Beam All You Can Beam
There’s one product in my makeup kit that has been brightening up my morning routine: Benefit High Beam. They bill it as a “luminescent complexion enhancer” and it really is like good lighting for your cheek bones in a bottle.
My relationship with makeup has been a tumultuous one. In middle school, I strictly wore 40 lbs of black eyeliner on the bottom lash line to set off my shellacked bangs. In high school, I would not leave the house without concealer and mascara although by then I had abandoned underneath my eye entirely. I remember reading in Cosmopolitan that no sensible woman would ever wear mascara on her bottom lash. (According to Cosmo she would however, put a donut on her boyfriend’s dick and eat it off.) In college, I got all politicized and thought no sensible feminist could possibly buy into makeup let alone be concerned with pretty or even beautiful. Triflin hoes. And besides, I was tired of hiding behind makeup. And hiding is exactly how putting on make up felt. Covering up what shamed you; quieting ugliness. I put it on out some feminine duty or obligation. Or, I refused to do so for the same imagined reasons.
These day,s there is nothing quiet about my face. I make myself up how and why I want. And I’m not just talking about a seriously shadowed eye or a maxed out mouth. Okay, sometimes I am talking about that. But what I mean to say is: makeup is much better at revealing than hiding. Yes: showing off your sexy and your uniqueness. But also: the potential of your bones, brows, and skin. Applying product is about creating lines, shadows, space, angles, light, color, depth. Limiting all of that potential to your itty bitty eyelid is a waste of face.
I learned and practiced contouring, highlighting, shadowing, lining, and painting as a drag queen and burlesque performer. In addition to transforming, exaggerating, and/or glamorizing my gender(s) on stage…I also need to be SEEN FROM VERY FAR AWAY. I started highlighting around my eyes to give them more space to express themselves not repress themselves behind my wigs or cheeks. Accentuating this key place made my face dynamic and multidimensional and vastly pretty. Of course I translated this gorgeous tactic into my offstage face application. Heretofore I might have found it excessive but no more. You got eyesockets gurl, use them.
After months of carrying it around in my kit, I finally used the Benefit High Beam for a photoshoot over the weekend. I have always been wary of liquid products where I think powders should go. High Beam (also available in Moon Beam) is extremely easy to blend with just a finger. I put on my blush first, and then paint a line of High Beam in a sharp diagonal across the top of my cheekbone. In the bottle it appears to be a baby pink shimmer,( )but it spreads on in such a diffuse way as to just catch the light and give your cheek bone a luminous edge. If it’s nighttime, I will also swipe some in a diagonal from my temple/end of my eyebrow.
The highlighting shape looks something like this: < > and is well exemplified here by Manila Luzon and January Jones. Ms. Jones has some deep to-die-for temple contouring too. Study up.