Since last weekend, I have sunk an even more inordinate amount of time than normal into thinking about makeup - getting lost in the k-hole that is beauty blogs and YouTube tutorials. Obsessively reading product reviews and organizing my makeup stash and making wishlists. I think I *finally* figured out my eyes and cheeks, and accordingly, my makeup has been like 76% more on point lately.
It’s probably messed up that I’ve always viewed my eyes and cheeks as a problem, but I’ve never really known what to do with them. I didn’t grow up around other Koreans. I had to get a lot of my instruction from magazines, but the girls in my teen fashion magazines never really seemed to look like me.
Oftentimes, magazine beauty features would have a handful of looks for light-skinned girls, one for dark-skinned girls, and one for olive-skinned and/or Asian girls. So I would look at the makeup instructions for Asian girls, when they appeared, but they never seemed to work right. These beauty tutorials never seemed to say that a look could work for you if you don’t look like that and here’s how. And definitely no discussion of different eye shapes, or the fact that not all Asian eyes are the same.
So I mostly stayed away from makeup in my every day, but I had to do stage makeup for my ballet performances. That was mostly an exercise in trying to make my face look not quite so different from the others. Creating a crease in my eye. Chiseling my barely-there cheekbones to make my face look less round. Wearing the longest, thickest false eyelashes I could find. I hated wearing that dark, obvious contouring makeup, when everyone else basically just got to do their makeup with a heavy hand.
So makeup has mostly always been about what I can’t do, and how different I look, but then today with ladies talking about makeup on YouTube and tumblr and blogs its like oh, OK, I’m not alone.
I feel like I’ve been a lot more comfortable in my own skin lately, and I think it is largely because of the increased visibility of strong online communities of really awesome women, really awesome people of color, really awesome women of color - talking about everything, including makeup.