Yes, this is me – apparently i haz a sad.
I really wish i had pictures of some of the things i did to my face when i first started wearing makeup – not to mention the entire 90s. Matte, poop-brown lipstick should just not be a thing…
On the other hand, i look back fondly on my punk rock days in the 1980s, when i was but a mere wisp of a girl, carefully emulating Siouxsie Sioux’s makeup (i was good at it) – and to this day, i’m convinced it’s what honed my skills as an artist for my career, later.
There’s a difference between creative excess, and just plain…excess. One is intentional, and has a certain beauty to it. The other is just sort of embarrassing. Over the years, and the decades, i’ve seen a lot of trends come and go, some good, some…unfortunate. And i’ve been guilty of following some of them, i readily admit! I’m happy to say that i was never one for the big hair and tire-track blush in the 80’s, because, as i say, i was doing the punk rock chick thing. But in the early 90’s, i was indeed embracing the waify, heroin-chic, brown-lipsticked, smudge-eyed, whey-faced thing with the best of them.
I’m happy to say that now i’m older, i am much less susceptible to unattractive trends that don’t work for me – but i’m also much more willing to do whatever the Hell i want, which is extremely freeing. I feel like i know my face and how makeup works for me. I’m still willing to experiment and have fun, but i know some basic rules that are sort of true for everyone, across the board. Of course, there are exceptions, and you may disagree – but here are my takes on what i believe are the top “beauty mistakes” that people make. Take it or leave it, my Darlings!
- Glittervomit: Ok, i get that glitter is in. How could i not, because it’s literally everywhere. I can’t look at a damned eyeshadow palette without getting glitter up my freakin’ nostrils. I see some beautiful colours calling to me from across the Sephora aisle, and eagerly, i approach – but then, i see it: gobs of glitter glutting two-thirds of the pans. I imagine how ridiculously inappropriate all this pink-fluffy-unicorn shit is going to look on my 40-something face, and shudder inwardly. But really, it’s fine. Here’s the thing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a little sparkle here and there. But it seems that lately, you cannot escape the stuff. It’s in your face-powder. Your lipstick. Your eyeshadow. Your freakin’ primer. And you know what? When you’re in your teens and early twenties, that’s great. You’re not holding down any kind of serious job, and your life consists of going to dimly lit clubs and parties where your face looking like a disco ball actually makes a certain kind of sense. But once you hit your mid-twenties (i’m hoping), that sort of thing just starts to get a little silly. At least, for every day wear. I’m all for a little hint of sparkle in the evenings, but frankly, once you get to be a Sick Chick of a Certain Age, glitter can be aging, and absurd. And it’s not MEANT to be all over your damn face, no matter how old you are. It’s meant to be an accent, not an entire look. Like Pat McGrath’s awesome glitter-lips. When you’re doing that look, you should probably tone down the rest of your face so you don’t look like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert threw up all over your face. Just a suggestion. Moderation, people.
- Statement Lips/Eyes – pick one!: Which leads me to the next topic – when you’re going to go super-heavy on the eye-makeup, you should keep the lips more neutral; and contrariwise, when you have a strong, bold, lip, don’t do a full-on crazy eye-makeup look. Keep it simple on the lids, so as not to look like the chicks in that video, “Addicted to Love” – or, as Danny deVito in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia would put it more bluntly, “A Hoor”. This isn’t 1980 after all, people – and i’m assuming you’re not a performing drag queen. So – yanno – balance. Which leads me to my next topic…
- Balanced Makeup: Now, for everyday looks, mostly we just want to do a fairly balanced face: lips, eyes, cheeks all in balance. Nothing over-done or too heavy will give you a look that says you’re not trying too hard, and have some sophistication. It can take you from day to evening fairly effortlessly, and you look like a grownup. The key here is just enough foundation and a light dusting of powder to even out the skin-tone so you don’t look as though you have a mask on – because nothing is as aging or cheap-looking as heavy-handed foundation. Cakey powder can literally add 10 years to your face, as well. No thanks, dude. You want your skin to look dewy and healthy, not like a Kabuki mask. Lips and eyes shouldn’t be competing for attention, but complement each other in terms of colour choices – and you don’t want to crowd like 16 shades of shadow on your lids. The simpler the better. I generally stick with 4 at the most – palettes that come in quads are excellent for this. Quints usually include a fifth colour to use as liner, as it’s generally quite dark. That works, too. I like YSL and Chanel for their lovely shade selections and combinations, in particular. You want your lipstick and blush to work tone-wise, as well. If you have a cool-toned shadow on your eyes, you don’t want to have a warm, orangey-red on your lips and cheeks, generally speaking. Just use a bit of common sense!
