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Make Yourself Up to Please Your Inner Child

Don't let your makeup application become automatic or routine. Remember why you like it, remember why it excites you.
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Every day, everywhere people are doing their makeup wrong. And it's not just a minor error - I reckon some people are missing the mark wholly. I'm not talking about products, or technique, or anything so specific. This issue runs deeper, and is much more damaging that poorly applied blush. I'm talking about mentality.

I recently had the pleasure of living with two of the most adorable children I've ever known - and as a bonus, they were absolutely fascinated by my makeup. Even though I'm somewhat of an old hand, I'm glad I've never lost the childlike pleasure that comes from playing around with sparkly, colorful, good-smelling things. And I saw myself reflected in their eyes. But their magpie-like captivation by the most immediately gratifying items made me think. There are loads of people - perhaps even the makeup-wearing majority - who would probably suppress their glittery desires and play it safe. What a waste.

If you're going to wear makeup (and don't ever think I'm saying you have to), listen to what your inner child might be trying to say. I guarantee it won't be an echo of "my-lips-but-better" or "finely-milled". Rather, if you listen closely, they're probably singing the colors of the rainbow, or wow-ing over your most sparkly eyeshadow. Don't let your makeup application become automatic or routine. Remember why you like it, remember why it excites you. Don't let the marriage go stale, try something new, experiment. Enjoy it - or what is the point?

Another good thing about children is that they haven't yet been polluted with ideas about "perfecting". The art of "fixing" is the part of makeup people often find - heaven forbid - stressful. Eye-bags, crows-feet, pimples - all are things children couldn't even identify, never mind have formed any sort of negative opinion about. What better "cover-up" for your perceived flaw, anyway, than neon lipstick?

A child's ideal of beauty seems pure and true. Their eyes don't search out flaws, but instead zoom in on all the exciting stuff. Sometimes their choices err on the side of obvious, but where's the harm in that? If you're going to wear lipstick anyway, why shouldn't it be the most lipstick-y lipstick imaginable? Take heed, grown-ups. Don't lose the joy which makeup is supposed to bring. There's not enough joy in the world, so preserve it where you can.

Put on makeup with fresh eyes. Do it like you don't know what you're doing. Imagine this is the one time your mom has let you play in her makeup box, and that it might not happen again. Don't waste this moment! You're alive now! Seize the day, and while you're at it, seize the glittery, the fluorescent, the fun. Now that's an anti-aging message I can get on board with.