There are several things I used to consider hallmarks for adulthood. Important grown-up stuff like "drink coffee" and "like wine." I'm 1 for 2 there (I've given up on coffee, it's just gross in all its forms, and I've accepted 85% of the Starbucks menu will always taunt me), and I've added: be able to do my hair; have a drawer with an appropriate number of properly fitting bras; have another drawer of lingerie that isn't entirely polyester and/or flammable; and wield an eyeliner pencil with confidence.
Some of those are still a work in progress (particularly hair; I have no idea how to do anything there except pile it on top of my head or flat iron the heck out of it), but I decided to tackle makeup and started googling local makeup artists one night a few weeks ago. I had a mission: I was GOING to learn how to do eyeliner (and the rest of my face) and it was happening before I turned 32. My birthday is next Wednesday, so this past Thursday night found me in my master bathroom with a friend, 3 bottles of wine, and my new makeup artist bestie who also happens to be the PTA president of Landon's school. Armed with lists and cameras and a can-do attitude, my fellow makeup challenged friend and I were DETERMINED to learn what I think we were supposed to learn in high school. Makeup. How to do it.
I warned my friends I was treating this like a slumber party, so I was in my favorite leggings (clearance Gap "cityscape" pattern that I adore), sports bra, black tee, and a headband at 8 p.m. when all the kids were in bed and my guests began to arrive. My jambox was on the tub ledge playing a surprisingly delightful Pandora station combo of Christina Perri and Taylor Swift. There was wine. JP was kicked out to the kitchen to work. It was awesome.
In my search for an expert, I stressed that I really wanted to LEARN how to do the makeup, not just have it done to me. I wanted a simple work look, but I also wanted tricks to up my game for a date night or other occasions. When I get dressed up to go out I always stare at my face in the mirror wishing I could do more with it. It would be nice to look different for a romantic evening than I do grilling witnesses on the record.
And now, I can! Or at least my wine-soaked mind is pretty sure I can. I need to buy a few tools and then I'm spending tomorrow practicing. Probably with my friend back over in my bathroom while face-timing my new makeup expert. But I have the concepts. I know how to hold brushes. I know how few tools and makeup items you really need. It will be fun to add more, but my expert stressed simplicity. She pulled out stuff I already own that I can use better going forward. She made me a list to take to Ulta and/or Sephora. She made me do everything on the left side of my face by myself and then she made me do it again.
And oh my gosh it was so fun. My expert left about midnight. JP ran into our room too fast to properly appreciate my amazing new look and was asleep at 12:02. My friend came out to the kitchen where we accidentally chatted while staring deeply into each other's spectacular eyes until 1:30.
I seriously could not stop looking at my eyes. I'd be talking to both ladies and realize I hadn't broken eye contact with the mirror in tens of minutes. This would be embarrassing except my friend was doing it too. We both swam in college, are currently lawyers, and had never curled our eye lashes. We were like new women. New women who really didn't want to wash our makeup off and go to bed. I took these parting shots near 2 a.m. when my "what would it look like if you put liner under my eyes" REALLY taking it up a notch look was looking a little tired. Or maybe that's just my whole face.
Then I realized I didn't have any good eye makeup remover, a side-effect of not ever doing anything with my eyes, so I just smudged it around with some face washing and collapsed in a passed-out-ish manner on my bed. I dragged myself to barre in the morning which was exciting since I left my center of balance in my wine cup and then headed to work where I looked, if anything, even LESS good in the face than normal. But it's going to be a whole new ballgame on Monday. I just spent all the dollars at Ulta and Sephora in support of it.
It was seriously one of the most fun evenings I've ever spent. So much laughing and talking and making weird faces while trying to hold a brush still. I really did learn things-- SMUDGE!-- and I'm looking forward to re-learning them as I try to recreate it all going forward. I need to have grown-up non-slumber parties more often. Next year I'm tackling hair. I'm walking into 33 with a curling iron (or curlers? curling wand? I own none of these things) if it kills me.
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