I am as far from being a makeup junkie as one could possibly be. I am all about slathering on moisturizer and eye lotion after my AM shower, running a comb through my damp hair and moving on to something I find much more interesting and am willing to spend hours on, if need be - that would be picking out my wardrobe, shoes and accessories for the day. Because really, if you have good skin and look decent overall without artificial help, then why bother with shadows, foundation, powder and all that jazz?
I'm sure you all can hear that I am not very self-critical... let's just leave it at that! However, as much as I prefer the au naturel look, I do have one guilty pleasure: eyelashes. The darker, the thicker and the longer, the better in my book. Hence, there should be no surprise that Twiggy (collage below), Jean Shrimpton (pictured above: for Bazaar in the 60s), Edie Sedgwick and their likes are my lash icons forever and ever... and that I consume mascara like a fat kid scarves down McDonald's.
I have favorites for every price segment and know exactly what to pick up regardless of whether I'm shopping at Bloomingdale's, Sephora or Duane Reade - I usually reach for the FiberWig or DiorShow, but I have tried a good couple of budget options with decent results too. However, I don't care much for what seems to be everyone else's cheapo favorite: Maybelline Great Lash. I feel like most of it always ends up underneath my eyes before the day is even half-way over... not exactly the look I am going for. Eventually, though, a makeup artist delivered the painful explanation as to why this under-eye smudging kept happening: my lashes are too short and hence the mascara comes off gradually every time I blink. Really....? And I thought it was because Great Lash is a cheap-ass drug store mascara that should not be expected to last throughout the day without a sufficient amount of clean-ups and touch-ups? My bad!
Either way, short lashes are better than no lashes, right? Imagine the trauma I experienced back in October, when I was dumb and lazy enough to make an attempt at waxing my eyebrows at home (it was raining and I didn't want to walk half a block to the nearest spa!).... and some of the wax accidentally dripped down on guess what. Never mind that basically all of my left brow mistakenly came off (I used those idiotic strips that you put on top of the brow to get your desired shape, and the wax kept running down on the inside of the strip) - what really made me freak out was losing half a row of eyelashes! Can you spell p-a-n-i-c?
Needless to say, during the weeks that followed, I was hiding 24/7 behind my bangs and sunglasses, and did absolutely no other work than movie/TV background: no castings/auditions are required for those jobs, and very often you can get away with doing your own makeup. Also, I was obsessively applying one of those Latisse knock-offs that you can get online for cheap... and to my surprise, it turned out to be money and effort well spent. By Thanksgiving most of my lashes were back to an acceptable length, and way before Christmas, they had grown into a fringe that was putting Bambi as well as Mary Quant to shame. Now, about two months later, I can't even sit down in a makeup chair without having the artist compliment me on my long, dark lashes - kind of a big change from a couple of months ago, when they used to pull the falsies out of their kits first thing as they saw me walk in. Who would have thought?! Let alone this new, lashy look of mine is all contingent on my addiction to a scary growth serum, the ingredients of which will probably kill me or at least make me blind long before retirement. Oh well... until then, I will enjoy the benefits of achieving a perfectly doe-eyed Twiggy look using not much more than a couple of coats of Maybelline Great Lash - no more smudging, and no more pricey FiberWig!
To conclude, you would think all this suffering should have taught me the hard way that DIY beautification is not for amateurs like myself. Well, not at all - I just took a stab at dyeing my hair at home in the sink last weekend.... with disastrous results that required a professional color cleanse, a new single-process dye job and a set of highlights to somewhat recreate the color I had in the first place. No further comments! Also, by the way, I still keep that jar of microwaveable eyebrow wax in the bathroom cabinet. You never know....
Everyone, do tell me about your DIY hair/skin/eyebrow screw-ups.... I can't be the only one who's guilty of doing them once in a while, right?
Other pictures in this post: Anja Rubik for Vogue Paris 11/2009; Gina Brooke mink diamond-adorned falsies; Vogue Australia spread 10/2009.
Man in a Can, 57th & Madison. - Because we all need a break now and then.
5 years ago