Tomorrow is my 32nd birthday. Usually I throw big parties and order custom design cakes or giant cookie cakes. In 2021 during a global pandemic, I have no desire to throw such parties of any kind. And there’s only one of me, so what do I need an elaborate cake for? Tomorrow I’m going to go into work and do my eight hours, then come home and watch Monday Night Raw from the couch while eating a meal prepped dinner. For today I’m perfectly happy to be celebrating at home healthy by playing The Sims 4 all day after meal prepping earlier in the morning. Later in the evening my parents will come out of their rooms and my brother will come by to gather around with our cookies from my favorite gourmet cookie spot, Midnight Cookies to sing “Happy Birthday” and then I’ll watch the 2021 Royal Rumble. And that’s really all I need for it to be a great birthday. With that said, just because I shelter-in-place doesn’t mean I have to just wear pajamas and a face mask all day. No! It’s my birthday! I want to look nice, getting made-up and dressed will make me feel even better! I’ll take you through my process of putting on my birthday makeup and choosing my outfit to get ready for the day.
Just so we’re clear, I am not a makeup professional at all. I’m just a regular girl who can do basic stuff with makeup. I have all my cosmetics laid out and ready to create the birthday look I want. I just want to note that I needed a beauty blender, powder brush, brow brush (Both for brow brushing and brow gel application.), a small eye shadow brush and a crease brush. I’ll go further into specifics about the other products as I get to them. The first thing I want to do before getting ready is prepare my face. After washing my face I used Aveeno’s Positively Radiant daily moisturizer and SPF 15 sunscreen ($14) to moisturize well into my skin. I did the same with a tone adjusting face primer by e.l.f. Cosmetics ($6). After my skin is moisturized and primed I will start to apply foundation.
The foundation I used is Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Velvety Matte Foundation ($20) in shade ACCRA 330. I like Juvia’s Place products because I’m supporting a black-owned makeup line. Their eye shadows are very vibrant and their products are just really warm and colorful, specializing in highly-pigmented essential colors. The color selection of their foundations are amazing for various shades of black and brown complexions. That’s why I go to them for my cover up, their shades match my skin perfectly. I applied small dabs of the Juvia’s Place foundation to different sections of my face and then used a beauty blender to blend the foundation and smooth out my complexion.
Once I had my face covered with foundation, I used e.l.f Cosmetics Perfect Finish HD Powder ($6) to set my foundation with a powder brush. I love this powder because it’s translucent. I can’t stand the feeling of wearing foundation all day and then putting on another layer of power that also has color to it, leaving your face feeling caked and heavy. I like translucent powders because they’re light.
Next I moved on to my eyebrows. I’ve gone though almost every form of eyebrow filling with makeup over the years and this technique is the one that I found works best for me. I’ve shaved my eyebrows off and would draw pencil in thin Divine-esque brows, I’ve had the gone overboard and draw thick cartoon Magic Marker outside of the eyebrow days. I’m finally at a peaceful place with my brows. Now I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade ($21). This pomade gives me the best amount of coverage and lasts all day. It also looks the most natural when I blend it into my eyebrows.
To do my brows I coated my brow brush evenly with the pomade and made an outline on my natural eyebrows to give me a map of where I would need to blend later.
After making the outline I went back in and blended the pomade into my brows, brushing in an upward motion when I got to where my brows start. When I first switched from pencil to gel for my eyebrows I was so intimidated, but it really didn’t take that long for me to get comfortable with the transition at all and I love gel.
After finishing my eyebrows I moved onto applying eye shadow. I started by coating my eyes with Milani’s Eyeshadow Primer ($7). For eye shadow I used ColourPop’s Fame Eye shadow Palette ($22). This is a palette that’s good for dramatic smokey eyes or if you’d like something with a lot of shimmer. I’d say it’s an afternoon to evening appropriate eye shadow palette and the colors on the shadow appear well on the skin after applying.
I wanted a smokey eye for my birthday so I went with shades that would give me that edge. I started by using my small eye shadow brush to apply the shade named “Extravaganza” to the inner corners of my eyes, then using my crease brush I used “Razzle” to cover the rest of my eyelid, blending it with “Extravaganza”.
