I put my face on trial


me with no makeup. be afraid.

My sister and I have had an interesting history with makeup. Not that interesting, maybe, but unusual perhaps. My mom encouraged my sister to get makeup when she turned 14 and my mom decided it should be the ‘good stuff’. So, they went and had her makeup done at clinique, where everything is hypoallergenic and whatnot and then purchased all of the various makeup goods. Ashley (my sister), wasn’t too thrilled and I saw her in makeup maybe 5 times during high school (that could be an over estimate). I, on the other hand, wanted makeup sooo bad when I was young, probably no more than 10, and I wasn’t allowed to wear it because Ashley didn’t start wearing makeup until she was 14. (There was a similar problem a year or so before when I wanted to get my ears pierced. Ashley didn’t really want to get her ears pierced but we both did on her 13th birthday anyway. I was 8.) You can see why my sister compares me to Bianca on 10 things I hate about you. I wore colored chapsticks (bonne bell, anyone?) despite my mom’s insistence that it was makeup and as soon as I could (at 14) I took advantage of the rule. I had my makeup done for prom in 10th grade and I think it turned out well.

Anyway, after a while my sister changed her tune. She got obsessed with buying Victoria’s Secret underwear and bras (it’s fun going with her to the store since she’s some kind of super platinum card carrier), and began collecting makeup. She was like that with nail polish colors for a while too. We’re both kind of collectors. She stocked up on lipglosses especially. One day she discovered the Benefit counter at Belk and came home with some ridiculous amount of makeup (she told me how much it cost a week or so ago and I can’t remember, at least 5 or 600 I think). She’d told them to pretend she didn’t have any makeup. It’s fun to go home and borrow my sister’s makeup, obviously.

My history with makeup after my initial clinique purchases at 14 was to buy as cheap as I could (occasionally wet & wild but more often NYC color) and find out what my best friend Stacy was wearing. We liked rummaging through each other’s makeup bags and any day following a sleepover half of the products we used were probably from the other person. I discovered different eyeliners this way, (constantly going back and forth between liquid and pencil), the smoky eye (which I might have the hang of now, but it’s debatable), bronzer, and tweezing. I introduced Stacy to my as-seen-on-tv eyebrow trimmer and the person that she usually had wax her eyebrows scolded her. Hee hee. Those were the days. I have no idea if we looked good, I’m sure at the time we thought so.

So here I am, a 22 year old adult, getting married, and knowing that the thing I really want to look good on my wedding day, for Garrett, and my pictures, is my face. The hair matters, but it will be up and thus not that prominent. The dress matters, but Garrett isn’t marrying a dress. You’d think for that reason I would want to hire a makeup artist, and I definitely thought about it. But, I like doing things myself, I guess I like a challenge, I wanted an excuse to get new makeup, and makeup artists cost money. Plus, I get all nervous when someone asks me if I like something, I’m the girl with the bad haircut who says she loves it and then goes home and cries, and takes her own scissors to it the next day. I know how much I want people to like the things that I do and it gives me this enormous sympathy that makes me unable to be honest when someone has made me look like a drag queen. Unless I’m close to that person. Then I would say “Stacy, why did you make me look like a drag queeen?” and we’d redo it. So, for all of these reasons I figured I would do my own makeup.

My mom said I could use her Belk card for makeup and that it wouldn’t come out of my wedding money. Which is a big deal since we’re dealing with a really small budget in which every penny counts. Anything I spend is money on is  one less scallop or drink or mini BLT for my guests. So I took her up on it and went to the Benefit counter. I’ve used some of their fake-it products before (I really like the ooh la lift, even though I’m not sure if the difference is that noticeable on me) and I like the look of their products. Plus, I’m going for vintage glam and that’s what their advertising is. I didn’t have all of the options in the world open since I had to go to Belk, and I already had some Clinique products so I wanted something different. I didn’t say they were great reasons. I didn’t make an appointment, I just went in as soon as they opened, and ended up with a man from another makeup counter helping me, since his was right next to Benefit and thus he knew their products.

I intended to just let him do my face and then buy the basics I knew I wanted and come back for the extra stuff that I knew I’d need. I’m not sure why I didn’t follow through except that I was frazzled from wedding planning and driving to the mall with no makeup on. Or the whirlwind of products. But I ended up purchasing all of it. Here are some pictures so that you can see, and then I’ll let you know which products were used and which ones I think are actually necessary.


Post makeover, and smiley.


