How I Learned To Cure My Anxiety With A Classic Smoky Eye

How I Learned To Cure My Anxiety With A Classic Smoky Eye

You know, sometimes we can all get complacent. Even I’m guilty of that. When people say to me, “Tara, what’s it like to be Ireland’s 5th most successful niche literary humour blogger focusing on conversations between fictional stereotypes?” I always say, “It’s a hashtag blessing. Sorry, #blessing. And it’s something which I never, ever, like ever, take for granted.”

But I’m lying. Because sometimes I do totally take being Ireland’s 4th most popular niche literary humour blogger focusing on anthropomorphic writing devices for granted. And that makes me wonder.

What’s it like for bloggers who have to deal with far greater burdens, such as lucrative sponsorship deals, endorsements, and making actual money?

There’s only one way to answer this question, and it’s certainly not with research. If we want to know what it’s like to be a Superblogger, like the ones who get a million hits per YouTube video, or 6,000 likes per picture of a random body part with a coffee, we’re going to have to transform ourselves.

In the interests of social science, therefore, I have herein turned myself into a Beauty Blogger-cum-Wellbeing Guru.

Read this and don’t weep. (It’ll ruin your mascara.)


Embed from Getty Images


I get papped and photographed all the time, but you should see me behind closed doors when the camera isn’t on! I literally spend most of my life in my favourite sweats with my hair sticking up in all directions. It’s important to remember that we’re all the same when the spotlights aren’t on us. I might have way more spotlights on me than a lot of people, but even I still have a bad day very very occasionally.

People see me as this superglamorous creature who goes around looking perfect all the time. I get told all the time that I’m naturally pretty, that I must never feel ugly, even on an off day. When I hear some of my fans tell me they feel so ugly that they never ever feel pretty, not even for like half a day, it literally #BreaksMyHeart.

But while I have no problem admitting that I may be a Superblogger, I’m not superhuman! I think the reason my beauty channel is so popular, with 17 million hits in my first year, is because I let people see that side of me – the side that covers up the fact that I’m just like everyone else, with really skilfully applied makeup from the best brands.

People also say money can’t buy you happiness, but it can literally buy you stuff that makes you feel better for a while, which is also super important. Nothing cheers me up better than looking great, like I’m really confident and ready to take on the world.

How I Learned to Cure My Anxiety With a Classic Smoky Eye

So whether I’ve been getting nasty comments from the online haters, failed a test, or lost an endorsement deal to a new rival even though I knew they probably wouldn’t last two months past becoming my new BFF, I just whip out the make-up palette, and put on my armour.

For me, there is no more effective weapon than a classic smoky eye. But first, you should learn to nail your signature look: this will be your USP (Unique Superblogging Pathway). Once you become known for your signature look, you just sit back, and count the hits.


Everyone should have their own signature look. Mine is the No Make-up Make-up Look. As this has been the most watched tutorial of my dedicated beauty channel since forever, and the look I’m most famous for and get the most comments (and compliments) on every single day, I’m super happy to share my fresh-faced secrets with you!

Note: It can be a bit tough starting off, if you feel you don’t have all the products which are literally essential to look like you’re not wearing any make-up. I started when I was just 12 years old with a garden rake, coal (Dad misheard me), and some silver eyeshadow, left over from the decade when my Mum used to smile. But I think you’ll find the following look easy to achieve with the most basic essentials which are sure to be in everyone’s make-up bag.

Embed from Getty Images


To nail this look, you only need the following basic essentials:

  1. Bamboo Face Cloth
  2. Cream Cleanser (1st Cleanse)
  3. Foaming Face Wash (2nd Cleanse)
  4. Anti-Acne Lotion
  5. Glycolic Skin Toner
  6. Anti-Ageing Serum
  7. Colour-Correcting Serum
  8. Daily Moisturiser
  9. SPF
  10. Skin Primer
  11. Paddle-Shaped Foundation Brush
  12. Flat Powder Brush
  13. Concealer
  14. Liquid Foundation
  15. Angled Sculpting Brush
  16. Contour Brush
  17. Square Highlighter Brush
  18. Natural Highlighter Shade (For Contouring: Brow Bones, Cheekbones, Nose Bridge & Cupid’s Bow)
  19. Natural Lowlighter Powder (For Cheek Hollows and Jawline)
  20. Full Fan Brush
  21. Invisible Foundation Setting Powder
  22. Short-Handled Bronzer Brush
  23. Natural Glow Bronzer
  24. Buffer Brush
  25. Daily Eye Cream
  26. Eye Make-Up Primer
  27. Eye Shader Brush
  28. Tapered Blending/Smudging Brush
  29. Eyeshadow # 1: Base (Natural Colour)
  30. Eyeshadow # 2: Enhancer (Slightly Darker Natural Colour)
  31. Eyeshadow # 3: Smoke/Defining Shade (More Slightly Darker Natural Colour)
  32. Eyeshadow # 4: Pop Shade (Upper Lid Centre)
  33. Precision Eye Pencil Brush
  34. Eyeliner # 1 – Natural Shade (Inner Corners)
  35. Eyeliner # 2 – Medium Natural Shade (Upper Lash Line)
  36. Eyeliner # 3 – Slightly Darker Natural Shade (Waterline / Outer Corners)
  37. Natural Effect Mascara
  38. Angled Brow Brush
  39. Precision Brow Liner
  40. Brow Shading Powder
  41. Brow Setting Gel
  42. Sculpting Lip Brush
  43. Natural Lip Liner
  44. Natural Lipstick
  45. A SMILE

