Five years in architecture school leaves you poorer, sleep deprived and questioning your purpose in life; among other things. What it also successfully manages to do, is obliterate any semblance of self-respect you might have initially started off with. I wish I was kidding when I say that architecture school is the Muggle equivalent of spending 12 years in Azkaban. You’re left with matted hair, parched skin, scrawny limbs and a burning desire to kill your double-crossing exbest friend. Wait.. That doesn’t sound right..
Getting back to my point; architecture can leave you ravaged, both mentally and physically. But seeing as how we’re blessed with the likes of Kylie Jenner and Zendaya being the poster girls for teenage beauty (I know I know. Teenage+BEAUTY? Who even knew such anomalies existed) compounded by our generation’s compulsive need to look ‘flawless’ all the time, it is imperative to look your best; in spite of the fact that you haven’t slept in the last 72 hours. (To all the people gasping in disbelief, believe you me, 72 is child’s play) And with bank balances dwindling in the single digit range (read Zero), I have come up with a list of hacks, if you will, to be able to knock that external off his chair, *drum-roll* using items you’ll probably find in and around your drafting table. Yep, you read that right.
10 Game Changing Beauty Hacks Guaranteed To Make You Look Fresh AF!
-The architecture version
(I strongly recommend reading TILL THE END* to reap maximum possible benefits.)
Hack 1: How to tackle Oily skin!
Now if you’ve studied architecture you’ve probably gone through that phase where you spend hours, days, weeks at the drafting table in search of inspiration. As any experienced chronic procrastinator will tell you, ideating usually involves countless moments of impact between face and paper, making guttural noises (that your family has come to learn is code for: MAINTAIN 5M DISTANCE FROM HER AT ALL TIMES) while simultaneously rethinking all the decisions in life that brought you to that particular point in time. I don’t know why its taken me this long to notice this, but there is logical reasoning behind the post-doodling glow to your face; besides the dewy sheen left by your tears and sweat, that is. We’ve been unknowingly slapping our faces with blotting paper, albeit a strongly graded blotting paper, but enough to suspend the ocean of oil between face and paper and thereby explain the supposed magical disappearance of any tell-tale signs of stress.
Hack 2: DIY Face Mask!
Ideating also usually involves frantically running around the work space while nervously pulling at any inch of facial muscle you can get your hands on. Transferring all that graphite from paper to face? DIY charcoal face mask if you will. (You know.. Because if my limited memory of 12th grade chemistry is correct.. pencil- lead- graphite- carbon- charcoal.. they’re connected okay!)
Hack 3: DIY smokey eye!
While you’re at it, the graphite dust from your buttersheets can also be spooned up to perfect that smokey eye look, adding the much-needed edge to an otherwise blunt cry for last minute inspiration.
Hack 4: Correcting posture!
Sitting at the drafting table for hours, which inevitably turns to days and then weeks, is guaranteed to pull a number on your posture. And there’s only so much you can do to ignore the jibes from well-wishers (who for some reason associate the straightness of your back with a zest for life in general) before you start sticking pins in voodoo dolls of above said people. And if I’ve not already made it clear, my chronic procrastination does not allow me the time to partake in such a quality waste of my time. Solution? Fix posture.
After many failed attempts at hoping the gym would help straighten my back (and my zest for life if you will), I knew I needed to look some place closer to home. One itchy back, and the only thing long enough to access said itchy back later, I found my solution.
This particular hack requires two things- one T scale and one long piece of rope. With the T-scale inserted down the back your shirt, wrap yourself and the T-scale using a generous amount of the wire (the clothes line variety should do. Quick! Before your mother catches you!) to form one human- Tscale sandwich. While this method helps ensure every movement is made with your spine aligned scale-straight, the constant lingering presence of a plastic scale behind you will also solve possible intimacy issues that architecture is sure to have inflicted upon you.
Hack 5: Scale-ing new heights!
Since we’re on the subject of T-scales and as I’ve already mentioned its long reach, a T-scale is also an excellent way to access otherwise inaccessible places- like slathering moisturiser on your back. Or scratching your foot when you’ve got dwarf sized arms, like yours truly. Or when you need to turn the lights off but you cannot be bothered to move from the sweet abyss that is your bed. Or when you need to teach your younger sibling a lesson for always finishing the Nutella, even after having specifically asked him to leave some for you. (Contrary to popular belief, violence is always the answer, friends.**)
Hack 6: DIY Lip colours!
Come 2016, there’s a sudden obsession with bushy eyebrows and matte lip shades, the likes of which are unfortunately unavailable to us college- going mortals. While your bank balance may say no, an unhealthy obsession with watching art shows in my teens and beauty blogs in my twenties*** means the answer is always “Hmm. We could make that work.” This particular hack combines two products you probably own in abundance but cannot, for the life of you, figure out why.
