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Here's how I learned you should never underestimate the skills of makeup artists

The finished result is my friend looking the way she does half way through a night out.

AS SOMEONE WHO does not wear any makeup, it’s very easy to take for granted just how difficult it actually is to apply makeup properly.

When getting ready to go out with my friends, one minute they have no makeup on and the next minute their makeup is not only complete but also flawless.

I went to an all girls school and 90% of my closest friends are women. I have learned a lot about makeup, despite not using it myself.

I can hold a pretty good conversation about different products, despite having no idea what order they are supposed to be used in or what exactly they are for. I am very used to hearing about products people frequently use and recommend.

17622473_1326246267430071_591760710_o Source: Danielle Gordon via Facebook

When it came to applying it, after watching my friends all along I thought it couldn’t be that hard.

For the sake of the people who have never tried to do anyone’s makeup, I thought I’d do a friend’s makeup and show you that it’s really not as easy as MUAs make it look.

First, I needed a volunteer who I could trust to be honest about my work.

I chose one of my best friends, Emma (below), to practice makeup on. Admittedly, she isn’t the first person I’ve ever tried to apply a full face of makeup to, but the others refused to ever let me practice on them again, much less share the results with another soul on this planet. So Emma was my fourth attempt at applying makeup.

Poxy snapchat caption but I ment every word of it #jars #jarred #jar

A post shared by Emma Neary (@boygeorgesm8) on

We put Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip on in the background and began. “Make sure you don’t get any makeup in my hair because it’ll stain the bleach”, she warned me at the start.

Here is how she rated my performance step by step:

Step one: Primer and foundation

I used her Mac Prep and Prime sparingly, “That one goes a long way Kelly don’t use too much”, and for the first time in me and Emma’s 10 year friendship, I found myself giving her a face massage. Easy enough.

Next I applied foundation. She gave didn’t give me her every day one, so that I wasn’t wasting a good days makeup on her for this. She gave me Flormar, a brand that’s new to Penneys that I have heard people compare to Mac Studio Fix.

Honestly at the end of step one, I had thought I’d done pretty well.

  • Emma’s Verdict? 3/10. “You didn’t even go near my jaw or neck.”

flormar Source: Flormar via Meaghers Pharmacy

Step two: Powder

I didn’t realise this was a step until I said it was time to go ahead with eyebrows and Emma asked was I not putting powder on. So I picked up a NYX powder and said “What, do I just pat all over your face?”

She said “Like in Ru Paul, beat the face.” So I did. Again, I thought I had done a decent enough job.

  • Emma’s verdict? 4/10. “A bit heavy handed, Kelly.” I obviously took beat the face too literally.

powder Source: NYX via McElhinneys

Step three: Eyebrows

I know very well that everyone is very particular about their own eyebrows. I let my girlfriend pluck mine once and I was so freaked out afterwards because although they were grand, I just couldn’t appreciate them because they were not the way I do them myself.

So before I even began, I knew that filling in Emma’s eyebrows would be a losing battle. I just selected the most eyebrow looking colour in Naked 2 and got on with it.

  • Emma’s verdict? 2/10. “Rotten Kelly. Just rotten. Too round, no shape, somehow look much hairier than before”

eyebrow I used whichever one here looks like eyebrow colour Source: Urban Decay via Debenhams

Step four: Concealer

I wasn’t immediately sure what to even do with concealer, until I remembered all the videos that have come up on my Facebook over the years of girls dabbing their bottom eyelids with it. So I just went with that and decided to tidy up the excess eyebrows I had given her.

  • Emma’s verdict? 2/10. “Why did you put so much under my eyebrows?”

PastedImage-57569 Source: NYX via McElhinneys

Step five: Eyeshadow

This is where it went desperately wrong for me on all of my previous attempts to do someone’s makeup.

I used a Mac palette on Emma’s recommendation as it was more pigmented, despite knowing it wouldn’t matter which eyeshadow I had used at the end of the day because they would all be equally as messy.

It started going bad very quickly, so I just put the busiest one on over the mess I had made to try cover it up, and while I thought it had worked, once again Emma totally disagreed.

  • Emma’s verdict? 1/10. “Speechless.”

PastedImage-11676 Source: MAC via Brown Thomas

Step six: Mascara

This bit went smoothly enough. I scored my highest so far on the eyelashes.

  • Emma’s verdict? 5/10. “Not all over my face or anything, but probably not enough on my eyelashes”

PastedImage-68055 Source: Flormar via Sculpt Cosmetics

Step seven: Eyeliner

I used a beauty tip I picked up from one of my friends who was doing her eyeliner while drunk. She held a knife beside her eye to ensure it was straight. I tried this on Emma with a tweezers as my guide, and she told me “it feels like you are drawing Nike ticks on my eyes.”

  • Emma’s verdict? 4/10. She used to be an emo. There’s no way I’m going to meet her standard of eyeliner.

eyeliner Source: Emma

Step eight: Lips

I definitely was just getting warmed up before, or maybe the 5/10 on the mascara increased my confidence because I really didn’t do too badly on the lips.

I used a Mac lipliner and lipstick.Not sure which ones to be honest because I was too excited to almost be done.

  • Emma’s verdict? 8/10 “Definitely your strongest point.”

lips Source: Emma

Overall score: 29/100

After two episodes of Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip we were done. It was my best makeup work to date, but Emma looked like she does at the end of a night out.

Emma was extremely freaked out by her makeup, but her mam was MAD about it. She said I made her look like a cheerleader and loved her like only a mother could.

I will not be becoming an MUA any time soon, but I truly appreciate how talented they really are.

emma Source: Emma

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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