I think makeup and beauty are up there with veganism and religion (or lack of) as things people immediately make assumptions about you and your motivations before they've even bothered to find out your thoughts and feelings on the topic. However, in my opinion people’s reasons for loving beauty are just as varied as the people themselves, so I thought I’d do a post today talking about my perspective.
I know a lot of people are fascinated b the ‘end result’ or YouTube tutorials wouldn’t be a thing, however for me it’s not really where my passion lies. Makeup can be amazing and transformative, however changing how I look to others isn’t something I’m that interested in; in fact I’m sure 80% of my makeup looks all look the same to the casual observer. My application skills are ok, however nothing to write home about, which is why I’ve always said this space isn’t a tutorial blog (essentially, you’d get a lot more out of just watching a Lisa Eldridge video!) Sometimes it’s about the finished look, but to me it’s more about the experience.
I can’t be the only person who finds something therapeutic about putting on makeup. That 20 minutes in the morning is the time I prepare myself for the day mentally and decide what version of myself I’m going to be. It can also make you feel prepared for those days when you need a bit of strength. Whether it’s for a funeral, a discussion at work you know won’t be easy, meeting your partners parents for the first time or going for an interview, a spray of the right perfume or a coat of the right lipstick can mentally stabilise you. Though of course on the average day, it can just about getting a few moments of peace that are just about you - not work, your kids or any other responsibilities you have on your plate.
Moving onto products, that’s when we start to get warmer, because they really do get me! I honestly couldn’t care less if my Becca highlighter is virtually the same colour as my Anastasia one; the subtle differences in finish and undertone, as well as the sheer joy of makeup means that both have a happy home in my makeup collection. In fact, it’s almost less about what they actually do to your face and more about the prettiness in the pan and the satisfaction of swatching the product and thinking ‘wow’.
I also love makeup and beauty products for what they represent and the memories they evoke. I can’t crack open a bottle of MAC Studio Fix Fluid without catching a whiff of that paint-stripper-esque scent and being instantly transported back to being an 18 year-old fresher getting ready for a night out. Or being reminded of the first time I tried it, after my mum finally took me to get properly colour-matched following several mishaps with Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse... The custom-made Bite Beauty lipsticks I created in New York takes me back to that sunny day in Soho whenever I glimpse them in my drawer. The sheer brown nude of Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment in Honey has long been a workday staple and has seen me through many a job interview, including the one for my current role. And the scent of Nuxe’s Prodigeuse collection will forever remind me of sun-drenched holidays in Spain and Croatia. Throughout my teenage years, MAC lipsticks always symbolised the height of cool, especially in an all-girls school where makeup was banned, and I’ll never forget getting my first ever one. The trademark vanilla scent, being able to show off that I had one...how ridiculously drying the matte finish actually was!
Most importantly of all, in my opinion, beauty connects people. There are very few things that three generations of women in a family will instantly be on the same wavelength with, however heading straight over to the Bobbi Brown counter on a shopping trip is one of them! Whether it’s recognising a perfume and complimenting your colleague on it to break the ice or lending a new friend your lipstick in the loos on a night out; it acts as something you can instantly connect with a fellow beauty-lover over. I absolutely love hearing about the products people keep in their handbags or makeup bags; it’s kind of like palm-reading for me! You can tell if someone’s always on the go from the five Clinique Chubby Sticks they own, that they’re low-maintenance when the one beauty product they won't be without is YSL Touch Eclat, that they’re committed to excellence when one of just two lipsticks they own is a Tom Ford whose bullet is almost completely flattened from how much it's been used. Not to mention, it gives people from across the world a common topic to talk about. Even on my blog, I’ve had the opportunity to hear from people in countries I may never visit who feel a connection with me over a shared love of Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. And I think that’s pretty amazing!