After ten years of experimentation with often questionable results, I can finally apply make-up ‘properly’. I may not be able to sculpt Maleficent-esque eyebrows or accentuate my non-existent cheekbones (can the contouring trend end soon please? Sincerely, round-faced girls everywhere) but I can leave the house looking refreshed, healthy and blemish free, thanks to some powders and creams.
This has not been an easy process, however. A decade of trial and error has lead to this point and it got me thinking about my routines and favourite looks through the ages…
~~~Age 12-14 tips
Buy some lipgloss: the fruitier, the better (Claire’s Accessories have a veritable goldmine of flavours). Top it up unnecessarily throughout the day. If most of your hair doesn’t get stuck to your face after a large gust of wind, you’re doing it wrong. For an extra glam look, apply green/purple eyeshadow to not only your eyelid but most of your eye area in general. Clown chic.
Age 15-16 tips
Aaaaand this is when the acne hits and it will hit hard. You consider leaving your skin ‘to breathe’ until it clears up but the more you wait, the more you look like you have the bubonic plague. Action must be taken. Boots No.7 foundation in the pastiest shade available is pocket-money friendly and smooths things out adequately enough. Rub this all over your face with your fingers and maybe apply some lipgloss as a finishing touch (a Lancome juicy tube because you’re more mature now). This is the finished look and you look like the moon emoji. You’re probably late for school as you spent far too long working on Textiles coursework last night, so don’t bother matching your foundation to your neck. Who has time for that?
Age 17-19 tips
Thanks to a makeover for the Year 11 prom, you are now equipped with a foundation brush and a MAC blusher! You have also upgraded to Clinique’s Anti-Blemish solutions foundation in Fresh Alabaster which will become your go-to product for years to come because it doesn’t make your skin violently break out. You’ve pretty much nailed a simple day-to-day look but this routine is thrown into disarray once you start university. Due to late nights, alcohol, takeaway food and generally flouting every healthy habit possible, your skin looks horrendous. You have eye bags so dark they look like they’ve been drawn on with a crayon and your skin is pallid and spotty. On top of this, your new acne medication has dried your skin out so much it hurts to move your face. Due to consistently over-sleeping and frantically rushing in the morning, you barely have time to remedy this situation before your 9am seminar. Slap whatever you can find onto your face in five minutes in a post-sleep haze. Then, drag yourself to the humanities building and wonder why you can’t manage to be as together as your fellow literature students, who not only look flawless but have actually done the reading too. Ffs…
Age 20-current tips
After the whirlwind of university, you have gradually eased back to normality and regained a much-needed sleep pattern. You’re a pro at applying a flawless make up base with a beauty blender (despite the indignation at spending over a tenner on a glorified SPONGE, it has been a worthwhile purchase) and you’ve even developed a cleansing routine after realising make-up wipes are the work of the devil (thank you, Liz Earle cleanse and polish). Acne still runs riot, but you’re armed with concealer (Collection’s ‘Lasting Perfection’ in the lightest shade) and ain’t afraid to use it. You know where to apply bronzer and highlighter and how to create an elegant brow arch (Benefit’s ‘Brow Zings’ is an excellent product for this). As for winged eyeliner…a failsafe technique is yet to be achieved. It either looks like a horrendous tribute to Winehouse or just right. It entirely depends on whether the mysterious forces of the universe are working with you rather than against you.