When Life Gets Hard, My Makeup Makes Me Smile

As a pink-dress-wearer and rainbow-jewelry-lover, I am a firm believer that how you present yourself impacts your mood. I have integrated this belief into my beauty routine, often experimenting like a mad scientist with a passion for bright eyeliner and effervescent sparkles. 

I treat my makeup like a mood ring, constantly transforming it based on my emotions. Now especially, my emotions run at the rate of a roller coaster. When I am not my best self, I ask “how can I embrace this?” Joy-inducing makeup forces me to fake it till I make it. As days blur, I make sure one thing makes me happy: my vibrant reflection in the mirror.

Below, I am going to share a few beauty tips that always lead to smiles.

Abstract Eyeliner



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My favorite celebs and makeup artists often incorporate subtle geometric shapes into their looks. I initially approached the abstract eyeliner trend with much hesitation (for some background, I failed geometry in high school but my A+ in art class gave me hope). Channel your inner Picasso here, and then if you're feeling risky, a little scalene or isosceles. Add shapes and lines to the edge of your lid for a contour effect. Creating a work of art that you and your mom would be proud to hang on the fridge allows you to start the day with the utmost confidence. 

No to Nudes



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No, I am not talking about nude pics, I’m talking about dull and dreary neutral tones that play it safe. Blending in just isn’t cool anymore. My advice? Whip out a color wheel, close your eyes, and spin it like it’s Twister. Wherever your finger lands is your color palette for the day.

Shockingly, yellow is my favorite, but there's no Sharpie highlighter yellow here — I’m talking about light pastel to deep golden sunrise. 

Feeling Blue… Wear It



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From Sunday scaries to mortifying Mondays, my mood is often blue. Instead of drowning in my blues, I try to embrace them with an ocean-esque look. 

From Amalfi Coast turquoise to Atlantic Ocean powder blue, utilizing multiple shades is essential. I often line my upper lid with a darker hue, and lower lid with a lighter. For shadows, I start in the inner corner and fade the color out slowly (wave effect, am I right?).

Finger Painting



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This means no to brushes, shields, or beauty blenders. If you cannot already tell, I am an artistic soul at heart — I embrace any chance to get messy, and I aim to apply colors like a bright and untamed Crayola set. When my scheduled days feel as though I am coloring in the lines, I like to color outside of them for much-needed liberation.

Brightening up my eyes feels especially necessary when I contemplate the mundanity of their deep brown color. This technique brings all attention to my eyes. Hey Siri, play “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison. 

Rise and Shine



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My 84-year-old Italian grandma instilled the concept of “glowing” into my mind from an early age. She has not but one wrinkle on her shimmering face. She drinks (and eats) an absurd amount of olive oil. So this is my take on my grandma's secret: Instead of eating it, wear it.

My goal is to look like I have emerged from a vat of olive oil. There is never too much shine. The key is a heavy hand with hydrating oils, bronzer, and highlighter. Even on days of immense defeat, the appearance of shine insinuates success and radiance.

Dig for Gems



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A good gem moment can truly have mood-enhancing magic. I’m not talking about Swarovski crystals here — think Glinda the Good Witch meets Hunter Schafer from Euphoria. Place mini gems on your cheekbones, eyelids, and even in your eyebrows (with eyelash glue for extra support). Euphoria makeup artist Kirsten Sage buys these 500 pcs for $9 on Amazon

Ever-Changing Nails



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Twenty seconds into a song, I get bored and lose interest entirely. My playlists are constantly on shuffle and my finger is obsessed with the “next” button. This concept translates to my nails too. When monotony consumes my days, I add flair to my life through my nails.

I recently discovered Static Nails, a company that sells reusable pop-on nails. On the website, they tout “No damage. No commitment.” Jeez, I wonder if they sell crushes, too. When my life is extremely uncertain (ahem, like now), I daydream about the future with their holographic nails to take my mind off of the present. 

The moral of the story is that my closet looks like Skittles barf and so does my makeup. But boldness translates to confidence, and when I utilize these beauty techniques, my woes simply fade. So whip out the makeup brushes, things are about to get (not so) serious.