HOW MY MAKEUP CHANGES AS I AGE
I know, I know, I’m in my twenties. I can’t talk about ageing with any real integrity; my skin is still in the throes of youth and I’m not exactly approaching the menopause. However, I’m not talking about being of a certain age, I’m talking about literal ageing, the way everyone is every single second. Last year I was twenty-four, this year I am twenty-five, and so on. My experiences as I grow alter my sense of self and my ongoing maturity affects every part of my life, including makeup.
So, how has my relationship with makeup changed? I think, as I’m not doing makeup for myself (and Instagram), rather than for a job (YouTube), my needs have automatically shifted to match that. But it does go further than that. I’m noticing what makeup looks unflattering on me. I know which shapes suit me. I know the colours that complement me. Whilst testing out product after product, I barely had time to really find my own style or figure out what worked best, but I’ve really started taking time to discover that.
And it’s not just a career change that altered my perception. I now just… care less. A few months ago, I wouldn’t so much as pop to the corner shop without putting on a full face of makeup. Now I’m happy to dab on some lipgloss and mascara to run errands. I haven’t gained confidence as such. I just now realise that Clive from down the road wouldn’t notice if I walked around in bright green morph suit, let alone if I had no makeup on. Other people don’t care, and I certainly don’t care whether they wear makeup or not, so why should I feel the need to wear it?
A full glam beat started feeling – and looking – a bit much for me, especially if I was just popping down to the co-op for a pint of milk. I’d catch a glimpse of my face in a relfection and it would look like a mask. So now, I’m only wearing natural-finish foundations and piling on less of it. On an everyday basis, I generally only wear a bit of concealer under my eyes and on any blemishes.
Instead of a blinding highlight that looked like a silver streak in daylight, i now opt for a subtle glow or a cream formula (Colourpop Supershock Highlighters are amazing). I use a lot more cream products in general; I find them easier to work with and more natural on the skin. Powder is definitely saved for a night out, even the ones I use to set my face – I would prefer to look dewy. As you can imagine, my daily makeup routine has changed considerably. I used to look for the glam, high coverage, high pigment products when browsing the makeup aisles. Nowadays I’m looking for easy-to-blend, lightweight, natural formulas.
I see it, in my mind, as my makeup settling down and becoming more ‘me’ as I do. Your early twenties are often a journey of self-discovery, with phases and experimentation. By your mid-twenties you start becoming your authentic self – I like to think my makeup matured as I did. Don’t get me wrong, I still love doing a full coverage glam makeup look for nights out and for Instagram pics, but as I’m not doing that kind of look all the time, I can really enjoy every step rather than a chore.
After I stopped creating video content, I drastically decluttered a lot of my collection. In the end, I only kept the products that I really wanted to use, and not those which were bought purely for videos and never cared strongly about. It definitely made a huge difference in my thought process behind buying new makeup products. I’ve been splurging on high-end pieces that I’ve thought about for a long time, rather than spending loads on lots of cheap products that ultimately aren’t that great. I can really curate a collection that I’m proud of and excited to use. Don’t worry, I’m not suddenly a high-end snob (loads of my favourite products are under a tenner!) but using fancy products makes me feel fancy. And we all deserve to feel fancy.
It was cleansing; my makeup collection had become too large and unmanageable. It wasn’t bringing me joy. It was bringing me dread. Too much choice can stifle creativity, and I definitely felt in a rut. Weirdly enough, having less choice made me more creative when it came to thinking of looks for Instagram; with a large collection, I was becoming lazy and grabbing whatever product I came to first. Once ‘forced’ to choose from a smaller selection I had to stop and weigh up my options. I now really think about the colours I’m using, and whether the formulas of products will gel well together.
Relationships change all the time, with many different things and people in your lives. Change isn’t always negative, sometimes you have to learn to love something or someone in a different, but equal, way. Makeup may not be a significant part of most people’s lives, but it is in mine, and it has been interesting to observe how my relationship with it has changed throughout the last few months!