Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Journey into Makeup

As you can see from the title, this post is about my reluctant and tumultuous journey into makeup. To me, it was always as if makeup was something that women were born knowing how to put on. That is, every woman except me.  I had no clue as to how to use it, how to make it look good and more importantly, how to make makeup look natural. One thing I hate is looking at a face full of makeup – evident foundation and concealer. 

But makeup also scared me on many other levels. It is like embarking on a transformation into an adult. In my family, no one encouraged me to wear makeup, but no one discouraged me either. While other tween girls were busy rebelling and putting on eyeliner in the bathroom at recess, I was more concerned with whether or not my clothes smelled like yesterday’s dinner! Makeup also meant that I would be hiding my “imperfections” – and while I felt that I had many of these, I could never see myself hiding who I really was. I was ready to take on university, part time jobs and social events with my imperfections in tow. 

But then something changed. I left university and realized that a) I look 16 years old still, and b) as much as I felt that I did not want to hide who I really was; makeup would only serve to enhance my self-image. It seems ridiculously self-serving for me to say this, but I have been feeling that makeup has allowed me to gain access to the corporate world. It is a sad reality that some foundation, concealer and mascara has taken me from being a messy teenager, to becoming a put-together adult. And yet, I still feel as if there is an element of trickery involved in this image. It’s not who I really am. The skin you see is not really how I look underneath. 

But I’m also a realist and know that in an office setting, looks matter. It is the sad reality that I will get more respect if I attempt to hide my scars and acne and meld into the corporate mould of working woman and man. I also believe that it projects a level of self-care, which they are hoping will reflect in your work (which I believe does not, but that’s just my own opinion). 

Now that I’m done with my whole essay, time to get to the good stuff! First of all, the makeup brand that I chose to go with was MAC. Many of my friends who have Pakistani / Indian heritage chose MAC for their foundation brand of choice just because of their colour range. My favourite is the studio finish concealer SPF 35 concealer. It is truly a brilliant product which covers my acne scars, and any redness in one swipe. It is a little drying, so putting it around the eyes is a challenge some mornings, but it is a wonderful product. Next, I use just a bit of the Studio Tech creamy foundation if I want more coverage that day. And I top of all these with my Studio Fix powder plus foundation for an airbrushed and finished look. The MAC ladies were incredibly helpful and matched my skin tones with all the colours, so there was such little work involved for me to do! 

makeup

I just bought a powder brush – Quo Professional Powder Brush – and it has been excellent so far. I’ve heard a lot of negative reviews on makeupalley about the Quo regular powder brush, but the Professional grade one has been excellent so far. It is incredibly soft, and the bristles have not come off as of yet. On the weekends, when I only care for a bit of coverage, I will use this brush to swipe on some of the Studio Fix powder plus foundation and I’ll be ready to go! 

makeup

Next, I’m going to show you my favourite products that I use every morning. I’m a fan of the au-natural look, so I rarely use anything too dramatic. I use just a bit of shimmer on the eyelids from Physicians Formula. This is an excellent pallet for a nice subtle daytime look. I also line my tear ducts and the inside lower rims of my eyes with the gold Revlon luxurious colour pencil in antiqued gold. It creates a shimmery pop that’s so subtle. Next, I use a Quo eyelash curler and Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara. I love this mascara and it separates so well! The Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Cafe au Lait is a nice everyday nude. However, my only problem with this nail colour is it chips much too easily.

So please readers, tell me what you think of my makeup journey. What products do you recommend that I use? Did any of you feel the same when you started to wear makeup?

26 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. As a lover of makeup, I have to say that I disagree, respectfully, with your POV on makeup. I don't think it is something to be seen as a bad thing, or that it "fools" people into thinking you're something you are not. Makeup, like clothes should be used to enhance your natural beauty, and not serve as a mask, though yes I imagine some may use it that way. Makeup gives confidence and allows people to see you at your best - who wants to go around looking like an undone, messy person? As well, to say that people should not be judged by appearances is naive; we judge everything consciously or unconsciously by its appearance somewhat - even the food we choose at the grocery store is judged, and prepared to have a good appearance so as to make it more appealing.

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  3. Oh I was SO the same way!! I think I was 19 or 20 before I figured out the best make-up routine for myself. I, too, like the natural look so for me it was about discovering the wonders of concealer under my eyes and the amazing natural but 'finished' look of tinted moisturizer! I do like my eyes to be a bit dramatic so I often do a winged liner on top - but nothing too OTT. And recently I've gotten into bright colored lipsticks, which are a lot of fun for special occasions :)

    Leia

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  4. I love this post :) I really need to start taking better care of my makeup application again, I feel such a mess.

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  5. I've always had a tumultuous relationship with makeup! I've never been much of a girly girl, so applying makeup in the morning is just extra time that I'm unwilling to set aside. Luckily, my horrible acne during my teen years has vanished and now I have fairly good skin. So for the occasional tinted moisturizer and blush, I pretty go makeup less. But secretly, I wish I was one of those girls with the patience to do it more often :) If done well, makeup can give you that extra polish to any look.

