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Blush I can handle. Eye shadow I dig. Eye liner is easy. Mascara is simple.
But lipstick. Lipstick is a different story.
I've never liked it. In high school, friends would subtly hint, "Hey Kara, wanna try my lipstick?" Or they'd be not-so-subtle, "Kara, you really need to wear some lipstick. You'd look way better."
So I'd try. I'd lean toward the mirror and make that really stiff smile you're supposed to make when you put on lipstick, and give it my best shot. But invariably, it'd end up smeared. Or it would look so bright that I'd blot it off. I'm the kind of girl who wants lipstick that looks like you're not wearing any. In my opinion, they should make that a whole brand. It could be called lipstick-that-looks-like-natural-but-you're-still-wearing-something lipstick.
I can't even buy lipstick by myself. I have to bring a friend. I have a friend who is like in love with lipstick. Lipstick is her thing. She wears it all the time, and it always looks great on her. I asked her for some advice once. She dug in her purse through her seventeen lipstick tubes and handed me one. "Bronze Beauty" it was called. On me, it looked like Majestic Mud.
So last night I went to Macy's with my husband to buy some lipstick. While he's not savvy enough to tell the difference between Natural Nude and Rosy Nude, I knew that he wouldn't let me buy anything too horrendous.
There were two women behind the counter. One was wearing about a half-inch of foundation. When she smiled, I thought her face would crack. Seriously.
The other woman looked more normal. More like me. I went to her.
She sat me down and gave me one of those so-that's-what-I-really-look-like mirrors. First we started with lip liner. I leaned in close to the mirror and really concentrated on what I was doing, and it actually turned out OK. Then we went for the lipstick. Barely Blush was a bit too light. Natural Wonder was better. Wanting to risk a bit, I scanned the lipstick towers myself. Usually I only try on lipsticks that have the word "Barely" or "Natural" or "Nude" in them, but I figured I'd go wild and crazy and try Pink Pleasure. Yikes. Way too pinky. Even my husband kinda grimaced.
After a few more bronzy, orangey, and maroony samples, I decided that the second one I tried, Natural Wonder, was the best. I bought it and the lip liner and went on my merry way to the food court.
What's interesting is that I walked out of Macy's feeling better about myself than when I walked in. I'm 31 years old. I spend all sorts of time helping girls see that they don't need make-up to feel better about themselves. And yet my $21 purchase gave me a lift. I could take on the world knowing my lips would be up to the job.
Is that bad, OK, or even good? What does it say about me that two items that weigh about 2 ounces make me feel so much prettier?
These are tough questions to answer. But in this chapter, we're going to try. As you read the articles, we invite you to think about your own make-up issues. Do you feel like you need it? Do you feel naked without it? Do you feel worse about yourself without it? Why wear it in the first place?
And you'll probably think of even better questions. So read on.
Make-Up ... a Tax Deduction for Me
Make-up is a tax deduction for me. Whatever I buy, that I only wear on stage, is a write-off. What that means (for those of you who don't pay taxes yet) is that at the end of the year I figure out how much money I've made and I pay taxes on that. But there is such a thing called deductions.
Which means if I made $100 I'd owe them $20 of it. But if out of that hundred dollars I spent $50 of it doing something related or involving my career then I only pay $10 dollars. Make sense? (Excited about doing your taxes?)
I do have a point. The profession I am in wants me to look as beautiful as possible. I can't tell you how many times I've been at a concert. And when I sit outside at the table where I sign autographs a little girl or little boy comes up and picks up my CD. They hold it about arms length away from them and then look at me. They squint their eyes and look back and forth from the album cover to my real face a couple of times and then they say it. "Is this really you?" I'm like, "NO! I'm selling someone else's album! Duh!" What are they implying, I ask myself. Do I really look that different?
The Photo Shoot
My record company spent $20,000 dollars on my photo shoot-which could buy me a brand new car. Now it wasn't all on air brushing and stuff like that. It was renting the place and booking the photographer, hair stylist, make-up artist, and clothing designer. (And for all the food. It was really, really good food. Which I tried very hard not to eat ... unsuccessfully.)
