I Let My Friend Do My Makeup For A Week

Like many of us, I am not as capable as I would like to be when it comes to makeup. Most of the time, you can find me wearing little to no makeup, especially during the school week when I'm busy going to classes and/or watching a whole lot of Netflix (shout out to One Tree Hill, my current obsession). And on the days where I do put in the effort and attempt to create a look, I'm so light-handed due to my inexperience that it usually looks like I'm barely wearing any makeup at all.

This all too common and frustrating pattern is what lead me to try this experiment: letting my close friend Amina do my makeup for an entire school-week.

I wanted to learn how to actually apply makeup, how to create easy, budget-friendly looks with the makeup I already owned and honestly, I wanted to spend a week getting pampered by my very talented friend. 

My friend and personal makeup artist for the week, Amina! 

Amina is a junior, biology major, and is amazing with makeup. She lives down the hall from me, and so she very kindly offered to let me into her room and do my makeup every day for 5 days. I don't think she really knew what she was getting herself into, because she definitely didn't think it was possible for me to know as little about the basic foundations (pun intended) of makeup as I did going into this experiment.  However, I am happy to report that she not only taught me about a million mind-blowing things (which I am about to share with all of you!), but that we both had a lot of fun in the process.

The Rules: Amina created 5 different looks using only the rather minimal makeup that I owned (and a little bit of hers as well). The looks needed to be simple enough that even I could re-create them and they needed to range between casual and fun looks that I would wear to class and one or two party looks that I could wear out.


DAY 1:   Casual Monday Look 

Today's look was simple and very easy to create. Amina started by applying my foundation (bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in Vanilla 02) and this is where she told me the first, and arguably most important thing I learned in this process:

TIP #1: your makeup brushes, including beauty blenders, foundation brushes and eye shadow brushes should be DAMP.

This revelation makes a LOT of sense, as it helps your foundation glide on easier, and deepens the pigment of your eye shadows. I had no idea that I was supposed to dampen my brushes before using them, but I absolutely noticed a difference. After applying foundation, Amina contoured my face with a simple and inexpensive contour stick (NYX Wonder Stick in Light/Medium) and she shaped and darkened my brows with my very simple kit from Benefit (BROWzings Brow Shaping Kit in Light). Next came the blush, and to create a flushed and fresh-faced look, Amina combined two blushes from ‘The Regal Wardrobe’ palette by bareMinerals (The Summer Fling & The Love Letter). She then applied a makeup setting powder to keep my foundation and contour from smudging throughout the day (Mineralize Skin Finish by MAC in Soft & Gentle). After that, she used lighter shadows (since I’m pretty pale, she used Virgin and Sin) in my original NAKED Palette on my entire eyelid (including the crease, corners of my eyes and lids) to create a brighter eye. To finish my eye look she grabbed my Tattoo by Kat Von D. Liquid Eyeliner to create a small cat-eye effect and then applied mascara (Mineral Fusion).

As a pale person, I always get nervous when I’m using any dark colors in my makeup, however, the smaller, shorter wings that Amina drew, combined with the light eye shadow allowed my eyes to actually appear more open and defined that I imagined a black liner could ever accomplish. 

TIP #2: Don’t be afraid of dark colors, no matter your skin tone, when applied correctly they will help define your features and not hide them.

Finally, Amina grabbed a deep rose pink lipstick from her collection (NYX B52) and a lonely lip liner from my collection that I had maybe used once (Gabriel Color in Wine - This is long lasting AND Organic!), and went to work.

TIP #3: Lip liner is your new best friend. Lining your lips helps lipstick to last a lot longer and defines your lips, making them look bigger: don’t leave this trend in the 90s.

Overall: The overall look was very easy to create and very flattering. Additionally, this look allows for a lot of variety, as you could change the lip color and make the look even more casual (with something lighter) or fancier (with something darker).


