Then Vs. Now | Makeup Progress

THEN VS NOW Makeup Progress

Last January I published my Then vs. Now Blogging Journey post. I wanted to document how far I had come in my blogging journey from learning to write a blog post to arranging better flatlays. In that post I documented the progression of what was then called “Classycatsbox” into the beauty blog “Always, Cleia”. I loved writing that blog post. In the current blogging world it’s important to celebrate our achievements and how far we’ve come when we’re feeling discouraged. It makes a huge difference for me when I look back on old posts and think Wow, I’m glad I don’t do THAT Anymore!

I wanted to write another Then Vs. Now post, but instead of showing you my blogging journey I wanted to share my makeup application progression. I’m nowhere near as skilled as a professional makeup artist but looking back on my first few makeup looks is so cringe worthy for me now that I must be doing something right. Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Wedding Guest Makeup Look


July 2016: Wedding Guest Makeup

This was one of the first makeup looks that I posted on my blog. I’m not going to share every single look I’ve ever done as this post would be incredibly long. I wore this makeup look to a friend’s wedding in July of 2016. I don’t actually mind how it came out but I rarely wear eyeliner on my lower lash line anymore. For those of you who haven’t been with me since the beginning, yes I’m naturally a blonde!

Work Makeup Look

September 2016: Everyday Work Makeup

I don’t mind how this look turned out either, it was very natural and good for everyday. I used the Sephora Sunbeached Filter Eyeshadow palette which was my first introduction to non-drugstore makeup. That palette was also one of my first blog reviews! I used a lot of e.l.f. cosmetics products for this look, most of which I don’t have anymore. e.l.f is a great brand for makeup beginners or seasoned makeup junkies who love to save some money! e.l.f is also one of the first brands that I shared a huge makeup haul of.

No Makeup Look

March 2017: No- Makeup Makeup

I went a really long time without posting any makeup looks between 2016 and 2017. I came back with this no-makeup makeup look. It’s very minimal and I like how it turned out. These days I would always fill in my brows, but my skin is clear so that’s the main thing. On my lips is Clinique Almost lipstick in the shade Black Honey which I still wear today. I’ve been meaning to retake photos for that review because I’m not completely pleased with how they came out.

Purple Smokey Eye Makeup Look

August 2017: Purple Smoke

AKA my first attempt at a smokey eye. What. is. my. face. doing. I know I’m not good at posing for the camera but… wtf? I used the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons palette for this eyeshadow look. It was very different for me at the time. I promise my smokey eye has gotten MUCH better since I did this makeup look! I’ve also learned somewhat how to pose for the camera. I don’t know what I did to my brows here but they look weird to me.

Night Glam Makeup

January 2018: Day To Night Glam

I created this eyeshadow look using the Tartelette Tease Palette. In that blog post I showed you guys this eye look paired with a daytime and an evening lipstick. The lipstick I’m wearing here is the Fenty Plush Matte Lipstick in the shade Griselda. In that review my flatlays had improved quite a bit from the beginning. I started learning how to draw my winged eyeliner properly around this time and I became more confident blending shadows & wearing bold lipstick! My eyebrows aren’t perfect but this is an improvement over the last look.

ColourPop My Little Pony Palette Purple Rain Makeup Look

February 2018: Purple Rain

My hair is purple! This is one of my favourite makeup looks to date. I can see that I still had some work to do on learning to blend shadows but I loved this combo I created for my Colourpop My Little Pony palette review. Creating three look reviews helped me to improve a lot on my makeup techniques. Snapping photos of my makeup also helped me to see the things that I was doing wrong. I needed to learn how to work with my eye shape and I saw that I wasn’t blending my lid shades high enough. If you want to see what you can improve on photograph your makeup even if you aren’t a content creator!

I have since re-created this makeup look for my Purple Holiday Glam makeup tutorial and you can see a vast improvement.

ColourPop Give It To Me Straight - Mauve Over Matter Eye Look

March 2018: Mauve Halo Eye

This makeup look was created for my ColourPop Give It To Me Straight Palette Review. I adoooooree how this look came out! My base makeup is essentially the same as it’s always been but I started wearing more highlighter this year.

