Red Carpet: Austin Film Festival 2018, “Delia & Sammy” North American Premiere

When I attended the 2017 Austin Film Festival, I did whatever one is told looks good for red carpet makeup. Moderate coverage foundation. Contouring. Bronzer. And I felt ridiculous. The makeup itself wasn’t ugly; it was too much and made me look too “done” to feel as confident as I could have in it. 

This year, the goal was to look slightly more natural. Hard to do when you’re still learning. Red carpet and on camera big lights makeup isn’t normal makeup you use for a film set or going out to a party. The skin has to look perfect or you risk looking  older. Older! Oh, no!

Yes, friends, male and female as the manliest of manly(!) men often wear skin makeup on the red carpet,  when you wear too much, sometimes the makeup creates bad skin that doesn’t exist. The powder dries funny. Nightmares.

Day 1: North American Premiere of Delia & Sammy 

My first experiment. No contouring: with a chunky face like mine, it looks ridiculous, like I fell into mud, and contouring can make people look matronly. No thanks. How do I better explain this? You know how many people feel their faces are too gaunt and run off for fillers abound? My face is the opposite end. Balloon like and almost Pixar princess level unrealistically chubby, in the words of Phantom of the Opera , past the point of no return. Contouring my cheeks looks and feels stupid. I’ve done it to fit in and have felt like, “Ugh. Why am I doing this? Oh yeah. To be ‘pretty.’” Love yourself!

No bronzer because my skin is good on its own.  America seems to be the orangeiest country in the world. I am confident not  being orange! No more peer pressure to be orange!

No mascara because my eyes get really sensitive to every mascara I try. And obviously, no eyelash curler. My eyelashes are wavy. 

No lip liner. Never looks good on my lips nor does the job of keeping my lip color in place. Why use it? And, must I repeat? Matronly! I want my lips to look fresh and young.  Lip liner on me looks like Halloween wax lips. Adding onto the thought, it gets worse when makeup artists try to fix my unevenness. My smile is naturally uneven when the muscles pull my lips! Me evening the lips for when smiling makes my lips uneven when not smiling. Pointless! I love myself and live with it. No lip liner.

I used: 

— Almay My Best Light skin matching makeup, a very lightweight product you apply with fingers NOTE: This product is fantastic in the texture and consistency; its color is way off and shouldn’t be labeled “pale” or “light.” I do better with the Almay Clear Complexion foundation in Porcelain.

— Almay Clear Complexion concealer under the eyes

— e.l.f. HD translucent powder

— e.l.f. Highlighter, a shimmery product with glitter and oil, all over my face

— Ardell black false eyelashes in #111, very 1950’s movie star and lovely adding a faux eyeliner look

— Chapstick Total Hydration in Pink Nude for the least amount of color one can have and appear pink-ish

— Lancôme auburn eyebrow pencil because while my brows are pretty thick, there’s always a risk that on camera, they can disappear; this brown-red color is very close to my natural eyebrow/hair color

— the below color from the e.l.f. eyeshadow kit, my guess is one of the Prism palettes; photographed on a cat blanket as my cat helped me get ready

What I’ve learned from this experiment is mattified makeup makes everyone appear older. With super oily skin, my selfie tests with flash and natural lighting at home didn’t look right. Over the powder, I added that oily shimmer highlighter because I couldn’t take it. Next time, I probably won’t use the powder. The e.l.f. powder works well for someone acting on camera in a film. At a live event, no thanks. My skin was too matte. Crazy. I tried removing my natural oiliness and added it back feeling it wasn’t “me!”

The highlighter added color to my skin. Unsure how I feel about that. The shine looks pretty good and like my normal skin. We’ll see how it goes for the next event.

Nevertheless, it’s a lot of skin makeup for my standards I wouldn’t wear on a normal makeup’d day. 


Clothes I’m wearing: Express top, Gap blazer, BCBG skirt, Macy’s INC shoes, Hanky Panky beneath. 

The blazer is super cozy. Another tip. Unless you’re downright skeletal, don’t go sleeveless on a red carpet or at any event.  The thinnest girls in the wrong pose forget they’re on camera or video and ... smashed arms = looking fat. I generally play it safe, feel cozy, look less revealing, and am overall more body confident not going sleeveless!

I am convinced the majority of body confidence issues come from women worrying how they look at prom, homecoming, a wedding, a club, any party. Dressing differently takes all of that away.

Glue on nails by Kiss USA! These are the style Fanciful. I loathe having my nails done. After this screening, I have six more sets of fake nails and may go easy on nails for a while. Press on nails are machine done and look better than salon nails. Bonus! People who hate having their nails done with polish or acrylics can take them off at the end of the night, like me! 100 percent serious, I had a hard time using the restroom between the fake nails and bandage skirt! Imagine having these on for two weeks! Haha.

“Why are you writing about style now? Aren’t you about inner beauty and talent?”

Yes, I am! The goal in posting these diaries is showing all of you how difficult it is to look normal on camera. I’m far from perfect and do the best I can. My confidence wouldn’t be the same if I were dressed in other clothes or had a glam squad covering me in clownish makeup. Because I feel good, I do a better job with my interviews and mingling with folks!

Wet hair makeup test (and a dorky, awkward face) in natural light before heading out! Always test your makeup on camera with and without flash beforehand.

Wet hair makeup test (and a dorky, awkward face) in natural light before heading out! Always test your makeup on camera with and without flash beforehand.