Eyeliner · Eyes · Makeup · Personal challenge · Uncategorized

Make up your mind – The end of my personal challenge

For those of you who follow my blog, I hope that you have read my post Make up your mind! (Part 1 of my personal challenge) and know what this post is about. If you haven’t, basically, what started as a thought about seasons and makeup colours ended up with giving myself a challenge to only use the same eyeshadows (4 different shades of blue) for 2 whole months! The 4 blue shades were these:

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Blue eyeshadows

I started this on the 9th of May so on my birthday (9th July) I could finally be free! Because having to use the same colour eye shadows day in, day out is not fun! I know it’s a challenge I set myself and it’s no-one else’s fault I came to this decision but there was a reason I decided to go for this ridiculousness.  I wanted to use up certain products which take me ages to go through. Makeup junkies like me would know that with the exception of your staples (such as  foundation, concealer, face powder and maybe a couple of eye pencils), all other products, especially when you have a variety of them, can last for years.  I own eye-shadows, lipsticks, eye gels and blushers that I’ve had for over a decade.  I even have an original 70s Mary Quant golden shimmery eye shadow that my mum passed down to me when I was a teenager and I still use it occasionally (maybe once every 5 years)!

I’m sure manufacturers will say that it’s unhygienic but trust me I haven’t been poisoned or infected by any of my products yet.  I think the makeup industry is trying to make more money by trying to convince us that their products have an expiry date. Mascaras I do try to use up and throw away quickly as they can cause eye infections but everything else is fine, in my humble opinion.

My point is, when someone who loves make up like me accumulates loads of lipsticks, blushers and eyeshadows it’s very difficult to use them up and a strategy needs to be followed.

Exactly a month after setting myself this challenge, I posted my 2nd part of this “mini-series” (which unfortunately I somehow managed to delete without keeping a copy somewhere else) where I mentioned how using the same eyeshadows day in, day out was a bit boring but also convenient. In a way, it took out the having to think what to “wear” for makeup at work question in the mornings. And also, it made me become more creative with how I used the eyeshadows and how I combined them with different blushers, lipsticks and eyeliners.

On some days I used only 1 of the 4 colours, on others I would mix them up, on some other days I would use them all and sometimes I would use just the darkest colour as eyeliner.  Using different brushes made a difference to the final look as well. For example, I would use a blending brush when mixing the colours or use an angled brush to apply the eyeshadow as if I was using a gel eyeliner.

Here are some examples of the different looks I created in the 2 months of my challenge:

So what was the outcome of my challenge when my birthday arrived?

Firstly, it was an exercise of patience which paid off by finally seeing a difference in the Cien eyeshadow pot. After 2 solid months of usage it finally started to look used up with a a lot of product gone. So mission accomplished in that respect.

Secondly, it was an exercise in living more minimalistically – a useful lesson now that I’m shipping my belongings back to Cyprus and I have to live off one suitcase for 6 weeks while I wait for my stuff to arrive.

Thirdly, it was an exercise in creativity where I learnt to “play” with different brushes, lipsticks and blushers to combat my boredom of using the same eyeshadows.

Funnily enough, when my birthday finally arrived, although I was relieved that my challenge was over my first attempt at makeup that day made me look like a clown! I was so looking forward to using more vivid colours that I just went overboard. So I had to remove my makeup, remind myself that less is more and took it easy the second time around 🙂

Beauty · Eye pencils · Eyeliner · Eyes · Felt tip pens · Kohl pencils · lipstick · Makeup · Personal diary

Cat eyes

My latest makeup lesson was less exciting than the previous ones. We covered the technique of lipstick application using lip liner pencil to draw the outer lips and then fill inside them using lip brush to apply the lipstick. We were also shown a technique for giving the eyes the feline look, that look a lot of people, myself included, find alluring, using black gel and experimenting with an angled brush and a very fine brush.

The cat eye look is a classic eye make-up look that never seems to go out of fashion because it is so beautiful when done well. It can extend the eyes, defining their shape and by framing the eyes it accentuates  their colour.  A classic example is Sophia Loren’s mesmerising look.

I have wanted to learn of a way how to do the perfect cat eye symmetrically​ on both eyes. Usually, being right handed maybe(?) I get the right eye looking ok but the left somewhat different. Sometimes I get it right on both sides of my face but time and time again I end up with one eye having either a thicker line or one eye having a more distinct flick at the end than the other. Even worse, sometimes I end up just horribly smudged in my attempts to fix one eye and then the other. (Andy Panayiotou, this reminds me of your Adam Ant story!). This is particularly the case when using gel liners, I’ve found. Which is personally why I have resorted to using pen liners. They give me a better grip for a more stable hand. It’s less time consuming and less messy.

There are loads of eyeliner pens out there in the market but I have used NYX’s The Curve Liner felt tip liner in Jet Black, Rimnel’s SCANDALEYES 24 HR WEAR Jumbo liquid liner wp-image-2134889911(which is also waterproof) and most recently MUA’s EYE DEFINE soft tip felt liner to help me get even looking cat eyes. All three are in black colour and I do find it easier and quicker to use on myself than using gel and brushes.

But in class we’re shown how to use the more classical or universal makeup methods that the makeup artists use and I guess if I don’t want to be considered a cheat I will have to learn, practice and master those. Get out of my comfort zone, so to speak. I already, instinctively, knew of and have used the method of first applying the gel liner on the back of my hand with the brush, to smooth out the product. Gels can easily dry and harden and the warmth of the body helps them get back to their true form for ease of application. We were told this in class and were also told that different artists​ prefer different brushes for eye gel application.  Prior to getting used to felt tip pens, I always thought that the angled brush was more convenient for me for the purpose of eyeliner but as it turns out the finer brush made it a little bit easier for me to do the cat eye on the people I practiced it on.

There is one trick I learnt​ last Tuesday, which I didn’t know of previously and want to share with you though. It was explained to us how to create a nice smokey effect under the lower lid without creating a mess or tears. You line the lower waterline with a good black pencil, preferably kohl, then using a small, tipped fluffy brush smudge it out in sections​, to avoid irritation and finish off with a second waterline pencil application!