Via: laroche-posay

How Sucking At Makeup Makes Me Feel Old


Apr. 15 2019, Published 4:58 p.m. ET

As a millennial, change is something I’m pretty comfortable with.

In fact, it seems to me that it is a fundamental component of the millennial experience. So many things that formed our childhood were already obsolete by the time we became teens. Technology is perhaps the most glaring example of this. I still remember the first time I saw an iPhone. It was early into secondary school. One of my friends had the first model, and everyone was fascinated, and envious. An iPhone? How rich was her family? None of us could ever dream of affording one. We were all still on phones that were primarily for texting. But then in the space of just a few years, before I’d even left school, me and everyone else had one. And it wasn’t a big deal.

Adjusting to new things at rapid speeds just seemed like part of life to me. Phones went from texting devices to basically computers, and I adapted. Social media sites popped into existence and I was right there ready. When some of the big ones died or became old-people sites I was fine with it. When social media started becoming a job you could do, I got one. Even some social changes came relatively easy to me. I was a child of social justice Tumblr (hold your judgment it wasn’t all that bad) which meant that I was exposed early to concepts and ideas that baby boomers are still largely freaked out by. Words came and went from my vocabulary as I learned their horrible implications, and it didn’t turn me into a raging anti-pc culture nightmare.

This ease with rapid progression made me think that perhaps I might be immune to the feeling that time was advancing and leaving me behind. I thought that maybe the generation before me would be the last one to be baffled by the advances of the next one. That the figure of the parent calling their child to ask them how to attach a document to an email would fade away as my generation became the first to just adapt to everything within their own lifetime. But I was wrong. Because there is a progression that I’m behind the curve on. There is an area where I’m late on the uptake and utterly blown away by how the youngsters have picked up all this new stuff…and it’s makeup.

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Makeup trends are to me what all this tech and social media is to baby boomers. I even have a back-in-my-day gripe. Because back in my day spending your first few months (or admittedly years) of wearing makeup doing everything wrong was almost a right of passage. You would rock that heavy black waterline eyeliner, you would apply foundation with your hands, and you would wear far too much powder, ungodly amounts of powder. But nowadays when kids first start wearing makeup they have a plethora of expert tutorials at their fingertips, all for free. So, of course, they’re all flawless at it. And I’m stuck trying to catch up. My utter bemusement at cut creases and baking is my first taste of how my parents feel when they try to convert a word document into a pdf.

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Denitslava Makeup Via Buzzfeed

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My terrible eye shadow blending and, too-low strobing also taught me how it is that older generations get behind. How it’s possible to have all these new things appear and not just pick them up like the youngsters are. I looked away for a second. I wasn’t paying attention. As a tomboyish kid even when I started wearing makeup I wasn’t really that committed to perfecting it. While all these techniques and products were coming into the public consciousness, I was off doing something else. So by the time I came back to it ready to do it properly, everything had changed. If you were keen on makeup, you followed the trends as they came along and it was easy. If you were keen on phones and the internet you followed all the new things. But I wasn’t keen on makeup. And how could the generations before me have been keen on things they had no way of knowing would be relevant in a few years time? So like me and makeup they just weren’t looking, and came back once everything had changed.

Makeup trends and terminology then, in some ways serve as a reminder that one day I’ll be irrelevant. Not in the micro sense, I’ll still have people that care about me, have a life, have worthwhile experiences. But in the macro sense. My generations contributions to culture, its values, its worldview, will be irrelevant. The new one will be the one that matters, and it’ll be my turn to step back and listen to them explain things to me that I don’t understand. I’m not immune, and I’m not going to be important forever. And that’s fine. It’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s how society progresses and gets better, becomes more interesting.

So I’ll keep applying highlighter with the wrong brush, and the youngsters can keep innovating, and making better things than the last generation could ever dream of.


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