Love The Skin You're In
I started doing my makeup to learn self love. I know, seems counter-intuitive, right? “I put more makeup on my face to feel better about myself.” Some may be thinking, “duh”, while others may be thinking I’m conforming to exactly what the heteronormative, patriarchal society wants me to. HAVEN’T YOU HEARD OF FEMINISM?!
Whoa there, imaginary angry person. Yes I have, but let’s not get started on how doing makeup makes me no less of a feminist. Let me explain.
Here is a picture of my face. Just for context really.
I’m a normal looking white woman in her twenties, I think no one is particularly shocked.
What you don’t see in that picture is how I’m self conscious about my spots (that I STILL get), or that I battle against a combination of dry, flaky skin and invincible oiliness, my huge pores, premature wrinkles or that I’ve put on weight and I don’t like how round my face is, or that I don’t like this, that, the other, and that thing you never even considered.
It’s called lack of self confidence, insecurities or body image issues, pick your version of crappy. What you see in that photo doesn’t stop my brain spitting this out constantly. So what do you do?
I decided to spend some quality time with my own face. I decided to care for it, get to know it, learn how to make it look different, learn how to enhance it, learn how to LIKE it, then maybe to love it.
Doing good makeup takes time, consideration and a bit of money. In the past I’ve bumbled through and looked alright but there was never too much consideration other than “does this foundation actually match my face?” There’s no attention there, no care, no LOVE.
Learning to like my face will be a step by step learning process - I have to be patient, make mistakes and revel in my victories. Tackling an issue like having combination skin and taking the time to consider it, care for it and improve it is giving me, as a person, more time and generosity than I have allowed in a long time.
My main difficulty is my skin which is why it’s my first fight. My nemesis. My battleground. My bumpy, beautiful canvas. On my wedding day, my main request to the makeup artist was that I wanted to have flawless skin, for just that once. But I want it all the time now, everyday. Everyday lovely smooth, lovely skin. It’s still not perfect but I’ve made great improvements.
Here are my skins wins since I started looking after my face and liking it just a little bit more. Did i mention I like a bargain? I am probably the thrifty, lazy girl’s dream. Everything I buy I buy from Boots or Tesco’s, it’s not the best you can get but I can afford to own a car. Swings and roundabouts.
Cleansing Oil - Oh, hell yes. It’s a strange sort of leap to make but I don’t use any soap, washes or whatever on my face anymore. It’s quite therapeutic to spend a few minutes at the start and finish of each day massaging my face. I'm on Boots Time Delay Cleansing Oil right now after using DHC Cleansing Oil but both work equality well, just go for a decent brand. It's also reeeeally satisfying to feel the grimy bits come out of your skin. It’s helped with all aspects of my problem skin. The issues may not be gone but they are a lot more manageable.
If you’re blessed with a bit of a hairy face you know the extents which we go to removing it (plucking, waxing, shaving - all ouchie). Cleansing oil has helped prevent any ingrown hairs, which is just the best.
No7 Moisturisers - I’m a bit paranoid about getting wrinkly so have done my research on anti-wrinkle moisturisers. It's also the place I spend the most money partly down to said aging paranoia and partly to the fact that once I find something that works I stick to it.
No7 by Boots have an amazing range which is highly recommended and is one of the few with research backing up their claims. With light creams for oily skin like mine and the world-changing Triple Action Serum to target my danger zones I'm going to age gracefully while behaving badly with No7 on my side.
The preventative day cream is just the right balance of moisturising and non-oily for me. It makes my face feel dead nice too. Even the serum manages not to oil up my skin even though I’ve only been using it a few days. The range is big so you'll find something that's right for you.
Primer - Yep, I’m late to this party. I never thought it was necessary until I started to use it. I admit I’m still feeling my way round this one but I've done a bit of research and know there a few different bases that are used (water, oil and silicone). I’m using NYX Pore Filler or Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser depending on how I’m feeling - they’re both silicone based so don’t set off my skin and do tone down my pores and make everything a bit smoother.
Primer is quite a personal preference, I'm finding. I'm not quite happy with either of these but they're cheap in the scheme of things and helping a bit. But when your pores are like craters, there's only so much that can be done. I really want to try Benefit's The Pore-fessional, but I’m on a budget and that shit’s expensive.
Liquid Foundation - I’m all about affordability. At £13.50 the No7 Beatifully Matte medium coverage foundation is an actual miracle. Add to the fact that they find the correct colour for you with a camera to the face, and then have an entire range that you can colour match with, it’s a makeup newbie’s dream. They also have matching concealer which is an answer to prayers I think we've all had.
I’m eyeing up a new blusher next, but at £9 I’m holding off until payday (conscientious spending, yo).
Powder - Translucent setting powder helps all that hard work stay on and helps you last more of the day before the oil starts to shine through. I haven’t invested much in powder as yet, using Collection Sheer Loose Powder at £3 a pop. I feel like this is one of those areas where you can hold off spending big because foundation and primer makes way more of a difference.
Makeup Brushes - Hands are fast, sponges are the fad, but brushes are best for big-ass pores.
Even a cheap foundation brush has smoothed out my skin and made pores look a heck of a lot smaller. If you can't afford much at the moment but want to start somewhere, get a foundation brush.
This being nice to myself thing is actually really hard. I'll keep you updated on what thing I've just fallen in love with and what cheap version of something is actually worth your time.
For now I'm just trying to heal the life-changing sunburn I got on the weekend...