Sunday, April 14, 2013

Greenridge Guide To Makeup

While I'm inordinately fascinated reading what Sali Hughes has to say about makeup ("hardcore handcreams...illuminating powders...the best of budget makeup") each week in the Guardian, my fascination is based more on the fact that I don't quite understand what she's talking about. It's as though she's speaking a foreign language. A part of me, just in terms of female solidarity, wants to know what's going on here, even if I don't participate as enthusiastically as some. But, sadly and perhaps inevitably, it's still a foreign language. 

Case in point — name the purpose of each of these things:

Blushers. Concealers. Serums. Highlighters. Lash Fibres. 

Do I have lash fibres? Am I supposed to buy some? How about highlighters - what exactly on my face do highlighters highlight? Say I don't want that item highlighted? And what about serums - do I drink them or pour them on my face? 

In the end I turn to Hadley Freeman, because while she too talks about makeup, she embellishes her fashion advice with an edge and a wit that has you feeling that even if you don't quite speak the same language, you know you're both finding enormous amusement about the same thing. Read this column on fashion shows as a case in point. She's funny AND informative. I like that in a column.

Then, yesterday, out of the blue, I got this letter:

Dear Sheila

What does your beauty routine look like? 
I think I need one but I'm not sure where to start.
Please advise.


While I think it was decidedly misdirected, as I've never once written about wearing makeup, I decided to answer it. With my own inexpert opinion. Experience from the unwashed masses, you might say, although I feel compelled to point out the fact that I DO wash. 

Dear Lacking,

First off, you are not lacking a beauty routine; you do have one, you just don't realize it. Do you do any of these things each morning (and evening): brush, floss, clean your face? That's your beauty routine. The question is, do you want more of a beauty routine? 

Tell you what. How about I show you what my beauty routine looks like? And I mean that in the most literal of senses. Let's walk through my Morning Routine Station. Together. Arm in arm. Follow me.

 First off, you need somewhere to store everything. I use a shelf in the bathroom. Anything more and you'll feel compelled to accumulate. Trust me, accumulation is not always a good thing.

Besides, this way you'll be encouraged to throw out old makeup. Contrary to what your mother or your best friend told you, makeup does not keep indefinitely. I once glued my eye lashes together with some 4 year old mascara and let's just say that I won't be doing that again any time soon.

Then you'll want some lighting. Ideally you want Above Lighting, Below Lighting, and Sideways Lighting. And yes, those are technical terms you can employ at any makeup counter.

Mine is, I'll admit, rather inadequate. I use a flashlight for the tricky bits.

 Next you need a work space with a mirror. It should have a large flat expanse on which to place your implements of beautifying. A sink is useful in case you have a sudden compulsion to wash off any of those beautifying materials. Soap wouldn't go amiss; I've got a little squirt bottle of Dr. Bronners peppermint. Gives the eyes a nice sharp tingle.

If you can swing it, additional space always comes in handy, even if it's just for balancing the odd thing. As you can see, I use mine to hold my hair styling accessories.

I've situated it right next to the disposal unit. That is another essential for the well kitted out Makeup Routine Centre.

If you really like to multitask, add in a portable news reader. This way you can check the headlines while you're brushing OR flossing. The mind boggles a bit, doesn't it?

So there you have it, Lacking, this is my own personal Morning Routine Station, well, minus ME, lol.

Just remember: Get the basics right there in front of you, clean your teeth and brush your hair, and you can't help but feel a teeny bit omnipotent.


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