Every morning I wake up, do my morning necessities and then settle in front of my vanity to start my makeup for the day. Yes, I basically wear a full face of makeup 6 out of 7 (if not all 7) days, however this wasn’t always the case. When I meet new people, I am often asked, “how did you get into makeup?” I give a variety of responses. Sometimes, “I’ve always been into it.” Other times I reply, “it just slowly evolved as I got older,” but this isn’t really the truth. In an effort to make my blog posts more personal, I’ve decided to share my story.
To some degree, yes I have always been into all things beauty. As a child, on an almost daily basis I would come home from school and watch What’s Love Got to Do With It (don’t ask me why I was watching this at 5 years old) and I’d get into my grandmother’s heels and roll on the river with Tina.
By middle school I’d developed a taste of fashion sense, though all my clothing was coordinated by my mother. I’ve always been chubby or overweight, and I became aware of how I liked to look – and how I didn’t. Of course, I was still too young to wear face makeup, but I was obsessed with lip gloss and nail polish and accessories. That obsession remains to this day.
It wasn’t until high school that makeup became an opportunity for me. I started off with “the basics,” which are different for every girl I assume, but are the makeup products that you have to wear otherwise you feel like a ghoul the whole day. For me this was loads of mascara and lip gloss, and if I had a blemish (God, I miss my teens), I’d use Revlon ColorStay 24hr Liquid Makeup in 400 Caramel for combo/oily skin. Actually, this is one of the only foundations to match my skin tone and under tones perfectly and I always have a backup bottle, especially now that it comes with a pump.
I’d practice eyeshadow looks every once in a while. And when I would hang out with my older family members and friends, I was allowed to wear makeup in a way that made me feel as cool as them. Looking back, I wouldn’t say I was terrible at makeup. I was decent for a beginner. In other words, I looked a hot mess.
By the time I started college, I had a signature look – winged liner, full lashes and occasionally a lip color, but most often just gloss. I was never one to have skin issues. I didn’t own concealer and used foundation to cover any pimples or blemishes I had, if I had them. I would see women wearing face powder and slapping on liquid foundation and it was a totally foreign thing to me. Unfortunately, this was something that changed around age 21/22.
Many may not know this, but I have an autoimmune disorder called Dermatomyositis. It was quite active in my youth, then supposedly went away at about 15 years old. Once I hit my early twenties, my illness flared up causing major issues with my skin. Rashes, scaly breakouts and discolored patches covered my face and chest to a point that I was pretty depressed about how I looked.
I know for many this can sound insensitive, and I admire the strength of spirit for others that have physical deformities and disabilities. For me this wasn’t a matter of being “ugly,” it was more about turning into someone I didn’t recognize and not knowing how to move forward with the new way that I looked. During times when I had nothing to look forward to in my day, I’d prop myself up on the couch and do my makeup and feel just a tiny bit better with myself.
I’m 25, almost 26 now, and thankfully my health is in a much more stable position. It never really hit me until recently that my talent for makeup was born out of those times when who I saw in the mirror didn’t match the way I wanted to look.
I wouldn’t say I’m a makeup guru or an expert in any capacity. I have always had creative ability with drawing and painting, and as I got older that just sort of translated into makeup. And now I’m able to express myself creatively doing fun Halloween makeup or cool eyeshadow looks. And while I prefer not to be seen without makeup, (photo above is makeup-free) I’m not embarrassed of the way I look anymore. Ironically wearing makeup lead to me being confident in my own skin. I put way more effort into my skincare than I would if I still had perfect teenage skin. And even more than that, I’m fulfilled by trying new makeup looks and being able to make others look glamorous.
I am available to answer all your questions if there are any, and I hope that my honesty has impacted someone in a positive way. You can always find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – @taylorbird___
Thanks for reading!