I don’t even know how it happened. With an abruptness verging on rude, it dawned on me very recently that I’m “one of those women”. Those that, ten years ago, I’d look at askance, whispering in scandalised tones inside my own head: “She’s not wearing any make-up! Gahh!”
And here I am: uneven complexion, under-eye circles, and freckles in the summertime – for all the world to see.
Be that as it may, strength lies in knowing your weaknesses. I learned the hard way that going sans make-up to events with photographers guarantees looking very much like the Corpse Bride, so when I recently received an invitation to a coworker’s wedding, I solicited a friend – with experience as a professional make-up artist – to make me look presentable.
And peeps, it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I cannot recommend it enough. If you’ve got an important event coming up – a wedding, a formal dinner, heck, even a business meeting where you want to look and feel your best – and especially if you don’t use make-up on a regular basis, get yourself in touch with a professional make-up artist. Want to know why? Here are five solid reasons.
1. You will look amazing
I’ll admit, when I my friend graciously agreed to do my make-up, I resigned myself to the sad fate of spending the evening looking like a drag queen. (That’s how antiquated my opinions of make-up are. I mean, really!) Instead, I rather reminded myself of Isabella Rossellini in her Lancôme ads. My friend did a perfect job, giving me just enough colour and glamour to make me smile radiantly every time I saw myself in the mirror, or facing a camera. She even managed to make my nonexistent lips look effortlessly fuller – without it being vulgar or obvious that they were “amplified”. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever looked that great.
2. You will not have to think about your make-up
This was probably my favourite thing about the whole affair: once my friend had finished her job, I never needed to think about my make-up again. Only on one occasion – throughout the entire 9+ hours that we were partying – she handed me a powder that I hastily applied to my face after a rather sweaty bout of dancing. That was it. Everything stayed in place, nothing crumbled, ran, or disappeared. Even the lipstick stayed on my lips and didn’t migrate to the wine glasses, which I still can’t get my head around.
3. You will save money
I don’t know about you, but I feel like the make-up has gotten awfully complicated lately. It’s not just about patting on some foundation and applying a trio of eye-shadow, lipstick, and rouge like our mums used to do. Today, there’s contouring. There are ten different brushes you need for each square centimetre of your face. There are priming creams that go on before the foundation, and fixing powders that go on after the foundation. There are bronzers to deepen the curves of your jaw and highlighters to pop the tips of your cheekbones. There are hour-long YouTube tutorials where women spend 20 minutes blending.
Of course, you don’t have to get ALL the products. You could just pat on some foundation and apply a trio of eye-shadow, lipstick, and rouge. But then you wouldn’t get the benefits of professional make-up, which looks effortless and stays put. So, instead of dishing out a fortune on brushes and products, pay a fraction of that sum (or even nothing at all) to get the work done by a professional.
4. You will learn cool things
Obviously, people who love their jobs love to talk about them, and it looks like make-up artists are among those people. While my friend was transforming me into a glamshell (like bombshell, but more glamorous), she commented on every product that she used – what it was, what it was for, why and how she was using it. “Now, I’m putting some highlighter in your inner eye to set your eyes further apart and open up the face.” I also got to inspect her awe-inspiring collection of products, ask her about anything, and get tips on where to get the best brushes, make-up removers, and powders. (Not that I’ll be buying them anytime soon, but you never know!)
5. You will feel pampered and gorgeous
This may sound like a silly non-reason, but it’s so important! Having your make-up done is a just like getting a gentle massage, a mani/pedi, or getting your hair done. When someone takes the time and care to make you look and feel your best, those good feelings project right into you and radiate from within, making you irresistible.
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Convinced? Awesome! If you’re thinking of having professional make-up done, the most straightforward way would be to look up a make-up artist in your area. (Make sure they use quality products and take hygiene seriously.) You can also get your make-up done by appointment at boutiques – places such as Sephora or MAC – either for a small fee or for free. Not least, you could ask a friend to help you out – just make sure it’s someone who really knows their ropes. (Mine had worked for Estée Lauder for two years and had made-up dozens of women.)
There’s no reason not to look your best!