- Unblended Hell: So, i was in Sephora yesterday and this very nice young woman was helping me, telling me about some makeup product she liked – and all i could do was stare at her eye makeup. It was a startling shade of orange, with a dark brown in the cut-crease – and to make matters worse, none of it was blended in, like, at all. Blending is so, so important!!! Her makeup – odd colour choice and all – would have been quite striking and even attractive, had she just taken the time to blend it out. But those lines of demarcation are just so…jarring and show a lack of professionalism and knowledge that is unfortunate. Just take that little round, fluffy makeup brush and run it back and forth over your shadow until it has a nice, airbrushed effect. A good brush for this sort of thing would be something like the Hakuhodo Eyeshadow Brush Round:
This brush is perfect for blending and applying shadow into the crease. Get one. Seriously. Same goes for blush and bronzer and foundation, too. Blend, blend, blend, people! Lines of demarcation are THE ENEMY. /endrant
- Too Much Bloody Bronzer: I see this all the time, and it sets my teeth on edge. Bronzer is not meant to make you look like Paris Hilton in one of her homemade porn flicks, or freakin’ Donald Trump at a press conference. It has got to be one of the most over-used cosmetics out there. Please, ladies, learn to use a light hand with this stuff – otherwise, it looks fake – not “sun-kissed”, trust me. If you want to know how bronzer really should look, there is only one person i know in the blogging world who does it well and proper, and that’s The Beauty Professor. Pretty much any of her photos where she’s wearing bronzer will show you the proper way to do it. I don’t do bronzer, i’m just too pale. I look absurd when i try – even when i lived in Hawai’i, and we had one of the head makeup artists from NARS come in to try it on me, even she just shook her head helplessly and gave it up as a lost cause. These days, I wear the Chanel Les Beiges powder in a matching skin tone, and that’s as close as i’ll ever get, and that’s just meant to add a tiny bit of healthy colour. But far too many people pack it on, all over their face, and they look like a drunken Oompa Loompa. Not a good thing.
- Overdone “Instagram” Brows IRL: Which applies to Instagram makeup in general bleeding over into real life – that stuff just doesn’t translate well. I literally get a visceral, uncontrollable startle reflex when i see a woman with those overly-drawn, CGI, anime-looking brows coming towards me in the real world. It’s just so…surreal. It just says “drag queen” to me, which really, nothing about your makeup should be saying “drag queen” unless you actually ARE a drag queen, in which case, that shit’s awesome and i enjoy it thoroughly in its proper context. But dude. It doesn’t belong on 20 year old girls. Or me, for that matter, outside the context of an art photo, as above. Imagine me coming at you looking like that. I absolutely LOVE that picture, and think i look fierce in it. BUT. Once that photo shoot was over, you better believe i wiped that shit off..
- Following Every Trend That Comes Along, No Matter How Daft: I distinctly remember taking that photo, several years ago, when yellow blush was a thing for about 5 minutes. Dear lord. There are so many goofy trends that come along (the whole centipede eyebrow thing that’s trending now comes to mind…shudder); it doesn’t mean you have to go for it. What’s hot now is next year’s Facebook embarrassment. Thank GOD there was no such thing as Facebook or Instagram when i was in Highschool, ohmygodiwoulddie. There was that truly unfortunate phase right before i found my punk niche when i did my hair like Madonna, a la “Like a Virgin”…there is no evidence of this, fortunately. My point being, not everything that comes along is a good idea – you have that pic up there as ample evidence. That’s all i’m going to say on that subject. Ultimately, we all have to find our own beauty, and what works to enhance it. Don’t try to paint a whole other face on top of the one you’ve already got, spackle it, and then dump an entire vat of glitter on top of it, i guess is what i’m basically trying to impart, here.
And that, my little Kumquats, is that. I hope you enjoyed my take on Makeup Mishaps! If you have anything you’d like to add, or even better, horror stories, please do comment! It’s Sunday and the boys (cats) and i are bored now, as i’m just sitting here with a sheet mask on and listening to weird random music on Spotify. Help a Sister out…