Living GLAM

The Naked Truth About Me and my Makeup

I am simply a makeup addict. It is the medium through which I best express myself. Some people can paint, some people can write music, some people can design graphics - me, I can do a pretty decent smoky eye.

For me, makeup is equal parts artistic expression and personal empowerment. I don't wear makeup to impress other people; I wear makeup because it makes me feel strong and fierce. Makeup is the war paint I put on to fight my daily battles. If I can stand to look at myself in the mirror, even if it's just to put makeup on, then I think I can call myself square with the world.

My love affair with makeup started very early, from the very first Hello Kitty lipgloss my aunt ever bought me (because she worked at the Sanrio store). It was pink, and the bottom twist-up piece was hollow with little plastic stars in it.

I eventually moved on to Bonne Bell Lipsmackers and painting my nails all sorts of crazy colors and designs (for example, eyeballs against a white background) when I was in middle school. (I had to buy those colors from Hot Topic and Wet 'n' Wild - Sally Hansen was not much into black and blood red at the time.)

In high school, I rebelled a little bit against all the makeup-wearing girls around me. "It's an all-girls school, for crying out loud," I would say. "Who are you trying to impress?" But I quickly changed my mind, as I realized that I didn't have to impress anyone. I could just wear makeup and like it. And so, with my slightly larger allowance, I could afford to experiment. It was in high school that I learned about eyeliner (a love that lasts to this day... it is the only relationship in my life that has lasted longer than my relationship with my SO), foundation, mascara, and oh! the joy of eyeshadow palettes!!!

My weekly forays to the local drugstore were eventually replaced by journeys to the high-end makeup counters at the mall department stores and Sephora, which was just about my dream come true. It was then that I met the love of my life, Urban Decay - I love this brand, and true love lasts a lifetime. Even when I'm fifty, and far too old to be wearing microglitter, I will still wear it anyway. One of my earliest UD purchases was their liquid liner in Radium, an radioactive blue, and their Lip Gunk in Gash, a dark, thick, blood red, famed for being Gwen Stefani's favorite shade back when No Doubt was ska.

Low on funds through college and graduate school, my makeup obsession has picked up again these last few years, as much as my teacher's salary will allow. Drinking? Trips to Europe? No way. Bring me my laptop, please, and make it snappy - I've got some makeup blogs to catch up on.

I've had to occasionally downsize, having accumulated more products than I could realistically use. I like to try things out, and usually to do that, you have to buy the products. I go where my obsessions take me - sometimes I'm on a fierce search for the perfect mascara; other times, I'm on a hunt for something that will make my skin look glowy and gorgeous. My beauty idol is Dita Von Teese. Like many, I adore the classic retro pinup girl aesthetic of creamy skin, dramatic black eyeliner, and red, red lips.

Beauty in Profile:

To contextualize my product reviews, it's only fair that I give you some information about my... uh... face. (That sure sounded weird, didn't it?)

Skin tone: 

medium to tan-medium, with yellow/golden undertones; pinkness/redness in the cheek area
As far as I know, I've been matched for all these shades (though, during various seasons):
  • Urban Decay Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup - Hallucination 
  • Urban Decay Surreal Skin Cream-to-Powder - Trance
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin - shade 7.0
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer in Medium Dark
  • Everyday Minerals Mineral Foundation - Medium Beige
  • Revlon PhotoReady Foundation - Medium Beige
  • Stila Sheer Tinted Moisturizer and One-Step Makeup - Medium
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus
  • MAC Studio Sculpt and Mineralize Foundation in NC40
  • MAC Studio Face and Body in C5
  • MAC Matchmaster Foundation in 3.0 (winter)
  • MAC Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder in Medium Dark
  • MAC Select Moisturecover  concealer in NW25
  • MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NW35
  • MAC Face & Body in C5
  • MUFE HD foundation in 128 Almond
  • BeneFit Hello Flawless (Oxygen Wow and powder) in "I'm All the Rage" Beige
  • BeneFit Boi-ing concealer in 03

Skin type:

combination - oily in the T-zone (99% of my pimples show up on my chin because of lady cycles), and dry on my cheeks (during the winter, my skin can get so dry that it becomes tight over my cheeks). I have large pores in the nose area, so I require primer. But again, other than my chin, my skin is usually pretty clear.

Other stuff:

My natural hair is black. (It's currently purple.) I have brown eyes, "double-lid" eyes.