My standard fully-made-up look involves a lot of black eyeliner (to balance out the size of my eyes). But other than that, my face is left pretty bare because I don’t use any blusher and I only use a tiny amount of CC Cream (about the size of ¼ of a 5-sen coin). Sometimes when I’m in the mood, I use lipstick. Now it’s a deep maroon shade because my ultimate life goal is to become a witch.
I don’t always apply the whole shebang to work. But sometimes if I’m meeting a friend for lunch, I make an effort to look more presentable. Just last week, I went to work with eyeliner on. One of my colleagues commented, “Wah… your eyeliner damn tebal right!”
This wasn’t the first time I’d heard that line – I’ve lost count because yes, I do use a lot more eyeliner than other women, but I happen to like the way my eyes look with that particular amount of eyeliner, and I have tried to use less, but I only end up looking like I flipped my eyes upside down.
But what bugs me is the misconception people have about ‘thick makeup’. Girls who use eyeliner regularly will get this: why is it that guys automatically relate eyeliner/eyeshadow with thick makeup?
Take these two possible scenarios for example:
Girl A has smokey eye makeup on. Her brows are lightly defined, she’s not wearing much blusher, and her foundation is sheer and close to none. On her lips is a hint of pink.
Girl B has only lined her eyes with a touch of liquid liner, but her skin is powdery and opaque. Her eyebrows are thickly filled in and super-dark. She’s wearing a lot of blusher, but no lipstick.
Most of the time, guys will choose B as the girl who wears less makeup. I’ve experienced this so many times, to have them compare my look with another girl’s (who obviously uses way more foundation than I do), and comment on how I should try a more ‘natural’ face. I usually pretend to be nice and curse them internally.
I’ve watched so many makeup tutorials on YouTube, where the beauty vlogger dispenses a minimum of two FULL pumps of foundation onto the back of her hand and proceeds to massage the entire amount into her skin as if she were using moisturiser. When she’s done with her base makeup, she looks like a half-formed geisha.
To be honest I’m quite horrified by the amount of foundation being used. I’ve yet to watch any videos where they advocate using less foundation/concealer, but hey who am I to say anything when I use so much eyeliner (haha).
Which brings us to wonder, really – is it the industry that’s miseducating the masses? I say this because every makeover I’ve tried here in Malaysia involves a liberal use of primer, foundation and concealer to ‘hide’ all my skin’s imperfections, or so I’ve been told. My pores are too big. My freckles are ugly. My undereye circles are too dark. The final product looks like I could scrape off all that powder and fill up a whole jar and then some.
During hands-on makeover sessions, I was always asked to apply more foundation. Even after using twice the amount I usually used, the makeup artists were always like, “No! More! More!” And after a few hours, when my skin started to produce oil, good luck trying to fix the streaks! I felt like I was slowly suffocating underneath all that gunk. I mean, even if the brands claim their products to be breathable, anything pigmented stays on your skin’s surface for hours isn’t exactly good. By covering up too much, you get pimples, and when you get pimples, it makes you want to cover up even more. The vicious cycle is never-ending.
It’s not just us, either – even celebrities face the same problems as we do.
That’s why I’ve made it a point this year to go as bare-faced as humanly possible whenever I can. If I’m not going anywhere special, I just use brow pencil, mascara and a smidge of CC Cream. It saves so much time, I get to sleep in for another 20 minutes, my skin feels like it’s alive (and breathing!), and makeup removal at the end of the day is a breeze.
It also makes me feel strangely liberated and at ease with myself. The past few years, I’d go to work with my war face on, because I was conscious about the unevenness of my eyes. Now, I spend more time on my skincare routine, trying to build a good foundation so that I get a nice inner glow.
I’m still working on it, by the way. But realising you need less foundation to cover up is one of the best feelings in the world.
You should try it sometime.
(Images: brainybeautytalk.com, badbearmedia.com)