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painting the stars onto my eyelids

Spring of 2008 brought sunshine, joy, and my first ever ballet recital. My poor mother got an email explaining how I’d need to wear subtle stage makeup, and panicked a little. 4 year old me had NO IDEA what to do, and Mom never wore makeup. Together, we were at a major loss, so we did what anyone would do. We stumbled into the local drugstore, and came out with mascara, lipstick, and blush. This blush sits in my makeup bag to this day (kinda gross tbh).


So why does this matter? Of course every kid has to wear makeup for their dance recital, it makes their features visible to the audience. My mother continued to do my makeup for these events, but it was the only time my child self wore makeup. I grew up associating painting my face with big events and performances. Around the age of 10, she trusted me to do my own makeup. I had a little Lilo and Stitch makeup bag that sat in my dresser drawer, only to be touched on those special dance days where I had to dress up like a princess. Similar to earrings, makeup became a dreaded process as I grew to resent dressing pretty.


Jump forwards around 5 years, I was 15 and falling in love with performing and theater. I was in the middle of a rehearsal for Chicago when costuming came in to discuss hair and makeup with us. We were told to google 20s costume makeup, and I was transfixed. Something about the dark eyes and red lips had me entirely hooked. Chicago ran for 3 nights, and every night I’d go home and stare in the mirror, sad to watch my hard work wash down the drain. (Chicago was also the first time I wore false eyelashes. Those are SCARY.)


Middle school me only thought about wearing makeup once - in the middle of my MCR phase every baby gay goes through, I was convinced that I would rock the red eye makeup Gerard wore during the Revenge era, but I never even tried. Growing up, I owned a 4 pan eyeshadow pallet for recital days. The colors were muted, and the shimmer was dying. Honestly they’re probably expired. Gross. My grandmother gave me an eyeshadow pallet at some point between Chicago and now, which flipped my world on its head. She takes the time to do her eyes every day, and something about this gift validated my love for makeup. I came home and began painting my eyelids with golden tones, sparkly like the stars, and the rest is history.


Now, am I the greatest makeup artist there ever was? Not at all. Do I sometimes come out looking absolutely insane? Absolutely! But that’s part of what makes makeup so much fun to me. Makeup is no longer a strictly feminine part of my life - I’m surrounded by such a beautiful community that has reclaimed the idea of painted eyelids and lips and made them acceptable for all. The idea of a princess getting her face painted to look pretty has been smushed from my head. Those middle school views of only Gerard Way wearing makeup are long gone - I’ve grown into my own music taste, and realize how many men wear makeup. And how damn good they look doing it.


I firmly believe that a red lip and bomb pair of sneakers can help ANYONE take over the world. So hey, mess around with makeup! It always washes off :)

-A





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