Wednesday, 24 November 2010

My Make-up Journey

As I write this, I am sat with absolutely no make-up on. I didn't have enough time to put any on this morning and I have been out in public like this. It got me thinking out make-up, my attitude to it and how it has changed over the years.

The Early Years

I have always been a magpie when it comes to makeup. I remember my first Tinkerbell make-up set and the peel off nail varnish (which set me up for many years of manicure mutilation). I remember my Girls World and the early forays into Avon make-up. Make-up was something special but still very much about playing dress up. I did have a little friend that was fond of Max Factor pan stick even in those very early years.

The Teenage Years

I don't recall ever trying to wear make-up to school. Plenty did though and the orange face with brown lipstick and pencil thin brows was the look of choice. It changed from the frosted lipsticks of the late 80's to the opaque, matte formulas of the 90's. I was certainly buying and trying but not really wearing.


Linda E succeeding where others failed


Then I hit my goth/grungy phase and it was all about the pale face, dark lipstick and black nails. Although I quickly lost the German Army jacket when I hit University, the make-up look persisted. Though it became more Mia Wallace than Shakespeare's Sister-esque!




It also became a running joke that if you ever needed to find me I could be found in Boots. I would spend many happy hours pouring over the aisles. I would venture in to Debenhams and Jarrold's department store sometimes but the fear of counters always stopped me visiting for long. I have a sneaking suspicion that Sam Chapman was working at my local Clinique counter at this point. If only I'd stood still for my more than five minutes I might have learned something!

Becoming a Grown up


Throughout my 20's the shift from wearing make-up for nights out only to a more everyday thing began to happen. It changed from a way of making a statement, to a way to look more polished. I would still often wear nothing at all even in to my late 20's. As I worked in a lab with mostly men I couldn't always be bothered. Lazy, moi? I still bought lots of make-up though but just didn't know how to put it on. I did however spend lots of money on expensive skincare and regularly slapped on the St. Tropez.
 
The real change came when I hit my 30's. It was more to do with having children than my age I think. I looked tired from the broken nights and needed a something to blur the edges! This is me at 30.

Photobucket


I did my own make-up and to be honest I barely had anything on. Skip forward nine months or so when I was heavily pregnant and had discovered Specktra and I would have been wearing considerably more. There's nothing that makes you concentrate on your face more than looking like the Goodyear blimp in maternity joggers! I discovered MAC, swatches and online shopping.



Once I found YouTube tutorials and then blogs I never looked back. I learned how to use brushes and stopped using the dreaded sponge applicators. I learned that I could wear blusher without looking like Aunt Sally. I also discovered that I could buy make-up in the colours I wanted without going anywhere near a scary counter. I probably go for quite boring looks to some but the colours I wear make me happy and although not necessarily trendy, I find they make me look like a slightly better, less tired me.

As a final note, I just wanted to add my thanks to the online beauty community. To all of those who take the time to make tutorials, write posts, share swatches and reviews, thank you for all of your efforts. You've taught me so much and given me the confidence to do it myself. If it weren't for you I would most likely be bare-faced most days. I think my bank manager would like a word though....

25 comments:

  1. Linda Evangelista still looks good to me in that photo. I have a soft spot for the 90's browns and mattes. I never wore them myself - I guess it's because the glamourous women of the time who I looked up to had this type of makeup on. I still love Rachel's and Monica's makeup and layered hair in old Friends eps. xx

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  2. I have edited now as Linda looks great (doesn't she always?) and I loved that look too. The girls at my school on the other hand did not look so good. I did find a picture of Kate Moss looking a bit more like I was getting at. I thought it might be a bit mean to post it though! x

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  3. Love this post, I can relate to it so much. Prgnancy also had a massive impact on my relationship with make-up as I just didn't feel my usual self in maternity clothes so make-up (and jewellery to a lesser extent) were my way of expressing myself. It's a really important part of my identity now and makes me feel more confident and well groomed.

    xxx

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  4. It's funny how your habits change as you get older. I used to spend a fortune buying new stuff every week from Boots and Superdrug and never ever went near a department store. Half the stuff I bought didn't even get used. Now I tend to buy a mixture of drugstore & high end brands and although I sometimes spend a lot of money on one item I will actually use it up.

