I still remember the first time I wore makeup. I was 7ish at the time, and my mom got herself a brand new lipstick. We had this thing as a family, on weekends we would sometimes go to another (bigger) town for shopping. It was my favorite thing ever, they’d always get me something (new kicks or a kinder surprise – doesn’t matter, sooooo exciting!) and one of those times, we ended up in the make up isle where my mom decided to treat herself to a nice gorgeous pale pink lipstick. Despite still believing storks make babies in a special factory somewhere over the rainbow, I could tell the good piece of make up can be a pretty big deal – it all turned out to be true over the years. For days to come, I would sneak into the bathroom and put that lipstick on together with her 5th Avenue parfume (mentioned HERE). At the time, I knew make up wasn’t something children should wear and it made it even more fun along with the feeling of maturity and importance.
Then came school dances and lots of glitter – the more the merrier. Dollar store in our town had all kinds of pencil eye shadows that I liked to pair with super glossy lipgloss (enemy number 1 – wind). It was about that time all my girlfriends started wearing makeup too but, to be honest, it wasn’t until high school that I started wearing foundation and smokey eye for a night out and eventually for casual Fridays at school.
I was never a make up addict. I never really felt I needed all that makeup, it was more of a go with the flow thing. Looking back now, I’m almost certain social stereotypes had a lot to do with my decisions and make up habits but I am finally happy to announce I’m free and ready to do as I please – yes to make up, but on my own terms.
First things first – I am ready to publicly confess my mom is always right. She was and still is a woman of few essentials in her toiletries and she never really understood my need to cover up and transform into the black swan each time I went out. From this point of view, I don’t understand it too, but I guess that’s part of self-discovery journey I’m still on. As I was saying, mom is always right! She was right about that guy, she was right about sunblock (even on your feet!), she was right about not going to sleep before taking your makeup off (!!) and finally she was right about simplified routine instead of 374 different beauty products.
My goal is not to give up on makeup but rather to essentialise my daily make up habits. Now, I need about 10-15 minutes to get ready in the morning instead of 45 minutes of hell I used to spend putting my face on and then sweating it all off while trying to make it on time. But it wasn’t easy. The most challenging thing for me was accepting my own bare face. Just the thought of stepping out of my apartment without foundation was hard to comprehend, so I decided to take it slowly. At first I simplified my work make up and wore “heavy” products only on weekends. It was scary but also – revolutionary. And then the summer came – perfect excuse for letting your skin breathe. I sweat a lot, so heavy make up in the summertime is mission impossible for me. I tried so many times and failed miserably, each time. Honestly, there is nothing and I repeat NOTHING more disgusting than sweating on top of your make up on a hot July day. It’s a NO from me.
Two months forward, I am 80% make up free and I even tried going out partying without putting any effort into my make up. I have just one rule – if you feel like it, go for it if you don’t – fuck it.
If you’re also thinking about doing something similar, here are some things I learned along the way!
HELLO, IT’S ME
Spending more time with yourself is the first step to progress, no matter what you want to achieve. Do your own SWAT analysis, see what you’re like. Build a fortress around your strengths and work on your weaknesses – it’s the only way you’ll ever accept YOU, and when that happens, other opinions just won’t matter as much as your own. Naturally, we are all afraid of being rejected and the fear of being laughed at is as real today as it was in high school. I don’t know any magic trick that can make you love who you are, I’m not sure I am even there yet, but I can tell you one thing – bare your face and take a long, deep look into the mirror – that’s who you are, with or without make up.
KNOW YOUR SKIN
There are some things you can do yourself, and then there are some other things. You may think you know exactly what caused a T zone redness and you ate too many doughnuts to even think about complaining about that breakage, but still – getting a professional opinion is your best shot at keeping your skin ready to go almost bare.
SKINCARE AS A PRIORITY
It wasn’t till I started my little make up revolution that I realized I was using foundation as a face shield. When you’re wearing full make up everyday, blemishes and spots are no problem, it’s all covered. Now that very few products end up on my face, everything is more transparent so prioritizing is a necessity. In words of my beloved Glossier – skin first, make up second. Of course, spots will always find a way to your skin but when you know you did your best and really took care of your body and face, you will be at peace with it.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
What do you like about your face? What are the features you like to emphasize? Make a list of that features and build your make up bag around it. For example, I really like bold lipsticks but I kind of don’t like them on my lips so I don’t waste money on them anymore. Instead, I like to splurge on a great mascara, eyeliner or a brow products – something I know I’ll wear almost every day.
HOW BARE IS TOO BARE
I was SHOKETH to find out some make up can actually be good for you when you’re living in the city where pollution is high, so when I say bare face, I don’t mean that literally. Your skin should always have some layers of protection. In my case that’s my daily moisturizer, SPF and a bit of concealer.
