What I’ve Learned About Makeup (So Far)

Art by Nyanza D
Art by Nyanza D

My relationship with makeup has always been somewhat complicated. Growing up living with my father and two brothers, I never much thought about it outside of plays and dance recitals. Even when I would spend time with my mother and started to play with her makeup, I was always chastised for even touching it. In high school, I could never really afford it. But recently I’ve become obsessed with improving myself. I never really thought I had bad skin until I looked in the mirror one day and discovered that I had dark spots. I then went on a quest to wear more makeup to not only cover the dark circles and hyper pigmentation, but to look more put together in general. Here are some of things I’ve learned

  1. It’s time consuming: Initially I thought that I would be able to work my occasional novice 30 minute makeup down to a solid 10 minutes, but I haven’t quite figured out the technique. Even doing a simple concealer-powder-mascara routine seems to take me forever. I’ve often found myself being late or barely on time to class because I was trying to get my eyeliner just right. I didn’t realize how long it would take to have self-esteem (sorry, bad joke!)
  2. There is just not enough variety for women with darker skin: I’ve heard that it’s become much better, but the fact still remains that it’s impossible to find the right shade for darker skin, even if companies offer darker shades. If they do, it’s usually a choice between two colors and I’m usually neither of them. I’ve noticed that when makeup companies say dark what they usually mean is dark-white. And when they say mocha or chocolate, they usually mean light brown. Even when makeup companies do have darker shades, they are never the right undertone
  3. Comments from others can trip you up: It was strange to have people start to notice things about you. All of a sudden I was getting compliments on my skin, cheekbones, eyelashes, etc. Even what I thought were some of my best features felt inadequate without makeup. Whenever I decided to not wear makeup or I didn’t have time, I just felt bare.
  4. It doesn’t always equal confidence: When your makeup looks great, you feel great. When you’re not sure about your foundation shade or how much blush you put on, it can feel strange. Sometimes I’ve found myself just taking it off because I wasn’t sure how I looked.
  5. Makeup tutorials can be deceiving: While they can be great resources and interesting to watch, I’ve often found it hard to discover makeup tutorials that really apply to me and my lifestyle. Every other video contains highlighting, contouring, baking, bronzing, two different primers, and so on. While it’s fun to watch, this doesn’t always help me. I’m fine with my cheekbones and the shape of my nose and I don’t need or want to wear heavy coverage. These makeup tutorials aren’t very useful to me. Originally I thought I needed all the things described in these videos and then I realized that it’s just not realistic. The eye looks are fun though!
  6. Its fun: It’s fun to experiment and try out new projects and play with your look.

Ultimately what I learned is that while it can be frustrating and tricky, it is a fun and fascinating way to spend your time.

One thought

  1. Hi, I’m Donna and I’m obsessed with makeup. Now, I say I’m obsessed don’t mistake that for a makeup genius. I have so much make-up in my bathroom at the current moment, I had to get another bin for it (I know, ridiculous, but whatever). Like you, I get frustrated still even after putting it on since I was 17. I watch the YouTube tutorials, I read blogs, I try new shit, but I’m usually frustrated!
    I always hate when I go somewhere or someone comes over and they’re like “Oh, you look so great today, your face is so glow-y”and I think “damn, do I look like a walking zombie without makeup?” Oh make-up, such a love/hate relationship 🙂

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