Et voilà! You’re perfect. Ready to fresh-face the world with that natural glow. It’s as easy as 1-2-45!

You can go to my YouTube channel for further step-by-step instructions, where I have 2 million hits on my fresh-faced make-up tutorial videos alone (every week).

I think you’ll agree that this simple 45-minute make-up routine is a must-have for everybody before you go to school, college, or that date to the cinema you don’t want to look too try-hard for.

For the products I’m loving right now – please refer to my blog for the brands I’m endorsing this week which will really make your face look truly, naturally beautiful.

Please let me know in the comments how much you like my look!

  68 comments for “How I Learned To Cure My Anxiety With A Classic Smoky Eye

  1. April 15, 2018 at 10:25 am

    I only read three blogs. This is one of em.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. April 15, 2018 at 10:28 am

    To be fair, I didn’t understand all of the 45 basics essentials (in particular number 45), but this post has literally transformed my life. And my look. Which is the same thing essentially. I think Beauty Blogging is the way forward, and being a slightly overweight mostly hungover man in his late thirties gives me an angle that other Beauty Bloggers perhaps don’t have. Or indeed want.

    Liked by 9 people

    • April 15, 2018 at 11:20 am

      I can see I have competition, James. Your angle is witty and charming, and dare I say, nigh on impossible to resist, much like your unique look. However, you’re going to have to tone down the self-deprecation if you want to be really successful. It sounds too sincere. Might I suggest a good humblebrag to recalibrate your internet presence?

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 15, 2018 at 12:05 pm

        Like how I went from a slightly overweight mostly hungover man in his late thirties to (insert appropriate description of something better than that) and how anyone could achieve the same by subscribing to my YouTube videos, where I mostly talk in hyperbole and then disappointingly demonstrate that it was all achieved through a commonsense approach to diet and exercise? The only barrier I can see is that I will have to commit to a sensible regime of diet and exercise and that might be just outside my comfort zone…

        Liked by 3 people

        • April 15, 2018 at 2:21 pm

          Pretty much like that, yes. There’s still work to do on your amazing reveal, but the rest of it sounds doable.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. April 15, 2018 at 10:41 am

    This is wonderful, Tara. I am so happy you have found your signature look and shared it with your readers. The only thing I’d add to your list of 45 is eye drops. After I poke mascara brush into my eye, I generally have to take a break and repeatedly use Visine to get the red out. Come to think of it that is something I need to do even on the rare occasion when I don’t poke my eye with a sharp object.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. April 15, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Knowing that as Sokrates said (or should have) that Humor is the Truth, I felt a pang of actual pity for a fictional character today. At least, I sincerely hope she’s fictional. But committing to that ethos, surely the bible of thousands online, is truly sad and I cannot believe you captured it so well without at least experimenting. Confess Tara! That isn’t spilled cinnamon from a sticky bun on your bathroom sink, is it? And who can even find 300 watt bulbs to put over the mirror in today’s economy?

    Liked by 2 people

    • April 15, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      I don’t know what you’re saying, Will. I am always 100% my true authentic self online, as is anyone else you read writing this blog pretending to be someone else, which as you know, requires the practice only to the extent of being simultaneously self -aware and unaware and talking about oneself as much as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. carolannwrites
    April 15, 2018 at 11:01 am

    But, Tara… There’s no mention of the bestselling book that you wrote on beauty tips. Because of auld ones like me who are still beautiful but need books to follow step by 45 step.
    I started these steps this morning when I woke up at 6am and I should be ready to go out this evening.