You can see the eyes better in this one.

vaguely left to right

laura mercier caviar eyeliner in black, requires a wet brush. I like it a lot, so far better than my previous liners.

laura mercier black eyeliner , similar to above but you use a flat brush and fill in under the lash line to make it seem fuller. I probably didn’t really need this one.

the rest are all benefit:

brow-zing in light. darkens my barely visible blonde eyebrows. I didn’t think this one was necessary, and it probably isn’t for my regular life, but it definitely gives a more feminine look to my arches.

Get Even– it’s a setting powder compact. I think I like loose powder better, because when it comes to how oily my face gets, I feel like anything I rub onto my skin will get greasy faster. Since translucent powder sits on top, I feel like it lasts longer (and should be applied with a brush). So I bought some covergirl translucent fair powder to supplement. I’ll probably use this to set the foundation though.

Lip Gloss- I’m with the band This one is sparkly and pretty, probably not necessary if you have a sheer lipgloss that you like already.

Lipstick- Skinny Dip- This is a really pretty and silky feeling nudish color, and I was thinking I’d go smokey on the eye with a neutral lip. Now I’m kind of stuck as to whether or not I’d rather do some actual color, in which I think I’d go with the covergirl outlast lipstains. I tried one out the other day in a berry red color and it’s intense but really pretty. And since I’m going for a vintage feel to my wedding, I might want to spice it up. Or I could look more natural and stick with the pale. The thing I don’t like about this lipstick is it really doesn’t stay on as long as I’d like. I fidget with my lips a lot. I should probably always resort to lipstains or just keep chapstick handy.

Velvet Eyeshadows in Bikini Line, Rich Beach, and Dandy Brandy – Your typical three shades, light medium and dark. I really like that these have some shimmer to them, they look less flat than my normal eyeshadow and I know browns are supposed to play up blue eyes but I’ve never really liked a shade till now. They go on really smooth and blend well. And I think I’ve figured out the correct way to apply them. Although, I think when I did my makeup myself the next day it was less intense.

High Brow- It’s a pink eyeliner like stick that you apply under your brow arch for an instant brow lift look. Did it do anything? Yes. Should I have bought it? No. But since I have it now, I’ll use it.

Play Sticks foundation – Spin the Bottle – in 2- Since I’m a 2 in this I must not be the fairest of them all. You can apply this with a brush or directly on the skin and blend. I chose the second option because I don’t have a foundation brush and I wanted to know that it was blended without having any brushstrokes. I’m not sure if this is better than my previous method of taking clinique foundation and mixing with some moisturizer to make a tinted moisturizer, but I’ll probably try them both out a few more times before the wedding and see which lasts longer oil wise when set with powder.

PowderFlage- Little pink powder than brightens under the eyes. I didn’t need this, much like the high brow, but I’ll use it since I have it. It brightens a little bit but I’m not sure that it adds that much, and I’m not sure how long it stays put either.

Erase Paste in 1 This one I did need. It’s an under eye concealer and it’s inbetween a liquid and solid which is really good for blending and staying put. You use this tiny little scoop to get some out, the only problem with that is it’s only a matter of time before that gets lost deep within a makeup bag, in which case I’ll have to use the back of a fingernail or something. But I like it, I think it looks natural, and I say thumbs up.

Bad Gal Mascara- Waterproof- Even if he hadn’t assumed I would cry at my wedding (I don’t think I will, but who knows), I would still request waterproof because my eyes are always a little moist and it makes my makeup run. I wasn’t sure that this was necessary, I could find a lot of cheaper mascaras, but I do think it stays put longer than my revlon waterproof I usually wear. So another thumbs up.

Throb blush– This is a cute little pink blush that says something in the description about giving you a turned on look. I don’t know about all that, but with a dramatic eye it was probably good to go light on the cheeks. I don’t want to look too painted on my wedding day.

Hoola bronzer- I probably did need bronzer but this one is super dark and you have to be really careful with it. I’d even say use a different brush than it comes with. I could probably do without it, but since I’m super pale and probably not going out into the sun anytime soon, I should be glad for this one.

Okay, you were very good and sat through a very long post. All of these products were somewhere between $20-35 each and I ended up spending about $400. If you have the patience you could definitely get away with shopping around different places and asking pros for some drugstore options they think are just as good. As far as concealers and depuffers and things like that, Benefit has some fun stuff. What I’ve learned is that I should probably bring someone with me to things such as this so that I don’t buy everything just because I don’t want to think, and that some of the more expensive stuff is better. Like the eyeliner I bought, the concealer, the eyeshadows, and the mascara. How did your makeup trials go?

And, what do you think about lip color, should I do something berry red instead? I’ll try to upload a picture of what that would look like soon, but since it’s an all day wear it’s not something I can put on just any day without strange looks from the fiancé.