My tryst with Makeup
I have this funny relationship with makeup. I do not like to put it on myself. I admire women who are well groomed and well made up. I feel pukey when I see someone with layers of makeup. My definition of good makeup is less and subtle. I am no expert in this field. I feel if someone is good in drawing or painting , they can put the eyeliner properly. I can't do it. I can manage lipstick and have learnt Kajal. Kajal is kohl, a very beautiful aspect of makeup for Indian women. I have not even mastered that. In fact, do I have mastery in anything at all? The answer is a candid 'No'. I am not even the Jack of all trades. I should not be categorising myself and each person is unique but I seem to do that. I have friends who are makeup artists who put lovely pictures and videos on social media. The made up brides and women look nice and not so nice but I definitely admire the workmanship of my makeup artist friends.
Attended a wedding last weekend. Right from the bride to her mother to all relatives to the groom's sister, friends, all were so beautifully made up. I mean they all had lovely makeup on their face even in the morning. Very subtle and classy. I was so impressed and went into the 'me too' zone. In the past even for family weddings, I have not managed to style my hair or get professional make up done. Makeup was put by professionals in my wedding, reception and engagement. The engagement makeup was atrocious. We told the guy to go subtle on the wedding day which he listened to. The reception guy did a decent job is what I thought. Actually I liked the hair stylist he had got along. She made a french braid/ plait for me. I was happy with that neatness in the look more than the make up. After that I never felt like going to a professional for makeup.
Last weekend, I gathered all my courage for the wedding reception and I went to a professional. Since she is a friend, she took me at a short notice. I told her to make it subtle as I am not into makeup at all. She opened a Pandora's box and it had all the colours and shades of a rainbow in it. Every shade of beige was there along with white and yellow. That was applied to conceal the marks on my face, the laugh lines, the wrinkles, the under eye lines or crow feet as they call it. The hair line was re drawn and so was the chin line. The nose was chiselled and the forehead was given some other form...all this with beige, white and yellow. Then the colours were applied to the cheeks, eye lids and lips. Various shades of pink and purple and a bit of black for the eye. The hair was combed, clipped and sprayed. The rest of it was left loose, thank God for small mercies. And all this was done with my consent.
I did not like my look one bit. They said it will settle down by the time I reach home and wear the Saree. It will look appropriate with the wedding attire. Nada! I am used to having a bath before I wear new clothes or go out for a party, wedding or even dinner. I could not even wash my face, forget having a bath. The hair though sprayed with soft spray liquid felt heavy. The smiling seemed difficult with all the whitewash on my face. I kept dabbing it with a tissue but the make up would not fade one bit. I went to the party feeling two kilos heavier with the layers on my face. There I kept seeing the make up on all the ladies who looked so classy. Why wasn't the made up Parul feeling good? I refused to go to the washroom as I did not want to see the mirror. All the beige fillers / concealers on my skin looked so ugly. At home, I was happy to wipe it all off with oil. The amount of colour that came out in the cotton balls and the amount of oil used to wipe off the make up was shocking. A bath also did not make me feel clean. All the colours and chemicals on my face makes me shudder even now. I can still feel the paint on my face. This doesn't mean the make up artist used wrong products. It is about me and the feeling of layers where my skin cannot breathe. How do actresses and models apply so much make up ? How do they feel the full day with heavy clothes and makeup and hair styled? I know they get paid for it but still how does one feel? I felt artificial, painted, dirty on my skin, heavy on my face, bound and ugly. Makeup is supposed to enhance one's looks, for me, it did the opposite.
I have no one to blame but myself. I feel horrible for trying this but I would have never known other wise. Someone mentioned that you can try another makeup artist next time. For me, it was about the stuff on my face which did not make me feel good and not the artist. How do all the women I admire, manage to glow in makeup and look so comfortable with it? When will I learn that? Or may be I won't . I will just keep admiring other women and feeling like I am not good at this.