Everyday Experiences 3: Eyeliner – Just winging it (pun intended)

This is an anecdote. I remember this incident as if it happened yesterday.

It actually happened when I was in fifth standard. I had just turned ten and I firmly believed that I had become an adult and what do adults do?

Wear makeup.

You know that phase where makeup is very interesting but you aren’t allowed to wear any because somebody (your mum) believes you’re still too young for it? I was going through that phase.

It started in school when I saw the older girls wearing makeup. Just some plain old kajal (kohl) and mascara, maybe a hint of artificial blush. Then slowly it developed to liquid eye liners. Their eyes looked bright and they looked pretty. I wanted to try those too.

My peers would sneak into their mothers’ rooms, open their dressers/drawers and cheekily steal some makeup. They’d bring it to school and apply some in the girls’ washroom. Even though it didn’t look as great as the seniors’, it was still makeup; something I wanted to try but was slightly cowardly to actually do so without asking for permission.

Some of my friends would shabbily apply some kohl on their waterlines as it was some sort of tradition in their families. My mum would apply some light makeup before going to work or going out, but every time I asked if I could apply some too, she’d always tell me that I’d get to do so when I’m older.

I thought ‘older’ meant a few days.

Or maybe even one day.

It never happened though. I never found the opportunity and my mum wasn’t budging. I forgot about it later and my life was just as any other fifth standard student’s :

  1. Wake up early groggily
  2. Brush teeth carelessly
  3. Take a bath quickly and wear the same old school uniform
  4. Gulp down some breakfast
  5. Leave to school where the only thing in mind is break time and play time
  6. Doodle, play a few paper- pencil games, play FLAMES and tease each other during class hours
  7. Come back home
  8. Reluctantly finish homework due to external pressure ( by parents) and the incentive to be allowed to play outside (by parents, again)
  9. Play with ’em neighbor pals
  10. Come back home exhausted
  11. Watch TV and have dinner
  12. Sleep soundly

A month or two later, my cousins came over. They were slightly older than me, about a year or two. One of them was a girl who would deck her face with makeup all the time. When I watched her apply jet black eyeliner, it all came back to me. The interest in makeup. The desire to wear eyeliner. I saw her keep the liquid eyeliner bottle in her pouch after she was done.

In the evening, my dad took them (my cousins) to meet a few relatives who lived around here. I didn’t go because I see these people all the time. Also, maybe, a tiny bit, because I wanted to use my cousin’s eyeliner.

They left and it was just my mum and I at home. My mum was doing the laundry and I took it as the right time to experiment with the eyeliner. I went into the room where my cousin kept her pouch.

I took the pouch, removed the little Lakme bottle, opened it, felt nervous, closed the bottle, gave it a second thought, called myself out for being such a puny, opened the bottle, bravely brought the brush part of it near my eye, felt a strong sense of pride and confidently moved the brush near my eyelids.

So the thing with eyeliners, is that it takes a lot of practice to get it right. Practice and patience. I had none. Of both. So you can imagine what happened.

I tried my best.

I really did.

I ended up getting the liquid all over my left eye lid, onto my lashes and the worst, into my eye. I had gotten quite a bit on my hand too, which I rubbed into my light colored shirt, leaving a stain, but that’s not important.

My eye burned. It turned red. I had tears running down my eye and I had to clean up without grabbing attention, which was extremely hard.

I thought I was going to get caught but surprisingly, I didn’t. I managed to clean my eye and my shirt and put the bottle back into the pouch in the same way it had been there. It still had a smudge but it wasn’t too bad. I lied to my mum that I was painting and I touched my eye with the same hand that I used for painting.

Since I’ve always been messy with paint, my mother believed me. I remember thanking God for my messiness and for that eyeliner that wasn’t waterproof.

After that day, I decided I wasn’t ever going to use eyeliners ever again and that I’d appreciate people who got their eyeliners right.

I stuck by that oath for ten years but the trauma of that experience never wore off.

In college, during ethnic day, I decided to break the oath and tried eyeliner again and that time, I didn’t wing it.

– The only writer at Aninspired

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s