I used to be bad at makeup. I always enjoyed playing with it when I was a kid. My sister used to bring me bits of makeup to play with and experiment with when I was really little and she started working at a local pharmacy. I remember deep purple lip gloss and fun eyeshadows, I remember my parents buying me kids makeup sets for birthdays and christmas, I remember the excitement of my first mascara and getting a red lipgloss that tasted like candyfloss.
It used to be exciting and fun and I loved it. Then for a while, after I turned 13 or so it became a chore. It was something people judged you for. I remember one day turning up to school with a new lipstick my mum had got me from the Avon catalogued and being laughed at for trying too hard.
Another time I was 15 or 16 when I decided to come to school wearing the same black eyeliner I liked to wear at home – it was also the same day that I went to school with my hair curled for the first time. I felt good about myself for the first time in a long time. But when a certain group of girls saw me and immediately were like ‘you look older… but you still can’t hide your baby face. What’s all this for then? Why are you trying so hard?’ it all felt stupid and pointless.
If I wore no makeup I was ugly and had a baby face. If I wore any makeup I was trying too hard and looked stupid. I couldn’t win and for a long time it took all the fun out of makeup. Actually school took the fun out of everything.
Some time around 16 I got chicken pox and felt like I had to wear a full face of foundation to cover up my scars. I felt ugly without it but, looking back, my application was baaaaad. That’s just typical teenage girl stuff though. It happens to everyone.
But I still held back, even my ‘going out’ makeup was plain and dull. Looking back, I think I spent so long worrying about what everyone would think of me (and with good reason) that I was afraid to experiment, to have fun with makeup and I held back a bit too much.
All my silly makeup experiments were done in private and washed off before I left the house. Even as my makeup got a bit better over the years… I never really felt like I was any good at it until I met Dan. Which sounds so silly, I know that!
Let me try and explain it… I never thought I’d be the kind of girl to let what a boy thinks of her influence what I think of myself. And I’m still not like that. But there’s something about Dan, ever since I first met him, that just lets me be the best version of myself. Even within those first couple of weeks of knowing me, we’d bump into each other around campus, he’d ask me to get lunch between lectures and he helped me pull all-nighters in the library: he saw me at all my worst points when I had no makeup, hadn’t slept, when my hair was greasy, and he saw me at my best when I was feeling confident and out with friends and dressed up nice. And he treated me exactly the same however I looked. He somehow made me feel like I was the most important, the prettiest and the most interesting person in the world to him.
And somehow I stopped worrying about the everyday things, I stopped worrying whether people cared if I wore makeup or not. I stopped worrying if people liked what I was wearing.
Well most of the time I did…
And it let me concentrate on everything else. I had more confidence to wear bolder, brighter, more obvious makeup. And I had more confidence to forgo makeup all together. Today I feel as good walking down the street with no makeup as I feel with a full face of makeup. Ok, slight lie: I always feel slightly better about myself when my brows are done, compared to when they’re left natural. 😉
So the big turning point for me was in that final year of uni. That was when I really started to feel good about my makeup for the first time in years…
I even posted a selfie on Instagram for the first time just because I was so proud of my makeup:
And people were nice about it! My friends were nice about it! My mum even complimented me on it when we skyped! For the first time I was getting positive attention for my makeup and the best part was that it didn’t even matter because I felt good about it myself, without anything anyone else said, and that was a big step forward for me!
Over that final year of uni I started to get a bit more confident throughout the year. This time was mostly spent working on getting the basics right: I was getting better at applying foundation properly, I was learning how to shape and fill my brows, I was learning how to wing my eyeliner without looking like an idiot.
After me and Dan moved to London I started to spend my time figuring out eye makeup – how to really blend eyeshadow, different techniques for colour placement, what makeup looked best for my eye shape.
I started to play around with subtle contouring, different colours of eye makeup and lipsticks / glosses. This year makeup got seriously fun again. ❤ These photos are all chronological so hopefully you’ll be able to see how I’ve improved too (and I’ll know it’s not just all in my head 😉 )
What’s Your Makeup Journey Been Like? Share Your Story in the Comments ❤