Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Confessions of a Former Pancake Face

this post comes from Debbie a.k.a. KlassyGal, a former pancake face and professional dancer. she's witty, funny, and eloquent. check out her blog if you'd like to view some Debbie musings... thanks Deb!


I guess you can say I’ve always had a thing for makeup. Or with makeup. A thing for/with makeup. I didn’t say it was a good thing.
First, some background. I grew up with four older brothers and was the ultimate tomboy (one of my favorite past times was going around punching my older brothers’ friends in the stomach). I could throw a football, play goalie in street hockey games and beat any boy at a string-spit challenge - the one where you see how far your spit can dangle before you slurp it back up. (Why yes, I did find myself a man. Why do you ask?).
So you can tell I didn’t exactly grow up on the pulsing edge of femininity and there weren’t a lot of outlets for me to learn about that stuff either. I was at a bit of a loss once I started to notice that my friends were wearing make up and talking about hair and clothes. Where would I learn this stuff? What would I do? Was I destined to be the weird girl who punched boys in the stomachs when I was 16? Maybe, but I’d like to at least look good while doing it.
For help, I decided to turn to the girliest thing in my life for inspiration. I may have been a dirty-faced, stringy-haired tomboy, but I was also a ballerina.
I’ll pause a second for you to breathe in the irony.
I loved dancing more than anything. I probably spent more time at my studio than I did at home. Since I was too embarrassed to ask my mom for help, I decided to stick to what I already knew about being a girl - make up. And what I knew about make up, I had learned from dance - stage make up.
If you have ever been in dance, theater, or a Rocky Horror Picture Show, you know that stage make up is the least flattering of all looks. It’s not just make-up, it’s make-up-a new-face-on-top-of-your-old-one. But this is what I knew, so I went with it. So starting in my teen years and going on through my 20’s I never felt put together unless I had at least 3 pounds of make up on. I actually got pretty good at it to the point where you wouldn’t even be able to tell I was wearing quite that much - it’s all in the blending. Yet there were still times that even I felt that if I hit my head ever so slightly against something my face would go POOF!
Careful, careful...don't turn too quickly now...
By the time I was graduated from college and married, my make up routine had ballooned into a 45 to hour long affair and I had to wake up extra early every day just to get to ready in time for work. I began to loathe make up. I hated putting it on every morning and I resented it. I found it boring and tedious. But I couldn’t stop, even though my husband told me over and over how much better he liked me without so much make up. I always assumed that if a little looked good, then more must look even better and I must look better (enter therapist here).

My Inspiration
But something happened that would forever change the way I view myself, my time and the importance of under eye concealer: I had a baby. Suddenly, my killer make up routine wasn’t logical, efficient or important. Suddenly, I didn’t care if I looked like I was going to prom every single day. Suddenly I was enjoying being able to get ready in 10 minutes or less with a swipe of mascara and touch of blush. Suddenly I was walking through the grocery store feeling like I was lookin’ good if my shirt had no spit up stains and I had remembered to brush my teeth that day. There’s me, strutting around in my sweat pants and t-shirt giving other shoppers the wink and the gun, saying “how you doin?” as we pick out tomatoes.
Here’s the kicker: no one noticed! At least no one said anything (nor would anyone who enjoyed full use of their faculties). My husband kept telling me how much better I looked and, as it pains me to say, he was right. And now, since I have taken the work out of make up I realize that I actually enjoy doing it! Part of the reason why I love this blog is because Kristie shows how make up can be creative, fun and empowering. The beauty industry’s slogan should not be “Make up - You, only much better looking”, it should be “You, having fun”. On the days that I do decide to do my make up (in 15 minutes or less) I love playing with different colors and techniques and see what kind of effect I can create - just for fun, just for an outlet, just for me.

So that’s the advice from a tomboy turned pancake face girl turned normal (hopefully) girl. Try new looks, new colors, new styles but try them for fun. Experiment with trends, don’t be afraid of trying something different and follow your mood. Lazy? Just lip balm. Bored? Pink eyeshadow. Adventurous? Lady Gaga (please send me pictures for my enjoyment). Going to husband’s 10 year high school reunion and meeting his ex-girlfriends? Fake eyelashes, spanx and gel bra inserts. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you had fun putting it together and you still feel like you.

Go ahead and scroll through Kristie’s latest videos and tips to learn how to create the looks that are right for you. But leave the heavy stuff for dancers, broadway actors and Adam Lambert.
It’s not for you. Trust me.

Me & My Little Life Changer


  1. deb is such a natural beauty! amen to everything you say. i love makeup too, especially when it comes to eyes, but most days you see me in just mascara. kristie, i love all your eye tutorials, and i love how you describe everything as art. both of you girls are amazing!

  2. Loved this post! Will you please dance en pointe for a talent show (we'll set up) or something? I'm still dying to see you bust out those skills.

    And I agree, fun make-up is the greatest; but little can be done to enhance beauty if it's not already on the inside. You've both got it. Go ladies, go.:)

  3. Deb, thanks so much for the post! loved it and loved all these comments. you are amazing. xo

  4. Always happy to embarrass myself for other's enjoyment! Glad you liked it!

  5. This post was awesome. I do remember you wearing serious makeup and spending a lot of time getting ready before you became a mom. You were pretty then, but beautiful now. Yours is the kind of beauty that increases with age, lucky you!