Once the shades on my eyelids were blended I took my crease brush and used the shade “Lifestyle” on the outer corners of my eye and my eyelid crease. Occasionally I went back and forward between colors and brushes to really get the shades blended. After adding the darker shade to my lids, I used my small eye shadow brush to apply “Center Stage” above the dark crease on my eyes up to where my eyebrows start and then blended that shade with “Lifestyle” (You can kind of see that some of “Lifestyle” dusted onto my cheek but I cleaned that up with some makeup remover, foundation and powder afterwards.) to get the smokey eye base I wanted for my eyes.
After finishing up the eye shadow it was time for the hardest part, liquid eyeliner. This is the most important part though because a cat eye is my signature look. I’ve been wearing a cat eye since I was fifteen years old so I need to have cat eyes for my birthday. I absolutely love the eyeliner that I use. It’s a two-in-one one side liquid and the other side is gel pencil eyeliner. I use Tarte’s Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner ($24), and it’s perfect. The liquid pen is easy to use, usually I have trouble with felt tip eyeliners but this design is made for even the shakiest of hands to achieve the perfect cat eye. And the eyeliner doesn’t crack or fade away once it’s picked up the pigment of your eye shadow, it stays solid black. It sticks to your eyes boldly all day.
To achieve the perfect cat eyes, I started by drawing a medium natural line across my eyelid. Then I work from the area that I’d like for my wing start from and draw another line working my way back to connect both the natural line and the top part of the winged line. After the lines are connected I go back to where the wing begins to draw a line from the bottom half of my winged line back to my eye and then I fill in the empty spaces. Basically I just needed to draw three lines and then fill in the space.
Once the cat eyes are completed I just filled in the lower eyelids with the gel pencil liner. It’s pretty simple to do, I simply applied the liner across my waterline.
I did use a mascara after finishing my eyes, I just forgot to film it. I used e.l.f Cosmetics Mineral Infused Mascara ($4). It’s just a good, reliable mascara. I can’t really say much else about it other than it gets the job done.
It was time to start on my lips. To prepare my lips, and my general routine for my lips every day, I used Revolution Cosmetics Good Vibes Lip Balm ($7) shade “Energy”. I love this lip balm because it’s cannabis sativa infused and it just feels so nourishing against the lips. And there’s a subtle shade to it that makes your lips pop but not to where it’s overwhelming. This is my every day go-to lip balm. For actual lip color I wanted something black or metallic, so I went with NYX’s Glitter Goals Liquid Lipstick ($9) in shade “Alienated”. This is a convenient lipstick. It doesn’t feel heavy and there’s no worry that it’s going to smudge all over the place due to the glitter, the lipstick stays in place, I like it.
I usually don’t use highlighter for my look, but since it was my birthday I decided I wanted to look extra special. To highlight my face I used NYX’s Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator ($7.50). It’s a nice highlighter. It’s lightweight and not too shimmery for my taste. To highlight I just put a dab of highlighter just above the apples of my cheeks and blended it towards my ear.
After the highlighter I had finally completed my makeup for my birthday look. I had two options: Leave my afro in it’s state, picked after being conditioned the night before or get dressed or continue to glam up, I chose continue to glam up. I grabbed a wavy haired wig of mine and attached a headband to it to complete the look, and then I was satisfied. I should also mention that you can also get all of these cosmetics from Ulta Beauty.
Now it’s time to get dressed. I chose an outfit that’s completely me to celebrate my birthday. In the spirit of punk rock I chose a pair of red plaid leggings. I chose the shirt of the late professional wrestler Brodie Lee to wear because as Brodie would say, “It’s Sunday. You know what that means”. To finish the look I decided on one of my favorite battle vests that I sewed patches on with the Electric Wizard patch on the back. I chose a basic pair black Vans to wear for my shoes. A totally Manda outfit.
And that completes my hair, makeup and outfit for my little birthday celebration at home today. I’m pretty happy with how I look and I’m excited to dive into my drama in The Sims 4. Now that I’m all put together I’m going to put this look to use and head over to Midnight Cookies to pick up our dessert for later tonight. Take it easy!