Aged 5. I had a doll. Beautiful, with blue hair (yes blue ). I loved her. I loved her so much I tried to make her prettier. I “made up” her face with indelible blue marker pen. I was unskilled and she ended up with dots and blotches all over her face. I didn’t like her much after that but enough that my beloved sister is named after her.
Aged 6. My parents were instructed to read out loud the ‘makeup’ credits for all movies and films. I couldn’t read the screen that fast.
And when they showed black and white Bollywood films on Sunday evenings on TV I was most fascinated with the makeup, especially the lips. They made lips look so damned good. A dark, contrasting bow pout. Even at that age I remember trying to re-create that bow pout with my mother’s lipstick but never could.
I didn’t realise it was black and white, and struggled to get that ‘black/dark’ lip that showed up in B/W films. I even tried it with blue ink I remember (we used fountain pens in school)
Even at that age I didn’t follow all makeup trends. I was never interested in re-creating the cat eyeliner or the loud makeup that one saw in the Bollywood of the 70s.
Age 13. My nail biting habit drove my mother mad. After years of threats, slaps, rewards and hugs, she hit the jackpot. The promise of nail polish. I stopped biting my nails, forever.
My mother’s makeup arsenal consisted of lipstick and a compact. The same shade all her life. Nothing I could borrow and experiment on my own face. And my beautiful sister insists she looks like a drag queen with makeup on. So she is an eyeliner-mascara girl.
Me I have always been fascinated with makeup.
I love watching women put makeup on their face. I stare at them as they put on their makeup in the locker rooms or night club bathrooms and watch their technique.
I have to shift my gaze when they catch me staring at them, stalker like.
I usually mumble a “is that a Bobbi Brown concealer ?” to allay their fears.
That obsession has now translated to hours upon hours of watching Youtube videos of beauty Vloggers. And I have found my soul sisters. Scores of women who watch these Vlogs. We are beauty vlogger groupies.
We buy products based on these Vloggers, we ‘fail’ products based on their reviews, we order makeup brushes off the internet based on their recommendations.
We learn techniques of stipling and blending and watch hilarious videos of the “my boy friend does my makeup” tags.
I tried to get my husband do my makeup. No luck.
My husband has stood his ground and refused my repeated requests to co-operate and has suggested I find a girl friend to pursue these wishes. I don’t want a girl friend. He is my best friend, isn’t he ?
I am a mine of Internet Beauty information. I consider myself an expert and give, unsolicited advice on makeup. God forbid friends go off and buy makeup without consulting me first.
With me, my biggest impulse purchase has always been lippies and nail polish.
My earliest binge was at age 13 when I bought around 20 nail polishes in one week . Tips and Toes, I still remember.
I asked my mother for money pretending it was for snacks and for the book lending library, but bought nail polish instead. She never found out.
Now that impulse has expanded to include concealers, primers, foundations, illuminators, highlighters, mascaras, eye pencils, eye brighteners, eye shadows, BB creams and a whole lotta makeup brushes.
What’s still on my list is the Dior Lip Plumper…. and an Armani concealer.
Sometimes I think maybe I should wait till I have run out of my Boing, Mac, Rimmel, YSL, Garnier and Maybelline concealers, but on the flip side I think, I am yet to own an Armani makeup item.