• 20 Aug - 26 Aug, 2022
  • Ayesha Adil
  • Fiction

From building a home to fixing a leaking water pipe one can learn everything and anything on YouTube. One of my students learnt how to fix mobile phones through YouTube and is now running a successful business in America repairing mobile phones.

But what is the success rate of learning things off the internet? There seriously should be a research conducted to find this out. So like any other complete novice on the subject, I actually Google-d this information.

What is the ratio of successes to the fails in learning things off YouTube? And I hit a dead-end.

A down side of search engines is that if the keywords are not right or if the actual query is not properly structured Google won’t be helpful at all. So while I sat there with my laptop and Fawad was engrossed watching the FIFA world cup, I decided to try and learn something useful from YouTube myself. I’ll take care of the research later on.

Ever since my makeover, Saman had been after my life to buy new make-up products and to use YouTube to teach me how to use them properly. It was strange getting advice from a person who considers moisturiser and kajal the only makeup she ever needed but I guess her heart was in the right place.

So I typed the golden words in the address bar and waited for video options: “How to apply every day make-up in the least amount of time for amazing results?”

Now being picky and choosey with almost everything in life, I realised that I was picky and choosey with my online tutors as well. I had to “like” the YouTuber, otherwise I could not tolerate their voice or the face.

So I opened a few browsers and watched a few videos before I decided on two of my favourites.

I sat back really happy with myself, as I began to watch. Fawad got up and brought a few bags of snacks and a soft drink to share with me and I smiled, looking forward to this lazy evening learning new tips and tricks to look beautiful, confident and radiant all the time.

Saman promised to take me out to buy new products once I was sure of what I needed.

“What are you watching?” Fawad asked inquisitively as he saw me peering eagerly into the screen.

“I am learning how to wear make-up!” I replied with a great deal of enthusiasm.

“You know how to wear make-up, Saima. What are you up to now?”

“Well, I know how to wear make-up like Farrah Fawcett; ergo, make-up of the 18th century. But times have changed. Even 16-year-olds wear make-up like professionals now. They contour and use all the tools – highlighters, bronzers, primers and what not. I need to step up my game Mr, and I need to do it ASAP!”

“You’re beautiful just the way you are dear. And Farrah Fawcett did not work in the 18th century! I had a huge crush on her back then. In fact, I still do.” Fawad looked at the distant blue with a faraway and contented smile. I thought to myself how typical is he – so male. He suddenly realised that I was looking at him and not so happily at all. So he quickly added, “But if this is what makes you happy then you should do it. You know, I love that you try new things!”

I started blushing. Previously, I was feeling neglected and it was nice getting all of the attention back from my husband. Saman was right after all, the way to a man’s heart is through grooming, make-up and artificial shows of beauty, and wealth. As she put it, I never used my natural good looks to the maximum of my abilities and it was high time this changed.

I wasn’t being fake. I was simply updating, improving and downloading a new version of my human app. Yes, I was doing what every person should do again and again in life. I was redefining myself! Out with the old and in with the new.

Fawad settled down into the football game while I played the first video. It started off really nicely. The typical greeting. I was enjoying it. Clear-cut and succinctly spoken English with no interruptions. It was just me and this tutor. It was like a one-to-one tutor and the highest plus point was that it was free. My private in-house tutor carried on to tell me the brands that she would be using for her everyday ‘go-to’ look.

I quickly fished out a pen and paper and began to write everything down. Only when I turned the page to continue, I suddenly realised that I had probably noted close to 20 products including at least four bases and I still had eye and lip colour pending. That’s when I paused the video.

Maybe I could take away a few products. I didn’t have to use each and every thing that she was telling me. There were some things that I could do away with. The contouring could be taken away – and the eye-brow pencils. I had perfectly shaped rather thick eyebrows, they didn’t need any colouring or filling in. That would be cut off. There. I felt better already. I pressed the play button and began watching again.

Thus began a long lecture on how to use what and how to stroke, apply, smudge, fill in, paint, brush, dab, pat, crease, pout, pull away and put in everything left, right and centre.

What am I doing?! I wondered.

My mind began to spin. All of this would take me close to an hour. How was this an everyday go-to look? I couldn’t pull this off everyday and what about the heat in Karachi and the humidity. Before I even got out the door, I would begin to melt.

The voice inside my head told me that there were oil-based and water based ‘bases’ and matte finishes etc.

This was crazy. I recalled all those younger teachers with flawless made-up looks and the way they maintained it throughout the day, yet I was clueless to their magical ways. I was sure this wasn’t for me one bit. I had to admit it but the Farrah Fawcett look was the one for me. No wonder it was so famous, it was actually so simple.

I could save this everyday go-to look for parties and dinners but not for every day. No way, not for one single day.

With that, I shut off my laptop and rested my head on my pillow.

“What’s wrong? Are you done so soon?” Fawad asked.

“I learnt what I needed to know. I’ll go shopping in a couple of days and get a few products,” I came across as defeated.

“That’s good!” he went back to his game almost robotically.

I texted Saman telling her that I had a trip planned to the mall and that I’d buy my make-up one of these days on my own. I thanked her for all her help. I didn’t want her to think that I had given up so easily. I mean, as hard as she could try, I had my mind made up.

I turned sides and closed my eyes and quickly fell asleep. The world can wait for the new and improved and updated version of me yet another day. •