1. Intro: There are no Ugly Sissies...

I looked awful when I first started putting on makeup. I looked like a clown. Worse than that, I looked like a male clown trying to turn into a female clown. I was utterly clueless.

That all changed thanks to Dom de Luxury. I'm forever grateful to her for spending many hours of her precious time teaching me the basics of makeup. Thanks to her inspiration, I've learned a lot more since then. I've learned a lot from teachers, watching great makeup artists, and most of all, I've learned a lot by doing it. There is no better teacher than putting on your makeup and looking at yourself honestly in a mirror. You have to put on makeup to get good at it.

As I found out the hard way, slapping random eyeshadows on your face and smearing lipstick on your lips will not get most of us where we want to be. Beginners need guidance and some understanding of what they are doing. Beginners like rules. Rules are easy to follow, and good ones work for most people. But rules can lock you into a particular look or looks. Rules can be dangerous.

I have found it's much better to understand the fundamentals of makeup. It might be a little harder at the start (but not much), but you'll have much more freedom to create and explore. You will find that you can shape your face and create your look the way you want to and ignore the pesky rules of others.

There are no ugly people, only lazy people!

Learning makeup takes time and effort, but to paraphrase Helena Rubinstein: There are no ugly people, only lazy people! But I'm sure even Helena Rubinstein would not expect you to master everything in a day. Learn how to do a simple eye look. Take the time it needs to do your best each time you do it. After a few goes at the eye look, start on your lips. Once again: Take the time it needs to do your best. Now you have lips and eyes. At any stage, a look that you did your best at is more than good enough to hang out with a friend, have a session, or go shopping.

Doing this might awaken your inner woman. Listen to her more than anyone else, and follow what she tells you. Is she obsessing over a look in a magazine? Is she unhappy with her lips? Figure out how to do the look. Fix your lips. Follow your inner voice. That will mean, for sure, learning how to contour your face (the most important skill), but it might include putting on glitter, rhinestones, eyelashes, visiting plastic surgeons..., and all kinds of stuff.

Cut yourself some Slack.

The chances are that you will fall short of what you hoped to accomplish, especially in the beginning. If your standards are as high as they should be, even if you become a makeup expert, you will still fall short of what you hoped to achieve. Don't let this discourage you! You might not get the perfect look you were aiming for, but chances are you are much prettier after putting on makeup than before. Giving it your very best effort is the most important thing. That will matter to the people who care about you, like our Dom, and that will bring you to success.

The idea behind this series

I'm hoping to present basic info about makeup. How to use color, how to pick foundations and where to buy makeup products. How to organize your workspace. And a simple, basic look that should look good on any face or eye shape that you can start with, then change up and modify on your own. You might not be that interested in the 'theory' articles, but I encourage you to at least read through them. I'll do my best not to make them boring.

Most of all, makeup should be fun. Putting on makeup is more fun than almost anything else. Transforming yourself is exciting and self-fulfilling. And the best thing about makeup is that if the look doesn't work out, you can wash it off and start over. I wish more things in life were that easy to fix.

Please let me know if there's anything I can do to make this series better or clearer. It took me a long time to locate all this information. I'm hoping this makes your path a little easier. So let me know if there's something I can improve or add. I always love to hear from you!