Becoming a Mad Makeup Woman
It’s a slow process, really… years in the making. I went from a young girl, who was intimidated by the cosmetic world, to a woman that is fully immersed and thoroughly addicted to it. When my husband joined the Air Force, it was a scary, unknown world that I had no idea how to navigate. I didn’t understand the language, DEERS, Rank structure, deployments, pay scale, and the list could go on and on. However, after over 8 years of my husband being active duty and a lot of mistakes, now I feel like a seasoned pro at military life. The same could be said about the cosmetic world.
It’s often an overwhelming and intimidating experience for women to approach a counter or makeup section in a store. There are brushes, sponges, and tools that look like they were made for torture. There are millions of shades for eyes, cheeks and lips, not to mention, the multitude of foundations, powders and concealers. I have seen women walk up to a counter and say, “I need a foundation.” To which the makeup artist will reply with several questions to try and pinpoint what product will work the best, but will often produce a blank face or slightly scared look on the customers face. I have been that woman on both sides of the counter, the one who’s overwhelmed – and the artist that spots your shade a mile away. The metamorphosis was a long one.
It all started because I was too curious to stand myself. So, I would dig through my mother and sister’s makeup supplies when they weren’t home. I would look at all of the colors and try them on…only to wash it all off before they arrived back home (but I think they knew!). I was always curious about makeup, but didn’t know how to apply it correctly or what to buy. For special occasions, my mother would treat me to a trip to the Clinique counter at the mall, where I would get the full makeup treatment. I always felt amazing after, like a grown woman: confident. The tall, awkwardly lanky, freckled girl walked a little taller, felt a little better about herself. Thus, the change began.
For years I told my husband excuses like, “What do I need makeup for?” “It’s too much work” “Who cares what I look like?” in regards to why didn’t I wear makeup. All the while, my husband would smile his knowing indulgent smile. Kiss me. Then tell me I was gorgeous no matter what. But really, I was scared and intimidated. Of what, you ask? Of making mistakes, taking chances and possibly looking like a clown! But, I took a chance and applied to work at a makeup counter while living overseas. I was hired and immediately submersed into the cosmetic world. I soaked up all of the knowledge and know-how from my coworkers and boss. I could watch them apply makeup for hours. They just seemed to know what colors would look good on a customer and applied them flawlessly. I would go home, sit in front of my vanity, apply and reapply makeup, trying to get the techniques down that these ladies seemed to be born with. As with anything, practice makes a difference. I developed the basic skills and later refined those skills on my own.
My husband and I decided to start a family, so the makeup business was set aside for a while. But, after we moved back to the US and my daughter was almost two, I jumped back into it headfirst – visiting makeup counters, buying and trying new products. Taking classes, reading magazines and books, watching videos. That curious spark that I felt as child and teen had exploded. I wanted to know it all, have it all, and do it all! I wasn’t scared anymore. I tried crazy color combinations, every type of foundation, every color of blush, and just about anything I could think of.
I soon realized that I answered my own questions.
“What do I need makeup for?” I don’t need it, but I wanted makeup to enhance / change my own looks to my liking.
“It’s too much work.” At times, it is a lot of work… but after practice it takes less and less time.
“Who cares what I look like?” I do, now. I care about what I look like and that’s all that matters. More than anything, wearing makeup makes me feel better about myself. I feel more put together and confident. That’s one of the reasons I love doing makeovers! Why not share and make women everywhere feel great?
So you see, the transformation from knowing nothing to becoming the Mad Makeup Woman didn’t happen over night. It hardly ever does! I started out just like every other woman out there. Through time and a lot of practice, I’ve become skilled in the area of makeup application, but I will never be done learning and exploring. So, take time for your inner mad makeup woman, even if it’s just 15 minutes and play with your colors. Learn what you like or don’t like. Watch a video or read a book. Go to that makeup counter and ask questions! As RuPaul said, “Don’t be afraid to use all the colors in the crayon box!”
Thank you for reading ~Jenn