(Wearing Mac’s Retro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bengal Tiger on the lashes and lids using the wand only.)
I’ve been holding back writing about this for a while, but I finally had a fuck it moment and decided to roll with it.
As you may or may not know, I work as a Make-Up Artist. It totally wasn’t in my “career plan”, though I should have read the signs the minute I was 18 and started drunkenly crying in a club toilet cubicle surrounded by smelly piss sobbing over the fact I lost my Chanel Lipstick (which I totally couldn’t afford) that had been discontinued. Forever….Suffice to say, I got over it, puked out the tragedy and started my search for my next perfect shade of lippy. The search turned into a bag full of make-up of all different shades and colours and I got really excited at this land of colour I never knew existed before. My mates would ask why it would take me so long to get ready, especially when they knew I never did it to try and impress or look conventionally “pretty” for those uni boys.
The older I got, the more experimental I became with my make-up and soon followed my love affair with fashion and play with textures, prints and styles, that reverted to Canvas Mixed-media work along the way. Maybe it came from my background as a trained Actor that inspired my love of dress-up or maybe it was my years of being a suppressed teenager who wanted to fit in and wear that basic staple of a hoody, trainers, and simple cat eye-liner flick at school. I still don’t know-but something installed me to inspire other people to try different things and step outside their comfort zone, when I so craved a figure like that for myself when I was a kid. When you see others rock outfits you never thought would work, or see the elderly with this level of swag that comes from confidence, it gives you permission to follow suit and find whatever it is you want to explore yourself.
For me, and as Cliché as it may sound Make up is ART. Infact, I think that the majority of what we do can be classified as Art in a way that means something to you personally. Go to a Museum and each piece you see is individually interpreted by something the Artist has been inspired by or felt at that moment in time and it’s relayed to you for you to read in your own way. Listen to a piece of Music and you’ll hear and take from it what you want and every moment you listen it will change to your ear. If you start to think of it like that and see this incredible multitude of people that have fought all there lives to express and to have the giant balls (not literal, some literal) to do so, in generations of change and differing cultures, is so inspiring and brings a total smile on my face of its revolution.
But more recently, I’d been starting to think. Wait, have I taken this too far? Was I trying to make a point using the visual as a guise to do it? Open up my wardrobe and you will see, what I’d probably call a jungle. Admittedly, I really need to chuck out some of my clothes that now feed no purpose but the majority of my stuff is eclectic and unafraid of colour and print (which is very much the opposite of how I used to be).
Working in the industry I work in now, a massive selling point of my work, is, well, myself. I need to believe and be honest in who I am, for the things that I do in my life to be as authentic as they can be. So with that, I explore shape, colour and come up with new ways of using products to keep myself interested and the people too. But. This all comes at a price and the price is that it won’t be everyone’s taste and you have to open yourself up to that possibility and the possibility of it being deemed unappealing or unattractive by others eyes of appreciation. And that’s really okay. Because you have to ask yourself, why do you do it? I mean, why do any of us do it? If you’re doing it to be accepted by others or to appeal to the masses, then maybe that’s not for the right reasons. But hey, we’re all guilty of it and I will be the first to admit that. I had the worst time at School and felt like the ugliest, blandest duckling alive and sadly tried to do everything I could to fit in; to wear the skirts I hated and grow my hair to appear like “The Hills” girls I used to watch on MTV with perfect tans and beach bodies that I never felt I possessed. But truly, that isn’t me and in hindsight it never interested or motivated me. I’m pale regardless of my European roots where my Dad’s side have annoying tans and I was blessed with boobs and a bum that won’t be shrinking down any time soon until I’m 80 years old and super saggy…oh god. Lets erase that thought. And then the more I thought about it (not about the saggy boob part) , the more I thought how long it took me to be where I am and for the people I’ve met and come across who have enabled me to have the authority of doing what I want to do and admiring me for that. And that’s pretty bloody special and I’m really thankful, especially to those people who I look up to and yes, even the elderly with that undeniable swag. Like my Nana. She absolutely owns her 87 year old title with a swish of the hair and a fearless laugh that makes her captivating for her own reasons.
So if I’ve learnt anything and if I were to end this in anyway…I would ask you to just take it all with a pinch of salt and wash it down with a Tequila and just roll with it, because what else are you gonna do? Drink water? Now that’s just boring…