Makeup: More Than Just A Pretty Face
When I first began my college search I was looking to be a film major. I wanted to be an editor. (I had taken one high school television production class in which I had to use Final Cut Pro and was convinced I was a prodigy.) After many a talks with friends and family about the practicality and job security post school I steered my goals into the direction of emerging media. I have absolutely no regrets. After coming to Ithaca and seeing the film program in full force, I realized I definitely would not have fit in or enjoyed my time. Today if someone asked me what career I would pursue if risk and money weren't an issue my answer would be completely different. My fantasy career nowadays is in the makeup industry. If I could spend my entire day enhancing other people's features and making them feel beautiful I would be in heaven.
I did not grow up in a household where knowledge of beauty products and routines was prevalent. My mom never wears makeup and she got her first manicure/pedicure on the day of her wedding, I was clueless throughout the majority of my adolescence. In high school I began to experiment a bit more based on the tutorials of British Beauty Guru's like Tanya Burr and Zoella. After watching 4 videos I thought I knew everything. I was armed with Covergirl products and Elf brushes and I thought I could conquer the world (my face). Looking back at photos I can't believe I left the house with caked powder foundation on my dry skin, unblended eyeshadow, and so much black eyeliner on my bottom lashline.
I've developed my makeup skills purely through experimentation. I learned what products worked best with my skin/color palette and best practices for applying these products. My idea of a fun Friday night is perfecting a different eyeliner technique or playing with new eyeshadow colors (and then not going anywhere). By establishing myself as someone with their "makeup game always on point" I constantly get asked to do other people's makeup. At first I assumed this was an easy task, boy was I mistaken.
Figuring out the shape of other people's eyelids and what colors look best on their skin is difficult. Don't even get me started on learning to apply eyeliner or mascara on someone else (especially if they are prone to flinching). Eventually I got the hang of it and I was the go to makeup girl for a night out on my freshman dorm floor. This evolved into working as a makeup artist for Ithaca College Television and various student films. These projects got more and more complex.
The last project I worked on was definitely the most fun and gave me the most creative freedom as an artist. I worked as the hair and makeup artist for Porn: The Musical! Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. I had a blast and it was the first time I felt truly proud and valued for my skills.
I learned how to conceal the largest hickey I've ever seen because continuity!
l learned how to apply false eyelashes on another person!
I learned how to put products on males who cringe at the sight of a makeup brush coming towards them!
Makeup has made me a much more confident person. I don't mean that in a "I need makeup on every minute of every day to feel confident way." Although, I definitely used to feel like that. I would bring all my products with me to touch up between classes, making sure my foundation and concealer was perfect and eyeliner was still in tact. I've made the transition from using makeup as a tool to hide every single flaw to using it to enhance my features. This has been crucial to my identity and self worth. I've come to realize that no one cares if I leave my house au natural (expect for that one teacher who always tells me I look tired, screw you).
I don't wear a red lip because I think my lips are ugly. I put on red lipstick because it makes me feel like I can break hearts and kick some ass.
I don't wing my eye liner because I think there is something wrong with my eyes. I do it because it has taken me a long time to perfect the skill and I'm proud of it.
I don't contour because I think my bone structure is lacking. I chisel out my check bones because I think the transformation is super amazing.
I find the process of doing my makeup or someone else's to be extremely therapeutic. There is nothing I love more than getting out of the shower, putting on my bathrobe, and spending an hour perfecting every detail of my makeup. Some people use canvases for their art, I use faces (file this under the most cliche things I've ever said). It makes me extremely sad when girls are criticized for their use of makeup. The idea that wearing makeup is thought of as girls "lying" is pardon my french -- bullshit. I do not expect you to think my shimmery check bones are naturally like that (I know and maybe you know that a MAC Mineralized Skin Finish can do wonders).
Makeup is straight up empowering and anyone who tells you differently is not worth your time.
Scratch that -- women as a whole are empowering, no matter how much stuff you chose to pile on top of your face every day.
You do you.