So, I have a confession. I’ve only recently gotten into makeup, and of course, there’s a story behind it. There doesn’t have to be, but it’s me: there’s a story (that I desperately want to tell) behind everything. It was my best friend’s wedding, summer 2013, and I had flown out to Canada with my very-soon-to-be-boyfriend. Before this point, I actually cannot remember what make up products I owned – I definitely owned some, as I would wear foundation and mascara daily. But I had never touched my eyebrows, didn’t know how to do wings or cat eyes, and I owned two trusty lipsticks (one of which had been a gift).
At the wedding we had our makeup done by another bridesmaid, and I knew of her (as well as the bride’s) makeup prowess – I followed them on, and had actually met them on, Tumblr! I was constantly awed by their eyebrows, by the way their faces looked sculpted, but I just didn’t know where to begin. Their selfies were so glamorous, and mine, believe it or not, were seriously lacking (!!). I made up for the lack of makeup by doing radical things to my hair and putting metal in my face – you know, other ways to seem like an interesting and dynamic person! SO at the wedding, Amber did our makeup: she filled in my eyebrows, she taught me how to exfoliate my lips, and she gave me eyeliner wings. I was totally enthralled, and totally inspired.
Bemused by this, the bride gifted me my first ever eyeliner pencil: Marcelle, in Granite, a soft grey for my blonde pale brows. And so it began! After travelling, I went back to Australia for a surgery (funnily enough, the same one I’m recovering from at the moment – but on my left ankle and foot), and during the recovery period I decided to try doing wings myself! I was pleased as punch. And, so began the “I can do this too!”
It wasn’t until I had fully recovered from surgery that I did my first real makeup shop: Sephora! Oh my god. Every trip of mine to Sephora lasts a minimum of an hour and a half. I racked up points on my card in no time. Initially as well, I made a rookie mistake – I went for brand power, thinking expensive makeup would be magically better, that it might hide my amateur abilities. A Smashbox doubled ended brow pencil with tinted gel (pencil broke on second use, the gel went off quite quickly – binned it!), Too Faced BB Creme (sooo bitty, impossible brush, sold it on Depop), and god knows what else (a bath bomb that reacted badly with my body, NYX lipsticks that I binned, weak MUA setting spray, etc). The good that came out of it though: I discovered lipsticks. And I discovered wet to dry lipsticks, and creamy lipsticks, and that dark and bloody and purple tones work on me. I bought my Naked3 palette! Sephora revolutionised me.
It’s now a little over two years since that wedding. My makeup collection is worth an awful lot of money, and is uncomfortably large. I have £1 blush through to my £36 Dior foundation (only for special occasions!), I have dupes and the real thing, I have my 17 next to my Chanel. Nars, Benefit, Mary Kay next to Makeup Revolution and Maybelline.
I think most people’s collections are like this. You find your favourites, you find what works for you and what doesn’t. And with that, you develop your collection, but you also develop your own makeup style. I know for sure that mine’s still developing, as are my application techniques and skills, but I like to think that I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was just a year ago.
When I think about how I run this blog, and that I have all of these incredible people looking at my posts (that’s you, hello!) – what gives me the right to give you beauty advice, or show off my face? (The second part’s easy, I like my face and I like taking selfies: this blog is literally the perfect excuse to take photographs of myself. But anyway!) I would like to think that I don’t give advice or tell you what to do or “blue eyes should wear yada” or “this shaped face works with this contouring” because I have absolutely zero clue.
Maybe that’s part of why I like this so much – I’m discovering what actually does work for me, and you’re dragged along the learning curve. Watching me go “I was going to do this look, but it was too hard, and I poked myself in the eye with my mascara too many times to cope”, and “I’m so sorry my skin has flared up, please ignore the lumps and look at my great eyebrows!” It’s a learning curve, it’s horribly honest, and it’s just a whole damn lot of fun (at least for me).