Less Is Bore

Lauren makeup

For make-up artist and beauty assistant Lauren Oakey, too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

Sometimes only too much make-up will do. I rarely experience such joy as when I set aside two hours with some make-up in front of me, glass of wine on the go and a specially made ‘getting ready’ playlist before really going to town on my face. Properly primed skin, topped with a couple of layers of foundation, then one more for luck. Two blushes on top of bronzer? A fake beauty spot? Why the hell not?


There’s a lot to be said for the mood enhancing benefits of too much slap. A really punchy lipstick, blackest black false lashes and a flawlessly applied base can cheer me more than a gin-based cocktail and a Snickers. It’s the sort of unapologetic make-up you can put on, go anywhere in and not have to even think about touching up for at least the next six hours. It’s like losing weight and going out in your shortest dress while not giving two damns that it’s riding up close to the danger zone. You feel a bit proud that you managed to get all of this on your face, like a game of beauty Buckaroo!, and still look great at the end of it.


I wear a lot of make-up for my job on a beauty counter because I think it’s good for customers to see the products used in a different way to how they might instinctively wear them. I’ve lost count of the number of times people have asked, “Can you do your eyes on me please?” and I’ve happily gel-lined their lids to desired flick height. Some shout “higher, higher!” with childlike glee as they start to see their eye transform into feline lushness, while others start to panic as they feel it going past the eyelid, out of their comfort zone, into Winehouse territory and then still tell you to carry on. It’s the same with a red lip. It’s lovely how infectious it can be when you’re wearing a badass matte red, and someone searches the counter for the culprit before presenting you with it, shouting “This please!”


But too much make-up is a now-and-again treat. It wouldn’t be so power-giving if I wore it every day, because it would become part of my face and not have the desired, amped-up effect I’m looking for. I save a proper faceful for events or nights out or sometimes, if I’m feeling in the mood, I’ll pop on Spotify, get out my make-up kit and trowel it on in a way I’ve never tried before. I then sit and watch Midsomer Murders with a glass of wine and pretend I’m a glamourous special agent, brought in specially to help Barnaby and team with their inquiries. Lovely.


Lauren Oakey is a make-up artist, and Beauty Assistant on salihughesbeauty.com

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