I have since replaced all the original looks in that review with updated versions!

ColourPop Dream St. Palette | Makeup Look - Blue Moon

July 2018: Blue Moon

This summer is when I really started to get the hang of blending eyeshadow. My cut creases got a lot better and I started creating looks that I wanted to wear again and again! My ColourPop Pressed Powder Shadow obsession didn’t stop either, the Dream St. Palette is one of my favourites. This blue moon look turned out well, which was helped immensely by the fact that my husband gifted me a DSLR camera over the summer.

ColourPop MAR Palette Blue & Green Cut Crease

August 2018: Ocean Breeze

I finally started feeling confident enough to wear crazy colours on my eyes over the summer. This look was done with the ColourPop MAR Palette which I wasn’t a fan of even though I’m a big fan of this eyeshadow look. This is one that I’ve recreated since posting to my blog.

Zodiac Palette Water Element Makeup Tutorial

August 2018: Zodiac Water Sign

This is THE first time that I posted a picture of me in falsies on my blog or instagram! I still don’t wear them out of the house (or more than a few minutes beyond photographing the look) but they really do pull a makeup look together. I’ve been wearing tons of highlighter lately but in a way that gives me a natural, dewy glow. The Zodiac palette is one of my most reached for palettes these days. I have a look on my blog for the Water, EarthAir and Fire signs. Doing that four part series was such a fun challenge! It forced me to think outside the box when creating my looks instead of pairing the obvious shades together.

Cool Toned Fall Eyeshadow Look | Tarte Tartelette Tease Palette

September 2018: Cool Toned Makeup Look

This palette was (surprise, surprise) created with the Tartelette Tease Palette. This is my current everyday makeup look. It’s cool toned and makes me feel like a total boss babe! I highly recommend this palette, I use it all the time. Matte lips are currently my other go to. I’ve been loving nude shades in a matte finish this season.

How to wear Vampy Lipstick ColourPop Mamacita

October 2018: How to Rock A Vampy Lip

This look was created for Nova and I’s Fall Vampy lipstick collaboration. Each of us created two looks to demonstrate how to pair your eyeshadow with a dark vampy lip. Check out the post to see the look that Nova created! I’m once again wearing false lashes, these are by Ardell Beauty and they’re not overly heavy or dramatic. I created this look with the Soph Extra Spice palette which I recently reviewed. I’m also pleased with the other two looks in that review!

Now scroll back to that purple smoke makeup look and you can see a MAJOR difference in how much I’ve improved. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn (well maybe a little) but more to encourage you to look back and celebrate your own improvements. Practice makes perfect! It’s like learning an instrument, or to do anything for that matter. The more you do it and experiment the better you’ll get. You just need to be willing to put in the time and possibly invest in some good makeup brushes xx


I hope you guys could take something positive away from this post and I challenge you to create your own Then Vs. Now progress posts. How much have you improved? Aren’t you glad you kept going? I would love it if you lovelies tagged me in your posts, I would LOVE to see your progress! Talk soon xx



  1. December 29, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    I think you’ve definitely come a long way! You seemed to wear more natural looks in the past, and most of your looks, to me at least, looked kind of no-makeup makeup. But these days you are definitely embracing more colourful eyeshadow looks and they look awesome! You have definitely figured out how to pose well too now and how to capture looks with better lighting that shows off your makeup more! Loved seeing your progress!

    • AlwaysCleia
      December 31, 2018 / 3:44 am

      haha yes definitely! I think i just had no real idea of how to wear those colourful shades, but now they’re what I reach for most. I want to revisit a ton of my old posts and create better looks for them, some of the old ones make me cringe now! Thank you so much!