DAY 2:  Mermaid Eye Look 

What could be better on a rainy UConn Tuesday than a makeup look that makes you feel like a MERMAID? Probably nothing, honestly. For this look, Amina applied my foundation, darkened my brows, contoured my face and applied my blush (these four steps remained constant in every look). Next, she primed my eyes with an eyelid primer from Too Faced, and applied a light brown eye shadow to my crease and all over my lid (Naked Palette in Naked), which she then blended out. This acted as a base eye shadow that added a bit more depth to the overall eye look. Then, Amina went to work on creating a thick cat eye with my Tattoo liner. The thickness of the wings truly added some drama to the look, which was only exemplified by the next step: COLOR. Amina took her Electric Palette by Urban Decay and went to work turning me into Ariel from The Little Mermaid. First, she applied a deep teal color below my eye, right along my lower lash line, concentrating the color towards the middle of my eye (Electric Palette in Fringe). The next color she used was a lighter green color, which she applied towards the inside of my lower lash line and in the inner corner of my eye, making sure to blend it slightly with the first color (Electric Palette in Freak). Finally, she applied the final color, a deep purple, towards the outside of my eye along my lower lash line (Electric Palette in Urban). Amina then took a blending brush and made sure to blend the colors slightly so that each faded into the other, which created a beautiful ombré effect that was to die for.

TIP #4: Applying color to the lower lash line is a fun and more casual way to create a colorful eye look.

Finally, to finish off the overall look Amina applied the same lip liner and lipstick to my lip that was used in Monday’s look and applied my mascara. 

Overall: This look was one of my favorites, as it allowed me to play with color and was super creative without being too dramatic for a day out or even a full day of classes. Plus, I felt like a Disney Princess all day, which is never a bad thing. 


DAY 3:  The 10-Minute Look 

I definitely did not wake up like this... #Contour

This look is perfect for those days that you wake up a bit late, you’re extra tired or you just feel like working something that’s very simple and fresh-faced. The first 4 steps of this look (Foundation, Contour, Brows and Blush) remained the same (with a little extra blush), as glowing, even-toned skin, strong brows and defined features truly do make up the basis of any look (and are even great as a stand-alone look). Next, Amina applied an eyelid primer (Too Faced) to my lids, and used a damp blending brush to apply a shimmer eye shadow to my lids that was a similar color to my skin (Naked Palette in Virgin). She then applied a small amount of a slightly rosier and equally shimmery color to my lower lash line and inner corners of my eye, which really helped to make my eyes appear brighter (Naked Palette in Sin). Next, she lined my eyes on my tight line (along your upper lash line, at the root of your eyelashes) with my deep brown eyeliner (Almay intense i-color in 004 Raisin Quartz), which is a great color choice for lighter looks as opposed to black liner. Amina then lined my lips very lightly with my wine colored liner and then blended it into my lips so that it looked much lighter. Finally, she applied a lip tint to my lips in order to create add some natural looking color (Mineral Fusion Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Flicker).

Overall: I really appreciated this look because it is one that I could easily see myself recreating on a daily basis. It took just about ten minutes (which, let’s be honest, we’d all have in the morning if we didn’t hit the snooze button for the third time) and made me feel like I looked my best while still feeling fresh and light, a win-win in my book.


DAY 4:  Golden Goddess Look 

DAMN this look was FIERCE. I felt unstoppable walking down Fairfield Way wearing this look, it’s amazing what a little red lipstick can do! The first four steps (Foundation, Brows, Contour and Blush) remained the same. Next, Amina used my Naked Palette to create this fabulous eye look. This palette (or any palette that has neutral colors) really is a great investment, as you can create so many different looks with it that it will be well worth the fifty (ish) bucks you spent on it. First, Amina applied eye primer to my entire eyelid, and used a medium tone brown shadow that has a bit of shimmer in it on the lid and into the crease, blending it into the shape of a cat eye (Naked Palette in Toasted). Next, she applied a deep shimmery brown to my crease, blending it so that there were no harsh lines, which really added a lot of depth to the entire look and gave it a smoky eye feel (Naked Palette in Hustle). Finally, Amina applied a gold shadow to my lid, focusing it on the middle and inner part of the eye, into the inner corner and onto my lower lash line (Naked Palette in Half Baked). To define my eye, Amina created a thin cat eye with my Tattoo liner to add some drama and definition. During this trying process of applying liquid eyeliner, I was an absolutely terrible model and could not stop laughing (In my defense, I was thinking about this really funny tumblr post…), which leads me to:

 Tip #5: You can use a black, solid eyeliner pencil as an easier way to correct small mistakes that you make with your liquid liner and to shade in a wing that needs to be darkened.

In this case, I laughed so hard that Amina actually had to start over completely on one of my eyes (sorry Amina!) but eventually, I pulled it together and we managed to carry on with the look. Next, Amina tight-lined my bottom water line with a white eyeliner pencil.

TIP # 6: Lining your lower water line with a white pencil makes your eyes look more open, wide awake and bright.

