Posts Tagged ‘eye makeup’

No Shame In Your Game

You know how it is:  you see a picture of something on Facebook, then your mind wanders to something related in your own life, then perhaps you reflect on the past.  A post about makeup brushes today had me thinking about the first one I bought, which in turn had me thinking about you.  Yes, you.

Over many, many years I’ve had many, many clients say things like, “Oh, I don’t know how to do it like you do,” or, “Brushes confuse me,” or, “I’m embarrassed I’ve reached this age knowing nothing about makeup.”

(I would like to break away for a moment to address that–even though makeup is my business–knowing about makeup is not a life-requirement for anyone.  We could all live a whole life never knowing how to put on eye shadow and life would still happen joyously.  Makeup is fun and can be functional, but it is by no means necessary.  I definitely do not think anyone should feel shame for not being versed in it…at any age.  I’m specifically talking to the people who are interested in makeup and who want to learn about it.)

I cannot draw.  I cannot paint.  I have tremendous difficulty summoning a unique picture from scratch.  Where my specific Visual Arts talent lies is in being able to look at someone’s face and determine the best way to bring forth their features.  This is why I’m a beauty artist and why, though I have mad respect for it, I do not work in latex and F/X.   That is what gives me my ability to do makeup as a job, but my clients don’t even need that specific talent to be able to do their own faces.

Also, though I’ve always been drawn to the beauty industry as a consumer, large swaths of it puzzled me.  That first makeup brush I mentioned?  I bought it in the earliest of the 90s, back in those pre-internet days when Anita Roddick still owned The Body Shop and the only way my small-town Illinois self could acquire any was mail order.  I bought a brush from the Barbara Daly Colourings line.  I felt like such a big deal when it arrived, yet I had no idea what to do with it.  It didn’t seem to work with my shadows, and I was young enough to not be bothering with concealer at the time, so I sort of collected it.  It sat in my Caboodle looking all grown up, getting dirty from other makeup that would shed onto it–but never from actual use.  Makeup obsessed as I was, I was still using sponge-tipped applicators and my own fingers to put on my eyes, just like many of my clients do today.

I taught myself liquid liner by using a regular pencil as a guideline until I got the knack, but the cool, blended eye shadow looks eluded me.  It was not until I got a job in retail makeup that I started figuring out how to properly use brushes, what brush did what, and the difference they made.  I also did not figure out until then that my beloved Colourings brush was not useless–it was only useless with my thinly pigmented drugstore shadows at the time.  Who knew?  Not me, not until I was shown.

I was self-taught on a lot of different makeup techniques, but everything went a lot faster (and looked a lot better) when I allowed other people to explain things to me.  After that, it was a lot of practice.  I did not pick up that very first palette (Merle Norman, btw; it belonged to my friend Angie) and go to town expertly because I had some latent inner artist.  I had to practice techniques.  Even now, sometimes I’ll go to try something on myself and say, “Oh…no, no, no, not doing that today.”

If you want to learn how to put makeup on yourself, you can do it.  You may need to be taught and–sorry–you may have to practice a bit, but you’ve got it in you.  Brushes confound you?  They did me, too.  Techniques elude you?  They did me, too. I do not care if you are 18 or if you are 80.  If I can go from being flummoxed by my first brush to being a professional makeup artist, I promise you that I (or someone like me) can teach you how to do your own face.

Next Level That Eye Game

Anyone who has been in my orbit while I have talked about makeup has surely heard me passionately extol the virtues of shadow primer. Though there are a whole range of high end primers that work quite well (Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Urban Decay Primer Potion, etc.), this is one of those cases where a drugstore/bargain buy can actually keep up with the big girls. Nyx’s Proof It eye shadow primer holds its own with all my former department store favorites for boosting the pigment and wear of your powder eye shadows. It is tough to beat that level of performance for $6.99 a tube at Ulta…and it is often buy one get one 50% off there, too (plus Ulta always has a $3.50 off $10 or $15 coupon to stack).
If you do not regularly use–or have never used–a shadow primer with your eye shadows, you are depriving yourself and your shadows peak performance and wear. Believe me now and thank me later.