Give It A Go: I Let My Housemates Do My Makeup For A Week


My decision to let my friends do my make up for a week was a whim; I thought it would be a fun way to experiment whilst doing absolutely nothing at all. Furthermore, as a reformed make-up novice who learned all I know from my flatmate, I am very used to other people doing my makeup and thought it would be easy for me to give other people control of my face.

For my everyday makeup, I usually wear very little, but the bit I do wear – foundation and drawn in eyebrows – make me feel confident and prepared for the day. One of the first things I realised was how different other people’s go-to makeup routines were from my own. The everyday makeup that my housemate Josie did for me was subtle and classic, with no eyebrows but mascara and BB cream.

Credit: Josie’s makeup look – Nelly Mair

My housemate Sakina did my make up on a day when I was meeting my mum for dinner. She became very enthused about creating a different eyebrow shape for me, something she called ‘straight brows’ which consists of a thicker and less-arched shape than I am used to. As eyebrows always do, this changed the whole look of my face. She also created a flawless cat eye which shocked me with its precision as my personal attempts at eyeliner are always clunky and thick out of necessity.


Credit: Sakina’s makeup look – Nelly Mair

The most exciting makeup moment for me was for a night out where the theme was bright colours. I wore a bright orange T-shirt, which Sakina used as a jumping off point to match eye-shadow and lipstick, something I would never usually do, but which I found really fun and youthful in practice. I never usually wear an orangey lip and also generally prefer matt colours, and so the shiny lip gloss Sakina used was new for me.  I usually stick to my tried and tested shades: light, glittery eye-shadows in muted golds or pinks, so the bright, eye-catching nature of Sakina’s look was something I would never do on myself. Furthermore, she used a bright orange eyeliner, which was super exciting for me as I always stick with a conventional black line, so the moment she pulled out her orange eyeliner I knew the look would be a fun one. It seemed to be reminiscent of the early noughties – at least the shiny orange lip did – and brought out a certain element of nostalgia within me. The look was definitely very fun and it was the exact essence of the joy of experimentation that I had hoped for at the beginning of the week.


Credit: Sakina’s second makeup look – Nelly Mair

The final housemate to do my make up was Eleanor whose makeup routine is defined by her signature and always perfect cat eye, something I am personally unable to achieve. She used bronzer on my eyes, a trick I had never considered, but which was surprisingly effective and created a kind of gold eye-shadow and plum lips, both of which are things I would use myself on a normal night out. The true difference was in the eyeliner. As well as the flick at the top, she gave me eyeliner on the bottom line of my eye, something I haven’t done for years. The effect was bold and it was interesting to see how a makeup look could be defined by an element which I never really think about.

Credit: Eleanor’s makeup look – Nelly Mair


Relying on other people for my make up was stressful but it was also really enjoyable to get out of my comfort zone and to see the way that makeup could be used completely differently than the way I used it myself. It struck me that each of my housemates prioritised different pieces of makeup, reminding me of the inherently individual nature of everyone’s routine despite it seeming that everyone would do things similarly.

The week reminded me of how fun makeup can be when you take away the routine aspect, and it made me want to not rush it and try all sorts of bright colours and maybe even try and nail the liquid eyeliner look. At the same time, however, I was desperately itching to use my favourite eye-shadow again, to fill in my eyebrows the way I always do, and to take back some control!

More articles in Give It A Go
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  3. Give It A Go: I Drank Every Drink Through A Metal Straw
  4. Give It A Go: I Wore Statement Earrings For A Week

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