Thanks to L'Oreal for sponsoring my post about my favorite beauty looks, tips and tricks! Check out Makeup.com for beauty advice from the experts.
There's a good reason this isn't a fashion or beauty blog. I'm kind of lacking in both departments--my attempts at stylish, unique outfits usually get me a, "Really? That's what you're wearing?" from my husband, and I don't have much wisdom to offer when it comes to hair or makeup. I stick to what I know, and what I know is old lady crafts. I'm 80 on the inside.
But I've gotten stuck in a bit of a beauty rut lately. After my little nugget was born and my full-time job became the paycheck-free, stay-at-home, nurturing type, I kind of stopped putting in much effort. When you know you're not going to leave the house, or your only venture out is to the post office where Jeff the Hippie Postman certainly won't care what you look like, you stop trying. My daily makeup routine pre-baby wasn't very intense, but it was downgraded even more after Forrest came along.
(I was going to say something about how awkward it is to try and get a picture of yourself in the bathroom mirror that doesn't make you look like a total doofus, but I believe that picture does all the talking.)
That's my daily makeup routine. Fancy, right? Tinted moisturizer (I just mix a face lotion [with SPF, of course!] 50/50 with some cheap foundation), mascara, and shimmery eyeshadow (for under the eyebrows, and a little dot in the inside corner of the eyes). When I really want to get wild, I might add eyeliner! Or blush! I know, I know, I'm out of control. It's a simple, no-frills makeup routine, and it gets the job done for a day at home, or for running errands. People don't turn away, gasping in horror and covering their childrens' eyes when they see me, so I figure I'm doing okay.
Seen this? It feels appropriate.
But here's the part that has started to get sad over the past few months: I've started to feel more comfortable without makeup than with it. Having makeup on felt wrong and weird. (There are even numerous pictures of me here on my blog completely makeup-free. Go ahead, it can be like a scavenger hunt.) Maybe that's a big leap for womankind or something, but I remember, a long time ago, putting on special makeup for a night out, or a party, or even just to give myself a little boost, and it felt great. I felt just a little prettier, more confident, and more motivated when I'd put in some effort, but I seem to have lost that ability since Forrest was born. When makeup ran out, I didn't replace it. I forgot how to apply it in a way that didn't make me look like a 4-year old who got her hands on mom's makeup bag. I couldn't figure out which color eyeshadows to try, or how to find foundation that matched. So I just stuck with my basic, boring routine every single day. Party look? Date night? Family picture day? See above nearly-naked face. I started to feel as bland and boring as my makeup routine.
It was time for a change. I want to be able to dress up for a special occasion, or just feel pretty and proud of my appearance even on a day I don't leave the house. I recruited my little sister, Bekah, who is incredibly talented with makeup, to take me shopping and give a girl a hand. She tried to talk me into buying the fancy department store makeup, but as you'll see, my frugality won out and we headed to Walgreens instead. She helped me pick out good colors for my skin and eyes, and taught me how to apply it.
And you know what? It's actually really fun. I still wear my basic, nearly-naked makeup routine most days, but it feels so good to put on my fancypants makeup every now and then, and leave the house thinking, "You know what? I look pretty great today. Good for me," instead of thinking, "I hope no one looks in my direction." Jeff and I went out on a date (not Hippie Postman Jeff; Husband Jeff) a few days ago, and I loved being able to put on nice makeup and feel date-appropriate for a change.
(Aaaaaaaaaaall right, I thought I could let these pictures happen without a running commentary, but I can't, I just can't. Taking pictures of yourself is the worst! Usually Jeff takes pictures for me, but for such a close-up, makeup-based shot, I couldn't have him do it. It felt weird. And I have discovered a few unfortunate truths: I look stupid smiling with my mouth open. I look stupid smiling with my mouth closed. I look stupid not smiling. I look stupid looking into the camera, away from the camera, making a serious face, making a silly face, etc. ad nauseum. I swear, I'm not fishing for reassuring comments here, I just can't post these "oooooh, aren't I glamorous?" pictures without saying that it sucked, I feel super uncomfortable posting them, and my "sexy face" picture up there makes me feel completely ridiculous. I dislike blogs that post never-ending pictures of the writer making sexy/pouty/kissy faces in their mirror, and I don't want this post to look like it belongs on that blog. There. Sidebar over.)
My favorite makeup item that we bought to add to my meager collection is the L'oreal Colour Riche lipstick in Gilded Pink--I've always shied away from lipstick in the past (it seems to always look so harsh and fake on me), but this is the perfect color. It's soft and natural-looking, with a bit of a gold undertone . . . very beautiful.
Bekah taught me a few helpful little tips and tricks that I thought should be passed along to other reluctant beauty queens:
- It's okay to put on more eye makeup. A lot more, actually. The day after our little lesson, I showed her the makeup I had attempted myself, and was feeling all proud of it. Her comment was, "There's barely anything there! When you feel like you've put on a lot of eyeshadow, put on a little more. It always looks like less than you think."
- Dabbing a little oil or vaseline onto your cheeks after you've finished your makeup helps keep it look dewy and fresh and real--it gets rid of that matte, powdery look and keeps it more natural.
- Best primer to use for your face after you've moisturized and before you put on foundation? Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel. Seriously. It's incredible--it smooths out lines and blemishes and helps keep your makeup intact all day. You just have to get past the awkwardness of buying Monistat.
Well, there you have it friends: what may just be my first and last ever beauty post. Unless this whole me-feeling-pretty thing sticks around. Time will tell.
What's your makeup routine like? Have any tips or tricks to share with me?