Now I’m A Grown Up, I’m Going To Stop Putting My Makeup On Like A Child Who's Stolen Her Mother's Rouge

My current makeup routine: get on bus, smear foundation liberally over my face, eyebrows and fringe, rub some blusher into my cheeks in the style of Aunt Sally, poke myself in the eye with a liquid eyeliner pen.

Feb 20, 2013 at 12:30pm | Leave a comment

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Me before the makeover

You’ve seen my gormless moon face on several occasions now – it’s plastered all over the site. In fact you’re probably sick of the sight of my visage by now. Me too, dear reader, me too. 

Well, don’t worry, because I’ve decided to change it. Stop panicking, I’m not reaching for the scalpel this year. I may have a genetically weak chin, and I suspect I’m going to start going jowly before this decade is over, but I don’t think we’re quite in face-lift territory. Yet.

Instead, I’m going to learn to put on makeup like a proper grown up. I’m going to learn to sculpt and shade, and I’m going to work out what highlighter’s for. I’m going to figure out what I’m meant to do with my eyebrows to make them look less like Pamela Anderson (no really, Google her and check out her eyebrows) and more like the Duchess of Cambridge’s.

Currently, my makeup routine is as thus:

- Get on the bus

- Get a seat, or failing that, wedge myself against another passenger and the luggage bit.

- Smear foundation liberally over my face, in my eyebrows and fringe.

- Look in my compact mirror and attempt to blend the rest of the foundation in. Accidentally rub it in my eye.

- Rub some cream blusher on my cheeks in the style of Aunt Sally.

- Attempt to put liquid eyeliner on, poke myself in the eye.

- Overcompensate for wonky eyeliner by applying four coats of mascara. Accidentally pull out 20% of my eyelashes in the process.

This is an imperfect routine, but I stick to it because it works. It makes me look pretty much the same every day, and that’s fine. If I’m going out on the evening, and I’m feeling a bit crappy, I’ll add some red lipstick, and that’s it.

I tried deviating from this tried and tested method at my birthday party where I attempted to give myself a smokey eye. The results were predictably haphazard – I spent the first half of the night looking like I’d been punched in the eye, and then, as my makeup started to run, the second half looking like I hadn’t slept in weeks.

But no more. It’s time for me to grow up. I’m absolutely, definitely going to get round to reading my gas meter this weekend, so there’s no reason why I can’t learn how to do proper, grown-up slap.

Also, it’s boring to look the same all the time, and it’s definitely time for me to up my game - as I get older my face isn't falling into place quite as easily as it used to (does anyone else get this?), so I really need to start making more effort. 

I was debating this with Phoebe the other day as she watched me stabbing myself in the eye with a stubby kohl pencil, and she suggested I got a bit of pro advice. AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, MAC then HAPPENED to mention that they’d be at London Fashion Week and would be up for the challenge.

So off I trotted to Somerset House, wonky liquid eyeliner on my lids, sweaty palms clutching my Fashion Week pass, to meet the lovely Debbie Finnegan - a senior makeup artist for MAC. She seemed pretty keen to get started - it’s possible the two thick white streaks under my eyes from my attempts to apply under-eye concealer were offending her artistic sensibilities.

Here’s Debbie doing her best to make me look a bit pro: 

I should really be adding notes next to these to explain what Debbie's doing, but I can't bear to look at myself on videos. Man, I hate that chin. From memory she started off prepping my poor, aged skin. 

And here Debbie is applying my foundation, it's Mac's Mineralize Moisturise Foundation, which isn't out until March, and if memory serves me correctly, was fab - it felt really light and lasted all evening. And three - THREE - people I haven't seen for ages told me how good my skin looked. Also, I'm really sorry about my resting bitch face here (tm Alisande), I'd clearly forgotten I was being filmed at this point. 

Weeeeeh, here I am being contoured - hope you're paying attention here - Debbie's tips on how to get your face looking all cheekboney and sculpted were really very useful. As a little aside, she said (off camera) that I had amazing cheekbones - SNAP!

Check out Debbie's top tip for doing a really easy, smokey eye. Do I look all intense and sultry and sassy and slightly French now? Do I? DO I??? Or is the effect ruined by all the grimacing I started doing the minute Debbie approached my eye with a brush? I'm such a big girl's blouse. Also, you can't really tell from the video, but Debbie used a brown eye pencil in Coffee on me, which was much more flattering than my standard black. 

And finally here's Debbie's giving me the eyebrows of a proper woman. Look at the Duchess of Cambridge, she got her eyebrows all luxurious looking, and then became so womanly that she conceived life itself. This can't be a coincidence, can it? Proper eyebrows = proper woman. 

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And the final result!

Ta da! Oh dear, I look a bit terse here, don't I? I’m not sure if my after photo reflects quite how happy I was with the final results. But I really was. 

My usual, fairly bland makeup routine was replaced with quite a rocky, smokey eye that made me feel far more polished, and made up than usual.

In fact, so inspired was I by my new face, I ditched the heels and wool coat I’d been planning to wear for a night out that evening and replaced them with my flatmate’s biker jacket and my flat Chelsea boots, which felt far cooler and more comfortable. Looking ‘dressy’ for the evening didn’t seem to matter as much when I had proper face of grown-up slap on.

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