Beauty: How Do You...

Confession time! I was not always a makeup person. Growing up, I wasn't really allowed to wear a lot of makeup, but also, having small, hooded eyes, I struggled with the dark, smudgy liner of the 90s. My inability to recreate looks from Teen, Seventeen, and YM left me believing I just wasn't someone who could "do," makeup. Like it was some mystical gift bestowed only upon some, and I had been deemed unworthy. So, I went through high school, either not wearing any makeup (also attended an all girls' school so, not so bad,) or wearing pretty awful makeup that was not super flattering on me. Maybe this is a right of passage for teens in general, although I can certainly say I did not have You Tube tutorials when I was a teenager. No, ma'am.
My senior year, while preparing for our production of Guys & Dolls, one of my super talented classmates offered to do my eye makeup for dress rehearsal. I could NOT believe how glamorous I felt! Dark, smokey eyes, lush lashes, I was totally a showgirl in the Hot Box Club. After this revelation, I began to play more with makeup, and one day, strolled into the MAC store and about died. Before that point, I'd been wearing Cover Girl's powdered foundation and Wet n' Wild blush, and while there is nothing wrong with drugstore cosmetics, they have come a long way since 1997.

During, and just after high school I plucked my eyebrows into oblivion, wore black liner on both my top lash line, and water line. But then, something started happening - I was still super into the black liner, but because I'd learned a few tips and tricks (also started reading Kevyn Aucoin's books) I was suddenly getting complimented on my makeup, and friends would ask me to do theirs before going out. While competing in Irish dancing, I did my own and my entire team's make up, and even played with the idea of creating a company that specifically did makeup for Irish dancers at major competitions. This was when I really started understanding how to do makeup - and by that I mean, it takes practice. There are lots of the same recycled tips and tricks printed in every women's magazine each year, and the real secret is that you just have to keep trying. Trying products to find what works best for you, keep trying techniques, keep practicing that cat eye because once you've got it, it become muscle memory.  Yes, when I moved back to Los Angeles at 23, and eventually found my way to makeup school, I learned even more - color matching, and major contouring, applying false lashes, blending custom foundations and lip colors, the best kind of powders to set and the best to color correct and set,and all kinds of fun things I wouldn't have learned otherwise.

So, when people ask me, "how did you get your winged eyeliner so perfect?" I say practice, Kat Von D 's tattoo liquid liner, and occasionally, Beth Bender Beauty stencils. I also say, don't be afraid to "mess up," it's just makeup - you can wipe it off and start again!


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