Maybe Matilda: Dare to Try: Makeup Ramblings

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dare to Try: Makeup Ramblings

Thanks to L'Oreal for sponsoring my post about my favorite beauty looks, tips and tricks! Check out 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?

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  1. I use the monistat for my Primer also. I've learned to just stare the cashier down. I own my monistat, don't judge, Mr. Cashier! You look pretty with or without makeup!

  2. Lol, I love your branching out and your hilarious commentary. You never cease to crack me up--and Monistat anti-chafing stuff? Lol. I guess if it's good gentle enough for "down there" then it's gentle enough for your face!

    My dog has grass allergies and his vet asked me to start using hemmorhoid wipes on his paws daily. No joke, I bought hemmorhoid wipes in bulk at my wholesale club and the checkout girl gave me a stare-down like no other. And I told her it was for my dog. I forgot to tell about the paws and all that, so she probably thought a.) I was lying -OR- b.)my DOG has terrible hemmorhoids.

    And then I had a baby and lost all sense of embarassment of such things... TMI? Whatevs. You probably don't think so.

    Anyhoo, I am trying to get better at the whole make-up thing, too. Loved your take on it all.

  3. You look beautiful with and without makeup! Your hair is ah-maaah-zing (thank you for pointing me to that show). And I love your headband.

    I'm with you - I hate constant mirror self portait sessions. bleh. At the same time, I am kind of jealous that they have that much confidence. Let me just whine about it either way - ha!

    In conclusion, you should wear makeup or not wear makeup.

  4. I had never heard the monistat trick - brilliant! It's also a cyclists best friend!

  5. Ooooh I like makeup. I feel more comfortable without it than I used to, but I still cling to it. I pretty much can't leave the house without at least a little! It's my freckles I want to blend in. I learned a lot about make up in Cosmetology school, but it always seemed like too much and I have a hard time deciding what is REALLY necessary. Primers for example. I always have just used my moisturizer, let that soak in and then put on the foundation. But that seems like a good, not too expensive way to go, that Monistat. :D Thanks!

  6. A) Your headband is soooo pretty. I want it. A LOT.
    B) LOVE monistat. seriously, this was the first time my face did not freak out at primer/foundation etc.
    C)the whole growing-your-hair-out phase looks so good on you. i'm quite jealous!

  7. Oh, Rachel...I think you are just so neat...and beautiful - with or without makeup (but you did do a GREAT job on your makeup! Or Bekah, did...whatever...). I wish I had read your post BEFORE I went to Wal-Mart today (sans makeup, thankyouverymuch) so that I could have picked up so Monistat! ;)

  8. You look AH-MAHZING! If I were a lesbian construction worker, you can bet your sexy face I would be cat callin at you!

  9. Gorgeous. Love your hair.

  10. Monistat? Seriously. As a pharmacist I feel like I should have known this.

    I don't wear a ton of make-up but do wear it daily. I left all of it at my parents' house this past week-end. I wore my glasses all week so people just assumed I was trying to look homely. :P

  11. I know you weren't fishing but you really are a beautiful girl. Nobody would have ever known that you weren't wearing make-up! And who knew that awkward to buy cream was such a helpful thing in a non weird way.

    ps. I'm really liking eyeliner these days....and smoky eye shadow!

  12. Really? You put Monistat on your face? You're weird. haha just kidding. I loved reading this... it made me laugh out loud, literally. Your sense of humor is great. You do look beautiful with or without make up. Truly.

    I know exactly what you're saying about the sexy face thing... this is why most of the pics of me on my blog show me looking like a cheesy car salesman. I can either do a natural smile or a goofy crazy girl smile. Nothing sexy or glamorous ever works for me.

  13. You are so gorgeous! Seriously, with or without the makeup.
    Sometimes I go a couple of days without "prettying" myself up and then I realize I need to just take the time to put the makeup on even if no one really sees me - it just makes me feel better! And I have been known to use Monistat on my face a few times too :)

  14. just had to comment... you are beautiful with & without makeup!!

  15. you look SO pretty! I had to enlist my little sister for makeup help too!

  16. I myself have gotten into the same no makeup rut the past few weeks since I lost my job and have been staying home doing crafts. I probably go 4 out of 7 days without makeup. When I do go out though, I go all, powder, blush, eyeshadow, liner, mascara and lipgloss. Even though it seems like a lot, the whole process takes me 6 minutes max (I timed myself before work a few days because I was running late). I do envy you though, you look gorgeous with or without the makeup and the pics aren't bad at all, though I have to agree, I'd feel goofy as well!

  17. I envy your skin! After my son was born, I had the worst acne issues. My little secret is to just put on some pure aloe from all those aloe plants on my windowsill. Not that you need it, but it's awesome! I might post about it, if I can get past the awkwardness of the self-photo-taking, as you mentioned.

  18. Your makeup looks great! And I didn't do it, Rachel did! :) I am so proud. But seriously, that monistat rocks.

  19. i looked at your pictures again. You look so pretty! You are the cute one.

  20. I LOVE your hair! Any way I can get a pic of the back so I can copy the cut? :-)

  21. Megan--oh my goodness, you are so nice! Send me an email with your address and I'll get you some pictures :-) maybematildaquilts(at)


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