22 May 2009

Ask me Beauty: I stick out like a sore thumb!

How do you make the transition from a woman who wore no makeup to one that is now sporting a full face of makeup? I love the looks at home but when I get out in the work environment or to a family dinner I find it difficult and uncomfortable with all the double takes and comments. They have all been positive and complimentary but I still feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. Should I try just wearing one or two products and slowly increase?

Dear Stacey,

I love the fact that you are becoming more comfortable and adventurous with your makeup - bravo! Especially since you have been receiving positive feedback from family and friends, it means people are noticing this change and like your new look. Of course it can be a little unnerving to be the center of attention sometimes if you're not used to that, especially if you're not used to being complimented on your makeup.

I like your own idea of starting out with just a few products on your face at once, and then - if you want - gradually building up to a level that you feel confident in and happy with. This could mean wearing a pretty lipstick to an evening out, applying a few extra coats of mascara during the day, or just brightening your face with a bit of blush. You will get more comfortable with the idea of wearing makeup, and other people will grow more accustomed to seeing you with it on. You could also experiment with different colors, try neutral shades first, and if you want - gradually add in a bit of color by maybe wearing a bolder lip color, a fun colored eyeliner, or even a bold eyeshadow now and then. Or just stick to wearing neutral colors at work and keep things toned down, and then surprise your co-workers one day at a staff party with a more dramatic look to show the other side of your personality! You might even end up liking that "surprise" effect. Especially as you grow more confident in your skills, you'll start to care less about other people's reactions, because you'll know you look great.

Bottom line: You should just wear the type and level of makeup that you feel comfortable with. It's all about number one, baby! I feel perfectly fine going out in a full face of makeup with artistically applied, bold colors and if I'm going out somewhere at night I'm usually wearing more than other women, but I realize that not everyone might feel that way. And even if you do get the odd look now and then from a family member - remember it's your face and you have to be happy with the reflection in the mirror, not others. And with time, people will appreciate the new you! So just have fun with it and enjoy experimenting.


If you have a beauty related question and need advice, please email your question to askmebeauty@gmail.com The best questions will be published on my blog, your anonymity is guaranteed.


  1. When I first ventured into brighter and bolder eyeshadow looks, I always felt like people were looking/staring at me! Maybe some of them were, but probably not to the extent that I assumed. Now I'm much more at ease with it. =)

  2. Daniela4:32 am

    Great question and great answer! I too struggle a bit with bold makeup sometimes. I find it has its time and place, and work/school are not necessarily the places where I want people to be distracted by my makeup. Also, it's strange but I've noticed that when brunettes wear bold makeup, it tends to look less.. garish? than when blondes (me) wear bold makeup. Do any other blondes know what I'm talking about?

  3. you're so great. i love your posts.

  4. this could be totally me. I am not used to wear a full face of makeup myself. and everytime I apply more makeup I think everyone is watching me. maybe that is because my makeup skills are not very distinct. but you have to practise, right?

  5. Thanks a lot for this advice! I can actually understand Stacey very well, I am in a pretty similar situation.

  6. I dont mind if people give me double looks when i go full face...thats coz i know i look good :)

  7. I agree with your asner too, Julia! I love the bright bold colors and the dramatic smokey eyes are my favorite. I love smokey eyes in all colors; purple, browns, pinks, and greens. I've decided that I am going to go into work with only neutral colors on and save the bright brassy colors for weekends and days off. I also love the MAC's Style warriors, but it would be hard for me to wear any of those colors to work. Thanks for yur advice! Take care, Reese

  8. I always feel that way too when I go out with friend who wear make-up because they've all been wearing make-up for awhile and I've always been the one who never wouldn't even wear lipstick and I feel very uncomfortable when people are like "oh you're wearing make-up" because it's not exactly positive or negative so I'm like "did I really just do a horrendous job putting on my mascara?"