Tag Archives: urban decay

My Makeup Story/Philosophy

6 Jan

If you pay much attention to the beauty gurus on YouTube, you have probably seen a tag floating around called “My Makeup Story.” The purpose of this tag is to sort of give people a forum in which they can wax nostalgic about how they got into makeup, what it means to them, and all that jazz.

Well, I don’t have a YouTube page. I probably could, but frankly, actually being ON YouTube kind of freaks me out. It’s a little too much exposure, thank you. Besides, the roll of “mysterious beauty blogger” suits me a bit better, 😉 (not to mention the fact that I still can’t quite figure out how to set up lighting to film tutorials and the like without looking like I have jaundice or something). That being the case, I figured I’d just use the WP Challenge to blog every day in 2011 as an excuse to “answer” the YouTube tags here.

Here goes nothin’.

I was not into makeup when I was a kid. I mean, I got the occasional thrill when my mom would let me wear lip gloss or something, but I wasn’t a girlie girl or anything. Mostly, I believe that the lack of interest in makeup and whatnot had more to do with a lack of self-esteem as opposed to any sort of aversion to makeup. When I say “lack of self-esteem,” what I really mean is that I had NONE. I didn’t think I was pretty, or smart, or worth anything. I pretty much just existed. I spent a lot of time by myself, and most of that time was spent reading. I guess I sort of pictured playing with makeup as something that the silly, shallow girls who made fun of me would spend their time doing, and I wanted to be ANYTHING but like those girls.

This pretty much continued all the way through high school and college. I would occasionally wear concealer or mascara, but other than that, my teenage years and early twenties were spent pretty much bare-faced. I think this also had a lot to do with the fact that my skin was like butter all throughout that time, but that is a topic for another post. It wasn’t until after I left school and got a part-time job at Ulta that my love-affair began.

In case you didn’t know, in order to work at Ulta (and Sephora, I’m assuming), you have to wear a full face of makeup at all times. No tinted moisturizer and lip balm here, thank you very much. My first day, that’s actually what I showed up wearing; tinted moisturizer, lip balm, and a little bit of mascara. My boss sat me down with one of the makeup artists as soon as orientation was over and I got a little private lesson in what was “appropriate” work makeup. I won’t get into how insulting this was at the time (no one wants to be told that she isn’t wearing ENOUGH makeup, after all), but in the long run that little sit down proved to be quite an eye-opener for me.

My first big push into the world of cosmetics led me straight into the loving arms of Bare Escentuals. Granted, a bit pricey for a first timer, but it just so happened that the makeup artist I sat down with was a rep for the company (pretty convenient, wouldn’t you say?). I went whole hog; foundation, concealer, eye shadows, the Buxom lip glosses (which I actually hated, but I was under the impression that brand loyalty was the only way to go). I practiced every single day. I did the “swirl, tap, buff” in my sleep. I read every single magazine I could get my hands on, as long as it had to do with beauty and makeup. I was hooked.

Once my job at Ulta ended, I had to look elsewhere for my beauty fix. I threw myself whole hog into the world of drugstore beauty. Aside from a few must-have items (and those are few and far between), I have been a drugstore/discount store beauty devotee ever since. See, once my horizons expanded a little, it just didn’t make sense to me to spend a fortune on cosmetics, when I could get perfectly good “substitutes” at the drugstore. My whole beauty philosophy changed once I had to shop at CVS, Rite-Aid, and (my Mecca) Walgreens for beauty supplies and cosmetics. Again, this is a topic for another post, but I just don’t understand how people can justify spending $30 and $40 on a lipstick, when you can get the EXACT SAME THING at a drugstore for a tenth of the price.

If you are a high-end makeup user, please don’t think I’m ragging on you. If you can afford it, and you don’t mind spending that much on makeup, then more power to you. I ask, however, that you keep an open mind to the alternatives. My first intro into makeup was on the more expensive end of the spectrum, and it was probably only necessity that forced me to change my ways. But once those ways were changed, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Knowing what is available in the drugstores and places like Target and Wal-Mart, or when there are brands like E.L.F. out there, I just can’t see myself ever spending so much money on makeup again. I feel like makeup is supposed to be something fun and experimental. Want to try blue eyeshadow? Go for it! Hate that blue eyeshadow once you’ve tried it? Wouldn’t you rather be out only three or four dollars as opposed to fifteen or twenty? Especially in this economy, spending so much on makeup just doesn’t make sense.

Now, all that being said, I am a big fan of asking for higher-end products for special occasions, like my birthday or Christmas. In fact, the only reason that I have the Urban Decay Naked Palette is because it just happened to be in stock at my local Ulta around my birthday. Last year I got a Smashbox kit from Sephora for Christmas. I will never say that the higher-end stuff isn’t worth it. I think Urban Decay shadows are some of the softest, creamiest, and most pigmented around (sorry, MAC). But I also think the same thing about Wet ‘n’ Wild shadows, too. Sure, Diorshow will give you huge, fat, black eyelashes…but so will L’Oreal Voluminous, or Revlon Fabulash. Think that NARS Orgasm blush is the only way to get that soft, peachy-pink glow? Then you obviously haven’t tried E.L.F. blush/bronzer duo.

All I’m saying is that I see a lot of snobbery when it comes to makeup. People think that because the price is low, that means the quality must be low, too. I suppose one of my goals with this blog is to show that that isn’t necessarily the case. One of the keys to leading a happy life is in keeping an open mind. That applies to everything, including makeup. Makeup should be fun and exciting and allow you to experiment with your look and your personality. What’s so fun about only sticking to one brand? Or knowing that if you experiment with something that costs a lot of money, you’re gonna feel like you’ve wasted it on something you’ll never use again.

So don’t stress. Don’t hate. Just play! Have a good time with your makeup! Learn and grow and experiment. The whole point of your outer appearance is that it can change and grow as you do.

Be beautiful!