    Since joining the beauty blogging world I also think I migh have actually saved money...hard to believe I know! lol Reading lots of reviews and looking at swatches and FOTD pics really helps me make up my mind about whether I REALLY need a product!

    Great post...and I love your wedding pic! You look gorgeous! :)
    xxx

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  5. Sorry Jane - I didn't mean to imply that you were wrong about Linda. Let's see the pic of Kate Moss looking all matte and chavvy, come on! xx

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  6. What a nice post! I can relate in the sense that I discovered makeup out of necessity--- to deal with bad skin that happened after my teen years for some reason. Now it's evolved more of a hobby and a way to make me feel more polished!

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  7. Aaah the good old goth phase, i'm glad i'm not alone in going through this phase (I still have a secret penchant for pale skin and dark make-up!)
    I really enjoyed reading this post xx

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  8. @loveaudrey: I’m the same with jewellery too. I went to a hen do when I was eight months pregnant with Abigail. I wore a black vest, jeans and a blazer. I gave myself a bouffant, wore tonnes of make up with false lashes and loads of bling! Make up gave me so much more confidence when pregnant.

    @Ms. Wedgie: I have had so much make up that’s never been used in the past. I know exactly what you mean about saving money. Being able to research purchases thoroughly really cuts down on my mistakes. I actually really enjoying the research bit, nerdy I know! I’m pleased you like the wedding snap, it’s one of my favourites from the day.

    @La: No worries, I did realise that I was inadvertently implying that Linda looked poo! Here’s a link to a thread with some of the Kate piccies. Not so much matte but just check those brows!!

    @Dovey: Thank you! I think it’s really interesting to hear how people got in to make-up and learned techniques etc. I’m really pleased you enjoyed the post.

    @WelshBeautyBlog: I only wish I had more pictures to share. I particular wish I had snaps of some of my outfit concoctions! I still love a vampy lip as you know!

    Jane x

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  9. Aw you were a gorgeous bride! This is such a good post x

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  10. What a great post! You look GORGEOUS in your wedding photo.

    This has given me food for thought and I might have to chronicle my own journey -- will link to you when I do!

    Michelle

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  11. really nice post - I love hearing how other people discovered makeup and whether or not they still use it in the same way. I like how you opt for a "slightly better less tired" you because I think so many of us do exactly the same thing; just using a little bit of blush or eyeliner to improve on what we have

    Cant believe you were 30 in that pic, I'd have guessed early 20s (though I guess thats a good thing)

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  12. Such a lovely, lovely post - I used to adore my peel off nail varnish, too!!

    xx

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  13. @Eyelining: Thank you so much! I’m really pleased you enjoyed the post.

    @Michelle: I’d love to read your make-up journey! I would be really honoured to have provided some inspiration. I’m a nosy so and so, I’m really fascinated by the personal side of things as well as the make up collections!

    @All Made Up: I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. I definitely opt for enhancing rather than dramatic for the most part. It’s funny because today my husband said I looked tired. Most of the time he can’t tell when I’m wearing make-up, for me though no make up = tired looking! Thank you for the lovely compliment by the way, I used to be bothered by looking younger than my age. It has it’s perks now though!

    @The Beauty Bite: Thank you! I have such fond memories of peel off polish..

    Jane x

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  14. What a brilliant, sharing post Jane! I could relate to so much of what you've so insightfully written...
    So much of what I love about makeup is down to memory, personal and social; a bit like history with colours, textures, innovations and muses, all interwoven with stages and moments of my life.
    Oh well, I'll go look at some old pics now if you don't mind... :-)))
    Nina x

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  15. Aww thanks for sharing your story, mine is pretty similar lol :D You look gorgeous in your wedding pic :D

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  16. I really enjoyed reading your post, I am a bit diferent to you in the sense that I used to wear make up all the time and I was obsessed since I can remember although I think pregnancy does make you want to try even harder.
    I have also learnt so much since I started blogging I love reading blogs getting to know all you great girlies xxx

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  17. Oh look at you in that photo - beautiful. I'm assuming tha was your wedding day and you don't just dress like that for fun?! You look lovely, and your flowers are gorgeous - roses are one of my favourites. I'm dreading my blonde little girls going through the grunge/emo/goth phase that we all seem to adopt at some stage in our lives. Mind you, its got to be better than chav right?!

