It’s Friday night. I’ve taken my bra off to let those babies breath and I’ve chucked on my pyjamas. I pour myself a soft drink because I hate the taste of wine and I tentatively check the requests from my friends to come out. It’s cold and dark and I have a date.
With Sammy Robinson and Lauren Curtis.
All I want on this Friday eve, is to watch them apply their Victoria Secret inspired looks or their night routine.
Sorry Antoine, not tonight.
Over an hour later I’ve rewatched my favourite look-book videos and made a mental note to buy some Frank bod and self-tanning lotion. And some Bobbi Brown something or other.
Beauty and makeup tutorials are my guilty pleasure. And after I finish watching them, I can’t help but feel slightly deflated. I look at my own face; my misshapen and feral eyebrows that I can’t afford to get waxed, my non-existent eyelashes and my baggy undereyes.
I look at their contoured, highlighted, primed and perfect faces and wish I could do what they do. But I’m shit at putting on makeup. And I’m also shit at keeping it on.
There are a few reasons for this.
Since I came out of the womb I’ve been completely clumsy and uncoordinated. I trip up stairs and fall on flat ground. I have explicit rules not to wear white around food because I know I’m bound to spill something. This clumsiness doesn’t come in handy when you’re delicately trying to apply some winged eyeliner. I’ve tried. I’ve really tried. I get the tape out and I end up ripping out my eyelashes. I try to steadily apply an even stroke and end up looking like a panda.
I’ve also never quite had the eye for visual art and colour blending. So when it comes to applying foundation I end up looking like a clown or an oompa loompa. I can never get that balance right. And the bronzer. Oh my god the bronzer.
Trying to apply mascara is a dangerous game for an inherently clumsy person who is also artistically challenged. Usually my lashes (which barely exist anyway since they were all transferred to my brother in some sick genetic misshap) become black clumpy webs.
Fails all round.
And if I’m being honest, not being able to do my makeup well, or even at a passable level, sometimes makes me feel less womanly. I feel like it’s something I should know how to do properly.
I much prefer not wearing makeup. It’s sticky and it smells and it gets all over my clothes. But I love watching Sammy and Lauren, my go-to beauty gurus, do their makeup thing. Because I live vicariously through them. I imagine dreamily how nice it would be to gently blend my smoky eye and avoid looking like a drowning racoon. I watch them brush the hollows of their cheeks and hope that one day I’ll wake up and be able to contour my cheeks flawlessly too.
As much as I sometimes feel deflated after watching the videos because I envy their artistic ability, it equally makes me consider what I determine to be beautiful and how much being able to “do” makeup is relevant to who I am. These women also make a note of being honest about the regular aspects of their lives. We see the primed version and we also see them in their true and unaltered form.
And that’s why I have a date with Lauren and Sammy on my Friday nights with a bowl of pasta and an absent bra.
Because they show both sides to the same coin and don’t profess one as being better than the other. Because they’re both capable, beautiful and honest women whichever way they come.
So I’ve come to accept that my makeup skills will be just passable as I enter adulating.
And most of the time I’d like to be able to scratch my face and rub my eyes without having to worry about patching it up.