Lately, I’ve been really into minimalist style, just wearing something simple yet eye- catching. I’ve never really been into dyeing my hair or wearing really crazy accessories, so showing my personality with my style is especially harder when you’re thinking about subtlety and the thirty degrees of heat outside. I started to turn to makeup and I think I’ve joined this game a little late, but here’s why.
Growing up with acne since I was ten meant that I would slather my skin in foundation and powder. Putting on makeup meant that I wasn’t doing it because I loved to experiment with colours, it was because I felt like I had to. Going to school was particularly anxiety- inducing because I knew that the girls there didn’t wear makeup for the same reason I did. They did it to look even prettier, and in my pubescent mind, I thought that with all the bronzer and lipgloss, they did.
Sometimes, when my face would shine or on a particularly hot day, my foundation would start to crease and melt a little, I felt as if someone had ripped off a piece of my shell and it would send me into the girl’s bathroom in a frenzy, oil blotting paper and powder in hand.
It was never about looking perfect, I knew that would never happen. I guess that is a good thing about facing acne from such a young age, you never have delusional expectations of what you ‘should’ look like. All I wanted was people not to notice what was plaguing my face.
After two- three years of roaccutane, from about fifteen to eighteen, I barely touched any skincare or makeup products. (In fact, I once did this interview with a beauty website and my responses were so embarrassing because I realised I was the worst role model for ‘beauty’, considering that I thought Vaseline was an appropriate substitute for moisturiser).
Even for blog pictures, I’d wear the minimum possible- a little concealer, blush and eyeliner, (eyebrows never count as ‘makeup’, they’re a must). You can even see how much my beauty style has changed over the last few years if you go all the way back in my archives (but please don’t go too far haha). That’s one thing that I love about blogging, it can document the growth of your creative vision.
Not too long after that, I started working at Abercrombie and Fitch, back when visible traces of makeup was banned and the slightest hint of black kohl meant we would be reprimanded and sent to the loo with baby wipes. Guilty, I’ve actually had to do that to a poor girl before. That was a great opportunity to prolong my confrontation with wearing makeup properly.
The strangest thing is it was me being in Singapore, where makeup falls off your face as soon as you step outside and a blast of humid hair greets you, that I fell in love with it.
Part of me thinks that it is influenced by one of my best friends here, who has started a Youtube beauty channel. Before this, I never watched or subscribed to any kind of makeup channel. I knew who the big Youtubers and bloggers were as so many were around London and my friends would always point them out to me.
But watching how to put more than like five products on your face? Totally wasn’t my thing. How to do daily makeup in under thirty minutes? That was way too long. I could be sleeping for an extra twenty.
You can never help but to be a little influenced by people around you that you admire. So, talking to her about her next ‘look’ or her progress as a finalist at Beauty Bound Asia contest, especially watching the couple of videos that she has, inspires me.
I feel as if I’m seeing another side to her, something that has always been there but is only fully revealed via her tutorials. So then I realised, make up doesn’t have to be about hiding your real face from everyone else, which never really works by the way. It has become my way to add another dimension to my style, just like another piece of clothing to put on.
And it suits my whole minimalist vibe right now, too. Some people who have seen this set of photos before I posted them said that it was very Rumi Neely, but I think that it’s just me. For now anyway.
Photo and featured image by Yibin Huang, @chromaticworks
Asos slip dress
Charles and Keith shoes