I was young when I started using makeup. But I didn’t use a whole lot. I only used eyeliner. I have a condition called trichotillomania. It’s a condition where a person pulls out their hair. It’s uncontrollable and generally starts in puberty. Something I learned is that when not addressed early enough, it is rather hard to stop. I won’t go into it, but it is one of the reasons I wear eyeliner to this day. I do still have trichotillomania. I was never treated early enough. It began when I was 13. I began wearing eyeliner, even to bed because I was that self-conscious about it, at age 15. For a long while, I wore it every day. Now, I don’t wear it every day. Some days I may not wear it when I go out, like taking our garbage or checking the mail. But I do wear it if I have to go somewhere. Sometimes that’s the only thing I put on. It’s rare to catch me without it outside of the house. Or in a picture.
I started to wear makeup in my last year of high school sparingly. My stepdad has an amazing eye for colors, and so he helped pick them out. He is even really good at picking out something someone would like. It’s not common in all guys. I started with neutral colors, maybe a bit of pink. I didn’t start to really know how to put makeup on, though, until just a few years ago. I am almost 40. It took me that long. But in the short 10-ish years, I have started using makeup. There are at least 5 things worth mentioning in what I have learned.
1. Start Small with Makeup
You don’t need to go all out when you first wear makeup. I think that’s what most teens do when they experiment. Or even little girls do, and even some boys. Many makeup artists are male, so don’t get too upset if your little boy does this. He may grow up to be a famous makeup artist to the celebrities. Start with tinted lip glosses. Avon sells Dew Kiss Lip Dew. It adds just a tint of color to your lips. I started using that at 15 as well. Mostly to keep my lips soft, but I liked the color it added. It is a long-time favorite for many. Maybe do some eyeliner and mascara but no eyeshadow. Keep it simple. Watch videos or ask friends and family about their techniques for applying makeup. You can practice at home even if you aren’t going anywhere, and since you can take a selfie now, use that to see how you like it.
2. Don’t Do It for Others, Do It for You
One of the many things I think girls and women may feel is that they should do it for others. Yes, some men and women are shallow and will base how you look on how they treat you and how they say others will treat you. The fact of the matter is, do it for yourself. Especially if someone finds out, there may be a deep meaning as to why you do it. Such as people with noticeable scars or birthmarks or skin conditions you want to mask. I say let your real you come out, but if you really want to hide it, that is your choice. Not others, and if they find out what you look like without makeup and chastise you for it, well, they aren’t a great person to be around, to begin with. Makeup should be something to enhance how you feel about yourself. Yes, many celebs do it for appearance’s sake. But that’s the message we get, and sometimes for the wrong reason. They have to represent a brand that isn’t everyone. Make your own personal brand. The more authentic, the more real you are about it. And you don’t need to wear makeup each time you walk out the door. Some women fear too much about being seen with no makeup. Relax. You are human.
3. Don’t Overdo Makeup
It may come as a contradiction from the previous lesson I mentioned. You don’t need to do a whole lot sometimes. Yes, the no-makeup makeup look does take more effort than most people think, but at the same token, you don’t need so much makeup it looks like you could leave a dent just by touching it. You don’t need overly bright colors if it takes away from another feature. Smokey eye looks can go wrong. I saw a girl back in high school with what would be a good example of raccoon eyes. I tried hard not to look for too long. I am sure she was trying to do an emo look, but even the way she did it was a bit too much. The rest of her looked fine.
4. Take a Break
It’s fine to take a break from wearing makeup. Let your skin be skin. Someone sees you without makeup, oh well. It’s your day off from makeup. It isn’t a must just to be seen. Any non-shallow person will not judge you for being without makeup. Even today, I am not wearing any. I’m writing.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
Not all of us are great at applying makeup. So practice is a must. I still can’t do some eyeliner lines without using that tape as a guide. I hate the tape. It bugs my face, but it helps. Getting it right takes practice. Contouring takes work. You have to blend so much and know where to highlight and contour for your face shape. What parts do you want to accentuate? Sometimes though, there’s a feature you want to even out, and even some guides won’t be helpful. If you can ask a professional about it, then that helps too. I took a stage class in high school for one year. We learned not just about the types of theatres plays were done in history and another theatre history as well, we learned about plays and stage setup and even using stage makeup. I then knew why the news lady on tv had such a highlight on her nose. It was to bring out her nose as a feature. On the stage, contouring helps with what image you want to set for your character, along with lighting. If you are playing an elderly person, it’s not just using a nose prosthetic, but also the way makeup is used to give the idea you are older than you are. And that type of technique takes practice. It’s the same with everyday makeup. I get told a lot that I look like I’m 20. This is without makeup on. It doesn’t help I have a lean build and am short, and have no chest. But my face apparently looks young. So, with makeup, I use techniques to make myself appear older. But it takes practice to get it right when you are learning. Also, I am actually closer to 40. Yes, I know. Take it as a compliment. But that’s hard when you get treated like you don’t know anything and couldn’t possibly have three kids, much less one who is 16. Tell me I look 20 years younger in ten years.
What are some things you have learned about makeup? Share in the comments.