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Makeup is my weak spot- Common App Essay


fafarrukh 3 / 13 2  
Sep 20, 2015   #1
"Please call your local store for product availability. Quantities are limited."
My heart pounded out of my chest as I read those frightening words. What if Champagne Pop sold out? I could never get my hands on one except for those selling for three times the price on eBay. It was expensive like the other cosmetics yet different. Sparkling. Twinkling. My AP Bio lab report lay on my bed untouched, yet there I was, drooling over a highlighter. I couldn't help but stare at its glamorous pictures on Sephora's website, convincing me all the more how much I needed it. Becca's Champagne Pop was calling out to me.

I discovered my passion for makeup in seventh grade when I watched my first tutorial on YouTube: Peacock Eye Makeup. Since then, I've loved playing with makeup. I generally limit myself to buying affordable products from the drugstore otherwise I'd become broke within days. But this time, I craved the luxurious forty dollar Champagne Pop. I couldn't get it out of my mind.

Stop wasting time!" I scolded myself. This was highly unlike me. I'm the girl who completes her work in school, not scurrying to finish last minute. I'm the biology nerd who teaches herself the curriculum over the summer. And I'm not self-absorbed. I aspire to become a doctor to help others and will persevere through any challenges I face.

The last thing I want to be considered is frivolous because I like to look pretty and love makeup. I enjoy being that girl who interns at a clinic, writes blogs and travels to refugee camps. I finish my work early and religiously follow my meticulous schedule. I consider myself a mature individual with a realistic outlook on life. In fact, I pride myself for having my priorities straight.

However, makeup is my weak spot. I love the confidence it inspires in me. It gives me the power to express myself artistically. Many believe makeup is for those insecure about their flaws, but I disagree. Makeup isn't about hiding, it's about highlighting. It's an art for both the subtlest and the most dramatic transformations. And most importantly, it's fun. I'm not going to lie: most days I'm in sweats and my dad's oversized t-shirts, but sometimes it feels good to glam up. Never ask me why I'm late if I'm rocking winged eyeliner and killer cheekbones.

Makeup allows me to escape the demands of real life. It is my haven for solace in and away from home. Without it, my life would not be half as wonderful as it is today. I've learned that it's okay to splurge once in a while for the little things that make me happy. I cherish Champagne Pop today as much as I did when it first arrived in the mail. It's more than a highlighter for me. It's my first act of spontaneity, my break from prudence. It gave me an adrenaline rush like never before. Although I strive for a career in medicine, I love that I have much to learn about and from the world of makeup. It's still difficult for the frugal side of me to justify my purchase, but wearing forty dollars on your cheekbones has its own charm. Money can't buy happiness, but it buys me makeup which is basically the same thing.

This is probably my 11th draft. Please criticize/comment freely. Thanks a lot!
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Sep 20, 2015   #2
Interesting tale Fatima. I can't believe you are on your eleventh draft already. The essay sounds very spontaneous and meticulously thought out. I am wondering though at to what common app prompt you are responding to. It would give me a better idea as to whether you are responding to the prompt or if we need to help you align the content in order to better respond to it. That aside, the essay is really entertaining and seems to be an inside look at who you are and what makes you tick. I found a few grammar issues that we need to edit though. It's listed below for you with correction and/or additions for better effect.

I couldn't help but stare at its glamorous pictures on Sephora's

- ... at the glamorous pictures...

I discovered my passion for makeup in seventh grade when I watched my first tutorial on YouTube

- ... my passion for makeup inthe seventh grade...

not scurrying to finish last minute

- to finishat the last minute

The last thing I want to be considered is frivolous

-... considered as is frivolous

However, makeup is my weak spot.

This is an under developed thought. You need to build up this sentence as its own paragraph that explains why you view make up as your weakness. Is it because as an art form you use your face as the canvass and you can't seem to satisfactorily accomplish that? It can't be just all about the expense. It has to be something deeper than that. It must show a weakness in something that you did not used to consider a weakness in you. I believe that make up should be described as your weak spot (in terms of not being able to resist the urge to splurge) rather than a weakness (connotes something you cannot do).

Again, its a pretty good essay. I hope the small suggestions and corrections I made can help you.
lcturn87 - / 435 236  
Sep 20, 2015   #3
I would like to help you with your essay.

