The older I’ve gotten, the more aware I’ve become about how rubbish I am at doing my make up. At 27 years of age I’ve yet to find a foundation that truly matches my skin tone and I barely wear make up as it is, reserving it for special occasions. Plus, the good stuff is expensive so I don’t wanna be wasting it on places like work, and going to do a food shop. Hells no.
Recently I decided I would start making more of an effort with the way I present myself. To be completely honest the problem is that I just don’t care about clothes or hair or make up. I never have and I never will. I’m all about the comfort. But, I also have this burning desire to no longer look like a 14 year old. Combined with my little-girl voice no one ever takes me seriously. I’m tired of getting asked for ID to buy a scratch card because I’m wearing a hoody, my hair is in a pony tail and there’s not a blot of make up on my face. So, you know, catch 22.
I love the cat eye make up look. It’s dramatic and can be played up or down. My main concern is that I’m not exactly gifted with a make up brush. I don’t know how to blend eyeshadow properly, not a clue on how to contour. I certainly have never been able to do the cat eye. Which is really annoying, because no matter how much I try, I simply can’t get it right. I also have hooded eyes, which does not help matters.
I popped into Boots a few months ago to pick up some eye drops (I suffer with hideous dry eye from working behind a screen all day and spending most of my down time staring at my laptop, TV or phone) and on my way to the tills I spotted the Benefit mini stand. I had one of their box sets a couple of years ago and found the shades a bit off for a light tone, never really giving them much thought again. But the They’re Real! Mini Eyeliner pen had something I’d never seen on liquid eye liner before – a cat eye shaped dispenser. At £9.95 it was moderately inexpensive and I figured that if this would enable me to easily draw the shape I wanted then it was worth that and a whole lot more.
I practically skipped out of Boots with my new purchase. I had to wait a few days for my dry eye to clear up (as make up always makes it worse) before I could try it out. I woke up one morning, rushed to my dressing table, uncapped the product and started my very first application.
The first thing I realised was that this is not for those without any previously accrued make up skills.
The dispenser is not sturdy, it’s made of a soft rubber that wobbles if you press to hard against your skin, you need to apply some pressure as the eyeliner itself is very thick and takes forever to come out of the tube the first time you use it – then a huge blob lands on your skin. I found it very difficult to draw with, much more so than kohl, gel or other liquid liners. It has some serious staying power though, and it was an absolute pain to wipe off the mess I made. I wasn’t disheartened though, I just needed more practise.
So I retreated to my make up guru, Youtube, and watched several tutorials on how to use this product. Predictably, the Youtubers made it look so easy that I convinced myself I had to be doing something wrong. Three failed attempts later I lost my temper, especially since the constantly removal and reapplication was causing my dry eye to flair up a bit. After a week of attempts I found that no matter how I tried to use this product, there was no way I was getting a line that was either unfeathered or straight when joining the wing up to the lid.
I mentioned my issues to my team leader (whose cat eye is aways 100% flawless) and she also didn’t like the applicator, stating she found it easier to use the potted ones like Collection 2000 Fast Stroke (which I have previously used and found immensely difficult without a completely steady hand). Perhaps its not just me then, or maybe it’s a product with a lot of good intentions but nothing to back it up.