I wasn’t interested in make-up for a long time.
My small group of friends in high school didn’t used makeup; it was never on our radar and we were completely oblivious that it was something that others teenagers took interest in. When I went to university, I began to dabble in drugstore foundation and mascara. I’d use it to hide the fact that I’d turn bright red from having a single shot of vodka (this actually worked terribly as I did not apply foundation to my neck). The year I lived in South Korea, I played around with eyeshadow – egads, I was mostly attached to a stick of shimmery orange shadow – when I found a cheap and affordable brand called Face Shop, when it was completely unheard of in North America. Otherwise, I rarely did any makeup, save for Christmas parties or weddings.
About two years ago, I was determined to learn how to do a basic face. The story I told was that I needed to look professional as a substitute teacher as I prepared to move back into the teaching industry in Ontario. The bigger motivation, which I did not reveal, was that I was sick of people thinking I was 24 years old and treating me differently. I constantly had to mention that I’ve been teaching for 8 years and have leadership experience. What subsequently follows are looks of confusion and furrowed brows as they do the mental math and realize that I’m much older than they perceive me to be.
When I made the decision to learn how to apply makeup, I decided that I was going to do it properly. I did a lot of research into finding out which products were vegan and which were not. I also read reviews on Sephora and tried to find high quality products. I would spend a couple of months focusing on one area at a time – how to contour or how to apply eyeliner – and practice consistently, watching YouTube tutorials and trying different techniques. By studying one area at a time, it didn’t feel quite so overwhelming and doing the application became more efficient and natural.
I’ve come a long way. I can do a basic face with a “I barely have makeup on” look in approximately 5 minutes. Given 10 minutes, I can glam it up just slightly. I’m comfortable enough now that photos I’ve posted on Instagram actually have gotten compliments from people who know me in real life and see me regularly. The last new thing I tried out was wearing lip colours for the first time in my life; I played around with Tarte lip stains in January, when I started online dating. I took a break from doing anything new, but last week, I finally brought a fluffy crease brush from Quo to work on the eye crease before applying eye shadow. It’s helped a bit but eyeshadow is pretty much something that everyone struggles with. I’ll keep working on eyeshadow but eventually I’d like to learn how to apply falsies.
If you want a simple tutorial on eyeshadow, check out this video. Enjoy!
Main tips from this video:
- Use concealer to clean up the underside of your brow
- Use a skintone powder to set your primer with it
- Hold the brush away from the farrow so that you have less control of the brush; holding closer to the bristles will give you more control
- Transition shades will help make it look more natural
- Keep in the inner lid bright
- Add eyeliner and/or false eyelashes to finish off the look