I Don’t See It As a Problem

I’ll admit it—I’m addicted. I know it’s not always good for me and I spend way too much of my money on it, but I can’t help it. I love the look of it, in all its different varieties, I love the smell, and I love what it does for me. I can’t live without it.

Makeup.

The Beauty Gene was not passed down to me from my mother. She rarely buys makeup, and usually only wears a little foundation, a little lipstick and a light coat of mascara. Growing up, I would jump at the chance to play with her ancient makeup or gasp! be allowed to purchase a Bonne Bell lipgloss or Wet n’ Wild nail polish of my own.

The only logical reason I can come up with is the fact that I was reading teen magazines at a young age. I somehow finagled myself a subscription to Seventeen Magazine at age 10. I read it for a good year before my babysitter showed it to my mom and suggested finding me a magazine that was more age appropriate. True, there were a lot of articles about sex and relationships, but I wasn’t paying attention to those (I didn’t know a condom from a condo at that point). What I did read were all the beauty tips and reviews. I think I was the only 4th grader who was exfoliating on a weekly basis. So this reading and understanding of “older girls” stuff is the only catalyst I can identify for my makeup addiction.

I’ve created a beauty timeline to try to understand where my addiction started, and exactly when I got hooked.

Age 3—My best friend Danielle’s mother makes us up as clowns. She does it for Danielle to help her get over her fear of clowns and for me because I love the feeling of makeup on my face. The pictures she took show a nervous Danielle, and an ecstatic Allison.

Age 8—My Aunt Terry, a nurse, is painting my nails for me and tells me she is not allowed to wear nail polish to work. I am horrified at the thought and say, “Can you at least paint your toenails?”

Age 11—My friend Amanda and I are playing when we find my mom’s Mary Kay eyeshadow palette. I cover Amanda’s eyes with a turquoise shadow and paint her lips with a pale pink. Amanda’s mother flips when she sees it, and we are not allowed to play together anymore.

Age 18—I go to CVS every few weeks to pick up new makeup. Purple lipstick, kelly green eyeliner, liquid bronzer—I try everything.  Sometimes all at once.

Age 24—I go to school for Esthetics, where I routinely interrupt my instructor to ask her which lipstick or blush she is wearing. Her answer is considered part of a lesson, and I know I am enrolled in the right kind of school for me.

The addiction has only become worse as I’ve gotten older. In the last few years, I’ve discovered a more expensive, more potent brand of the stuff—high end beauty products. My L’Oreal mascara has been replaced with Diorshow, my CoverGirl blush was thrown away when I discovered NARS Orgasm, and my Maybelline lipgloss got the ax the day that I tried a Lancome Beauty Tube.

As a makeup artist, I can validate my addiction. It’s probably scary to some. I see the fear in the eyes of makeup virgins when I first approach them with my Shu Uemura eyelash curler. But I know that once I am finished transforming them into an enhanced version of themselves, they too will feel the rush and may become a beauty junkie like me.

My hands shake as I open my boxes from Sephora, but the calm hits when I see my samples. I rip open a Stila box to uncover the tinted moisturizer that is on my face before you can say “natural looking glow”. My friends get excited over engagements and babies, but I feel true joy when winged eyeliner comes out perfectly.

I’m not interested in kicking this addiction, and I don’t think I could if I wanted to. I see the world as a giant inspirational makeup palette, and I want to share what I’ve learned as a makeup artist. This blog will be home to product reviews, tips and techniques, makeup pictures, stories from various makeup jobs, and hopefully suggestions from others.

Hope you enjoy it!

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