My story about make-up, Jen from frmheadtotoe, and what I’m going to buy next.

As a small girl, I got to know about make-up quite early. We girls used to be dolled up a lot by our parents and the teachers, especially when we had performances at school or in groups of a district where we lived. However, we were not encouraged to use any kind of make-up whatsoever. I used to hear a lot of stories in which people suffered badly from using make-up products. If I were to wear any make-up at all to school, I would expect to receive lots of stares and teases and badmouths about me trying to get attention and/or trying to be unnecessary pretty. My mother herself doesn’t wear make-up. I think it can be because of numerous reasons. One of them can be because she didn’t want me to spend money on things that were not suitable for my age, plus I didn’t have good background information to determine which products were good for me if I based my judgement purely on advertisements on TV. (She actually asked me to do the make-up for her in my sister’s weddings in France and Vietnam, so I guess she thinks it’s now time for me to know this kind of stuffs : D). It was quite weird because the appearance of a person was paid extremely high attention in Vietnam. In fact, when I came to Finland 4 years ago, I found myself surprisingly at ease when nobody seemed to care how dark my skin was, how skinny I was, and so on.

So yeah, I was not directed to be comfortable with wearing make-up. I can remember very rare times when my sister and I (or was it just me?) wore áo dài, powder, eye shadows, lipsticks, and heels from my mother (she didn’t wear make-up but she did receive make-up products as gifts) when we were very small.  And perfume. (My father has passion for perfume. Probably I “inherited” it from him : p. I still remember one time my mother once received a box of powder with peach scent that I was so head over heels with its sweet and soft smell. When I think about it now, I still like it a lot. I mean, a lot.) From these very little things, with how few people around me who were interested in make-up (let alone use it, and look beautiful with it on), it’s difficult to explain why I have this special fondness in make-up.

This “fondness”, however, wouldn’t have chance to develop if I hadn’t met and talked to my sister in winter 2007. She said she wanted to know how to wear make-up. She – like my mother, didn’t wear make-up at all – wanted to know about this specific how-to. I instantly got flashbacks of her showing signs she was against it throughout our childhood when we were both in Vietnam. You can imagine how surprised I was. But then, I gave it some thoughts, and some more thoughts. It felt like, a mat covering my eyes was removed. I was able to leave the bad impression about make-up I carried with me for such a long time behind. When it happened, I was much more willing to see it as a good thing in life and got curious to know how to make-up, too. Moreover, my Finnish classmates looked totally gorgeous and natural with make-up on.

Unfortunately, the willingness didn’t come immediately with practice. I don’t remember exactly when and why I suddenly asked my friends to go to Sokos to buy a set of make-up for me, but it was quite long after I met my sister. With the help of Ngoc who, at that time, was our expert in this area, I spent about 60€ to get me the basics. You can see them here in this photo most of the stuffs I bought: foundation, concealer, powder, some blushes, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, lipsticks, and some brushes.

Even more unfortunate, I didn’t get to use them at all. I think it was because:

– I didn’t know the basis. Although I did read a lot to get the basic idea, it was still difficult to apply, e.g. how the process goes, foundation first or concealer first, which brush to which purpose, etc.

– I didn’t have time. I need at least 45 minutes every morning to get ready to go out without make-up. If I were going to do it, I would have needed an hour more (as I said, I didn’t know how to wear make-up at all). During the whole previous year, I was waking up at 5:30a.m, and I was already always lack of sleep. From where could I get more time? Simplest solution: don’t make-up.

– I haven’t get used to having make-up on my face yet. Or maybe I didn’t do it properly. I don’t know. I wore it very lightly, even Nhung had to take time to spot what I did, but I have the feeling it’s too harsh on my face. At the same time, there’s something missing also.

I don’t know how long it would take me to get back to make-up if I didn’t know about Jen – frmheadtotoe. I first knew her when I watched a featured video of her on YouTube, which was a hair tutorial.

She appeared to be super nice and friendly. Her English was clear and easy to listen to (I knew she’s from US later on). The first impression was really good, so I wandered around her YouTube and came across her website also.

