On this blog I like to record tales from my book writing journey. Hopefully a few of my readers will relate to my experiences.
Today I am going to tell you about how my approach to makeup changed while writing my debut novel; Instructions For Falling In Love Again.
Makeup became my secret weapon while writing my debut novel.
Please don’t think I was at makeup artist standard prior to deciding to write a novel. When God was handing out makeup skills I was at the back of the queue with my head stuck in a book. My technique was very much, ‘dab a little bit here, maybe a little bit there.’ Makeup didn’t really have a purpose in my life before writing my book.
Once I started writing seriously, my creative levels went haywire and everything changed.
I also want to point out I did spend a lot of time on my own and it was mainly my three cats and dog who got to see my dodgy makeup attempts.
Here’s what I discovered:
- A good application of glittery gold eyeshadow before writing was at times a life saver. I spent a lot of time alone at the kitchen table with my laptop and because of the way the stainless steel toaster was positioned every time I looked up to groan or mutter a series of naughty words about my work, I would catch sight of my reflection. My glittery gold eyeshadow would stand out (as I had layered it on thick prior to writing) and I would find myself forgetting about my creative troubles and sighing at my glittery eyes. I would find myself muttering, ‘Mitchell, your seventh chapter sounds dire but those eyes are stunning!’
- The power of bold red lipstick and literary rejections. When I experienced any sort of literary rejection I would enter into a period of inner turmoil. This would normally involve shuffling over to the sofa to cry into a fluffy cushion and hugging the life out of the dog. Days later I would make the life changing decision to get off the sofa, chuck away my damp cushion, release the dog and come back fighting. This is when I found applying bold red lipstick really helped. There is something very powerful about red lipstick as you go about your business. It gets you back into that kickass author mood.
- Book idea excitement can cause havoc with your eye shadow. Good ideas for my book would always come to me when I was busy applying a vibrant shade of eye shadow to ONE eye. Squealing with joy I would rush off to find a notebook leaving the other eye bare. Fast forward several hours and a loved one would be staring at me with a puzzled expression.
- My left eyebrow liked to arch higher than the right brow during the creation of an intimate scene. I don’t know why but I would put on some makeup before I sat down to write a naughty scene. After writing the intimate scene I would catch sight of my left brow in the hallway mirror and gasp. That brow was almost touching my hairline.
- Procrastination and makeovers. I did find giving myself an unexpected makeover a lot while procrastinating. Some of my novel was written at my dressing table and it became so easy to ignore my plot issue and imagine myself on the red carpet at my book’s film premiere with subtle smokey eyes. I will say this is a good time waster, it certainly livens up procrastination and I looked like I had been digging coal at one point.
- Giving oneself a stern writing PEP talk in the hallway mirror is more effective when one has a made up face. I do give myself a lot of PEP talks which mainly consist of me telling my reflection to get a grip. During my novel writing I felt like I was constantly stood in the hallway mirror telling myself yet again to stop moaning and get a grip. I found the PEP talk was better when I wore makeup.
- Concealer has its limits. I have found that concealer for bags under the eyes and dark purple circles due to late night editing has its limits and sometimes you just have to except no amount of concealer is going to get rid of the zombie look. Once my concealer reached its limit I knew it was time for self care (a warm bath, a Twix and listening to 90’s hits).
I hoped you enjoyed this blog post.
The next time you are in the depths of rejection despair, reach for your bold red lipstick 💄