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Tales of a 40-Year-Old Makeup Virgin

posted: 04/14/15
by: Brittany Walls
Tales of a 40 year old makeup virgin
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Can you teach an old(ish) dog new tricks?
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Being a DIY blogger has put me in a little bit of a spotlight. Recently I had to give a speech in front of an audience of people and honestly, it wasn't the speaking that had my knees quaking, it was the insecurities I have about my fashion and beauty knowledge.

I have some soul-baring to do -- I'm a 40-year-old makeup virgin. Last night at our Mom's Night Out dinner, our conversation turned to makeup and I confessed that I just learned how to apply it properly for the first time in my life. I was totally taken aback as my girlfriends leaned forward and begged for more information. I thought I was the only ugly duckling who didn't "get it".

Growing up as a tomboy, I never paid much attention to my looks. I was the kid that always wanted to wear overalls, pants or shorts. Heaven forbid I should have to wear a dress or skirt to any formal occasion. My mom tells a story of me running around naked in the backyard with my Grandmother frantically running after me trying to get me to put on a dress for a wedding.

As I entered high school, I was an awkward band geek. My hair was short and I tried desperately to fit in makeup- and fashion-wise. My style of choice was a Gap rugby shirt and Guess jeans. And I barely knew how to apply mascara without poking my eyeball in the process. Obviously I still clung to my tomboy nature.

This year I was put on the fast track to beauty education: I was introduced to Pinterest and -- my, oh my -- I finally learned how to apply makeup correctly. On Pinterest I am never further than a few clicks away from learning how to achieve the smokey eye look or learning how to create a bump in your hair. YouTube videos and The Small Things Blog (one of my favorite style blogs) have transformed me from an awkward "I could care less about my looks mom," into a semi-glamorous woman.

With the booking of two more speaking engagements this year, I turned to a professional for some one-on-one help. I made an appointment with a makeup styist at my hair salon. The stylist taught me how to apply eyeliner by using a small flat brush and dark eye shadow. She showed me how to fill in my brows using a matching brown eye shadow. And she gave me some color palette instructions for choosing the best color eye shadow to wear with my eye, hair and skin coloring.

One thing I never realized is that to make your makeup look really good, you need the right tools. You'd think a handy girl would realize that tools make a big difference. A perfectly chiseled brush is going to work much better than the freebie sponge applicator that comes with your eyeshadow.

Now on days that I'm not swinging hammers, I actually take time to put on some makeup. It is amazing how much properly applied eyeliner and mascara can boost your confidence.

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks -- but I'm living proof that it can be done!