Makeup tutorials are calming? – Albany Times Union (blog)

Barbie transformation by Kandee Johnson. Source: Good Housekeeping

Each person has a vice. Something that makes them calm. For some people, it’s painting. I know my mom loves to draw. My brother watches advice on how to become wealthy. My stepdad loves iPhone games, my dad loves watching footage from history on his iPad, and my stepmom spends a lot of time playing various iPad games.

My vice is watching makeup tutorials on YouTube. I know a lot of women who enjoy the same thing. But it’s so weird at the same time because how can watching someone apply makeup be calming?

I think it’s because makeup is indeed a form of art. The sight of pigments spreading across someone’s face is so satisfying. Watching a blank canvas finish up is remarkable. Unlike drawing, which is so permanent, makeup is temporary. It can be washed away. You never just wash away a drawing when it’s done. You hang it up, you admire it, and you show it off on your wall.

Makeup is different because you frame it for a day, or for whatever period you are sporting the look. You then get to wipe it off and try again. I find solace in that when I watch these tutorials; the fact that these girls (I honestly don’t watch any male makeup gurus, but there are some super talented ones out there) can just erase the mistake, erase the issue, even erase the entire look at the end of the day. It’s really superficial to think like this, but it’s a way to escape reality.

Makeup is incredible because of how it can transform someone from feeling self-conscious to ready to take on the world. I fell in love with makeup tutorials specifically in high school when I was trying to figure out how to cover my acne. I found one girl who had the same type of acne that I did (cystic, hello my old friend) and she recommended a bunch of products that didn’t irritate her skin. The next thing I knew, I was totally engulfed in a world where I was learning how to blend eyeshadow, apply foundation, and get the perfect application of lip liner. It was exhilarating, mind-blowingly educational, and totally relaxing.

I find that makeup is not so much my savior anymore, but it’s my recreational hobby. I spend a lot of time working with it for fun as opposed to escaping from anxiety and depression. Same thing with watching makeup tutorials: it’s no longer a way to escape reality forever, but a way to escape for a few as you unwind from a crazy day. It’s a zen experience for me.

I guess we all have our relaxing outlets. Watching colorful powder smear across one’s skin is mine.