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5 Steps Of Your Makeup Routine That You Only Pretend To Understand

*dabs Beauty Blender frantically* EVERYTHING IS FINE. NOTHING IS RUINED.

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Unless you were raised by makeup artists, you probably learned most of what you know about makeup from the beauty gurus on YouTube. I know I certainly wouldn't be able to tell a concealer from an eye primer without those blessed fairy godmothers. However, the truth is that those YouTubers are batting a solid .400 with their abilities, yet they make it look so effortless that we can't help but take a swing ourselves. The results are often mixed at best... but damn it, we persevere, and we convince ourselves we look identical to the video tutorial. Time to stop living a lie, though. Let's discuss the makeup skills we know aren't up to scratch but refuse to stop attempting.

Color Correcting

L'Oreal / Via

So apparently concealer comes in green. And pink, and purple, and orange. And it's not intended for clowns. Who'd have guessed? I gotta admit, though, I have no idea what most of them are meant to do for your face. Green cancels out redness, I've got that much. Peach/pink/orange all do some work on the under eye bags, but I guess it depends on your skin tone which one you're supposed to use? And I don't know what in the hell purple is supposed to do. A quick google search reveals that its intended use is to "brighten sallowness". If you're looking sallow, drink some damn Vitamin Water and see a doctor, 'cause I can't imagine how some lavender goop is gonna turn that around. I'm honesty not even sure if these do anything significant for your look, but you best believe the Sephora girl sold me some tangerine concealer, and I apply it each and every day under my foundation. How's that for some smart consumerism?


Heidi Hamoud / Via

I feel like the beauty industry is trying to pull a fast one on us. Think about everything we've ever been told about makeup application. Rule number one: Less is more. More is cakey. Cakey is bad. Rinse. Repeat. In other words, we don't want our makeup to pile up like laundry. Yes, got it. Just a little bit of powder then.


"But won't that make me look cakey?" you ask. "Less is more, right?"

Oh, no no no. If you put on crazy amounts of extra powder, you will apparently look less cakey. Am I the only one who feels like there's no winning in the battle against cake face? This has to have been an April Fools prank gone too far, or maybe Ashton Kutcher was involved in some way. I'll keep trying to bake, but if this turns out to be an elaborate hoax, you heard it here first.

Contour + Highlight


The conundrum with contouring and highlighting is knowing when you're done. The line between tasteful and horrific can be crossed with a single stroke of a brush. It feels kind of like the one game at Chuck E Cheese where the blinking light quickly travels up the levels of the tower, and you try to time hitting the big red button when light stops at the highest ticket level. 3... 2... 1... bam! Aw, only like five tickets. I don't think that's even enough to get some Fun Dip. 3... 2... 1... now! Oh, shit, I contoured myself into a mud monster. I think highlighter is less stressful, though. After all, is there such a thing as too much glow? Unless my face is causing a powerful enough sunlight reflection to set you on fire, I say mind ya business and let me live.


Beauty Bakerie / Via


I genuinely couldn't even begin to tell you how this look was done. I understand that there was probably eyeshadow involved. Probably brushes, too. After that, I'm clueless af. Maybe they used a little stencil? They don't sell tiny eyelid stencils at my Sephora so I guess I'm up crap creek with no paddle. Makeup is truly artistry, so I guess you could call me the Jackson Pollock of eyeshadow; Just throw some color every which way, and it will eventually turn into something people will want to stare at (For good reasons or bad? You decide).

False Lashes

Eimear McElheron / Via

I've watched YouTubers slap on fake eyelashes in less than two minutes flat since 2008. I can list the steps in my sleep: Cut the lash to fit your eye, apply the glue, wait for the glue to dry enough to become sticky, stick lashes on eyeball. But much like war, you can try to plan all you like. The lashes will have their own agenda that you cannot account for in your preparations. They will jab at your tear ducts, pop off on the corners, slide around your freshly applied eyeliner... no one knows what they're truly capable of. At least mascara is willing to be a team player, you know? It gives your lashes a nice little hug. False lashes, alternatively, are selfish and irresponsible, but their beauty cannot be denied. Like a long-haired, fluffy cat in a Fancy Feast commercial.

You'll notice I did not address the challenges of all things eyebrow. I could do a TED Talk on my lifelong struggle with my brows, so we'll save that for another time. What about you? What makeup steps do you feel weird about? Let me know in the comments!

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