Three hours before the shoot, my hair is blown out perfectly straight (which I can never seem to do on my own). I've got concealer under my eyes with the consistency of fudge frosting. I'm getting sweaty and so someone has to stand right beside me with a blotting towel and more powder. I've got clothes on that cost so much I just burst out into laughter when I see the tag (tags still attached ... on loan and headed back to the store that night).
There is soft artificial lighting in addition to the natural sunlight to give me just the right glow. There is music being played to make me "happy." I am also wearing the tallest boots in the world with long pants because it's an optical illusion ... in other words they make me look thinner. It was great fun while it lasted!
Back to Reality
The reality is, at about 10 that night I changed into the clothes I came in, which, I think was like a t-shirt and jeans. I got into my dirty pick-up truck and drove home. I washed my face with some generic brand of soap and laughed at what the washcloth looked like. I crawled into bed and realized I'm not any different.
About two weeks later I got to go into a room and look at all the pictures. There were hundreds and hundreds of them. It was surreal. I couldn't believe this girl was me. I knew that I didn't look like that. And yet here I was deciding what face I was going to show the world. Makeup does wonders ... and it's a tax write-off for me!
I grew up in a Vineyard church. And Vineyards are somewhat known for great worship. This one was no exception. Every Sunday and Friday night, I could be found somewhere in the auditorium face down and probably crying. God showed up and I went down.
Music captured my heart at a young age, especially in worship. As life went on I realized that I also had a talent to write songs, not just sing. And so I began to write about my struggles and joys and about supermodels. It worked! Someone thought it was decent material and gave me a record deal! But the desire to worship was still there, it never left and probably never will leave.
When you tour so much there are many things you learn about being on stage. I've picked up little tips and tricks to help me have better shows. It always helps if you feel attractive walking out there, so here are my little things to do:
First of all, black eyeliner. It makes my eyes stand out like nothing else, so that's a must. Next, foundation and powder (which I never wear in normal life), all over my cheeks. Because of my red hair and fair complexion, when I overheat, my face looks like a hot house tomato! So pile that foundation on, baby! When my hair was short, I would always try to pull it off my forehead because my sweat makes my hair curl, and of course it is the age-old dilemma-if your hair is straight then you want it curly and vice versa. Also it doesn't matter if your clothes are comfortable ... as long as they look good.
Make-up Doesn't Worship Well
On the final night of a long tour, I decided to play my favorite worship song at the end of my set. It was one of the most moving experiences I've ever participated in and I learned a lesson I'll never forget.
As I stood up there with all my make-up on I realized that no one in the audience was looking at me, they all had their eyes shut. No one out there cared if my mascara was rolling down my face with my sweat and tears. No one was looking at me ... their hearts were focused on the one they were worshiping. More important than all of them not looking at me, God himself was looking at me. And he saw through not only the make-up on my face, but the clothes on my back, and the skin on my bones. He saw all the way into my heart. And only he, not anyone else in that room, could see if I was beautiful or not.
And so that is why I've decided that make-up doesn't worship well. It runs, it goops and most importantly it takes my focus off him and puts it back on me. Isn't it funny how we rush to the bathroom and touch ourselves up because we live in a physical world. God inhabits a spiritual world. We think In Style magazine defines beauty? I think God himself is Beauty. The more we look like him the more truly beautiful we will become. There's food for thought.
I do wear makeup
So I just got home from a show back East and I thought that the story was all too fitting not to share with you all. I had an early flight. And when I say early I mean 6:45 a.m.! Which means be there at 5:45, which means wake up at 4:30. So what is the normal clothing attire for someone who flies that early? Tennis shoes and baseball caps I tell you! And as comfy of clothes as you can find, if you can even make it out of your pajamas!
I arrive without a speck of makeup on. Not even lip gloss (which I always think means I've at least tried to look put together). The person who came to pick me up was a young, attractive gentleman. When you travel as much as I do and get picked up by strangers every time you fly in, you begin to recognize who's looking for you before they realize it's you. So this guy looked at me and I could tell he entertained the possibility, but then decided, "naaaaaaa. It can't be her. Kendall Payne is a rock star. And that girl couldn't be a rock star if she tried."