BRINGING BACK THE FUN
I used to put on the same products and make up on my face, be it work or date or a party. It was all the same and it really had no charm to it. Now, when I decide to pamper myself with a half hour make up session before going out, I can really see the difference and that makes it so much more fun.
So here I am, almost there. I love the feeling of being in control and doing what’s best for me instead of doing things just because. I feel like I’ve completed a circle and now I’m kinda back to glitter eyeshadows and lipstick only. I still love buying new products, trying it on for the first time and I truly think make up IS a glorious thing – you just have to make it work to your advantage.
I’ve listed all my current favorites when it comes to skin care and make up below – as I’ve previously stated, summertime is very challenging for me when it comes to make up and over the years I’ve been working on a customized routine. Hope that this year, I’m closer than ever! (feel free to share yours with me ;))
1. Glossier haloscope in Quartz, still not available in Serbia but they are currently expanding their shipping area so it may not be too long till I’m able to shop my heart out. Haloscope is one of my favorites from Glossier. It’s the most low maintenance product I own, In few seconds it does a lot for my face. I add a little on the tip of my nose, on top of my forehead, my temples and my cupid’s bow. The only downside of this product is you have to apply it multiple times during the day, especially if you tend to sweat a lot.
2. Aura, Correct me concealer, all I need for more than a reasonable price. I use this product almost every day to cover my spots and dark circles and it’s pretty good but not the best out there. I’m still looking to invest into a product that will be a 10/10, and if you know a concealer that can sweep me off my feet, pleeeease be so kind and share.
3. Lip & Cheek: Yoni Attraction, part of MAC x Steve J & Yoni P collection I got my hands on thanks to dearest Nana Nadarević, regional MAC PR (see insta photo HERE) Apart from the fact that this packaging is probably what dreams are made of, this is one seriously good product (and of course low maintenance, I don’t want them any other way). I use it on my cheeks more than on my lips, but it’s equally good for both. It gives you that hydrated look without stickiness and that, my dear, is what I call a good catch!
4. Collistar, Mascara Shock, When I purchased this mascara I didn’t know it was waterproof (at least I think it is, doesn’t say). I never wore waterproof mascara before and was a bit disappointed but then a whole new world opened in front of my eyes (haha)! I have oily skin and my mascara/eyeliner/eye pencil would always end up under my eyes at the end of the day. It never occured to me I should probably start using waterproof mascara. It has pretty bad reputation because taking it off in the evening can be a pain in the ass but I don’t see why all the fuss, just include 2 phase eye make up remover in your evening cleanse. Overall, this mascara saved me this summer, and I will be coming back for more.
5. La Roche-Posay, Effaclar Duo+, my dermatologist recommended this as a moisturizer for my routine. I was desperate with all the redness and spots that seemed to be coming out of nowhere and this thing really made things better. I started seeing the difference after a month and sticked to it as part of my everyday routine ever since. It’s best for oily or combination skin, and you can combine it with another, richer moisturizer if you need extra care. I use it with other products from Effaclar line (micelar water and gel).
6. Eucerin, Lip Repair, There’s nothing I love more than a “naked” lip with subtle glow. This thing can do that for me. The only downside is lack of SPF – that would be perfect. If you know a similar lip moisturizer with SPF, again, please share 🙂
7. Glossier Boy Brow, THE BEST THING EVER. This year I got obsessed with brow grooming and then I bought this – best 16$ spent. Boy Brow deserves all the praise it gets, it really does all it promises to – as a single brow product or combined with others for less natural look, and I’m already thinking about how the hell am I going to get replacement… :/
8. NUXE Huile Prodigieuse, Seasons change but one thing stays the same – my love for this gorgeous bottle. I use it as a hair conditioner, on my face once a week and as a body oil. Smells like heaven and it works miracles even for my oily skin – no breakouts.
9. Eye Shadow: Touch Me Baby, also part of MAC x Steve J & Yoni P collection. Frosted light pink color is gorgeous with subtle but effective fine glitter. Truly a summer favorite and I may or may not have used it on my cheeks and nose and… GLITTER FOREVER!
BONUS: I spend A LOT of time online and I’m getting a bit tired of contouring videos and brows that look like bull horns. If you’re nodding your head right now take a look at some of these online nooks for a dash of true beauty and inspiration
1. BYRDIE.CO.UK (Instagram @byrdiebeauty)
2. LISA ELDRIDGE, make up artist (Instagram @lisaeldridgemakeup)
3. VIOLETTE, make up artist and Estee Lauder Global Beauty Director (Instagram @violette_fr)
4. INTO THE GLOSS.COM (Instagram @intothegloss)
5. VIOLET GRAY (Instagram @violetgrey)
6. TAMIRA JARREL.COM, blogger (Instagram @tamirajarrel)