Picture this - I’m hunched over the bathroom sink, leering at myself in the mirror, a dirty makeup brush in one hand, a preemptive wipe in the other. The counter is cluttered with strange Ulta Beauty products, all in the cheapest price range. My eyes are smudged all over with mascara and this deep purple shadow, which I’ve undoubtedly used the wrong brush for, and which half of it has already landed on my cheekbone. “Fallout”, I’ve been told that was.
Yeah, I’m not good at makeup. Lord knows I’ve tried. There’s just so many rules and methods and products there’s no real way to get started!
I’ve tried the beginner tutorial videos on Youtube, and while I consider myself *not unintelligent*, most of the words go right over my head. “Beating my face” was a term I likened with assault. “Baking” was a word used in the kitchen. Setting? Strobing? Foiling? Smoking? Overlining? CUT CREASE? I’m better off learning a new language.
And, oh dear. The brushes. And the godforsaken rules that govern them. Apparently there are very specific areas of your face where you use an angled brush, or a big fluffy one, or a tiny pointed one. And should you use the wrong brush in the wrong area, you will receive a very stern lecture from a well-versed friend should they see you commit such a crime.
I even manage to mess up the more simple types of makeup. Mascara seems easy enough - you dip a brush in some ink, whisk it on your lashes, and they’re made long and beautiful. Not so simple, I’ve found. No, no, you have to look in a certain direction if you’re going to avoid painting your eyelids with the same inky brushstroke. There is hardly ever a tightrope walk like that.
How about lipstick? We’ve all seen people put it on. Just a quick swipe over the lips and you’re all set. But what I did not understand was that the “cupid’s bow”, the outline of your lip, is a minefield. If you don’t put enough on this area, your lips look too thin; if you put too much, you look like Miranda Sings. Since that harrowing experience, I’ve found a home in lip balm.
However, over time, you pick up on a few concepts, bit by bit. Now, whenever I apply mascara, it only takes me two mistakes before I have a clean eye, rather than four. I understand a little better how some brushes are meant for blending and some are meant for very precise dabs. But I did make a vow that lipstick is never going to be in my arsenal. Sorry to all the lipstick lovers out there, it’s just more than I can handle.
So, from one makeup novice to another, I’m here to say that there’s light at the end of the smudgy, stained, splotched tunnel. Let your friends show you how it’s done - you can learn a lot by observing. Get quality products - good pigmentation will give you the look you want. And make sure you have a recent dictionary on hand to help you with the terminology - it’s a jungle out there.