Sunday, 24 May 2009

Make Up: My History

Haven't we all been prive to our own little catalogue of trials and tribulations, of disasters and triumphs and of complete downright delusions when it comes to makeup over the years? In my maturity of 23 years (nearly 24 i tell you! eee!) I stand from a perch looking back over my make up life and I can categorically say that i for one, have not been immune to a bad make up past... and i mean BAD! But i guess that in make up terms too, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a foundation charming.

So when I read a post from one of my favourite bloggers Rocaille of (go check her out!) taking a retrospective view at her make up journey, i knew that i would carry on the nostalgia.

The prequel to my make up journey began as a child on holiday. I remember being roughly 6ish and getting ready to go out for dinner. The sun in Majorca was shining and i had just taken the kind of amazing holiday shower where you literally go in feeling a bit sunned and come out looking way browner that you went in, the extent of which, for a paley like me, was a few freckles dusted across my cheeks. I remember having on a coral crop top/cycling short combo (not too out of fashion for now!) and my mum handing me a coral lipstick. I remember feeling sooo grown up at the process of pouting and blotting in preparation of a night out that the next night i wore the lipstick again and asked my mum to add a coat of mascara. And there it began.

By 11/12ish i was wearing make up every day. While i certainly didn't need it, i think the whole process made me feel more grown up and therefor better, at that age. Usually it was just mascara and the requisite Heather Shimmer lipstick from Rimmel (boke spew boke!) but the key to my special occasion make up was to pile on the glitter in the form of glitter body spray, glitter nail polishes (of which i collected over 150) , topped off with glitter hair spray. Ah the naivety.

The next stage was foundation. At around 14 i collected the usual smattering of teenage spots and from this point on i caked myself religiously in foundations way too thick for my immature skin. Now i am pale - way too pale for even Mac NW15 but at that stage colour wasn't the biggest concern and so foundations were picked and purchased on the merit of a)can i afford it and b)will it cover my spots. Thus copious amounts of thick orange foundations was sponged onto my skin leaving me with tide marks that would be wiped at by my friend Nikki on the way to school. No doubt it exacerbated my teenage acne and made it far worse. Oh the joy of hindsight!
Around this time i discovered liquid eyeliner and became addicted. I alternated between black for the day and silver for any evening events (read, sitting in the park with the boys drinking cider). Unfortunately i had none of the skill to apply a tricky little flick and often ended up looking like id been punched. For some reason i LOVED it and it became my 'thing'.

Being a self conscious teenager i got more and more obsessed with 'the routine' and got to the point, like many teenagers do, that i would not leave the house without a full face of make up. Make up stayed the same for the next few years, buying the same brown eye shadow again and again (i think it was Rimmel and i believe it was applied with the only brush i owned, a short handled silver eyeshadow brush) while trying every foundation i could afford and get my hands on. The only change happened when i got 'Hazel' coloured contacts for my 15th birthday and i bought a green eyeshadow to 'compliment' them. Actually looking back on photos the contacts were orange but oh well!

I left home shortly after i turned 16 and moved to Surrey for boarding school on a scholarship (which was lucky as we never could have afforded it without!). It was a performing arts boarding school and alumni were the sons and daughters of England's richest elite i.e Leah Wood, Emily Blunt, Camilla Al Fayed, Richard Bronson's nephews etc. The Times Rich List became a competition to see who's family was higher ranked and material possessions were status. While I loved it there and really grew as a person, I remember feeling that not only were most people far richer that i could ever be, they were also so much more mature than i was. I had no form of skincare whatsoever beyond eye make up remover and a good shower and i remember watching one of my friends unpack an extensive Clarins collection, her telling me that i should really moisturise and that she could not live without a good toner. I'm not sure if i had been hiding under a stone but i guess i really just hadnt thought about skincare.

It was being surrounded by beautiful people with massive disposable incomes that forced me to get a bit more savvy with make up. With a desire to fit in, I picked up a MAC foundation (still too dark for me but nowhere near as bad!) bought Touche Eclat, no Clarins skincare but Olay did me just fine, and a whole bunch of eyeshadow palettes and began to experiment.

Fast forward a whole bunch of years and that experimentation has been trialed, tested and honed (to an extent that gets me by! I am in no means an expert!) and i am now in the middle of a fully blown make up obsession.

Looking back, there have been a lot of mistakes, most of which make me cringe at the thought of ever having walked out the door. It seems though that bad make up is almost a rite of passage and a learning curve, just something that most girl do when finding their feet. However, I will never again entertain the thought of Heather Shimmer, but i guess it makes looking back on photos a LOT more entertaining.


  1. Heather shimmer, oh those were the days!! that was roughly the same time i used to wear the Body Shop Dewberry body spray as a perfume!! lol
    Thats pretty cool you went to a performing arts boarding school you are clearly one very talented girl!! xxx

  2. omg - Heather shimmer, lol, I used to love that! Loved reading this post... I had a preddes powder that I used instead of foundation, which I used to sponge over my face - It would oxidise and turn orange within minutes. My dad used to ask me all the time why I hadn't washed lol!

  3. Great post, Steph ;) I'm dog tired right now, but I'll have to read into it tomorrow. Thanks so much for the mention, btw there's a teensy mistake in the website address, my blog's at , people can't email me yet ;) Thanks again, sweetheart! xxx

  4. Ooooh what a great post!!! I loved reading Rocaille's and loved reading yours too!! Such a great idea! Isn't it funny that age 14 or so seems to be the age where girls really go hard with the foundation and stuff lol

  5. @Saskia, Lolling at the body spray/perfume thing! I soo did that too!

    @MizzWorthy, Hehe, CRINGE! the powder as foundation sounds awful! But why do dads always think that slagging you off is the way to go!?

    @Rocaille, thanks for your post, i loved reading it! Ive changed the link so hopefully it'll work.x

    @Sarah, thanks hun. I loved reading Rocailles and couldt resist having a wee giggle at my own mistakes. There must be something about the age that means that foundation just flies and sticks.