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 15, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      Delighted you’re having such a productive day, Carolann. You know I’m always here to help…


  6. April 15, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve spent the last 5 hours hunting for your uTube programme with no luck at all. Also, I need tips on how to rejuvenate my make up which I’ve not used for the last 5 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      I’m not surprised you couldn’t find my channel, Lucinda – there’s actually a waiting list because it’s so amazingly exclusive and popular. I’ll send you the application form and we’ll take it from there. In the meantime I’ll have a think about your other request, but I’m afraid I’m not feeling inspired by the endorsement opportunities surrounding Old Make Up.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. April 15, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Oh my gosh – I thought that blog was for real. Hey, I live in California so I am surrounded by people that take all of this stuff very seriously. Hilarious post, and brilliant comments from your readers (not me, but all of the rest of them)!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • April 15, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      It is a little close to the bone, is it not, SD?! Even I found it hard to tell the difference between parody and reality regarding blogs like this. Just you wait until I get to Lifestyle and Travel. I’m expecting death threats.

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 15, 2018 at 5:45 pm

        Can’t wait!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2018 at 5:47 pm

          I knew it! I KNEW the world needed this blogger!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • April 15, 2018 at 5:51 pm

            Most definitely! Because we sure as heck don’t need more superficial, shallow YouTubers making everyone feel like they have to have all the crap that no one really needs, and making everyone feel inadequate and unsuccessful. Don’t even get me started on the Kardashians and all of their ridiculousness!!! Keep blogging, we need groundbreakers like you!!!

            Liked by 1 person

      • April 15, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        Not for the death threats, but for what you might do with Lifestyle and Travel. Oh and please do one on Househunters International – those people drive me batty!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. April 15, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Well… I’m exhausting reading that, without even going to the bathroom routine fragment for the lesser motor skills elements. The cosmetic end of the creative scale is totally beyond me! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Oh, don’t worry about that, Jan. You can always hire someone to do this kind of hard work once you’re established and the endorsements roll in (Superblogger is purported to have made her first million within 6 months, and is currently looking up purported in the dictionary.)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. April 15, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    It’s amazing, Tara, and only 45 steps! I remember the old days of the 70’s when I only had to worry about blue eyeshadow, black mascara, and pink lip gloss that tasted like strawberries. Only 3 steps. What was I thinking? I’m certain your new focus on beauty is going to blast your popularity through the roof. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      I’m counting on it, Diana. I’m really glad I could help you with your beauty routine too. I mean, the 70s revival is like, sooo 5 years ago now? It’s all about the 90s these days. You’re welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. April 15, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    I think if you’ve lost any endorsements lately it’ll be because you seem to smile in your profile pics. Isn’t this banned in beauty? And can you pout while being funny?

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2018 at 11:41 pm

      Excellent point, Bernadette. I’ll have a frown about it and get back to you with an answer composed entirely of selfies. Hope that works for you.


  11. April 15, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Interesting Tara.
    My own look has gone slightly out of fashion. It’s the Catholic, sweet Jesus the state of me, look.
    A quick splash of holy water, preferably from a holy well and not robbed from the church font, followed by a look in the mirror as I recite a decade of the rosary and a quick prayer to St Jude. Then I stand well back and wait for the miracle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 15, 2018 at 11:44 pm

      Good grief, I don’t know, Tric. I think you’re really on to something here. I mean, we’ve already had the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s revivals, followed by the revival revivals, and that unfortunate incident with the all-weather gloss bronzers. I think we might be perfectly poised to bring back Catholic Beauty. Wimples optional.

      Christ, we’re going to be rich…… RICH!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 15, 2018 at 11:48 pm

        Eh what’s with the ‘we?’ I’ve not got sore knees from praying and genuflecting just for you to jump in and see the light you A la Carte catholic!

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 15, 2018 at 11:49 pm

          I’m going to have to refer your to your baptismal cert. You should have been more careful about what you were signing.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. April 16, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I was laughing before I even opened your email, just from reading the title of your post. I thought I was in a bit of a pickle as I don’t have 43 of those 45 items and I’m long to look naturally anxiety free. Until I remembered that I have a 15 going on 16 year old You-tube watching daughter who probably has 56 of those items so I’m safe for the moment. When you bring our your own beauty range (may I suggest the Tara SparKling Fashionista Range?) please can you put me on your mailing list and I’d be SUPER happy if we could do a collab, I’d trial your products (which you’d send to me free of charge) and share all over my social media channels to my followers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 16, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      Sounds like a match made in social influencer heaven, Liberty. If you could just provide me evidence by teatime of 100,000 followers complimenting you on how wonderful you are, I’ll send you your first free gift – a 6-week subscription to my dedicated left eyebrow channel.