The key to having your make-up look great is by using it as a tool to accent the natural beauty that God has already blessed you with. God created each of you uniquely and beautifully. Everyone has different skin types and tones, eye colors and face shapes. Accept and appreciate what is beautiful about yourself, and then have fun playing up your features.
The other key to having your make-up look nice is to first take care of your complexion. If you don't maintain healthy skin, what's the sense in trying to enhance it with color, right?
So here are some tips towards healthier skin:
* Drink plenty of water each day.
* Get enough sleep at night.
* Use good skin care products that are designed for your skin type, morning and night. They should include a cleanser, a toner, a mask and a moisturizer.
* Follow up with sunscreen which protects and seals in all of that good care.
* Keep your hair and hands off of your face as much as possible. They can transfer dirt and oils, causing blocked pores and blemishes.
* Speaking of blemishes, try not to squeeze pimples. Squeezing them causes scarring and spreads more bacteria to the surrounding area. Continue to clean the area as normal and use a mild acne product if necessary.
* Be careful of strong acne cleansers that sting; they can actually dry out and irritate the skin, damaging it more.
Think of applying make-up as art, and that your face is the canvas, and well, your brushes are your brushes! A good artist will paint her entire canvas all the same color before she begins to paint in order to create a smooth and even surface, and so the colors stand out even better in contrast. You can do the same with your face by using foundation.
Foundation not only helps defend your face from harmful elements like UV rays from the sun or impurities in the air, it also evens out the skin tones of the face and helps cover blemishes. If needed, apply concealer before foundation in order to cover larger blemishes or to minimize darkness under the eyes.
Some tips on choosing and using the right foundation:
* Be sure to select a color that matches your skin tone. It should almost disappear into your skin.
* Do not use foundation to try to change your skin color or tone. It should cover lightly and look natural.
* Always try on a foundation before you purchase it. Your hand is not a good test area. Actually sample it on your face, and in natural lighting.
* A good way to find the right match is to test three shades at the same time.
* Apply small stripes of each shade on your cheek, one above the other.
* Whichever one disappears is the best. If in doubt, ask your mom or a friend to help you decide. * Foundation can either be applied with your fingertips or a sponge, using light upward motions.
* Be sure to cover your whole face, but you do not need to pile on a thick layer. Again, think natural.
* Take the time to blend it in well, especially along the jawbone and hair line to avoid a noticeable line of color.
I started wearing make-up when I was eleven. Some of my friends got to wear it when they were ten. But my mom's always behind the other moms, so I had to wait a whole extra year.
It was just lipstick at first. And really, it was more like lip gloss. Then blush and mascara. By high school, I was into eye shadow, foundation, the works. I wore make-up every day to school, but I didn't wear as much as my friends did. They wore like twice as much as me. So I felt like it was still OK.
In college, I moved into a dorm where guys lived on the same floor as me. One side of the hallway was men, the other side was women. Lots of the women didn't wear any make-up. Lots wore lots of make-up. I was somewhere in the middle. As usual.
It's interesting to live with guys on your floor. Actually, that's an understatement. It's zany, embarrassing, and exhilarating. No matter what time of day or night, when I walked down to the bathroom down the hall, or went down a few rooms to visit a room, I ran into a guy. Sometimes we'd just say, "Hey." Other times we'd chat a bit about the next calculus test, and sometimes I'd end up in full-blown conversations about intramural football.
So I wanted to be wearing make-up. Even more than that, I needed make-up. Don't get me wrong: if it was 2 a.m. and I woke up to go to the bathroom, I wouldn't plop on some lipstick or mascara. But from the time I woke up until the last minute possible before I went to bed, I kept my make-up on. Sometimes before dinner, I'd freshen up my lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara. If I worked out, I'd shower and redo my make-up.
And on those rare occasions when I wasn't wearing make-up (like 2 a.m. bathroom runs), I'd walk looking down at the ground.
Excerpted from Mirror, Mirror by Kara Powell Kendall Payne Copyright © 2003 by Youth Specialties. Excerpted by permission.
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