Firstly I’d like to clarify that I have never been one to obsess over beauty products, or spend ridiculous amounts of money on makeup brushes that are guaranteed to be lost in the depths of my handbag within a day or two.
This being said, I have possibly the biggest weakness for anything floral/brightly coloured and patterned, and so my anti-girlo stance is often confused with a fashion-conscious and very well co-ordinated exterior.
On a recent escapade into Brown Thomas (a rare occurance in itself for me), I was ambushed by overly helpful makeup assistants at the Benefit counter, curiosity finally getting the better of me as I agreed to bare all and receive a full-blown makeover when it was offered free of charge. Why not, I thought. Must have been a slow day.
In all my experiments with makeup over the years, from my humble beginnings of using Dream Matte Mousse that was two shades too dark for me– one thing I would never have thought necessary or beneficial in any way to include in my ‘beauty’ regime is what they call a ‘primer’, or ‘base’.
Generally a lot of women would include a lick of moisturiser before going hell for leather with the foundation and powder, and that would be that. Until now, I would have considered even that practice a luxury reserved for the fanciest and most important of nights out. But the primer, this basecoat from Benefit, or ‘That Gal’ as the lady at the counter called it, I am not ashamed to say has honestly changed my opinion on this.
Not only did it make the foundation itself go on smoothly and evenly afterwards, but it also felt amazing on my skin after giving the primer time to dry in. The salmon-pink cream that twists noodle-like out of the bottle disappears easily when spread around, and leaves this feeling of refreshment upon the skin, genuinely waking me up and making my eyes open with a weird energy that I never thought would be possible for any makeup product.
It meant that the rest of my makeup went on with a freshness that made it feel like I’d just had a face massage, my normally dry skin being transformed into a slick and smooth base for the coverup to work it’s magic.
Is a face massage even a thing? I don’t know.
It struck me that the importance of this kind of base and stable foundation is important in a lot of aspects of life, and that the physicality of the makeup base I was experiencing was merely an external projection of many other things that need a firm support base on which to balance. Strange as it sounds, as I sat there getting my basecoat painted on, skin void of any makeup and totally exposed to the trust a makeover requires for the very first time, I felt like I was learning to pedal a bike without my stabelizers again.
I’d always used makeup in attempts to cover up blemishes and make myself seem more beautiful, something I’m sure you will hear from many girls my age.
Now however, I was experiencing something different. It was being used to enhance my features, working with the shape of my face and existing skin, merely preparing it to receive a layer of something else – making sure everything was in order before applying change.
This ability to adjust is vital if we are to be able to manage sudden and drastic changes which occur in our lives, and it’s just strange that all this came to mind whilst sitting at a department store makeup counter.
At the risk of sounding overly-analytical, I’ll end this post here, with the simple statement and admittance that I now understand the hype around the benefits of a good primer base, and the recommendation to try this ‘That Gal” primer from Benefit – or at least to go to a Benefit counter for some free stuff in the middle of the day on a Wednesday – they literally don’t seem to have anything else to be doing.
Currently listening to: Tongue Tied – Grouplove