      You’re welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. April 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    LOL. My eyes started to glaze over with that list of things needed to look au naturel — though, I think I missed what has to go on the cheeks and lips? Is it imported, organic, freshly crushed cherries?

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 16, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Oh no, Ronel. Recommended products must be branded, logo-d, and supported by a social influencer-friendly marketing campaign. I’ll reconsider if the cherries come in individual fair-trade bamboo thimbles with gold lids.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. April 16, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    No probs, I’ll go and buy 98,000 more quickly. Oops did I type that out loud?

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Yes you did. You obviously need to re-take the course. Send me €199 and we’ll call it quits.


  15. April 17, 2018 at 2:07 am

    How can this be accomplished without number 46 > a dirty great magnifying mirror…and 47 industrial strength tweezers

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 17, 2018 at 8:06 am

      But in this world we’re all 24, Veronica. Insecure, but 24 nonetheless. Maybe rethink your priorities?


  16. April 17, 2018 at 2:55 am

    The thing I love about this look is that it isn’t expensive, and you really don’t need that many products! Thanks so much! You are an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Holland Kirbo
    April 17, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Tara. I love your blog. It always has me choking on my morning, caffeinated drink–because I was foolish enough to take a swig just before reading a delightful line that made me laugh. I would only add to your excellent list an evening regimen for the fresh-faced glow. One of those awful charcoal masks to “draw out the toxins in the skin.” I tried it one day only for the hubby to walk in after I’d applied it to my face and neck. He took one look at my slathered green face, shook his head, and walked out mumbling about the ogre who’d taken up residence in his bathroom. Not sure “ogre” was the natural, fresh-faced look I was going for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 17, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Holland. I’m delighted to make you laugh regularly, but I must admit I feel conflicted about the whole choking thing. I did a First Aid Course once so I know that choking is actually not good. Apart from that I think you’re on the right track with the beauty regimen, although I would suggest washing the charcoal off your face before applying your primer. Just a top tip from me there, and all for free too. You’re welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Holland Kirbo
        April 17, 2018 at 10:33 pm

        That’s probably what I’ve been doing wrong, Tara. I’ll be sure to remove it first next time. I’m sure the hubby will be much more receptive to the look:)

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 17, 2018 at 11:03 pm

          I’m sure he will. Remember that he will appreciate too that I’m always here to help you to be the best you you can be by being more like me.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. P J Whittlesea
    April 18, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Truly inspiring, Tara. I now realise where I’ve been going wrong (steps 2-44). And if you really want to monetise all this perhaps you should consider affiliate links for all those products 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 18, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Oh, I’ll be affiliating the bejeebus out of it, P J. The tricky thing is juggling, because I change my brand loyalties every Tuesday, depending on who’s paying. Obvs.


  19. April 18, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Wow. I have a client who was a supermodel and it feels like you’re channeling her right now. Scary.

    On a happier note, I was watching The Last Jedi the other day and noticed the perfectly applied smoky eye on Rey. I now imagine her going through your brief 45′ routine every morning before facing the daily toils of saving the galaxy from the First Order. Thank you for opening my smoky eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 18, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      No self-respecting warrior would go out to save the world without killer eye makeup, Nick – just ask Wonder Woman.

      So glad to be of help. You know, if I’d had any inkling I was this wise, I would’ve started blogging about beauty years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. April 22, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Missed this last weekend due to visiting eldest daughter in sunny Preston (and then rainy Preston, it being Preston).
    I started wondered what the hell I’d stumbled into and what had happened to the Tara we all know and love. And then I spotted the key ingredient hidden in the subtext – Patented Sparling Acerbic Acid.
    Youngest daughter (a world-weary 18) is a bit of a make-up fiend, but she’s also scathing about celebrity vloggers. Not sure what she’d make of this – perhaps a knowing laugh but also quite possibly a point-by-point critique on your cosmetic knowledge.
    Never, ever engage a head-strong 18 year old in a discussion about make-up; if you’re in the car you could just gradually turn the music volume up but I found this resulted in having mascara insights being shouted at me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 22, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Patented Sparling Acerbic Acid! I love it! It even sounds like something you’d say when in the grips of acute derision – “Psaa…”

      Do me a favour, Nick, and put your blogger-savvy daughter on to my post as a focus group? Please? I need to know how irredeemably out of touch I am, and I haven’t had a good reminder in about 28 hours.

      Liked by 1 person

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