If you’re an architecture student, chances are, you’ve accumulated a growing pile of quality art products, courtesy the many failed attempts at art classes. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably refused to throw them out because you still harbour the laughable belief that you could be an artist.. someday. 22 years and countless artistic renditions of Mickey Mouse later, I’ve come to admit that maybe, just maybe, I should let go of this particular dream once and for all. What this has left me with is, a shelf full of underused art products. The second ingredient for this hack involves that one tub of Vaseline that’s safely shelved away for the winters. (non-existent if you’re from Chennai)
Take equal parts Vaseline and paint and mix vigorously till you get required lip shade to achieve that perfect pout. (Giving new meaning to the term ‘paint the town red’ here. Hehehehe.) Now in this age of Buzzfeed listicles, if you’re unsure of how to turn this into a matte formula (rolling my eyes at you, you cretin), swipe your mom’s/ grandmother’s talcum powder and dab generously over painted lips. Voila!
Hack 7: DIY Eye shadows!
Double hack guuyyyyzzz! The paint-vaseline duo can be used to successfully dupe the eyeshadow palette that you’ve been dangerously lusting after. Add a little glitter and instantly turn your day look into one that’s guaranteed to illicit dubious responses like the infamous ‘Haaaave you met my friend, Ted?’
Hack 8: Con- touring! (getit, con? like deception con? Okay I’m going)
Now, no beauty hacks listicle is complete without the Karthartic Kardashian Kontour. (appreciate the alliteration there, bros) This particular hack is an offshoot of the above two hacks. Take a few dollops of paint and drown them in a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the concentration of the paint in accordance with your skin type. Then grab that tube of Pond’s powder we all love to hate (but secretly love) and drop a few handfuls into the paint-water mixture. Let chemistry do its duty and leave said mixture out to bathe in the sun. Yes, this method does indeed take inspiration from the salt pan industry- high school wasn’t a complete bust, as you can see. A few hours, or maybe days- I’ve never actually tried this– later, you should be left behind with a bronzed powder to achieve that perfect sculpted look. Move aside, Kim-K.
Hack 9: Sculpted face!
If you are hesitant about the possible consequences that might result from the paint- vaseline/ talcum powder duo, I have a healthier, decidedly chemical-free alternative. In the relentless pursuit for inspiration, you’ve probably spent hours vacantly staring into space with your face cupped in your hands. I’m a chronic zoning-outer and I tell you from experience, that while you might be tempted to break the vacant- staring and actually put pencil to paper, let me stop you right there. Because, let’s be honest. 9 times out of 10, putting pen to paper doesn’t really do much to get your creative juices flowing. But if decades of patriarchal oppression has taught you anything, looking pretty just might. So no- Do not break that pose! Instead press your face harder into your palms. I also strongly advise putting your favourite album on loop before you start, because this particular hack relies on time for the best achieved effects. Few album repetitions later, slowly peel away your palms. Yes, what you are seeing in the mirror is not an illusion. Your cheeks have, in fact, sunken back into your skull to truly perfect the sculpted look. As a bonus, the pink impressions left behind by your palms are sure to deceive even the most intelligent into believing that you possess naturally rosy (palm-imprinted) cheeks.
Hack 10: The wing to your dreams!
Lastly, if you’re an Indian girl, you know that contrary to popular belief, it is not Matha-Pitha-Guru-Deivam but KAJAL-Matha-Pitha-Guru-Deivam. Yes yes I know. Kajal is one of the things that doesn’t necessarily require a hack since it retails for well within your allowed expenses. BUT. Let’s be real; unless ‘Panda eyes at the end of the day’ are your groove, your best bet is to unwillingly shell out multiple hundreds while simultaneously selling your soul to the devil. Pardon me if you will, but I’m not big into exorcisms so I decided to take things into my own hands. Rummaging through my cupboard in a frantic search for an alternative to kajal, I chanced upon my box of Rotring pens; held in reverence at one point of time. (To all who are unaware, Rotring pens are to felt-pens what Givenchy is to Pondy Bazaar) In an amusing likeness to my own lofty dreams, their purpose had been all but shelved into oblivion. Until now that is. While your father’s credit card statement probably screamed bloody murder at the insistence that you needed all the different pointers available, the differing widths can be used to do everything- from perfecting the outline of the cat-eye of your dreams to filling it in with an ink as black as your soul. The superior quality ink ensures your painfully perfected winged tip does not budge for the rest of the day- or your life.. I don’t think this stuff really washes off… But that only means you get to save an additional twenty minutes every morning that would otherwise be spent stabbing yourself in the eye. Say no to self-mutilation!
So, that brings my carefully curated listicle of architecture friendly beauty hacks to a close. Stay tuned for my next post, where I reveal how you can convert the everyday ordeal of sitting at a drafting table into a fun workout!
Now go forth and be beautiful!
[*In case you haven’t already figured out by now, this was intended to be a satirical take on the deeply depressing lives of most design students. Please DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ATTEMPT ANY OF THIS AT HOME. It will, in all cases, lead to extremely painful visits to the hospital. Or if you’re really unlucky, death.
In the unlikely event, that you actually did try some of the above, I’ll leave this for you, so you don’t completely hate me.]