How To Apply Makeup Without Injuring Yourself

Makeup disaster

This is a little known problem among the +50 crowd. Or any woman approaching that age who needs reading glasses. My first hint of the problem happened a few years ago. I glanced in the rear view mirror on the way to the office and discovered that my lipstick looked like it was applied by a circus clown. So this post was born. How to apply makeup without injuring yourself. Forget bedroom eyes, the movie star look or even just looking halfway sane. I want to apply make up without blinding myself or throwing out my back.

The problem developed gradually and got worse over time until one day when I decided that my entire face paint ensemble looked like I hired a drunken sailor for the job. Then I started hearing echoes from the past. My mother was a commercial model in her younger days. She once told me that you need to check yourself out in a mirror outside in the daylight to make sure you didn’t look too freaky. The soft lighting in the bathroom where most of us apply makeup tells lies. Oh yea, this neon purple eye glitter looks fantastic while remaining subtle and age appropriate. Sure, riiiiight. Age appropriate for Madame Grizzelda the traveling gypsy fortune-teller, but not me.

So I gave up the whole thing for a while and fell out of practice. Yes, ladies, this can happen to you. It’s not like riding a bike. You can forget how. I had a lunch date with a former co-worker last week and decided to put on makeup. A seemingly benign attempt at looking like I had not just crawled out of a coffin or sensory deprivation tank.

Starting with a little foundation on a sponge squeegee thing to hide those pesky dark circles under the eyes. Easy enough except it wasn’t. My hand eye coordination is a bit rusty and I immediately stabbed myself in the eye with the sponge. Wow that hurt and now my cornea is covered with “lasts all day” foundation. It may fade from your skin after a few hours. But trust me, it will manage to last all day in your eye. I thought I would just blink it out. Nope. These modern-day foundation products are tough. They could hang in there when applied to the heat shield on the space shuttle during a reentry burn.

So after the failed attempt to blink it out, I put in eye drops and soldiered on. Next eyeshadow, bleh. Everything looks great in those glossy magazines with a dewy-eyed 16-year-old model. On my poor eyelids, not so much. Now I’m at the point of impersonating a raccoon with a bloodshot eye. Eyeliner next. Oh well I do like the asymmetrical look. One eye looked like Cleopatra on a bad day and the other eye, Amy Winehouse after a bender.

I have long eyelashes so I thought, well I’ll hide it all with lots of that mascara. However, you guessed it. The wand goes straight into my other eye as if it were attached to a guided missile. I did finally manage to get some on my eyelashes, threw up my hands and called the project done. Went to lunch with my girlfriend and had a fabulous time. Then came home and washed the whole mess off my face.

Maybe It's Time to Use These?

So know I have decided to stick to apply makeup and eyeshadow the old-fashioned way. A little on the ring finger and tap gently. Using a magnifying mirror helps a lot it seems. You may not like the added detail visible such as age spots and pores that are not as tiny and proper as they used to be. But hey, at least you won’t blind yourself in the process. And you won’t throw out your back twisting around and reaching across the bathroom counter to get a look in the mirror. That stupid mirror get farther away everyday.

I also keep a box of tissues in the car to correct anything grossly out of whack after checking out the results in the car mirror. Just the little things like applying a bit of blush on one cheek, getting distracted and forgetting the other half of my face. Check yourself with your glasses on for the final inspection before putting the key in the ignition. There is a fine line between excentric and downright loony and I still have my pride, you know!

16 responses

  1. Thank you for giving advice on applying makeup without hurting yourself physically. Applying contact lenses instead of glasses may help you apply products with more accuracy.

    1. I don’t wear contacts….

  2. A couple years ago I found this great birthday card with the picture of an old lady, her lips outlined way outside of the lines with lipstick. Inside was some quip sort of like this post….only this post gives so much more meat to the problem! So. Funny. I’m going out to buy myself a magnifying mirror.

    1. LOL glad to hear it 🙂

  3. This cracked me up! A girlfriend has a similar problem as she is long sighted and can’t see a darn thing close up without her glasses. Luckily for me, I don’t have that problem as I can see close up VERY well – it is the only place I can see.

    Totally with you on the bathroom lights though. When my ex and I built a house, I had makeup lights put in both the bathrooms.

    The hand-eye co-ordination does tend to wane, I agree. I’ve not stabbed myself in the eye yet though. I only put on mascara, lipstick and eyebrow pencil during the week, so takes me all of about 3 minutes.

    1. I can see my face fine if I stand 5 feet way from the mirror. Maybe I need to get a really long make up brush. 😛

  4. Oh my that was hilarious. Just the thing to read while waiting in line to pick up my kids’ carpool from school.

  5. Love the new look. I think it suits you better…

    As for the make-up – I don’t know… I still wear foundation and lippy, but eye make-up – nah! It’s been so long, it just looks strange on me – like spiders crawling out of my eyes… luckily I have weirdly bright blue eyes that sort of do the job on their own…

    my computer is typing one letter ever 5 seconds, better stop now.

    1. Spiders crawling out of your eyes?? yikes. You’re lucky to have bright blue eyes. Mine are grey and tend to take on surrounding colors. Including the purple under my eyes 😛

      1. Elizabeth Taylor had lavender eyes… she did right well out of them…

  6. I like your new look. Can you post something on “how to apply make-up in the car properly”? I haven’t got past the car-make-up stage. So it’s VERY basic. And since I got my eyeliner tats, I hardly ever wear make-up at all. I just got this make-up freedom thing going on now.

    1. I’ve heard of eyeliner tats. Sounds scary. How long have you had them?

      1. I think since last summer. About four of us all went together, made a weekend of it. Hurt like hell, too, I might add, but I really love it. I’ll have to blog about it. 🙂

        1. Oh, please do. I’m intrigued.

  7. candyforbreakfast | Reply

    Haha,hilarious!Your writing that is,not the suffering part.I discovered a technique when I first started using make-up as a kid,later confirmed by my makeup artist.Step 1)Spend hours carefully applying every single product you own to your face.2)Wash it all off with soap,you’re left with the perfect amount of residual eyeliner and foundation and you have that fresh glow.What’s with the new look of your page,is it just me?

    1. Oh I like that, put it on and then wash it off. Then I can just go to bed later without dealing with the removal process 🙂 It’s not just you. I decided to give my blog a face lift.

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