Je suis tres, tres desole for my lack of posting over the past month. Junior year is proving a challenge but I'm faithful that things will get better, like they are already ;) Anyhoo, I'm planning a new series of blogs that are more contemplative, that dig deeper into my mind and the fabulous creative industries. One of which is below, a petite interview with a sweet blogger known for her makeup expertise. The original posting is here at the VOX blog, but it's here also for your enjoyment. I decided to write this article after watching endless makeover shows when I was sick one weekend, and after questioning my classmates' knowledge (or lack thereof) of how (and why) to wear makeup...
For my latest article in the November/December issue of VOX, "Breaking Down Why Girls Cover Up" I explored how girls use makeup as a cover-up. Although makeup was originally intended for theatrical performances, today many of us too easily use makeup to mask our low self-esteem, fears, and even our personalities. I wanted to gain more insight from someone who lives, breathes and loves makeup, so I contacted beauty enthusiast Shannon Nelson of the popular beauty blog, AGirlsGottaSpa.com. She shares her thoughts on girls and makeup in this Q&A.
Q. How did you start using makeup?
A. I waited with bated breath for the day I turned 13 because then my mom gave me the green light to start wearing makeup. I was lucky to have yearly dance recitals every June to make up my face, but 13 would be the year I could do it every single day. I started out with the basics–pressed powder, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush and lip gloss; I was never really into lipstick, per se. If I remember correctly, the brand I started out with was “Clairol,” which makeup line isn’t around anymore.
Q. What led you to become a beauty enthusiast?
A. Just a fascination with how something as simple as mascara can transform your look. I’m sure all women will agree that they feel “different” when they wear makeup. I also watched my mom and grandmother take good care of their skin, which really kept them looking youthful. I figured that was my key to the fountain of youth. I’m also a big advocate of “truth in beauty” and think that being an educated beauty consumer is better than one that simply believes what the ads tell you.
Q. If you were to go without wearing makeup for a week, do you think you’d still feel beautiful and confident, naturally?
A. Sad to say, but no. I’ve been told my “natural” look is just as beautiful as when I wear makeup, but I think it is just something that is ingrained in me. I just feel more confident when I look “put together.”
Q. What are some ways that women use makeup? Why?
A. Some women use wearing makeup to give them a sense of self, to portray that confidence outwards to others or simply to help them feel better about themselves. For example, there is a program for women who are battling cancer called Look Good, Feel Better. Beauty and skin care brands donate products to Look Good, Feel Better every month. These are women who have lost their hair, their skin has been affected by the chemo, and from fighting cancer so hard they just look tired and worn out. The sense of community with other cancer patients and then the fun of being able to apply makeup really helps to boost their spirits. And a positive mind and outlook helps immensely in the fight against cancer.
After I had my 4th son, I got really sick and had to go back into the hospital for several days. However, because he was only days old and his immune system wasn’t up to par, he wasn’t allowed in due to virus’ and bacteria in the hospital. I was depressed. After two days of sitting there plain faced with my hair not done, I decided to ask my family to send in my beauty products. You have no idea the difference I felt when I did up my hair and put on makeup. It made those days isolated feel more bearable.
Q. When is makeup too much? Unnecessary? When does it go too far?
A. Well, it’s definitely unnecessary in young girls. My stomach turns when I see an 8-year-old girl wearing makeup. I am equally disgusted when I see a teenage girl with more makeup on her face than a clown at the circus. They overdo it and don’t understand that less is more. You can have fun with color and cosmetics without looking like you are ready to walk the street corner. But that’s just my opinion!
Q. Do people use makeup to mask things other than skin?
A. Sure. Low self esteem, trauma, lack of confidence, depression…makeup can hide a lot of things that we don’t want to reveal to others, especially strangers. Society judges a book by its cover, so if you look like you have your act together i.e. makeup, hair done, etc., then no one suspects there is anything amiss in your life.
Q. What would you say to young girls who are using makeup as a cover up?
A. That covering it up is only a band-aid. And eventually band-aids fall off and expose the wound. Deal with whatever the issue is no matter how difficult because ultimately it will transverse into other aspects of your life and have a deeper effect on you than the original hurt or pain. No amount of makeup will penetrate deep enough to cover what you are really feeling or trying to hide … eventually in some, way, shape or form, our true selves are always revealed.
Q. Any makeup tips you’d like to share?
A. Naturally, I’d say pay attention to your favorite beauty blogs! We work very hard to try to get you makeup tips from some of the top makeup artists. I surely wish I had beauty blogs to read back when I was first using makeup so that I could’ve learned to apply it the right way!
To get the right foundation and powder to match your skin tone, test it out on the top of your hand. If it blends, then you’ve hit the jackpot–if not, you’ll be able to tell right away if it’ll be too dark on your face or too light.
Know your skin tone–is it cool or warm? This too will help you figure out which color eye shadows, blushes and lipsticks will complement your skin tone. Three Custom Color Cosmetics has a quiz on their website to help you determine that.
And don’t overdo it! It’s better to use makeup to “highlight” your natural beauty than to simply take it over!
-Picture of Makeup Mask by My friend Tracy and I
-Picture of women flawlessly wearing makeup by Jason of the new street style site CitizenCouture.com for a guy making the transition from accounting to photography, he definitely has a good eye for perfect shots.