One of my intentions for 2019 is that this will be the year that I will figure out makeup. I have a confession to make. I suck at makeup. Always did. But then, I had this realization. Perhaps if I practiced everyday I could improve. I applied makeup everyday for 60 days. Here is what happened next. This is my first makeup tutorial. Watch this video first and then read the story below.
Makeup has always felt intimidating for me. The Chanel or Dior makeup counter always seemed out of my league. Not because I couldn’t afford the products on display, but because the women operating them looked like I would need to go to etiquette school before I was allowed to talk to them. As I helped my own daughter prepare for prom, I felt so helpless. “I suck at makeup” I would say feeling sad. I couldn’t advice them on how to apply makeup and so I hired a makeup artist to do the job instead. It was that experience that sparked a thought inside my mind: “Why can’t I figure out makeup? How hard can it be?”
Today the world of makeup is far more approachable than it used to be in my youth. Sephora has a fun down to earth atmosphere. The staff there seem like average people you can actually talk to. Best of all you have access to magical world of makeup tutorials on youTube. Into the rabbit hole I jumped with both feet. Watching one makeup tutorial after another. Today you can watch a world renowned makeup artist practice their trade and the everyday amateur attempting it in a variety of styles.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. “ — Rumi
I told myself that I didn’t wear makeup because I am authentic. I suck at makeup on purpose. The truth is that I am terrified of it. Simone De Beauvoir said that:”One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” If that maybe true then I wish to give myself a choice. Paint my face when the mood strikes. Expose naked cheeks to the sun when a need is eclipsed by practicality.
I have tried applying makeup in the past. It always ended in disappointment. I would give up. What is it that makes makeup look glamorous on others and dreadful on me? Is it in the genes? Tools? A right combination of products? Skill? Or is it a magical combination of all the above?
And then I had a radical idea. Perhaps, like many things in life, it requires practice.
And so I decided to apply makeup daily until I became good at it.
Routine is my friend.
The thing about applying makeup is that you are forced to stare into a mirror looking for flaws. I want to look away. But I force myself. I keep on looking. Perhaps this is why makeup is so hard. Excessive self confrontation generates frictional thoughts.
Each time I apply lip gloss I feel like I ate a greasy meal and forgot to wash up afterwards.
There is a mascara called “Better Than Sex”. If a mascara is better than sex then you should change partners.
Prepare to discover sections of your eyes you didn’t know you had.
Makeup is a leisurely pursuit, you must approach it with an air of impracticality. You spend money on a product, buy a specialized brush for application and end up with a light wash of color. The practical side of me wants clownish cheeks and neon eyeshadow. But that is the wrong goal. Layers of subtlety. You need to put yourself into a feminine frame of mind to apply makeup.
Aim for impractical goals.
It’s not about appearance, it about the fantasy of what you wish you can become.
Some mornings I pray for a miracle. Others I prepare myself to face with frosty cool. And then there are days that I hope will be forgotten by everybody involved, including myself.
After several weeks, I realize that this practice is meditative. Rumi said:”There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Such a luxury to spend time on myself, daily. A ritual. A practice.
Some say that make up is a form of armor. But I found it’s effect radically disarming.
The thing about developing a habit of applying makeup is that I stare daily into my eyes. After about two months, I saw beauty.
Perhaps that is the point of makeup.
What do you think of my makeup tutorial? Do you have an experience with makeup you would like to share? Leave me a comment below.