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  18. Wow, that's the first picture I've seen of Linda E. where she looks pretty. I've always wondered how she became a beauty/ makeup model because I've never thought she was the least bit attractive.

    Anyway! It's interesting how you became more involved in makeup in your thirties, I think most get obsessed in their teens! Goes to show how everyone's journey is a little different :)

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  19. What a warming post, beautiful wedding pic.
    My makeup has changed a lot, I'd say it was when I was mid 20's that the makeup bug hit, before that my makeup was somewhat experimental, I use to have strange crazy black eyeliner drawn out, not winged, just a straight line and I also wore bruised reddy plum eyeshadow quite a bit, I must have looked a treat!
    I wear a lot more now but to be honest I don’t think I can get away without it, too many sleepless nights, I have to have the concealer and highlighter! I think when I was younger, I just didn’t really care and would wear what ever I fancied but now I almost plan my next day’s makeup, I actually think its because I am more self conscious now than I used to be!
    Like you I have learnt a lot from blogs and the pixiwoo tutorials x

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  20. @Jadegrrrl: You’re really welcome. I really enjoyed writing this post. I shall remind my small people when they’re grown how they turned me in to a make up junkie!!

    @The Beautiful Blog: Thank you for you lovely comment. I’ve always loved make up but just had no real clue what to do with it! I used to read lots of make up manuals in my teens but honestly nothing compares to the tutorials you can find online now. The community is great too. I love chatting with other bloggers.
    @MissisG: What on Earth do you mean? I pop down to Sainsbury’s dressed like that all the time. The flowers get in the way a bit though ;). I guess the dark phase is inevitable. As you say, probably better than the alternative. You will have to educate them on how not to turn their hair green though!

    @Beauty’s Bad Habit: I’ve always loved Linda but my affection for her is more about her changing styles and confidence. Her face is unusual and probably not classically beautiful. I think she’s very striking.

    I definitely think it’s more normal to get in to make-up at a much younger age. I always loved make-up and bought loads, I just didn’t know what to do with it! If only YouTube had been about in my teenage years I think it would have been a very different story!

    @Replica: Thank you, I’m really pleased you enjoyed reading. You’re early make-up sounds very Cleopatra-esque or is that just my romanticized imaginings? I agree that at this stage I just don’t feel I can get away with nothing on my face. Concealer is my friend! Make-up is extremely good for hiding the lack of sleep I have discovered!

    I’m so pleased I found blogs and tutorials as it has helped me so much. I always wanted to know how to apply make up properly and look more groomed so these have been a tremendous learning tool for me. I can’t really imagine a life without make-up now!

    Jane x

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  21. @Nina: Thank you so much! I hope you had a fun trip down memory lane with some old pics. I really ought to hunt out more of my old photos. There have been so many changes in make up trends and fashions over the years. I wish I’d have hung on to more of my stuff. Particularly things like the green, changing colour on application lipstick and my old frosted eyeshadow palettes. I also had a bright orange Dior lipstick which I got on a trip to Belgium in my teens. I definitely wish I had, had greater confidence with make up in my younger days. No matter though, I’m making up for it now ;)
    xx

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  22. Look at that stunning wedding photo! Loved this post cx

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  23. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it x

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  24. Jane!! I can't believe you're 30 in that picture, you look 20! I thought you were 30 now but obviously you're just one of those people who looks young for their age.

    I also can't believe that Sam used to work at your Clinique counter... if only you'd known. I love the video that your screenshots came from. Actually, I love all their videos!

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  25. Bless you! No, I'm almost half way through my 30's now. Everyone always said I would be thankful that I didn't look my age when I was older. They were right too!

    I did my degree and MSc in Norwich and Sam is just a few years younger than me. I know she's said before that she used to work for Clinique. I ought to ask her sometime. The screenshots are from my absolute favourite video. I've watched it quite a few times and one of these days I will pick up that Spiced Peach Quad!
    Jane x

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