Instagram makeup has become a beauty genre in it's own right. Our feeds are filled with OTT makeup looks that take perfection to a whole new level, from ultra-sharp contours to highlights so bright they could blind. Love it or loathe it, you've got to appreciate the skill it takes to transform your face so fiercely. I want make up.
I decided to challenge myself to get in on the action.
On a day-to-day basis, my makeup routine consists of swiping on some tinted moisturiser, combing through my brows with a tinted gel, adding a couple of layers of mascara and a good dusting on bronzer (when your natural skin tone resembles that of the Addams' family, bronzer is a must.)
So, I scrolled through my feed to find five faces that I thought my moderate makeup skills could recreate, here's what happened...
Day One: Monday
Monday mornings aren't typically my strong suit, but today was different, I was actually pretty excited to get this underway. I wanted to start off with a challenge, so I hit up the internet's qween of makeup, NikkieTutorials, for inspo. Of course, I found an awesome red-toned, golden eye and a dreamy metallic burgundy lip in a matter of seconds. Here we go...
Sadly, getting up an hour early to apply my makeup, didn't quite cut it. An hour in, and I was still on my base. I know what you're thinking, 'HOW can you spend an hour on foundation?!' But let me tell you, it's not just foundation. No, no. You have to prime the skin, apply foundation, bake (yes, that's bake your makeup, not stop for a cookie break), apply concealer, blur it out with a beautyblender, bake your concealer, buff away the bake, apply powder, set with a face mist. Safe to say, I was ex-haus-ted, and it was only 8:30am. So I decided to go to work and finish my makeup in the office.
Never have I concentrated so much on blending a smokey eye quite like I did that morning. My colleagues were baffled watching me blend seven different tones of red into my socket line and attempt to apply falsies with a pair of tweezers I found under my desk. It was all a bit much, especially for a Monday.
After fiiiinally finishing my face, not only did I have wrist cramp from all the blending, but I also had a new found respect for NikkieTutorials. She makes it look so damn easy - and I can confirm that it most certainly is not.
The day went by as usual, most of my colleagues got over their initial shock of my heavily made up complexion after a couple of hours. By 4pm I'd totally forgotten I was wearing more makeup than I had in years.
Then it came to my commute home. I don't know if I was just being paranoid but I felt like everyone was looking at me, and tbh, I couldn't blame them. My false eyelashes were so long they tickled my eyebrows. As soon as I made it home I grabbed the richest cleansing oil I could find and washed my face at least four times. Clean skin never felt so good.
Day Two: Tuesday
Well, I learnt from yesterday's mistakes and decided to pick a slightly easier makeup look today. After all, I couldn't really justify spending another three hours sat at my desk applying makeup instead of writing articles, my boss is chill, but that'd probs be pushing it. So when I spotted this sultry smoky eye and berry lip combo on @Makeupshayla's feed, I knew I could recreate it without all the drama.
To give my lids a smoke I blended out a kohl shadowstick along the crease of my eyes and then went HAM with a black kohl eyeliner. Next, I contoured, highlighted, swept on some blush and then threw on a pair of false lashes for good measure - incase you were wondering I opted for the Kiss Natural Lashes in flirty. Finally I finished with a swiping of lipstick. DONE.
After seeing my major makeup yesterday, my work pals weren't fazed by today's smoky eye and berry lip, if anything they thought I was playing things a bit cool. But personally, I loved today's look.
After work I met my friend for a drink, and unlike my work mates she barely recognised me. Once she'd got over the initial shock, she couldn't stop with the compliments and promptly made me promise to do her makeup next time we went out-out.
Interestingly, this look seemed to be a fave with the guys as well. Our lovely bartender, Dan, told me he loved my lipstick, which seemed to disprove my theory that most men are scared of a bold lip.
Day Three: Wednesday
I felt like I'd gotten off a little too easy yesterday, so decided to commit to a more extreme makeup look today. Enter, @iLuvsarahii, not only is the girl oh-so stunning, but her makeup skills are on point, so I decided to attempt her fierce monochrome cat-eye and black lip combo.
