So hi everyone, I’m Lizzy Thomas J At the tender age of 24 I live in Pencoed, Bridgend with my parents having not yet taken the leap into ‘true’ adulthood (definitely a cheaper standard of living which is a plus, not at the delight of my parents I might mention). Still at a point in my life where I feel more ‘Teen’ rather than a ‘Twenty something...’ I am a genealogy hobbyist, petite model wannabe & former Miss Wales contestant (who basically still has no idea what she wants from life). I am an honorary red head with hair so long it encompasses almost half my body length. I often get asked “why don’t you cut it off?” & in all honesty I do wonder why I’ve never taken the plunge & reached for the scissors. I often ponder whether it’s my way of clinging to my childhood... If perhaps my hair could one day act as some sort of salvage tool for the Zombie Apocalypse, re-enacting some sort of Rapunzel style escape (it’s possible right?) Then as reality descends on me like a fine mist, I remember... I have frustratingly sticky out ears which could only be described as little ‘handles’. If cutting my hair off became reality my partner could literally introduce me as his ‘Trophy Girlfriend’. I love you dad but why oh why did I have to inherit THAT Thomas commodity? *Face palm*
Makeup for me really became a necessity from the age of 14 onwards. My mum only ever wore (& still only wears) lipstick and a light slick of mascara. She wasn’t exactly ‘innovative’ with makeup so I really didn’t have that much of an interest in the art of what I then considered Face paint. My interests were very much tailored to school & a plethora of extracurricular activities. I was what you would consider, a ‘SWOT’. I do, however, remember one time when my mum had purchased a new nail varnish when I was about 9. I sat on the stairs patiently waiting for mum to show me the colour. It was a lovely dusky pink colour & I begged her to have my nails painted. Mum allowed me to have one hand painted and I remember feeling so chuffed. Looking back it was pretty cruel. Who would only paint one hand then send you to school the next day?! A tad harsh mum!
Having dabbled with makeup between the ages of 11-13; using the then mandatory clear lip gloss often glorified in the teen ‘Sugar’ Magazine & for some reason (still baffling me to this day) using Vaseline on my eyelashes believing that it made my eyelashes grow stronger & longer. Actually doing that was probably the cause of my many bouts of conjunctivitis. You know what they say about hindsight... At 14 it was literally as if the proverbial switch had been turned to ‘ON’ and I became very self aware. I found myself rifling through my sisters makeup, testing her foundations & concealers’ trying to cover any imperfection (& being a hormonal teenager there was a lot to conceal). As if overnight, I became incredibly self conscious. I was about 5ft tall with hair that I could sit on, my fringe was humungous and covered part of my eyes, I had a lot of puppy fat and annoyingly protruding ears. I was very much an ugly duckling and for some reason the taunts I’d heard about my looks before had only just started to hurt. I became obsessed with how others viewed me. I bought myself a pair of eyelash curlers & used them to the point where my eyelashes were falling out in clumps; trying to achieve that voluminous, defined look. For some reason I had an obsession with pale purple lipstick & would wear this to school every day thinking if I layered the lipstick on it would make my eyes appear bluer. Looking back it would seem I was channelling the ‘dead look’ and as I was (& still am) extremely pale, teaming that with a purple shade reminiscent of that of a mortuary regular I certainly stood out, albeit not for the right reasons. I never took my makeup off at night & this added to my bad skin. This was certainly a vicious circle whereby I was terrified to take my makeup off in the fear that someone would see me, even keeping it on during a shower & just topping it up every day. It was about this age I developed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
So here’s my makeup bag & only upon emptying it do I realise that I carry quite a lot around with me... oh dear! In this, what I call, my ‘essentials’ makeup bag I have... *Deep Breath*: Clean & Clear Oil Free Dual Action Moisturiser, MAC Matte Creme Matifiante, MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW10, MAC Concealer in NO15, No7 Perfect light loose powder in Translucent, MAC Powder Blush in Margin Frost, Benefit Brow Zings Brow Shaping Kit in Light, Maybelline Brow Drama in Medium Brown, R.E.D Eyelash Curlers, Maybelline Falsies Volume Effect Mascara, Collection Fast Stroke Eyeliner in Black, Maybelline Colour Sensational Lip Liner in Choco Pop and Benefit Lip Plump. This is a seemingly limited makeup bag in comparison to the many others I have strewn around (can you really ever have TOO MUCH makeup? I think not!).
