Stepping out of the house every morning with a fresh, lively face takes more than airheaded primping and preening in the mirror, as this male discovered.
By Clinton Dixon
The cosmetics industry is a multi-billion dollar global industry. Its influence and visual penetration is none so obvious than taking a short walk along Orchard Road. Malls are adorned with larger-than-life airbrushed faces of actresses who pitch product after product on building after building. What is the deal with women and their beloved make-up, I thought? Little did I know many weeks later I was going to find an answer to that question and many more as I attended my first ever make-up class.
The School Of Theology’s very own Cindy Chaw (who heads the engine of administration at the school) is a trained make-up artist and she conducted a one-off, pro-bono make-up class for the ladies of SOT. I decided to attend and promptly hid myself in the back of the room, not knowing that Cindy was going to introduce me to the class, eliciting much laughter and chuckling I must say, as the lesson began.
Once I recovered from my shock and embarrassment my male problem-solving brain started going into overdrive. Much like an audience trying to solve a magician’s trick I thought I had it all worked out. Like any good DIY job you just sand the surface down, slap a few coats on and then wait to dry. When Cindy pulled out her toolbox sized make-up box, I felt instantly justified. She even went further and pulled out a few brushes which made me feel all the more smug. My smugness quickly turned to disbelief as Cindy, over the course of two hours, demonstrated in much detail the finer points of skincare, make-up base, foundation, concealer, loose powder, blusher, eye shadow, eyeliner and fake eyelashes.
Applying good make-up, it seemed, is a mixed bag of tricks to master. There’s 3D imagery (matt powder on nose bridge, flanked by light dusting of darker shades at the sides of nose to create a narrower-looking snout), optical illusions (brighter shades to elongate things like longer-than-necessary chin or forehead, darker ones to shorten) and dexterity of the digits (eyeliner applied into eyelash line without jabbing yourself blind). Simply put, subtlety’s the art to master, unless you’re looking to stop traffic. Or the fashion police. One trick Cindy shared, however, was that if you’ve got no time to apply eye make-up but don’t want to walk out of the house looking like the walking dead, slap on a bright-colored lipstick to give an instant lift to your looks.
The audience were transfixed as make-up myths were debunked, styling secrets were scrutinized and fashion faux pas were laughed at. Our make-up model went from bare-face beauty to something out of this world, and I was quietly impressed. Scanning the room I could see figurative light bulbs flash above heads as each women attendee discovered the missing piece that made their make-up regime puzzle complete. Smiles of relief were everywhere.
As the Q&A session brought the class to an end, I sat back in my seat questioning what I had learned. Mastering make-up is not some shallow pursuit of vanity. Make-up used correctly can transform one’s appearance from woe to wow. It cleverly allows you to maximize what God has given you and lends more confidence to the wearer. Maybe the cosmetics industry really knows more than most that beauty is more than skin deep.