I’ve Never Worn Make-Up, Never … Until Now

Me in my Bellydancing Makeup

I don’t wear make-up.  I have never worn make-up.  Never, in my whole life.

I don’t know how to buy it, I don’t know how to put it on.  But on Saturday, when I dance with the Bennington Beledi Tribal Bellydancers,  I’ll be wearing make-up and it has to look good.

Kat (aka Kitty), my friend who introduced me to Bellydancing, gave me a little bag stuffed with make-up in December when my Bellydancing class had our holiday Hafla.   I wore the costume and the turban for that, but I skipped the make-up.

Someday, I thought to myself then, just not right now.

Six months later and now it’s “Someday“.  So last night I got out the little bag of make-up that Kat gave me and started drawing on my face.  Then I spit on a tissue and used it to rub all the make-up off.

I needed YouTube.

I chose a video where a woman, was applying eyeliner.  I paused the video before she began curling her eyelashes, but got a few pointers and most of all realized that the lines didn’t have to be perfect.

Then I took the bag of make-up into the brightly lit bathroom and tried again and again and again.

I looked at the pictures of the women I dance with every week, in full make-up, on the Bennington Beledi Tribal Bellydancing website, and copied what they did.

It was the eyeshadow that made me feel old.

It seemed to bring out my wrinkles in a way that made me feel like I was trying to cover them up.   I felt like an unsuccessful Cross-dresser.  Because Cross-dressing is supposed to make a person feel more comfortable in their skin, not less.

I sent a picture of myself to my friend Suzy, who just happened to text me.  “Well, just do what your comfortable with, she wrote back,  if it’s not fun or enjoyable then keep finding what works.”

Jon said I looked like a Madi Gras Hooker.   I took that as the compliment it was.  But I won’t dwell there.

I like Suzy’s advice.

So, before class this evening, I’ll go back to the bathroom with my make-up bag and try to find what works for me.   First I’m going to check out YouTube again and see if it’s best to put the eye shadow on first, or the eyeliner.  There’s also some cover make-up in the bag, maybe I’ll get brave and see how that works too.

Tonight we have our final full dress rehearsal before Saturday’s performance. (Which is from 10am-1pm at the Bennington Farmers Market in Bennington Vermont)   This morning I woke up with butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it….



14 thoughts on “I’ve Never Worn Make-Up, Never … Until Now

  1. The eyeliner and tribal markings look great! A friend who plays drums in a band says the stage makeup is going to be viewed from a distance so it helps to put it on and then stand back from the mirror to get the full effect. Subtle, natural makeup just disappears onstage. I like thinking of it as a mask to help become what you want to be. You’re so artistic it will be great with a little practice! <3

    1. Yes, Ro, that’s a great way of thinking of it. A Mask, I like that and it’s very theatrical. I do have to think about it as seen from a distance. All good advice. Thanks!

  2. Hi Maria –
    I was a cosmetic manager for a number of years; lots of make-up sessions and make overs.
    If you use foundation, apply first (including over eye area as it will help hold eye shadow in place). Then brows, eye liner and shadow. One trick I used was to overlay the eye shadow slightly on the eyeliner line as it it mats and blends any imperfections. Lots of mascara, top and bottom lashes. Last is blush (dust on apples of cheek). I love the tribal look. You look stunning (but then you always do).

  3. All you need is a dk brown eyeliner pencil…Maybelline is the best. Some hypoallergenic Mascara (waterproof is best especially in the summer) A neutral lipstick…maybe try some samples at the store….Dusty Rose shades are very good for anyone over 50. And some neutral face powder. The eye shadow you have on is what is making you think you are older looking. You need to get neutral soft brown shades. I myself didn’t wear make up till I went to work in an office in NJ. I had to practice at home in my bathroom with no one to teach me. Since I retired I no longer wear makeup. And get some St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer. You won’t regret buying this 10 oz bottle. It is very reasonable. Under $6 Use it to clean the makeup off your face. And then after washing it off use it again and let it sit on your face for about 15 mins and then wash it off. Use it very sparingly….do not lather it on. You won’t regret buying this. You will be surprised what this does to your skin and lines you get after 50 ….once a day and it gives your skin elasticity back. The collagen is really great. I get compliments all the time how young my skin is and I am 63. But your make up job looks great. Just change your eye shadow to some warm browns…

  4. When I used to use make up I thought of it in terms of light and shadow, like I’m painting a picture of how I’d like to look. Darks make things recede and lights bring things forward. Dark in the fold of the eye lid to visually lift anything that sags. lighter on the lid and upper brow. I tended to colors that were less dramatic, browns lighter and darker. I could always make them look like more a part of me. Also if you let it sit on your face a while it tends to sink in somehow and kind of dye the skin so even when you remove it there is a faint shadow of what once was. A face lotion first and foundation makes it slide on without grabbing in areas. I used a kind of white out to correct darker circles under eyes and can be put as a dot just at the front of the eye before the nose lower toward the duct but not on the duct. The dot visually it widens the eyes. Lotion, white out first then foundation then all the colors. You’re an artist. You got this. Try a face then go outside a while and come back with new eyes.

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