It seems a little absurd to me when I realise that my obsession with — or even just consumption of — makeup began about 10 or so years ago. I came out as a lesbian*, was depressed but undiagnosed, with a freelance career that was good on paper, but gave me no routine or stability. Blogging about makeup was one of the things that helped me feel sane. It was a distraction of the best kind, even though it may have led to several impulse purchases and an undeniable overconsumption, the realisation of which led me to kind of let go of engaging in the beauty community. But, still, my stint in beauty blogging helped anchor me to the world so that I did not topple over the edge of my sadness.
I look at makeup and beauty through a vastly different lens now, but I don’t even think I recognised it as a life line at the time. Blogging about beauty was just one of the things I could do where I had nothing to prove. It was simply a show and tell of things I found beautiful and useful, which as far as coping mechanisms go, isn’t all that unhealthy.
My relationship with it has definitely changed, and even though it exists in a sort of peripheral capacity in my life, it is still constantly within reach. It makes me feel safer. I still do not have anything to prove. I use it as I want to use it.
Lately, I have adopted quite a sparse routine, though I will often add a better base, or some blush, or a less neutral lip, if the mood strikes. (It very often does not.) My standard checklist is a little spartan, though: brows, face powder, a wash over the lid, and eyeliner with a little flick at the end. That’s almost always it.
Currently, I use a lot of things from Glossier. I think a lot of people feel a little skeptical or even snobby about their products, but I find that they actually work really well, from the beauty offerings to their skin care range.
1 — BASE
Usually, I use a face oil (to moisturise and also add a bit of dewiness) and set with Glossier Wowder (G8-G10). If I can be bothered, I use a Pat McGrath eyeshadow (Statuesque) that I found on sale in line at Sephora as my contour. It’s a light warm-toned brown that’s grey enough to not look orange. It’s discontinued, apparently, but it’s a perfect colour.
For a slightly tinted base, I’ll use either Supergoop! Glow Screen or Ilia Beauty Super Serum Skin Tint (I think my shade is Paloma). Both have SPF coverage, which I think is fine if you’re not going to be out in the sun all day, like the beach or hiking.
2 — EYES
My brows, I no longer draw in… after having seen old photos. Horrific! I just use Glossier Boy Brow (Black). I use a neutral eye primer (MAC Paint Pot in Painterly or NARS Eye Paint in Porto Venere) and just do one colour all over. It’s usually a warm brown like MAKE Terrazo Bronzer (pre-“reset”, which, more on that later) or Hourglass Curator Eyeshadow (Pro) or Glossier Skywash (Terra).
Then I just swipe on a swish of liquid eyeliner, which is still my old stash of K-Palette from pre-pandemic, lol. Don’t judge me. My products feel like they are excavated from the depths of the earth.
3 — LIPS
Usually nothing. Probably a pandemic mask thing, though lipsticks were never really my thing, regardless of what my lip colour collection may lead you to believe. Sometimes I’ll put on a lipstick from Chanel (Boy), as in from 10 years ago, as influencered by Lisa Eldridge, or Sunnies Face (sorry, but they are cruelty-free, local, affordable, actually really top performing, and also I had already bought them), or Glossier Ultralip (Villa) which is one of my newest purchases.
4 — ETC., KINDA FIN
When I’m feeling less lazy, I’ll curl my lashes, and do one or two coats of mascara. I’m currently using a fabulous one by Hourglass called Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara. I’ll even use blush (old cream Illamasqua blush in Rude or NARS in Sin or Final Cut). Otherwise, that’s mostly it.
I still get tempted by palettes especially, but not nearly as much as I had been in the heyday of my beauty blogging life. I don’t think it’s bad to buy new things either, but I do think I crossed a line when I just got into beauty. And even though it was a line that was self-drawn, I’d rather not cross it again.
I really like where I am with beauty now, and I guess I wanted to share it with you, whoever you are, still reading this. ♡
* I identify as queer/bi now, just fyi.