And now for something completely different.

Hello.

My name is Mimsy and I am a makeup addict. It has been a little over a day since my last purchase.

It was a black tinsel mascara. It is shock full with small silver flakes that grab on to each individual lash and make them a discretely glittering black and silver. The mascara itself is lengthening without causing lumps or spider legs, and the wand is small and easy to use. It is one of the rubber elliptical wands with spikes that has become so popular with mascara makers recently, but because it is small and the bristles thin and long, it works surprisingly well. Reaching the small lashes at the inner corner was easy and there was no mess whatsoever. In addition to that, after the over-whelming Sephora fragrances it was a nice change of pace to wear a mascara that smells of practically nothing.

It started when I was, I think, 7 or 8 years old. I used to try and borrow my mother’s makeup when she wasn’t looking, and as soon as she discovered that she put them away, out of my reach, and I started using anything else I could find that left colored markings on rough surfaces. The red sharpie was a mistake… though it looked stunning until it stared causing a rash.

And then the break-through happened, that really got me hooked. My uncle started dating a nice woman who was a professional makeup artist at a Max Factor store. They were allowed to take home anything that expired or went out of style, and needed ot be removed to make room for the next big collection, and she gave it to us to play with.

I took one look at myself in the mirror with bright purple eyeshadow and blush, matched stylishly with equally bright orange lipstick, and have never looked back.

I have learned a lot about makeup since I was nine years old, and not only that one should never mix purple and orange, unless you’re a part of the home crowd during a Phoenix Suns game, but other, less visible things.

I have learned that if you’re on a tight budget, it’s still a good idea to spend a little extra on a very good cleanser and moisturizer. I have also learned that extra virgin olive oil is a better eye makeup remover, at least on my eyes, than anything you can buy at Sephora.

I have learned that if you’re in a hurry in the morning, take your time with your concealer, primers and foundation, and rush the rest. If the foundation is done well, you can slap on a bronzer over the center eyelid, a black eye pencil on your lower water line and mascara, do your lip gloss in the car, and the end result will look very good when you arrive at work. On the other hand, if you rush your concealer and foundation, it doesn’t matter how good your eye makeup is, the blotches around your nose and under your eyes will ruin the effect. The foundation and concealer create the canvas the colors go on, and a canvas of poor quality makes for a bad panting, no matter how skilled the artist or how high quality the paint.

I have learned that when selecting and applying your colors, you should balance them so that the focus is either on your lips or your eyes. Only goths are allowed to apply heavy and/or dramatic colors to both.

Tangent.

If you are goth, invest in some quality eye pencils and shadows. Heavy black eye makeup that smudges and runs, spills, and falls out all over your cheekbones and eye sockets is ugly and makes you look like cheap white trash. :P

If you’re short on money, there are all sorts of outlets and clearances stores online where you can get good stuff at a reasonable price, as well as a multitude of small businesses making their own products and selling them online.

End Tangent.

Another thing I learned is that if you just make sure that you’ve bought a high quality base coat and top coat, you can make the bright colors in the dollar store clearance bins last for days with just a little bit of edge wear, and no chipping at all.

I have learned that primers do help and could even be considered a necessity. They make eye shadow last longer without creasing and make the colors brighter, and they prevent foundation from smearing on the chin, around the nose, and from gradually going blotchy in oily spots.

I have learned that there is a reason there are so very many kinds of makeup brushes and that they all have their purpose. That synthetic bristle dries slower than natural hair, that I don’t care for the paddle-shaped foundation brushes at all, and that applying mineral powder foundation with a large kabuki brush is by far the quickest way to do it.

I have learned how to blend, and how not to over-blend. I have learned how to do precision work with thin eye line brushes, how to apply lipstick in a way that makes it last a lot longer, and how not to be afraid to experiment with any color combination, now matter how insane it may seem at first. As a side effect of that last lesson, I have also learned exactly what works, what doesn’t, and what to put around my eyes to look well rested when I am anything but.

Above all, I have learned is that by putting on different shades in different ways, I can become whoever I want to be. We humans judge by appearance, and makeup alters appearance more than I think most people realize. What we put on our faces tell people who we are, or at least who we want people to think we are. It’s a more complex form of a mask, it’s a subtle way of taking control over how the world around us perceives us.

But most importantly, it’s fun, and it is an addiction I hope I will never recover from.

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