This is not a touching beauty-crush tutorial. It is a story of my beauty evolution. (“Beauty evolution” is always read with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek, by the way.)
I have been nudged out of my comfort zone courtesy of Ms. Belinda Carlisle and her tiny stiletto heels, but we’re not going to replicate her exact look.
Back in the early '80s, I lived with my mother in small-town South Carolina and visited my father about twice a year in Norfolk, Virgina. To me, Norfolk was a sprawling northern metropolis. There were OFFICE BUILDINGS and it SNOWED sometimes! Also, my dad had CABLE. I’m talkin’ bright lights, big city stuff.
The first time I saw the video for “Our Lips are Sealed,” I thought that The Go-Go’s were splashing around in a fountain at a shopping center in Norfolk called Wards Corner because: what and where’s Los Angeles?
Much like that bumpkin from South Cackalackey, I am a bit simple, and I get overwhelmed by shiny objects. No, not really, but I do err on the “basic” side of maquillage. Sure, I impulse-buy a bunch of lipsticks, and every once in a while I splurge on a shimmery eye shadow that I’ll wear on special occasions, but really I’m just a non-makeup kinda girl.
So, anywhichwhatway, just the other day (or a few months ago, whatever) I was again-for-the-hundredth-time watching “Mad About You” on YouTube just because. My obsession with Belinda Carlisle in this video is fueled by an almost-lifelong desire for her perfect blond bob (in that way you covet something you will never possess), a super-giant crush on black sweaters on the beach, and because it’s just a fun song from my childhood. Oh, and Andy Taylor. (Did I just alienate all my '90s babies?)
It seems that my perspective has shifted; instead of thinking, “Wow, she’s too perfect,” I thought, “Hey, I think I COULD do that.” The makeup, not the hair. Let’s not get crazy.
From what I can tell, this romantic, beachy thing she has going on is basically my everyday summer beauty routine plus some big ol’ false eyelashes. Anyone can slap on some eyelashes, right? Um, right?
Let me show you what I came up with.
My daily makeup is borne out of tomboy-hood, but she has been nurtured by necessity. Namely, it is super-hot and humid here, and my job is one that neither calls for nor plays well with a full face of makeup.
Basically, I apply Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 and then dust on a little Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Translucent. I am currently using a topical rosacea medication, and I find that too many lotions and BB creams and such start to feel heavy. This powder manages to cut the sunscreen sheen without getting too cakey.
To take a bare summer face into dreamy, slightly retro goddess territory, simply add matte taupe eyeshadow and heavy lashes. Added bonus for us beginner/basic makeup girls: It’s not scary or difficult* at all!
(*I had to practice with the false lashes. There was cussing.)
I used Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Banana and Toast to accentuate my eyes. I applied Banana on the lid and up into the crease. I smudged the Toast into the lash line and onto the outer corners of my lids. Smudge. It’s almost impossible to mess up.
Then I tightlined my upper lashes with L'Oreal Wear Infinite Waterproof Eyeliner. (Basically, tightlining is filling in the gaps between your lashes.) Gently lift your lid and line from the underside of the lash. It helps to look down into a mirror.
This step begins to build thickness.
I then lined my upper lid, staying close to the lash line and gradually thickening the line towards the outer edge of the lid. I used the same L’Oreal liner because it can be blended and is essentially idiot-proof.
Line as close to the lash line as possible. Smudge with an eyeliner brush or q-tip if the line is not perfect. More advanced beautifiers might use a liquid liner or add a cat eye. The thicker and more opaque the line, the thicker your lashes will appear.
The falsies proved to be a challenge, and even though I consider myself to be crafty, I’ll admit I had to buy another pair of lashes after ruining and cursing the first pair.
Here’s what I found:
- There are quite a few lash shapes and sizes in your local drugstore (and start with drugstore brands on the off chance you decide you don’t like them). I chose the most natural looking pair I could, Ardell Natural 109.
- Trim lashes at the band to fit your eye. I also trimmed the length of my lashes because I have deep-set eyes and the lash smacked against my brow bone in an unpleasant way. Just remember when you trim that your lashes are naturally longer on the outer edges.
- The package directs me to apply glue directly to the strip. I find it easier to put a dab on glue on my hand and dab the strip into the glue. You might also try a toothpick or other instrument to apply the glue. Wait about 15 seconds until the glue is tacky.
- Apply the lash from above the eye instead of trying to come straight in. It helps to keep your eye open a bit. Don’t press the strip flat against a closed eye. Remember you’re trying to apply the lash as close to the root of your real lashes as possible. I centered the lash, then used tweezers to affix the outer and inner edges.
- The glue that came in the package dried white, so I touched up the eyeliner and filled any gaps. I added another coat of Full N Soft to blend the lashes.
I felt like I had giant, shaking ham fists while I did this, but I imagine it gets easier with practice. I, for one, don’t really have time for practicing with false lashes, so I will probably do the next best thing: fake false lashes.
With my tightlined and regular-lined lids as a starting point, I can build up my lashes to look much thicker than they are naturally. Remember, the thicker and bolder the line at your lash, the thicker the roots of your lash will appear.
After accentuating my lash line, I applied two coats of my Full N Soft (I will probably mention this mascara every time I write about makeup so go ahead and get a tube). Wiggle the brush at the root of your lashes to distribute more product there before combing through to the ends. Remember that we want to build up thickness at the base of the lash. I would recommend brushing through with a lash comb, as well.
The final results are quite similar, so I’d have to say I’m leaning towards using the fake false lash technique due to ease of application. Also, I am very aware that the falsies are not perfect--you can see the strip in the close up, etc.
However, I am going to keep practicing with the false lashes because they do look so fun. Once I am more of an expert, maybe I can do a video for y’all. This is a growing relationship for me. Hugs.
Happy experimenting! Any tips from the more experienced lash wearers out there?