1st paragraph: I think you are trying to join sentences together: "My AP Bio lab report lay on my bed untouched; yet, there I was drooling over a highlighter". The next sentence you can delete: all the more . You can avoid using "And" at the beginning of a sentence. When you delete it, your writing will become better because your sentences are good.

2nd paragraph: Remember to delete And . You could state: "Most importantly, I think it is fun."

Last paragraph: Your writing is really good. However, you want to end your essay well too. I think it is good to try to avoid using "thing" and be more specific. Here is a simple change: "Therefore, money can't buy happiness, but it can buy me makeup which is basically the same thing ."

I hope this helps you!
OP fafarrukh 3 / 13 2  
Sep 20, 2015   #4
The prompt I'm answering is:
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

I'm considering the "interest" part of the prompt. I've gone through numerous drafts because I had trouble focusing my essay on one thing only. I guess I wanted to share too much in 500 words but really have tried to narrow it down to just my passion for makeup vs. meticulous, realistic me.

"Makeup is my weak spot" is supposed to show the other side of my personality from the one where I "religiously follow my meticulous schedule." I'm trying to convey it's the one thing which isn't structured, "mature", focused about me. It's the one thing that distracts me from my work. I wasn't thinking it on the lines of splurging. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this idea clearer? I will work on it myself too.

The reason why I have buts, ands starting some sentences is because I read that we should write as we speak for college essays. I will edit them, however, if they are deterring away from the essay as errors rather than my "unique" voice. I'll try finding an appropriate substitute for "thing" because I think the last sentence would be incomplete without "which is basically the same ___"

Thanks for all of the help with the grammatic mistakes. I will edit those ASAP.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Sep 20, 2015   #5
Hi Fatima :-) Well then, now that I know what the prompt you are trying to respond to is, it will be easier for me to share what I hope will be relevant and helpful advice with you regarding your essay. I agree that the essay should carry your natural voice, but it should still remain formal in nature because you are not talking to a personal friend or your parents. You are talking to someone who is just getting to know you and will be creating an impression of you based upon your tone of writing. So try to find a balance between your casual and formal voice. Just to show the reviewer that you know how to respect boundaries while still being open about your personality. Remember, first impressions matter. In this case, 'first reads matter'. So we need to be very careful about how your statements come across on the written page.

"Makeup is my weak spot" is supposed to show the other side of my personality from the one where I "religiously follow my meticulous schedule." I'm trying to convey it's the one thing which isn't structured, "mature", focused about me. It's the one thing that distracts me from my work. I wasn't thinking it on the lines of splurging. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this idea clearer? I will work on it myself too.

One of the ideas that I have to address this situation is to revise your introductory paragraph. You open the essay with a total concentration on the "value" of the make up. Thus creating the image of a person who will spend any "reasonable" amount on make up. Somehow, you set up the paragraph to connect to money rather than your personality.This is a point of thought on your part that often comes up within the essay.

I would open the essay with a story about meeting friends for a movie date or something and being late. I would take the cue from this particular part of your essay:

Never ask me why I'm late if I'm rocking winged eyeliner and killer cheekbones.

That would make a perfect part of your new introduction if you have your friends say something like "Fatima, I wish you could be on time for our friendly outings in the same way you are on time for school." or something along those lines. What I am trying to do here is create the scenario that shows that there are two sides to your personality. The responsible, meticulous, and perfectionist student as opposed to the care-free, devil-may-care, make up loving girl who loves to girly up to the same degree that you like to succeed academically. I believe that will create an interesting description of your personality. Create the idea that you allow yourself to be somewhat of a free-spirit and messy in your personal life, but it does not carry over to your professional / academic life. That way you show a "balanced" personality. You know how to have fun both at work and at play.

I would avoid any references to the "financial" aspect of make-up and instead, concentrate on developing this portion instead as it relates to your 'split personality' :

I love the confidence it inspires in me. It gives me the power to express myself artistically. Many believe makeup is for those insecure about their flaws, but I disagree. Makeup isn't about hiding, it's about highlighting. It's an art for both the subtlest and the most dramatic transformations

Then perhaps you can insert a paragraph that shows how make up and your student side somehow have merged to create the interesting and unique person that you are. Of course these are mere suggestions on my part. Feel free to integrate any or all of it into your 12th draft :-)
lcturn87 - / 435 236  
Sep 21, 2015   #6
I would like to help you further.

