It’s a bit of a stretch to call myself a makeup artist just cos I’m nowhere close to the people on Face Off. I have the audacity to use #mua all the time in my posts on Instagram just to join the bandwagon, if you know what I mean. What are hashtags for, right?
When people ask why I don’t take proper makeup workshops or attend makeup school, I only think of two things: 1) School again?; 2) I’m not sure if I’m committed to the craft enough to lay all my cards on the table, quit my full-time job to pursue a career that a million girls (and guys) are much better at.
In my chosen career-path, only the people who experience momentary insanity apply for graduate school; and the academe is a pretty small circle compared to the empire of art and cosmetics. Besides not everyone can be like Bobbi Brown, Anastasia and Michelle Phan. You’re lucky if you even get a ‘regram’ from them.
Okay, what the hell am I talking about.
Well, in my years of being a washed-up travel blogger/avid reader/frustrated actress/one-time Medical Doctor-dreamer/one-time Lawyer-wannabe/former PhD student (in the time being, at least)/university research associate/pseudo-fashionista, there was one thing that was in my purse–after all the sweat and tears, after all the dreams that have come true and/or shattered–a makeup bag.
I started walking down the aisle as a flower girl in weddings at the age of 2. My Mother would stand close to the altar with a cookie in hand so I’d walk and grab the coveted cookie. Of course, she couldn’t let the flower girl go to battle without the proper warpaint. Fascinated with whatever she’s doing to my face, and whatever watercolor thing she uses to do that, I would open her magic batik purse sitting on her dresser and spill the watercolor all over the place. I’d smear the colors, draw lines with the pencils, pucker my lips when it’s time for the red clay-ish thing, and whoa what do we have here–a baby clown.
That being said, I did the same thing over and over again every afternoon for years. I bought my very first eyeshadow when I was 12 and it changed my life forever. Since my Mom cannot grace all my programs in school, I’d do my makeup myself. I bought magazines and copy the looks of the covergirls (still can’t do the Candy-wink, unfortunately). Mismatched eyebrows, scraggly eyeliner, lipstick on my teeth–who cares. I just like the fact that my eyes looked bigger, my cheeks didn’t look like somebody slapped the heck out of me and my pout (and teeth) was a vision in red. Yes, even before the Anne Curtis red-lip craze, I was sporting a red lip in high school events.
Until one day, my friend bought me an 8-piece set of professional makeup brushes from the US as a present. It was the first time that I felt in control of whatever art I wanted to recreate. And even to this day–that I take selfies as makeup inspiration for my 57 followers on Instagram (HAHA!)–makeup is the only time when I feel calm, in control and focused. AND PREEEETTYYYY. With my chronic dissatisfaction of the things around me, and my ADHD tendencies, when I do makeup for myself and for my ‘clients’ and see them glow, radiant and happy afterwards? Screw Delayed Gratification, I am addicted to the instant fulfillment I get from it.
When people ask why I’m not making a career out of this. It’s the same with writing–I don’t want my love for it to be ruined by the whole rigmarole of the ‘industry’. The pressure of having to do this for everyone with unrealistic expectations is kind of overwhelming. I don’t want to end up hating it because I can’t live up to other people’s standards. I’d like for it to remain as a hobby, kind of a friend/sister helping another friend/sister in need. The compensation I get from it is just a bonus.
Right now, I’m happy with Instagram. Drawing inspiration from hustlers is kind of my thing nowadays. I don’t even care if some people think it’s stupid or it’s useless or it’s vanity controlling me. Because in a world where ‘happiness’ is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I think I already found mine. Let’s stick to that. 🙂