As the final step to my eye look, Amina applied some liquid gold makeup glitter to my eyelids, which added some drama and fun, (you can never have too much glitter). To create my red lip, Amina first primed my lips with my personal Holy Grail product, a Vitamin E Oil Stick. I use this for everything: dry skin on my face, my lips, as an eye primer, as sun protection, etc. It is very inexpensive (a few dollars, max) and it is an all natural and fragrance free alternative to other more expensive, chemical-filled products. Next, she lined my lips with a deep red lip liner (MAC Lip Pencil in Burgundy) and then applied a fabulous extremely dark red liquid lipstick to my lips (MAC Liquid Lipstick in Russian Red). Finally, Amina dabbed a very small amount of the same liquid gold makeup glitter that she used on my eyelids onto my lips, and then re-applied the liquid lipstick to make it more dramatic and to mute the glitter to some extent.

Overall: This was hands-down my favorite look. I loved it so much because, at every stage of its creation, it could have been a perfect finished look.  The combination of eye shadows without the liner literally made me glow and really brightened my whole face, while the completed eye look with a natural lip would have been perfect for a casual night out or a family event. However, the entire look as a whole was Beyoncé-level fierce, and I actually felt more confident than I usually do throughout the day as I wore it. Even though I most definitely did not wake up like this, I felt pretty flawless.


DAY 5:  Girls Night Out Look 

For those times where you just want to get dressed up and go out with your girls, this is the perfect look: colorful, fun and very sparkly. The first four steps remained the same (Foundation, Brows, Contour and Blush). To create my crazy colorful eye look, Amina began by applying an eye primer to my entire eye

TIP #7: Eye primer is worth the investment, it keeps your eye shadow from fading and preserves all the hard work you put in to your look for hours.

Next, she took a very pigmented and bright eye shadow color (we used pink, but any color you like works!) and she applied it starting in the center of my eye with a damp blending brush, and worked it outwards so that it formed a cat eye effect around my eye lid (Urban Decay Electric Palette in Savage). Next, Amina grabbed a very sparkly gold shadow, and applied that with a damp blending brush beginning at the middle of my eye and working it in the opposite direction and into the inner corner of my eye and below my eye on my lower lash line (Naked Palette in Half Baked). Now that my lid was completely covered by both the pink and gold shadows, she blended away any harsh lines and blended the shadows together in the middle of my eye, creating an ombré effect that made the transition between the colors look effortless. Next, Amina lined my lid VERY lightly with a black pencil liner (Almay Intense i-Color in Black Pearl). This light-handed technique allowed for some definition, but kept the focus on the bright colored eye shadow. Finally, Amina took her golden liquid makeup glitter and applied it pretty generously to my lid, making sure that both colors of shadow had some extra sparkle. After finishing my eye look, the last step of the process was to very lightly line my lips with my wine colored lip liner (you can use a lighter lip liner here, we just didn’t have one, so we worked with what we had) and then she applied a light pink lip tint to my lips that was about one shade lighter than my natural lip color (Mineral Fusion Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Twinkle).

Overall: I thought this look was so fun! I was definitely surprised by the intensity of the color on my eyes, and so though I wouldn’t wear this look during the day, it definitely made my eyes pop and would be really fun to rock for a party or a girls night out.


After The Experiment:

I was so sorry to see this experiment come to an end.! Amina taught me so many things about makeup and was able to create such fantastic looks that I wish she could do my makeup for me every day. Also, getting your makeup done is really relaxing and is also a nice bonding experience to share with a friend (even though she may occasionally brush some foundation onto your teeth if you’re talking too much…). I really enjoyed learning more about how makeup works and specifically how to use the makeup I already own to its fullest extent. These looks were easy enough to create that I could definitely learn how to do each of them, and this experiment left me with a few great options for both every day and party looks.

Amina’s Experience: “I had so much fun doing this experiment. I am no professional, but I love makeup and I think that every girl should know how to have fun with makeup that they already have. Not everyone has a $75 dollar contour kit or three Naked Palettes (especially broke college students), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t look and feel amazing with what you have. The amount of makeup doesn’t even matter, every girl is beautiful, the makeup just works to enhance what’s already there.”

I couldn’t agree more!  So try out these looks with your friends and maybe even create your own!  You will have a blast and you’ll learn how to use the makeup that’s already in your collection.Have Fun Collegiettes!




All Images Courtesy of Olivia Katharine 

Cover Image Credit