Mental makeup and me

It’s like clockwork. The moment I feel worse, the fussier I get about how I look. It’s definitely a defence mechanism.

I don’t know about you but depression makes me feel ugly. It’s as if someone had sneaked into the flat overnight and replaced all the mirrors with the ones you get at those fun houses at carnivals. Que me reaching for makeup bag and ready to pay anything for a mirror that would show me anyone else’s face but my own. I think this idea would definitely reap investments in Dragon’s Den.

This hasn’t been and never will be a makeup blog but I know that being unwell puts forward very specific challenges in doing your makeup and I thought I’d share a few tips.

I have an acne-prone, dry skin so I can’t imagine doing my makeup without a primer. I’ve found that no matter which moisturiser I use, my skin will start drinking the foundation around midday. The best primer I’ve tried has been Photo Finish Foundation Primer by Smashbox. It’s quite pricey but incredibly light and excellent.

Until very recently when I started beta blockers I suffered from really, really shaky hands. I hated paying with cash in shops because I must’ve looked like a junkie going through withdrawals. Same with having my nails done.

One thing that became a million times more difficult was doing my mascara. That’s why I started doing my lashes more from side to side rather than up and down. The amount of smudges went down considerably. I’d be doing my eyes sitting down because of the shakes, with my elbow propped on the table.

Because I wear glasses, I want my mascara to be quite dramatic. I want to strive towards the false lash effect as much as possible and I’ve been really happy with Miss Baby Roll by L’Oreal.

I’m quite a newcomer to eye shadows but I know it does make a difference, especially if you wear glasses. Because of my hands I only put on a little bit at a time so I won’t smudge myself. Investing into a good blending brush made a real difference. My favourite eye shadow palette is ‘Sophie’ by MUA. A lot of the basic sets are quite small but this is a very all-encompassing and not too expensive.

Another 10000% increase in difficulty, lipstick. The five quid spent into a colourless lip liner were a worthy investment. It goes with everything and is forgiving towards shaky hands. I tend to bite my lip when I feel anxious, a habit which I’m really trying to get rid of. Unlike what 50 shades of Grey tells you, it’s not endearing and leads to white flakes of dead skin on your lips. If you don’t want to invest in a lip scrub, a soft toothbrush does the same trick. Just remember to put on lip balm afterwards.

I have mixed feelings about endorsing Kat Von D because I really don’t agree with her stance on not vaccinating her baby. Do whatever else you want, but once a choice you make becomes a threat on public safety, it stops being your choice. My mum is an antivaxxer but even she vaccinated me for things like smallpox because she’s not a total idiot.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t change the fact that Lock It is definitely the best foundation that I’ve tried. Acne-wise my skin is a million times better from what it used to be but I definitely require the fullest of full coverage and if I can do that without looking like a cream cake, even better. I haven’t needed a concealer since I started using this foundation.

I also have a hard time finding my translucent pale skin a suitable shade but this one looks really natural. Also, it doesn’t break the bank. The only problem with it is that it doesn’t really stick to your nose well but I’ve gotten around it with some extra setting powder. This also the only part of the makeup process where shaky hands are useful because you can make such careful tippy-tap pitty pats that your foundation will be as matte as an billion pound oil painting.

I’ve gotten used to putting some lipstick on my lips and then spreading it with my finger in little taps to avoid smudges and soften the edges before giving my lips a tap with a tissue or a halved piece of toilet paper. This was the first makeup tip I learnt from my mum and anything that makes my lipstick stay on longer means longer time without having to fix it.

I have quite a round face, and with my continuous recent weight gain I want to keep up the lie that I have cheekbones with proper contouring. I don’t do the kissy face because that tends to make you look like a starved orphan, and instead of just leaving the line I soften it around the curve of my cheek. For how not to do your contouring, please see reddit for r/crappycontouring. Blend, for god’s sake, BLEND!

So far Gosh has been the only makeup brand I’ve found that does a contouring kit solely for the fair-skinned. I don’t want to use the fair/medium sets for medium shall I never be. This set also includes a highlighter and a blusher. My recipe for blusher is simple, I just smile and put some on the apples of my cheeks.

Also a brief word about highlighter: for the love of god, don’t spread it all the way across the bridge of your nose. That’s not how it works, and you just end up looking like an alien. A little blot on the tip of your nose is fine.

I sign off the work of art I’ve created on my face with setting spray.

Oh, and since a few people have asked how I do my hair: I blow dry it with my head down, use a hard wax by taking up small sections of my hair and crunching it from the roots.

At the moment I use Wella’s texture touch wax, which requires quite an intense shampooing when washing it off. I’ve noticed that drug store waxes just aren’t up to the task so I buy my wax from hair salons. The same with hairspray. I want my hair big as in BIG so sometimes I might use a brush to tease it if I’m still not satisfied. As my hair is definitely the longest-taking phase of me getting ready, the chances are that I’m not.




  1. Your eyeshadow looks fabulous! I “hide” behind makeup when feeling unwell. After isolating in my house for a week not caring what I looked like due to depression I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up my meds. I did a full face of makeup as if that would keep them from knowing that “I’m not ok”. though pretty sure my four psych meds gave it away,lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I also do the elbow propping strategy to keep my mascara application reasonably in the vicinity of my eyelashes. For eyeshadow I layer NYX jumbo eye pencil in milk over Smashbox photo finish, and then the eyeshadow stays exactly where I put it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. You look stunning. Most of the technical stuff was jibberish to me though. O

    I can relate to hating the person in the mirror. I just don’t look. The extent of makeup for me is a moisturiser, a tiny bit of face powder and mascara.

    Not making any effort is my defence mechanism. If I look like I don’t care what I look like I can brush off the inevitable nasty comments. Plus sneakers are comfy and no makeup can hide my freckles anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why thank you Nat! I’m not good enough to get really technical about things, more like basic stuff. And it’s interesting how the same emotion, disliking yourself, can manifest in totally opposite ways. I know it’s not as easy as me telling you, but I think you shouldn’t even try to hide your freckles. I think freckles are gorgeous.

      Liked by 1 person

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