ATB Learning Curve: What do I really look like?
In certain ways I feel that beauty blogging is a very therapeutic way to learn, accept & love the face you are born with. You have to confront it, with all it's pros & cons, and then emphasize the best bits (that is what I do).
But it takes a while to understand what you really look like. Further compounding the issue are mirrors & cameras. They can be your best friends or your worst foes.
Let's talk about mirrors first.
I have 3 full length mirrors at my home (yes, vanity is my middle name), but one of them is my favorite. When I use it, I look absolutely fab with perfect skin that I barely need any makeup. I first thought that is how I looked, but then after a few days I figured it was because of the lighting. This particular mirror faces a big window & when I use it I have light streaming in and what I get on my face is reflected light - which serves as a perfect soft focus lens - no wonder I look all well rested, and perfect :-)
Have any of you encountered "Skinny Mirrors"? I have begun to notice that a number of retail stores have started to incorporate such mirrors in their stores. Basically these mirrors make you look slimmer instantly, and are a major trap at clothing stores. At the store you'll look all slim, tall & awesome. Back home the same outfit doesn't look so great.
Some stores even have slightly color tinted mirrors that make the clothing seem brighter and your skin looks perfect - it could also be all the soft lighting some changing rooms have.
Next is cameras.
These days with a million settings and photoshop, it should be easy to look good & exactly like yourself in pictures. But it is not.
I'm possibly the world's most unphotogenic person and I have known about this since I was a teenager. I have had people double take when looking at my photograph, right from office colleagues to my hubby to even a professional photographer. I have had people come and tell me that I look much better in person that I do in my pictures.
I really don't know what I'm doing wrong, but over the years I have developed a bit of phobia about being photgraphed. And that is one of the reasons why I don't do any FOTDs or OOTDs. I did try it in the middle simply to understand my features, but then I gave up after a couple of shots.
I have been told that one of the reasons is that I don't have much contrast in my face - it is all pale eyes, pale skin, pale hair and that is why I look a bit dimensionless & flat in pictures, also that I slouch, but I feel over time it has become a mental block as well. As soon as I see a camera whipped out, I think I go into a bit of panic attack mode and that shows on my face.
But both cameras & mirrors are invaluable in making shopping choices as well as when you are doing your face, so...
These are my learnings that helped me identify what I actually look like, and more importantly that help me make the correct choices in a store:
1. Always take someone with you when shopping for clothes or makeup, as it is not always easy to identify "skinny or tinted mirrors" Most Indian stores have crappy return policies so better safe than sorry.
2. If you want a skinny mirror of your own at home - just tilt it a few inches from the top. :-)
3. When getting ready for day events - always do your face in the mirror that makes you look your worst. Sunlight makes makeup very obvious - especially if it is shimmery and if you look good in your bad mirror you will look good in sunlight. For night time events that you know will have that pretty, soft focused, yellow light - do your makeup in your best mirror and its okay to be a bit louder than normal. Yellow lights tend to tone down things.
4. This is the most imp tip according to me: To identify your features correctly - take opinions from 2-3 makeup artists as well as fellow bloggers if they are willing. But do this in person and not via pictures. Most MUAs at MAC are quite helpful and will readily provide feedback on how you can best showcase your features and what you need to do. Taking another person's opinion on what might look good on me has resulted in some of my biggest learning. Also be willing to experiment and try out new colors.
5. If you are trying out makeup, always look at it in day light too. Store light is generally very strong and washes you out so the color seems subtle, in day light it may be a lot brighter than normal. I generally do this for my MAC purchases.
6. So photographs really are a no-go for me, but if you do photograph well, it might be a good idea to take some pictures of yourself barefaced & compare them to celebrities to see similarities in face structure. The idea is to take makeup tips from someone whose face cut is like you.
7. You can also take pictures of your makeup to figure out your application techniques. However do bear in mind that camera - friendly makeup is a bit different & heavier than makeup we would normally wear in daily life.
How have you understood the unique contours of your face for makeup? Any tips that you used?
Did you know about skinny mirrors?
Any tips for me to photograph well?