My makeup regime is carried out with literal military precision (I wish I could say I was joking but it’s the sad truth). It is applied everyday at the same time regardless of whether I’m going out or simply putting the washing on the line! Partly to do with my OCD rituals but partly because I cannot stand to witness my bare face! On a normal day it would take approx 30minutes to decorate my face but for nights out it can take as long as 2 hours! My makeup style is very much based on ‘Old School Glamour’, channelling Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and more recent beauties like Angelina Jolie, Dita Von Teese & Sophie Ellis Bextor. I adore their accentuated eyebrows, full pout, defined eyes, sculpted cheekbones and flawless complexion. Simple beauty that looks effortless, this is what I ‘try’ to achieve. I’ll be honest; I’m not one for experimenting too much with colour. I find eye shadows & brightly coloured lipsticks quite daunting & as I have pretty much perfected my makeup style (after much practice), I play it safe & avoid straying away from my norm.
Here is a picture of my cosmetic removal products... There are a few & yes I use them every day (to the dismay of bank balance having to renew them what seems like every day) in sequence in fear I may wake up with a spot... I think I may have too much time on my hands... hmm...
Now, why do I wear makeup? This is something I’ve debated with myself & I more often than not tell myself that I wear cosmetics because it’s motivated by creativity & self expression, that it’s a reflection of my mood and most importantly myself. Let me be completely honest, this is actually a big fib I tell myself in the belief that one day I will believe my own words. I use makeup as a way of disguising my own insecurities stemmed from the belief that I don’t look good enough without it. In the same way we wear slimming clothing to appear that little bit thinner, I wear makeup to appear that little bit more attractive, to feel more accepted in a time where your looks are what allegedly determines who you are as a person. I do feel that cosmetics give you the opportunity to put your proverbial best foot forward but when people say ‘don’t you feel makeup is a deception because you aren’t showing what you truly look like?’, I can’t help but giggle to myself. If we truly believe makeup is ‘deceiving’, what are their opinions on clothes? If it were the case that we wear clothes for simply primal reasons like keeping warm, why on earth do we have clothes designed to enhance our bust, to slim our waists, to elongate our legs or to flatten our bums? Should we remain naked in fear that we are deceiving people into believing our body shapes aren’t actually as they appear in modern clothing? I think NOT! Aside from the major issue of indecent exposure, we wear clothes to allow us to feel confident & we use clothes to flatter & enhance our natural assets, in the same way we wear makeup. We use cosmetics to enhance & highlight our natural beauty. Do I believe this is right? That it’s ok to judge someone based on their looks? No I don’t, however I am realistic that this is the world that we live in & I realise beauty is what sells.
You only have to read a magazine or watch TV to understand what world we live in. Do I look at these beautiful women & wish that I could have their bodies or their perfectly airbrushed faces? I would be lying if I said no... HOWEVER! I feel no more jealous of these women than I do when I see Stephen Fry & wish that I had his intelligence, or wish that I had Christina Aguileras’ voice or Jessica Ennis’ sporting ability. We as a population will always want what we can’t have but it will never stop us from trying. Of course the beauty industry is flawed but there will never be equality between those blessed with natural beauty & those who are crippled with insecurity whilst we always villainize the opposing side. It appears justified to bully those who are naturally beautiful in order to support those who have insecurities. I have many insecurities but do I blame gorgeous women for this? Do I look at top models & hold them accountable for my own anxieties? No I don’t. I reflect on my own (what I consider) inadequacies & do what I can to improve them. This is just a thought... Why can’t women just support & empower other women?