Beauty Level-Up #2: The Dark Art of Concealing Your Baggage

a selfie of Heina with visible blush, lipstick, and eye-brightening makeup as well as plenty of less visible make-up

Female-presenting people making themselves look different using facepaints is deception and even sorcery, according to the outrage on the Internet.

Take this image on the right.It’s the selfie that launched a thousand (okay, okay, more like three) questions. My caption referenced a game-changing technique for concealer application that I had recently learned.

The dark circles under my eyes come from my mother’s side of the family. I realized that they were inevitable when I first noticed that my cousins’ babies are born with it. They are always there no matter how much I sleep, hydrate, decongest, and roll in substances.

For years, I thought concealer was mostly useless, especially in the under-eye area. My instinct was always to rub or buff, as one would apply lotion, but I was dead wrong. Not only does rubbing encourage further puffiness in the undereye area, it basically blends away the concealer to levels where it hardly conceals anything. Oops. With poor technique like that, no wonder I thought concealer made me look worse.

Exacerbating matters is the fact that most concealers come in shades even more limited than those for foundations. Untanned, I’m 1Y08 in Pantone+Sephora’s Color IQ system and 3Y08 when I’ve seen some sun. In non-technical beauty terms, I’m medium-brown with neutral-toned skin that leans warm (i.e. a bit yellow). This means that I need to find skin makeup that not only isn’t pink-toned (i.e. cool-toned), but also isn’t too yellow-toned.

In a world where even expensive, fancy-pants brands only carry three shades of concealer, no wonder I thought under-eye cover-up made my bags look ashy and more noticeable.

Thanks to a Sephora employee — I swear, I’m not getting paid to shill for them — I was able to discover a concealer than works beautifully and comes in eight (!) different shades. It costs way more than I’ve personally ever paid for any single beauty item, but only a few sparse, tiny dabs under each eye led to the coverage level you see above (see my totally nude face, for comparison’s sake). It’ll likely last me a great long while. I consider it my personal magic wand. When I wave it over my face, I can deceive people into thinking I look different from the way I do without makeup. Spoooooooopy~

A quick note for my cooler- and/or fairer-toned siblings in beauty: Please, when you can, make an effort to give your money to companies that offer wide ranges of skin-toned makeup. Even if a brand works for you, your darker- and/or warmer-toned colleagues would appreciate it if you voted with your dollars for inclusivity. Chances are, if a brand (barring ethnicity-targeted ones, of course) offers a shade that would work for me, they’ll have one that works for you, too.

Got beauty questions? Drop me a line via the method of your choice: Twitter / Tumblr [anon enabled] / Facebook/ (anonymous) / email

Beauty Level-Up #2: The Dark Art of Concealing Your Baggage

Beauty Level-Up #1: Confidence

This is post 2/4 of an October Friday series leading up to Halloween.

As I simply adore writing about beauty, I figured I could do an occasional (weekly, if it works out that way. #FemmeFriday?) post about it called Beauty Level-Up.

I used to be fairly uninterested in cosmetics outside of eyeliner and maybe some quick eyeshadow and mascara if I was feeling fancy. As I’ve gotten older and more femme, I’ve been enjoying setting little beauty goals for myself and working towards them. It’s very RPG-like for me: I enjoy attaining the goals, but I know I will never quite run out of them. Also, I like finding good bargains — or at least products worth my dollar — and I love finding ways to startle myself with my own face. Everyday cosplay, if you will.

Without further ado, the matter of the week.

How long have you been doing the make up thing? I’ve only recently started, and I’m curious how long it took you to get confidence. Continue reading “Beauty Level-Up #1: Confidence”

Beauty Level-Up #1: Confidence

Your Periodic Reminder of How Arbitrary Beauty Standards Can Be


We all know, theoretically, that standards and conventions for beauty are a load of crap, but that point was driven home from me today. I was idly searching for ideas for how to wear two different colors of lipstick at once. A Buzzfeed post called “17 Easy Ways To Make Your Lips Look Perfect” popped up. Column 1, Row 2 of “Borrowed” Image #13 (originally via Vintage Make-Up Guides) gave me pause.

It reads

A Cupid’s bow can be toned down with foundation. Trace prettier lipline with stick.

If you watch or read make-up tutorials or know something about beauty, you will immediately recognize how bizarre that statement is.

Continue reading “Your Periodic Reminder of How Arbitrary Beauty Standards Can Be”

Your Periodic Reminder of How Arbitrary Beauty Standards Can Be

Ajar Thread: A Question That Stumped Google

I’ve been Googling since about the year 2000, when I heard about this newfangled, clean search engine from a lady talking about it on some AM radio station. Very rarely has my Google ability failed me, and yet, it is failing me right now. I’ve searched far and wide (and even tried Bing), but alas, no one seems to have written anything about it.

Body hair softening. Body hair softening broke Google.

Continue reading “Ajar Thread: A Question That Stumped Google”

Ajar Thread: A Question That Stumped Google

4 Reasons Why She’s Not Too Good for You (& You’re Being Sexist)

It’s a trope as old as remembered time: The relatable protagonist sees a woman, assesses her based on some criteria that we the audience are presumed to intrinsically understand, and sighs some version of “She’s too good for me.” This is intended to relay a fear of inadequacy on the part of the protagonist (one that he is probably going to overcome with her help, natch).

Despite its transmission of insecure feelings, saying “She’s too good for me” is paternalistic, patronizing, and rather patriarchal.

Continue reading “4 Reasons Why She’s Not Too Good for You (& You’re Being Sexist)”

4 Reasons Why She’s Not Too Good for You (& You’re Being Sexist)

The Great Face-Paint Debate

Recently, the Internet (especially its feminist and feminist-flavored corners) has exploded over the topic of makeup. For many, the personal became political and vice versa. The aspect of the debate that seemed to have been missed by many in both the pro- and anti- makeup crowds is the variation in perceived cultural pressure regarding feminine conformity, including makeup.

In other words, that some women don’t feel forced to wear makeup doesn’t mean that others can’t feel that way.

Continue reading “The Great Face-Paint Debate”

The Great Face-Paint Debate