Putting on a New Face

My Skin Care and Beauty Backstory

I grew up with a mom who didn’t wear any makeup and a dad who thought painted nails were the first step on the path of decaying morals.  I didn’t know the difference between eye shadow and eye liner until sophomore year of college.  I tried mascara out my senior year of high school, and was still using the same tube four years later.  I could go on, and lucky for you, I’ll spare you the picture of my first attempt at plucking my own eyebrows.  Long story short, in the back of my mind, I always thought applying makeup would end up something like this.

Basically, makeup was a foreign language to me, and one that I didn’t care to master until recently.  But I’ve come around to thinking that a conversational ability in this language is an asset, so over the last few years I’ve been practicing my YouTube and Glamour magazine taught skills in the real world more and more.  Still, I’m not pro.

The Abtract vs The Concrete

Some of the things we’ve discussed in regards to beauty this month are fairly philosophical ( such as the aesthetics of beauty) so I wanted to balance out the abstract with something concrete, practical even – like makeup and skin care.  The plan this month was to take a trip down to Salem’s own Rouge and get some expert tips on how to do my makeup.  Nothing fancy, just a little advice on color application and perhaps figure out what shade of foundation I c(sh)ould be using.  But… it’s wedding season, and all the times I’m available were already booked by brides.

Probably since June.

So when my friend invited me to her house because she won a free Mary Kay pampering session two days later, I was both surprised and excited.  Here was a good chance to see some of the elements of skin care and makeup in the non-intimidating environment of a living room with close friends.

The Mary Kay Story

Mary Kay is a fairly famous direct sell company that specializes in makeup.  I’d heard of it, I know people who use it, and I’ve known people who have sold it, but as for me personally… I’d never tried it or been to an event like this.

When I arrived in the evening to my friend’s house I didn’t know what to expect, partially because my friend and I have a similar backstory regarding makeup and skin care.  When I asked her what was going to happen, she told me we were going to “Um, exfoliate and get hand massages? I think?”

Not twenty minutes after arriving I was listening to the Mary Kay story and waiting for my masque to dry.

We went through a cleanser, exfoliant, masque, moisturizer, and yes, I got advice on what shade of foundation I should be wearing with my summer tan.  Our consultant also told me to remember to reappraise my foundation shade in the winter too – news to this newbie!  As we finished I felt fresh and clean as a daisy, but not totally convinced I wanted to embark on an intense (read: fifteen minutes) daily process of skin care and makeup.  Maybe I could try and keep it to five though?

I kept thinking – What Does Makeup Have to Do with Beauty?

The use of Makeup is old – really old.  After all, the Egyptians were using rouge and kohl and perfumed oils to protect their skin and enhance their appearance.  That word “enhance” seems to me a lot of the point of makeup.  Science may tell us what people instinctually know and respond to and what advertisers and photoshoppers capitalize on.

Large eyes are beautiful.  Flawless skin is alluring. Red lips are sexy.

Maybe she’s born with it, or maybe it’s Maybelline.
via fragrancedirect.co.uk

Makeup can give you these things that nature doesn’t.

However, what I enjoyed about the process of getting my facial and makeup tips was also the experience of pampering myself, learning more about skin care, and having a good time with friends.  As long as makeup doesn’t become an obsession (ladies, we’ve all heard stories about women that can’t ever leave the house without any makeup at all, right?)  it seems like it’s just that little extra something that makes you proud of what you’ve already got.  You’re enhancing your blue eyes and the cheekbones you got from your mama, as well as your predilection for makeup know-how.  Like I said, I probably won’t become an eyeliner and blush every-day type of person, but I’ll definitely be more open to experiment in the future after getting a little more knowledge.

So, what’s your beauty backstory?  Why do you (or don’t you) wear makeup? Also, Join me on Thursday as I explore another side of the beauty world  with a Do it Yourself Spa kit.
-By Beth Melillo, Who continues to learn more about makeup from the beauty blog Those Graces.

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4 responses to “Putting on a New Face

  1. Hi 🙂 I read your post and have to say that I can definitely emphasize with you. My mother does not wear makeup either, and my father looks upon girls who wear any makeup with distaste. About 2 years ago, I started wearing tons of makeup…Like seriously application after application of makeup and eyeliner and eyeshadow, foundation and concealer, and don’t forget blush. I was….yeah. But I came to realize I really don’t need makeup to be beautiful, and if somebody judges me without makeup, then what’s the point in trying to make them love me by wearing makeup. Because that’s not who I am. I have flaws. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now I wear makeup once a week maximum. And even then I wear hardly any. Though I do have a good natural skin care regime. Which I seriously recommend instead of that Mary Kay stuff….It WILL age you faster. Look at the ingredients and tell me, how many of those words do you even know what they mean? Yeah…Its terrible. But woo! sorry for the long comment…..Just letting you know you have inspired me to keep going on the road I am!

    • Thanks for the comment, I’m going to be looking a little more into natural skin care later in the week, but I don’t know too much about that so definitely share what you know. I agree with you about using products (and consuming foods or using cleaners) that contain ingredients with long unpronounceable names, they can certainly be difficult to get to the bottom of.

      Wearing makeup should certainly be someone’s personal choice, and a choice that shouldn’t penalize someone in a career or relationship. It sounds like you have a really healthy perspective on the matter!

  2. Pingback: How to: Make a Homemade Sugar Scrub « Connect Shore·

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