Look into my eyes

I’ve talked recently about my tomboy-ish inner self-image, and about disliking my body hair. I haven’t mentioned my favourite feature: my eyes.

It’s a little frustrating that generally I need glasses (although I quite often forget them, and my prescription is weak enough that I don’t notice – but I will get headaches if I go too long without). I feel as though they often create a barrier, or the frames disrupt the appearance, or the light reflects off them and conceals my eyes. (So, there is a temptation to delibverately forget my glasses…)

It might seem odd, if they’re my favourite feature, that I would want to use eye makeup, particularly. Surely, logic would ask that I should look to improving other parts of my face that satisfy me less. But it’s not about “improving”, it’s about playfulness, having fun, or looking a different kind of awesome. I especially like “unnatural” colours: colours that are outside of the usual palette of human skin. Most of all, I love sparkly eye shadow and my first set of colours was a range from Body Shop with all glitter tones. Only recently have I added a bit to them, and investigated more about proper technique and styles, bought a mini brushes kit from Boots (very handy, it turns out), and started experimenting properly to find out what makes the best look. I’m finding it hard to pick out colours that go well with my eyes and skin tone, especially as I am a gyrl on a budget here, but I already know that the sparkliest bronze is a definite element that works. Figuring out how to use it for best, and combine it with other shades, is taking a bit of time.

I was quite pleased with my last effort, though, and took a few selfies to show off. Sadly, I don’t think the effect has come out properly in the photo, but you can make out the glitteriness here if you look carefully:

"You are falling into a deep trance..."

Sparkly, no?

One thing I noticed as I was cropping the selfies to find out which gave the best effect, I felt oddly confronted by the expression when the rest of my face was cut away; maybe it’s the dark purple I used in the crease that makes the expression seem more serious. I certainly felt I looked more cheerful before I cropped the pic (but that doesn’t mean it was a good enough shot to show in its entirety – I have my vanity!)

Speaking of Vannie (if you see what I did there), I got to thinking about how I have to start from scratch in learning how to do makeup, and about the awkwardness of those who don’t follow the rituals of feminine socialisation to learn this stuff (archetypically, the nerdy loner or the tomboy; and of course trans women). I don’t just want to do my eyes, I want to learn much more. I found a handful of advice pages aimed at trans women a decade ago when I first started looking into doing something about embracing my non-binary/feminine side in terms of appearance but really, I’ve been moreorless fumbling in the dark. There seem to be more “how to” videos on youtube now than there used to be, that can help, so I am hopeful. Nevertheless, there is a consciousness of being in many ways a long way behind everyone else. In keeping with my rejection of “conscious incompetence”, however, this post is about saying that, even though it may not be impressive to those who have a lifetime’s experience, what I’ve done here (shown in the above picture), is still way more than I knew how to do a couple of weeks ago.

My eyes are my favourite feature. I like to play with different looks for them. And now, I am learning how to do that. And I feel pretty!


About ValeryNorth

I overthink everything.
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