This weekend I explored a land unknown. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy, but alas, I took a trip somewhere far more foreign (and apparently expensive).
The makeup store
Okay, so if you haven’t already heard, along with having a severe phobia toward anything remotely sharky (this includes but is not limited to: the “JAWS” ride at Universal Studios, all of Shark Week, and Bruce, the cartoon shark in Finding Nemo), I also have a prominent aversion to anything that involves makeup, because I can’t apply it without directly looking like The Joker…except for the time that I WAS The Joker for Halloween. Pure brilliance, I tell you!
For high school junior prom, my friends had to practically pick me up and carry me by my arms and legs to the Clinique counter to have my make up done, because I was totally comfortable wearing my doctor pepper flavored lip smackers chap stick and “THAT…IS… ALL!”
To make a long story filled with protesting and heel dragging short, I ended up looking like Poison Ivy from the 1997 movie Batman And Robin. Uma Therman rocked the fluorescent green eye shadow with her neon lycra body suit. I did NOT rock the look. I don’t know what the woman at the counter was thinking matching my eye shadow to my beautiful mint green mermaid style prom dress, but I was one green brush stroke away from looking like Oscar the Grouch.
It was bad, guys. REALLY bad.
My mom didn’t allow make up all through middle school, so while my teenybopper friends were stealing their mother’s lips stick, I was playing basketball, volleyball, and running track.
I also had a role in the middle school showing of the play “Grease.”
Move over, Olivia Newton-John.
By the time high school surfaced, I was so immersed in sports and trying not to fail out of chemistry that I didn’t bother with learning how to apply make up. Then college rolled around, and again, I didn’t bother. My getting ready routine consisted of putting on face moisturizer and dancing around to Lil’ John. Not much has changed…Wait, what?
Now I’m 24, being mistaken for a fourteen year old, and I still don’t really understand make up.
I get a little freaked out when I watch girls apply make up in the stuffy bathroom of the bar my friends and I frequent at. The thoughts in my head usually run along the lines of:
Isn’t that bad for your skin? That MUST be really bad for your face.
It is a THOUSAND degrees in this bar. That would be like somebody forcing me into a Snuggie on a 95 degree day.
Does it melt off?
We’re going to get a bit personal for a minute. We’re going to talk about skin. Not scandalously, I mean, the skin that covers my face. I had a revelation a few days ago. I have been blessed with great skin. My mother and father both have perfect complexions, which luckily, I inherited. However, a few weeks ago I had one little bump that was bothering me. I understand that having one little bump on my left cheek bone isn’t REALLY a big issue, but I just didn’t like it. I do not enjoy when things appear on my skin that I know should not be there. I went to the CVS store down the street from my apartment and after an agonizing half hour roaming through halls of powder and goo, I grabbed the CoverGirl NatureLuxe foundation.
Let me just say:
I like nature.
Nature is good.
Hi, I am an idiot.
Blake and I met some friends out for a drink. Afterward, I came home, washed my face, and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I had these little bumps all along my cheek bones spreading up toward my temple. I freaked out, scrubbed my face, freaked out some more, threw away the makeup that caused said allergic reaction, and washed my face again. I may have used colorful language. I stayed inside, avoided human interaction, and the bumps cleared up within two days.
My theory is that my skin is so used to not having make up put on it, that choosing crappy drug store make up was equivalent to feeding a lifelong vegetarian a quarter pounder from McDonalds.
Flash forward three weeks and Blake and I have booked a spontaneous trip to Florida. We’ve planned a few dressy nights out, because both of us having five nights off in a row is unheard of. We have quite literally traveled the world together, but when Blake and I decide to get all international up in hurr, we’re backpacking/road tripping/exploring, so makeup is never a priority. I decided it would be fun to learn how to apply makeup properly, so when we are on vacation, I can…I don’t know…look fancy without my face having an overnight temper tantrum.
The first thing I did was take a stroll to the swanky make up store downtown. What should be every female 20 something’s dream is my nightmare. The store was filled with a lot of shiny black counter tops, giant mirrors, bright light bulbs, and high end creams, powders, and colored eye stick thingys. Deliriously, I tried my best to fit in by sparking up a conversation with the shop manager about the stacks of Essie nail polish they had on display. I’m assuming it was my la-di-da stroll, uncomfortable demeanor, and my “deer caught in headlights” eye contact that gave me away. She could tell that I was new to this.
She sat me down in a chair and asked what I was looking for. I told her that I wanted to look naturally put together, but not clownish. She matched colors to my eyes, skin tones, music preferences, the car I drive, my favorite movies, and favorite foods. She then educated me on a proper make up routine for somebody like me who crawls in her shell at the sight of eye liner. (let’s be honest, it looks like a torture device. In my world pencils are for paper). I may as well have taken notes on a clip board. I can only equate this experience to teaching a six year old how to read…Or teaching me how to do calculus. Same idea, a slow process.
What the HECK is primer? Isn’t that for paint? Doesn’t that go on walls? Is this what it’s like to be a guy? Okayyy, Carley. Deep breaths. Chill out. I was a little bit overwhelmed by the end of it, but I must admit, she did a great job of helping me to look fancier with as few products as humanly possible. I took my new dolled up look home and felt motivated to put my hard earned paycheck to good use. I hopped on my computer and opened approximately seven different pages. Smashbox, Tarte, Sephora, Laura Mercier, NARS, and Benefit, OH MY!
These are the products I ended up settling for. Some of them I purchased at the store, and some of them I purchased online.
A cheek stain trio by Tarte:
Also from Tarte: A set of limited edition Amazonian clay eye shadow sticks:
Smashbox photo finish primer (disclaimer, it’s green, but rest assured it does not leave my skin looking Ninja Turtleish):
Nude lipstick by Mac:
Origins Nude and Improved light weight foundation, which I’ll probably end up mixing with my moisturizer because I’m still a little scared of it:
At the end of my make up embargo, I decided to purchase something I was a bit more familiar with. Last month I attended a Boston blogging event, and one of the gifts in the swag bag was a cleansing bar by Indie Lee. I have been accustomed with Indie Lee’s natural face and body products for quite some time, so you can imagine my excitement. The Carrot French Clay Cleansing Bar from the swag bag was brilliant, so last night I ordered three more cleansing bars in Carrot French Clay, Lemongrass, and Tea Tree Aloe . The great thing about these is that they can be used on your face! If you’re like me, and you have super sensitive skin, this is a big deal.
You can check out Indie Lee’s cleansing bars and other great natural products here!
Last but not least…
(if you’ve managed to bear with me thus far)
While endeavoring through Etsy to cool down from my make up extravaganza the other night (I’m not going to lie, I thought I was going to need a paper bag to breathe into) I came across an Etsy shop owner who hand makes the most PRECIOUS make up bags I’ve ever seen. Do you KNOW how much I LOVE Etsy? I am always stoked to support local or small businesses. I ordered one of her adorable makeup bags for myself and THEN I contacted the shop owner to see if she would be interested in partnering with Findingravity to bring you awesome folks THE MAY GIVEAWAY! *Golf clap*
Working with small brands always feels more personal, and she was so generous and easy to communicate with. Stay tuned because later in the week I am going to be announcing the official giveaway guidelines, who this awesome shop owner is, and what steps you have to take to be a part of it.
If I hadn’t already paid money and ordered one for myself, I’d be brainstorming ways to rig the giveaway so that I could selfishly end up winning it for myself.