and BAM. Twiggy eyes. I know I clump my lashes too much, but I like it that way… and so it stays.
11. Eye brow pencil. This I genuinely swear by. Sometimes, when it’s been far too long since my last trip to a beautician, an eye brow pencil can work miracles. Frida Kahlo eat your heart out.
12. Lipstick. When all else is lost, a slap of lipstick makes everyone seem classier. Or better dressed. Or maybe even just more put together. Either way, it’s also key for my make-up routines. I haven’t really ventured into lip liner much, but I’d be open to learning. I mean, I might as well use 13 products on my face as 12.
13. (Additional step) – Backcombing and hairspray. Because sometimes the L’Oreal ads lie and volume can’t be achieved from a shampoo bottle. See that above lion mane photo? That’s mid-backcomb. I eventually brush it down and make it look more manageable..
So there you have it. That said, I’m pretty sure I’m average in make-up routine respects and that I’m not putting an abnormal amount of make-up on my face. We’re all just a bit ridiculous really.