  2. lifeofangela
    November 15, 2018 / 8:37 pm

    You should definitely toot your horn! The skills you have in creating your looks now are incredible! Your blending and cut creases have definitely come such a long way πŸ™‚

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 15, 2018 / 10:19 pm

      lol thanks Angela! I love looking back on old looks because I can really see how much I’ve learned x

  3. November 14, 2018 / 9:50 am

    I love that you play around with different hair colors so much!! I have always loved coloring my hair, but I get lazy with touching it up. I feel rather inspired now to get a different color haha. Also, all of your makeup looks are beautiful on you! I can see the improvement through years for sure, but none of them look terrible. It’s inspiring though, for someone like me who doesn’t know at all what I’m doing. πŸ˜‰

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 15, 2018 / 12:52 am

      You and me both girl, I can never keep up with touching up my roots! I’m naturally blonde so sometimes it almost looks like I have grey hair coming in when it’s such a contrast to what I’ve dyed it.
      Thank you! It was so fun for my to look back on my progress, I’m glad I’ve been blogging and documenting makeup looks this whole time. Keep practicing, you’ll get it!
      Thanks for reading lovely x

  4. November 12, 2018 / 9:02 am

    I love this post! Purple hair looks so good on you, I love all the makeup looks you’ve created! xx

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 12, 2018 / 12:45 pm

      thank you! It’s not purple anymore but I want to try a new crazy color soon. Thanks for reading!

  5. Rebecca Allatt
    November 12, 2018 / 3:04 am

    A definite improvement! Love your makeup looks x

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 12, 2018 / 12:45 pm

      Thank you! Yes especially in that one year where I didn’t post any looks, I can see a huge skill jump when I finally put one up.

  6. November 9, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    Not only have you gotten better at applying makeup, but you’ve also gone more and more out of your comfort zone as time progresses. You use loads of different colors now, and I absolutely love it! This was a really great post, and you should be so proud of yourself for the huge improvement! xxx

    Melina |

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 9, 2018 / 9:14 pm

      Thanks Melina! I’ve definitely become a bit obsessed with eyeshadow, I love trying new things with it now. I can’t wait to see where I am in a years time πŸ™‚

  7. November 8, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    I feel like your makeup has always looked nice! You just started experimenting with colour this year, and I love all of the new looks you’ve been trying!

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 9, 2018 / 12:15 am

      😊 Thank you! I started watching a lot more beauty YouTubers this year, their looks inspired me!

  8. November 8, 2018 / 1:39 am

    It’s so cool to see how makeup preferences change and how more experimental we get! I didn’t know you had purple hair! I love your red hair <3

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 8, 2018 / 1:52 am

      I love seeing people’s makeup flashbacks! Yes the purple wasn’t too long ago, Thanks! I’ve been slowly going back to blonde but there’s such a contrast between my blonde roots and the red that I keep dying it back red. But it’s a great colour, my mom is a redhead actually so it’s believable that it could be my natural colour lol!

      • November 8, 2018 / 10:32 am

        The red really suits you 😊

  9. Hollie George
    November 7, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    This is such an interesting post idea! You’re absolutely stunning and your eyeshadow looks have really improved over the years. My favourite looks are the purple and vampy ones. 😊

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 7, 2018 / 3:44 pm

      Thank you Hollie! Yeah I can definitely see an improvement from start to finish. I loved the Vampy one too!

  10. November 7, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Honestly all your looks are beautiful to me! I love hearing about people’s makeup journeys.

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 7, 2018 / 3:37 pm

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ I love comparison posts to old makeup looks, it’s fun to see how everyone’s techniques have improved. Thanks for reading!

  11. November 7, 2018 / 10:09 am

    So interesting! I definitely think 2018 was the year you went and explored eyeshadow and different blends and colours of it too! I think we all went through a phase of wearing eyeliner on our lower lash line. I would never do that makeup technique now though haha.

    • AlwaysCleia
      November 7, 2018 / 3:36 pm

      Yes I completely agree! I finally sat down and decided to learn to apply my makeup properly. I was also heavily inspired by the looks I was seeing on instagram, I wasn’t constant on there until this year.
      haha it’s true, I think most people I know used to wear eyeliner on the waterline. It was all we did in high school!

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