I think your essay was interesting. Yet, this seems to be a supplemental or added response. Since you are interested in another subject, you have to be very careful about this written response. There are many courses in college or projects in which you can use creativity. For example, makeup is like an art form and can show creativity. If you take required courses, before the courses in your major, you may need to show your creativity.

Therefore, having an interest in makeup can help you if you work on creative projects. It can help you to be a more versatile student. If you decide to use this interest, I think it should be either closely related to your career interest (being a doctor) or related to how it will help you succeed in your coursework. This concept of makeup could prove to be beneficial if you consider this in your essay.

Also,I think you should delete these words in the third paragraph: NeveraskmewhyI'mlate . If you are a serious student, you want to give a good impression.

These are only suggestions to help you.
OP fafarrukh 3 / 13 2  
Sep 24, 2015   #7
I have listened to your advice very seriously and have come up with a new introduction. Of course, since my essay continued on the theme of the intro, I've had to make numerous changes throughout the essay and am still deciding how to phrase couple things.

I could feel my friend's glare emanating across the packed theater. I scurried into my seat, flinging popcorn all over the floor. Getting ready had taken longer than I had anticipated. I would blend into the audience like every other person, yet I took as much time getting ready as if I would at my wedding.

"You're late!" she hissed/grumbled. The movie began ten minutes ago, but all I could think about was my perfectly symmetrical eyeliner.

I discovered my passion for makeup in the seventh grade after watching my first tutorial on YouTube: Peacock Eye Makeup. Since then, I've loved playing with makeup. I grab every opportunity I can to experiment with different techniques/looks. I keep practicing until I perfect my skill. Over the years, I've mastered the art of contouring, strobing and the cat eye. It's no surprise I'm usually the most overdone/*in search of a better word person in the room.

"Last time you're late", I scolded myself. This was highly unlike me. I'm the girl who arrives early, never rushing to reach at the last minute. I'm the biology nerd who teaches herself the curriculum over the summer. And I'm not self-absorbed. I aspire to become a doctor to help others and will persevere through any challenges I face.

The last thing I want to be considered as is frivolous because I like to look pretty and love makeup. I enjoy being that girl who interns at a clinic, writes blogs and travels to refugee camps. I finish my work early and religiously follow my meticulous schedule. I consider myself a mature individual with a realistic outlook on life. In fact, I pride myself for having my priorities straight.

However, makeup is my weak spot. I love the confidence it inspires in me. It gives me the power to express myself artistically. Many believe makeup is for those insecure about their flaws, but I disagree. Makeup isn't about hiding, it's about highlighting. It's an art for both the subtlest and the most dramatic transformations. Most importantly, it's fun. I'm not going to lie: most days I'm in sweats and my dad's oversized t-shirts, but sometimes it feels good to glam up. It's incredible how a full face of makeup makes me feel like I could conquer the world/my day ten times better/makes me feel so powerful. *make stronger sentence.

I love the drivenness my nerdy side brings out of me. It compels me to excel in every aspect of my life. Although I strive for a career in medicine, I love that I have much to learn about and from the world of makeup. Makeup allows me to escape the demands of real life. It is my haven for solace in and away from home. Without it, my life would not be half as wonderful as it is today. My personality would be incomplete without both my nerdy and free-spirit side. They have united to make me the creative and ambitious person I am today. I know I will become a successful doctor but one rocking winged eyeliner and killer cheekbones.
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Oct 3, 2015   #8
Farukh, let me help you out with this revised essay;

- ...I'm usually the most overdone/*in search of a better worddolled up person in the room.
- This was highly unlikeis not me at all .

- I love the confidence it inspires inbrings me.
- It gives me the power to express myself artisticallyin a very artistic way .
- I'm not going to lie:, most...

- days I'm in sweats and my dad's oversized t-shirts, but sometimes it feels good to glam up. It's incredible how a full face of makeup makes me feel like I could conquer the world/my day ten times better/makes me feel so powerful. *make stronger sentence.( this sentence is ok, I mean if this is what "make ups" really does to you )

- I love the drivenness my nerdy....

It's an absolutely crazy - fantastic world you have their. You pretty much want yourself to be busy and to add to your busy and hectic schedule, I suggest do a bit of reading too, it enhances your vocabulary and makes you a better writer which I know you would like to do as well. Just a caution, blogging can take a bit of your time but it surely does make you feel a lot great. So, I hope the remarks I made help in enhancing your essay.


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