Beauty at Barnard: Sephora Party

By Laura K. Garrison

Lyra girls

If you’re anything like me, you rarely wear and/or barely know how to apply makeup. Aside from the occasional swish of mascara and a poorly-drawn dash of eye-liner, I don’t have enough time in the morning to put on a new face. So when I heard about Constellation Lyra’s makeup party hosted by two artists from Sephora, I figured it would be a good idea to attend (plus the free giveaways and food were a nice incentive).

The seventh floor lounge was packed to near capacity on Saturday night, filled with giggling girls eager to learn something not-so-educational or to get a professional makeover before a night out in the city. Lindsay and Kiki, our representatives from Sephora, began the evening by explaining the proper way to apply makeup. I didn’t take diligent notes, but this is what I walked away with:

1. The order in which you slather on the stuff counts.
Repeat after me: moisturizer, primer, foundation, bronzer, eye shadow/eyeliner/mascara, blush, and finally lip.

2. Know your skin type.
If you have oily skin, look for powders or products that are oil free. Do not panic when a product says “hydrating” – moisturizers do not necessarily have oil that will clog pores. If you have dry skin, use liquid or cream products.

Sephora representatives gave Lyra girls
the tools and skills to look their best

3. Primer is your boyfriend.
If you are the type of person who enjoys a full face of makeup, it is essential that you use primer to create a barrier between your skin and your makeup. When applying primer, you should not be able to feel it, i.e. only use a little.

4. Match your foundation to your neck.
Nobody wants to be that girl whose face doesn’t match the rest of her body. When testing out foundation colors, swipe a line from your jaw line down to your neck, to make sure the color blends with the rest of your skin.

5. You do not need two foundations.
You can add primer to your “summer” foundation to lighten it to your winter shade, or add bronzer to your “winter” foundation to use it in the summer.

6. When applying bronzer, remember the number three.
To avoid looking like Snooki, sweep bronzer across the areas of the face that are most prone to being colored by the sun – the hair line, the cheek bones, and the jaw line. Apply around each side of the face like a number 3.

7. Go for the eye or the lip, but never both.
You can either rock a dramatic eye or a bright lip, but do not do the two together – you will look like a clown.

8. Wash your makeup brushes.
Dirty brushes will lead to pimples so make sure your tools are clean!

What does “Beauty at Barnard” really mean?

After the makeup tutorial, Lyras were given the opportunity to experiment with a table covered in products from Sephora while Lindsay and Kiki provided free makeovers. I haven’t had the best experience having my makeup done (at prom last year I looked a little too Real Housewives of New Jersey for my taste), but in the spirit of new experiences I waited my turn for a chance in the hot seat. I requested something natural, since I’m not one to wear makeup on a normal day. Besides, afterwards all I had was a hot date with my Spanish homework.

I’ll admit it; I had a lot of fun sitting in a chair with someone fussing over me. I felt like a movie star, though I started tearing a little as brushes swept around my sensitive eyes. When I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t quite sure what I thought. Sure, the makeup looked beautiful (and I appeared to have eye lashes!), but under it all I wasn’t so sure if I was still me. I looked like a china doll and I felt like I should be sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I missed the straggling eye brows hairs that I refuse to pluck. I missed the freckles and moles that were always so prominent on my chin and cheeks. I even missed the dark circles that have plagued my eyes for as long as I can remember. Even though the girl in the mirror was beautiful, she simply wasn’t me.

I took away some valuable lessons from the Sephora makeup party, some of which I hope I’ll remember and use in the future. It was fun to pretend to be something I wasn’t, but in the same way that Halloween is only one day out of the year, I began to get claustrophobic under my heavy mask. As I wiped it all away, I looked in the mirror, happy to see the face I’ve lived with for the past eighteen years – an imperfectly perfect one.

Laura Garrison is a first-year at Barnard College and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing. She’ll worry about using makeup when she’s old and really needs it.

Photos courtesy of Lyra Constellation leader, Sara Lederman.

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