Tips for Looking Fabulous from an Oakland Femme
1. How to get the perfect cat eye.
The best piece of makeup advice I ever got was from a fellow femme: “Save time on cat-eye eyeliner by accepting that your eyes will never match.” I repeat this mantra to myself every day as I coat my the bottom of my eyelids in liquid liner. It keeps me from obsessively removing and re-applying the liner until it’s perfect, which was my former technique. It’s never going to be perfect and I am fine with it. “Close enough” is the new “good enough.”
2. Lipstick makes every outfit fabulous.
Lipstick makes everything better. Ok, fine, it doesn’t help with disease or poverty, but it can quickly and easily up your confidence level and overall fabulousness. The other day I went grocery-shopping in a button-up, jeans and Birkenstocks. My hair was unwashed and my eyes were decorated with the purple circles that hangovers and lack of sleep always generously give me . But I threw on a bright fuschia glossy lipstick and immediately felt fabulous. And I know I looked fabulous, because lipstick brings any outfit together. If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to put on other makeup, throw on a bright, bold lip color and it’s all anyone will notice. I have lipstick stashed in my car, all my purses, coat pockets and at my grrlfriend’s house. Always be prepared, like a grown-up femme Girl Scout.
3. It’s worth splurging on the fancy stuff.
I am a bargain shopper for most things. Like your mom, I love coupons and comparison shopping and clearance racks. Most of my wardrobe was acquired for free from friends and clothing swaps, or for cheap from Oakland thrift stores like Out of the Closet. But I’ll admit that I’ve become quite the makeup snob. Let’s face it, that $20 Stila Liquid Eyeliner is $20 for a reason: it stays on all day and the colors are gorgeous. The big exception is NYX, with its drugstore pricing but professional quality and wear. So I compromise by taking full advantage of the Ulta and Sephora beauty rewards programs and splurging on the hard stuff like Urban Decay, Stila, Benefit. It’s worth it, so am I, and so are you. And when you just need a makeup binge, buy a bunch of NYX. Their matte lip creams are phenomenal and they’re $5.99. I have almost every color… don’t judge me.
4. Oil is the most effective and natural way to remove makeup.
Don’t waste money and hurt your delicate eyes on overpriced, chemical-laden makeup removers. Makeup removal is not the time to get fancy or snobby. You probably have everything you need in your kitchen already. The downside of using fancy Stila eyeliner and Benefit mascara is that it’s SO DAMN HARD TO GET OFF (The upside is if you are extra careful about not rubbing your eyes, you can get a full 48 hours out of your eye makeup). I remove my fancy makeup easily with jojoba oil that I purchased from Trader Joe’s for $7.99 over a year ago. Dab some jojoba or olive oil on a cotton ball, gently swipe your eyes or lips, and watch the pigment disappear as you moisturize your skin. It’s cheap, it’s natural, it’s good for you.
5. Make-up is self-care.
I may have too much makeup and I may continue acquiring it despite it being impossible to use up all the stuff I already own. Sure, it might be a little greedy… or maybe I’m just a hoarder. But it’s a healthy vice. I feel okay spending money on makeup, which makes me feel happy and pretty, instead of spending that money on unhealthy vices, like, ya know, drugs or whatever. And when I finally quit smoking one day, I can put all that money toward eyeliner and lipstick. I’m kidding, I totally don’t smoke, this is the Bay Area and I’m gluten-free and do yoga, so that would be totally hypocritical. STOP JUDGING ME.