Thursday, 2 February 2012

Make Up or Make Do?

For many many years, I just 'made do' due to my very limited knowledge in the make-up world.

My only experience of practicising my skills was when I was six years old and played with a little 'Girls World' styling head. This came equipped with brown, blue, green and red crayons which, once applied to the doll's head (or my mothers furniture), it never came off again.

Needless to say, it was a tragedy waiting to happen. Being the typical tomboy, I was far more interested in trying to cut the doll's hair into a very short crewcut.

In my early teens, the ever popular Body Shop hit the high streets and for many years, their skincare products and White Musk perfume became a regular stocking filler at Christmas. Ooh, how we seduced the spotty teenage boys at school with the aroma of White Musk! Most girls at my school wore this and, if they didn't, then they wore the pungent 'dewberry'. Eww, I am having smelly memories of it right now.....

Of course, this would be worn along with Constance Carroll lipstick and mascara and, if you were lucky (thankfully I was), then your mother would point you into the direction of Boots No7 and Rimmel. My teen years consisted of wearing Rimmel's Almond Macaroon lipstick, Rimmel black mascara and some peachy shades of No7 eyeshadows. I looked like an extra for the pop trio Bananarama.

Moving into adulthood and still I did not know much about the art of applying makeup. Fortunately, I did have good skin (no spots!!) and my youthful looks to fall back on. So for the next ten years I foolishly abused myself as much as possible - late nights (more like all nighters) and lots of caffeine so I could get through a full shift at work the following day.

BANG, THUMP,*t I have now hit 30 years of age and the mirror is no longer being very kind to me. Cue lots of hours thinking why didn't I ever drink water everyday? Why didn't I know about facials?

I wish I had never ate all that crappy junk food and what the hell am I going to do now? Ooh and whilst I am feeling so down on my luck, let's throw some spots on my face too being as I never had any as a teenager. GREAT! So, here I am contending with a saggy face, dark rings underneath my eyes and some nice juicy spots for that extra dash of ugliness.
bag on head

The biggest kick in the teeth is the mass media. Magazines have got a lot to answer for: airbrushed photos! And it doesn't help seeing celebrities with so much money they can afford fashion stylists, beauticians, makeup artists, hairstylists, surgical procedures, spa treatments, dieticians, nutritionists, etc etc etc and they all look twenty years younger! It is simply not fair!!!

So, what do we do? Start learning girls!!

I googled make-up reviews, make-up tutorials, facials, non-surgical facelifts, skin treatments, teeth whitening, eyelash extensions, healthy diet and fitness - yes, you name it I have read about it, asked about it and learned about it. More importantly I have made some positive changes - drinking water and bought the necessary makeup to camouflage my dull, lifeless, open-pored skin.

When I had a wedding to prepare for, I knew I needed to look positively radiant and realised I needed to have an action plan. Firstly, getting a GOOD make-up artist (Katy Angelidi is brilliant), secondly having regular facials and thirdly getting lots of beauty sleep. Right ok, the getting to sleep earlier in the evening did not go too well but two out of three isn't that bad, is it?

I became a regular visitor to makeup counters and had a fair few makeovers. One of the worse was at MAC. Don't get me wrong, the staff were lovely and very good at what they did. I asked for a pretty bridal subtle smokey eyes look and it did look nice. It was a very pleasant experience, but sadly I was not impressed with the foundation and other skin products used. After one hour, there was enough oil on my face that BP was thinking of investing for future supplies and I felt very embarrassed to be seen like this in public.

On a good note, I loved the loose powder pigment and small eyeshadows, so I bought a few of them and was given a freebie sample of 'Naked' pigment.

I also trialled Benefit, Bare Minerals, Laura Mercier and YSL makeup and, hands down, Laura Mercier is the winner for me. Of course, I am only a novice and I cannot provide expert advice on any of these make-up brands but, as a 35-year-old woman, I can give you my opinion of what has and has not worked for me.

At the moment my current make up bag consists of:

Smashbox oil-free primer, YSL oil-free foundation, Urban Decay eye primer, YSL Touche Eclat, NARS blusher, Topshop cream blusher, RMK eyebrow pencil, Maybelline Gel Eyeliner, Lancome pencil eyeliner, lots of MAC eyeshadows (current favourite is Plumage), No7 translucent pressed powder, Max Factor mascara, Laura Mercier under eye concealer and brightening powder, Laura Mercier lip pencil and lipsticks from nearly every single brand there is but my absolute fave is By Terry lipsticks.

I use brushes and other application tools from MAC, Shu Uemera and Laura Mercier.

I do think I still have a lot to learn about make-up, so any tips you may have then please feel free to leave a comment below.

Fighting the ageing process

Teresa x