I can't lie, I did not enjoy wearing this look. The black lipstick and heavy eye teamed with my pasty complexion left me looking seriously washed out. A perfect look for halloween, but not one for the office, I think I gave our postman a mini heart attack.
I found the trick to nailing this look is to start with the white eyeliner. Then go in afterwards with a black liquid liner to carve out the bold flick. I didn't have a black lipstick on hand, so I used black eye pencil and a touch of lip balm - a hack I learnt from the one and only, Kylie Jenner.
Although not a favourite of mine, this makeup look certainly drew attention. My morning coffee run ended in a 10 minute chat with my local Pret barista over the perils of smudgy eyeliner, and my evening commute was full of questionable stares from my fellow tube passengers.
Day Four: Thursday
After getting on the crazy lip bandwagon, I decided to continue with the theme, so after spotting @KathleenLights blue lipstick and grey smoky eyes, my Thursday face was decided. Kathleen has an Instagram account and Youtube channel packed with dreamy makeup looks, so I couldn't help but feel a little pressure when it came to recreating her face. Here's what happened...
After yesterday's black lipstick the teal-blue didn't worry me, in fact, I thought it looked kinda cool. Whilst I didn't have a matte navy lipstick à la Kathleen, I found a turquoise-blue that seemed like a great substitute.
Sitting in an office full of fun, creative and cool women made this whole crazy makeup experiment way less intimidating, four days in, and most people knew what I was doing. But leaving the office was a whole other story. Today my diary was booked up with an afternoon of beauty industry events that I had to attend, and the thought of it was filling me with dread. Come 2pm though, I grabbed my bag and headed out to meet with some of the beauty industry's finest. Unsurprisingly, my blue lipstick got some attention, but most of the comments were compliments, with a lot of my friends saying they wished they were brave enough to try a quirky lip colour every now and then. White lies? Probably.
Day Five: Friday (aka THE LAST DAY)
Ahh, Friday, you've never felt so sweet. Yup, my end-of-the-week happiness took on a whole new level, why? Because today was the last day I'd have to get up a whole hour earlier to work on my face. Now, it may not sound like a big deal, but I'm really not a morning person and this experiment was starting to take a toll on my caffeine addiction. To celebrate my final day, I picked an easy look. A pastel ombre eyeliner by @pilstertrends caught my attention on Instagram, so I screengrabbed it, and got to work. I know you're probably thinking that eyeliner looks complicated AF, but at least the rest of my face could be basic today. YAY.
To create the ombre eye I used a mixture of four liquid liners and then blended them together with cotton bud to create a rainbow effect. Finally, I applied some false lashes - partly because I wanted to hide my somewhat sloppy eyeliner skills. I teamed the candy-like flick with a glossy pink lip, because, why not? It's Friday.
Out of all the makeup looks, this was probably the most low-key, as you couldn't quite notice the liner from afar, so the general public remained somewhat unaware.
Look cosmetics online
My evening consisted of a two-hour drive from Central London to Oxfordshire as I was headed to Wilderness festival for the weekend. When I arrived my pastel eyeliner was definitely not the most out-there makeup look. Most people were rocking holographic glitter and David Bowie-esque face paint, I finally felt underdressed, in the makeup department, anyway.
After five days, I'd spent countless hours staring at my face in the mirror, gotten through almost an entire tube of concealer, four pairs of false eyelashes, and used at least 10kg of highlighter. I was done. Thank god.
Now, I'm not saying this experiment was a fail, I have a new level of appreciation for the incredible makeup looks that are plastered all over my Instagram feed. These men and women are talented artists, and they have my upmost respect for such skills. However, I can't quite wait to get back to my boringly-basic 5 minute makeup routine. I like being able to see my skin, and don't want to worry about touching my eye if it itches, plus the endless battle with my eye makeup remover each night was starting to get boring.
That being said, this week I got out of my comfort zone and tried something new, yes, at times I felt ridiculous, but there were also moments when I felt so flawless even Beyonce would be proud. So, on my next night out, I'll be hitting up instagram for all my makeup inspo.
Peace out, people. I'm off to wash my face 700 times.