Apart from her being very cute and pretty, this is what caught my attention:

“It’s my personal belief that true beauty comes from the outward expression of humility and truly loving and accepting yourself. Makeup should be used as a tool to express and to feel good about yourself, not as a mask to hide what you are afraid of. We have the freedom of change and to be who we want to be so let’s have joy in playing with that gift.” – from Jen’s YouTube.

Enough reason to stay, right? I think make-up is also a way to show respect to people we meet, for example to an interview.

Furthermore, her videos and blog posts are thoroughly informative. I find myself to be inspired every time I watch her videos and read her blog posts. One of my favorite blog posts from her is this one and the video that went together with it:

I guess the fact that Jen is an Asian and she’s also petite brings me closer to her. I’ve been following her for about a month and I’ve come up with a list of things which were introduced by her that I’m interested in. Now that I’m going to renew my visa and I’m not working, my budget is currently pretty tight. I’m not going to purchase all of them at once, but I will get them gradually according to my needs. This list is to help me keep track, because obviously Jen has tons of products that I won’t need them all.

1. Cure Natural Aqua Gel

2. Makeup Forever Mat Velvet Foundation

Jen has it in 40, but maybe mine should be 65. My skin is darker than hers.

3. FAIRYDROPS Candybar BB Cream in Ocher

While I consider to take the foundation that is darker than Jen’s, I take the same BB cream as she does because the other option is even lighter : D. When the winter comes and my skin gets lighter, I supposed I can put it to good use.

4. Lioele Automatic Eyebrow pencil

I’m also thinking about Anastasia Brow Powder Duo II, but I’ll have to see if I really need it.

5. I’m considering between Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion (carbon black) and Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner in Jet Black. The Urban Decay has waterproof which I think I would need (I often have water that comes out from my eyes. Maybe I yawn too much? :”)), but the Eyeko Graffiti (no waterproof) seems to be firmer for a beginner like me…

6. FAIRYDROPS Platinum Waterproof mascara

7. NYX HD Studio Griding Blush in Ménage à Trois

Its color is so adorable! Really, so adorable! (See Jen’s July favorites video to see how adorable it is).

8. Makeup Show Brushes

Most probably one for applying foundation? 😕

9.  Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette

I haven’t used much of eye-shadows because I don’t really know how to match them to my face. Both of my favorite actresses (Im Soo Jeong & Yuko Takeuchi) don’t seem to wear eye-shadows (at least, not much, since I don’t see it at all…)  in their movies/dramas but they still look totally gorgeous. So this palette will need more consideration, too.

I think about some false eye-lashes (get effected by Jen : D), but I have to take a look closer to it. I will need something short enough to get used to my look with it first. Any ideas from where should I start with?

That’s pretty much it. I will need to check again if they are possible for me to purchase, not only because of money, but also because links are given by Jen and she lives in US… And it’s not like I can find them in Finland, right? :”(

I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish this post today, but YAY! for me now that I do : D. I have lots of things I want to write about. In this sense, it’s a good thing that I’m still on my summer vacation.

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3 thoughts on “My story about make-up, Jen from frmheadtotoe, and what I’m going to buy next.

  1. : D Some advices, Nhien.

    If you wouldn’t wear much make-up, I think Naked palette from Urban Decay should be more suitable for you. I have both Naked palette and 15th Anniversary palette. Naked has more neutral eye shadows which might be better for a beginner.

    And for eye liner, whatever it is, pencil, liquid or gel, I would always go for the waterproof one. And I actually don’t like or recommend any products from Eyeko. Lancome artliner is my favourite but it is more expensive than the other 2 you’ve mentioned.

    Be careful with mascara and false lashes, I use make-up everyday and I still find it hard to use them for Asian’s natural short eye lashes 🙂

    • Thank you very much for your advice : D

      For the eye shadows, I think about 15th Anniversary palette because it has more colors :”). With the Naked palette, for me the colors seem to be too similar to each other… I’m gonna be confused when I use it : D But it’s also true that the 15th Anniversary palette has colors I might never touch… I’ll give it more thoughts and decide later. : D

      The Lancome artliner you mentioned, is it this one: http://bit.ly/ojfRj5? If it is, I think I can find it in Finland. However, it is indeed expensive. And you need a brush for it as well, right? Means more money to be poured in. 😐

      I will buy the mascara first to see how it does for my lashes, then I will consider false lashes later. It feels heavy already with only mascara on. : D

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