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  6. @MizzJ: Love your comment :) I'm starting to see makeup the same way too, but it just took me a long time to come to that realization!

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  7. Makeup can emphasise certain things and conceal others. Like you can play up your eyes and just use some gloss on your lips or do the opposite.

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  8. I don't need to use makeup because my skin naturally looks airbrushed. Yes, I'm that awesome but you already know that.

    Love,

    Your Sister

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  9. I wish I could rec products, but I'm totally makeup challenged. HA!

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  10. Even though I've never tried it I've heard many good things about MAC cosmetics. It's difficult to give advise. I normally go for the eyes - khol, eye-shadow, mascara, but no lipstick. But then, everyone is different and it's fun trying out new things.

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  11. yay! makeup is one of my favorite things in the world! i have been obsessed since i was in grade school. i do think that makeup can really give you a push to feel more grown up or professional. makeup can really change your attitude.

    i love all mac products, their eyeshadows are wonderful. laura mercier also has ah-mazing skin products. cover girl lash blast in the yellow tube is the best mascara ever. i like nars lipgloss, they have beautiful colors and they aren't sticky. send me an email if you ever have makeup questions. i've tried it all!!!!

    http://laurenlanzaosias.blogspot.com
    clogs. ew.

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  12. I rarely use makeup. I think the last time that I had a makeup on was more than 3 yrs. ago on the day of my wedding!

    I think before putting on anything on your face you must start with a really clean skin. :)

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  13. It looks like you've picked out some great products! I don't have any products to recommend, because obviously, what works for me might not work for everyone else. But I always love to read product reviews on makeupalley.com before I buy anything. Very helpful!

    I definitely think wearing the right makeup can make a woman look polished and put together. Although, it is important not to overdo it for daytime! And I have to say, I wear mascara, eyeliner, concealer, and a little blush every day and people still think I'm in high school. (I'm 22!) Lol.

    I didn't feel the same way about makeup though. I guess it was something I always wanted to play with when I was a kid. When I got to middle school, a lot of the girls my age were wearing makeup, but my mom wouldn't let me. I owned makeup that she let me wear at home though. It was the same thing for my best friend at the time. So her and I would sneak our makeup to school and put on our eyeshadow and whatnot while we were on the school bus. Hahaha! I never got caught, but she did. My mom came to parent's day that year and she saw the other girls putting their makeup on, then decided I could wear it too. Lol.

    Wow, that turned into a long comment. Hahaha!

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  14. I've played with make-up since I was a teenager and my mom actually encouraged it. She was a bit of a beauty junkie and she'd give me all the free Clinique and Estee Lauder products she'd get as a gift with her (numerous) purchases. I've always seen make-up the same way I see clothes - as a way to express your personality rather than hide or mask who you are. If I'm in a great mood, I'll wear bright lipstick - if I'm feeling darker I'll pile on the eyeliner etc.

    I know plenty of people (even in the corporate world) who do without though, so I guess it depends on priorities and preference. Those with great skin can afford to ignore foundation. Many of my friends don't bother and just use mascara or lipgloss.

    By the way, I do love MAC (especially their lipglosses and concealer). And I highly recommend their loose powder - it looks a lot more natural than Studio Fix!

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  15. I loved this post! I feel the exact same way that make-up should only be used to enhance one's natural features and add that little something extra.

    Eternally yours,
    Stephanie

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  16. I admire people who have the patience and creativity to deal with all types of makeup styles and I see it as just another way of expressing or exteriorizing your inner self. I'm against exaggerating, because it could actually hide your true beauty, but I'm all for experimenting!

    Have a lovely Sunday ;)

    http://jungleworldcitizen.blogspot.com/

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  17. I don't see makeup as a false presentation to the world. I believe in putting the best of myself forward, makeup or no makeup. : )

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  18. i have to admit - i don't wear a lot of makeup because i hate having stuff on my face, i have sensitive skin and i just don't have patience...but i respect those who can pull off a flawless look! i'm really into lipgloss/lipsticks and nail polishes.

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  19. Ack! I'm a makeup junkie! I also used to work as a makeup artist and trust me, it takes a lot of time and practice to be good at applying makeup! So don't get discouraged. Eventually it will get to be second nature. That being said, the industry is always coming out with new and interesting products so don't be afraid to experiment. One of the best ways to do so is ask someone to show you how to use a product and ask for samples!

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  20. I think MAC has some really nice products!

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  21. i was the same way, but i started mid-college. I think it's great that you didn't need it to be confident!! please post some pictures, would love to see your journey!!;)

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  22. In many ways, I do not like makeup only because so many people abuse it by wearing far too much.However, I do enjoy adding a touch of highlighter, blush and mascara to freshen my face.I can understand your hesitation but I think when done right make-up can offer a more polished version of one self :) I hope you have fun with it! Wonderful post

    ♥ Marta from With Love...

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  23. The natural look is always the best. xx

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  24. just wanted to say, i hope you're having a very merry christmas!! miss you (and your blogging!) i'm finishing up my college apps right now! i dont plan on going to canada, but i do hope that maybe one day i will meet you! :) g'bless ya!!

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