Overcoming Anxiety is a series where Cat shares tips for balancing a desire to be social with various phobias/fears. If your life is severely impacted and/or limited by your own anxiety, please consult an actual mental health professional. She is not one.
Hi again! Did you gather up your tools from the last post? Let’s do this thing.
Great! You’re done…
You gotta start with a clean face, despite what Jenna Marbles here says. Wash it well, to make sure you have a blank slate.
Next, find a large, hands-free mirror (maybe in your bathroom? bedroom?) with good lighting. “Good lighting” is bright, but not blinding, and doesn’t create harsh shadows on your face. Indirect natural sunlight is ideal for making sure nothing crazy is happening with your makeup, but a combination of overhead lights and lamps can work as well.
This is your starter lip look. Don’t be nervous, it’s incredibly forgiving.
You’re going to be coloring inside of your lip line in just a moment, so we need to figure out where it is. Yours will probably be a different shape than mine (below), and that’s totally cool. You are a unique and beautiful snowflake. 🙂
If you’re having trouble deciding where your lip line is, that’s ok! You can usually tell where it is based on color and texture (usually a different color than the rest of your face and the texture is more wrinkly), but some people’s lip lines blend into the rest of their skin. If you are one of those people, you can try and make an educated guess based on the overall fullness and shape of your mouth – the goal is to achieve symmetry between the right and left sides. If you are still lost, email me a well-lit picture (seriously! cat [at] qwertycafe [dot] com) and I’ll help you figure out where you should be coloring.
If you’ve ever applied chapstick of any kind before, this should be pretty straight forward. If not, no worries! You’re going to remove the cap from the chapstick, turn the bottom of the case to bring the pink chapstick further out of its tube, and then bring the product to your lips. Pretend it is a crayon made just for mouths. Softly drag it over the external skin of your upper and lower lips while trying to color inside your lip line. Smoosh your lips together for a few seconds to make sure its even (they should now feel more slippery than usual). Take a peek in the mirror and see if there’s any discernible difference. You can repeat this process to create “layers” of chapstick to intensify the color a little (and I do mean little).
The end result should make the color of your lips look just a tiny bit more uniform and the slight bit of shine can make them appear a little bigger. If this look isn’t “big” enough for you, don’t worry. We’ll explore bolder, more noticeable options in future installments.
Brace yourself – you’re going to be sticking a pokey brush thing near your eyes. If your hands are shaky, you may need to enlist a friend to help with this step.
There are a few different ways to approach applying mascara. I recommend first making sure that you’re in a stable position. I used to sit cross-legged on the floor, right smack in front of the full-length bedroom mirror, in order balance my elbow on my knee for stability. This approach may or may not work for you – so just try and find a position where you can lean in close to a mirror and feel secure/stable. Unscrew the cap of the mascara bottle and remove the stick/brush thing. This thing is called a wand (magical!).
Carefully use the mascara wand to stroke/brush your eyelashes three or four times. Some people find it easier to do when they open their mouths (like so). Other people like to look down into a hand mirror (like this). Try out a few different positions until it starts to feel comfortable. Make sure to get your upper eyelashes all the way across the eyelid, lower lashes about halfway across from the outside corner going in.
Don’t forget to do it to BOTH eyes. 🙂 Now take a moment to evaluate how they look. Any different?
Pro-tip: once you’ve brushed on the clear mascara, use your fingertip to push your eyelashes upward (like this, but with short, real lashes). The mascara will dry and hold them in place (a bit) to make them look longer/contrast against your eyelids.
Just a quick warning: if you have acne-prone or oily skin, you’ll want to skip moisturizer (not in all cases – just for the purpose of makeup 101).
This one is pretty easy. Take about a dime-sized drop of whichever moisturizer you decided on, and dab it all over the dry and flaky spots on your face. Rub it in with your fingertips until you can no longer see it. Make sure to watch for missed spots – you don’t want streaks of moisturizer hanging out on your face. If you accidentally used too much moisturizer, you can gently(!) wipe it off with a tissue or towel.
I personally skip this step because my skin is rarely dry. But everyone is different, which is why makeup can seem so daunting – there are so many variables. Luckily, Qwerty is here to help guide you. 😉
This is about as easy as the moisturizer. Take a single sheet of the blotting paper and figure out which side has a light layer of powder on it. Use that side to gently dab at any shiny spots on your face. This will usually include your nose (especially the center and tip of your nose, plus the sides of your nostrils), the center of your forehead directly above your nose, and your chin. I also use it on my eyelids. The goal here is to soak up and/or dry out any oily spots on the skin of your face.
My skin wasn’t cooperating when I was writing up this post, so I don’t have a good before and after of this step. If you end up trying it, please feel free to post photos in the comments. 🙂
Next time, I’ll outline the tools you’ll need to achieve the slightly more advanced “day look.” But don’t worry, it’ll be a breeze. 🙂
More from Overcoming Anxiety:
She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.
She is also allergic to felines.