Finally! A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Mermaid

When applying makeup in preparation to take to the sea, be sensible. You’ll be marked out as an imposter immediately if your eye enhancements run.

I became a mermaid twice before, once in 2015 and once last year. Neither attempt stuck. Maybe third time’s a charm?

This afternoon I am but a simple human woman with a zit on her chin, but if a ham-loving goldfish like Ponyo can create her very own hands and feet through sheer force of willpower, surely — with a little cosmetic assistance — I can manage to manifest a tail.

Before the day is out, I shall transform into a shining-scaled salt-water siren!

Eyeliner makes the whites of your eyes pop like those of a 1989-era Disney princess. Silver shadow provides an unearthly, not-quite-of-this-terrestrial-realm appearance.

Though manatees and dugongs—mammals most commonly mistaken for sea-women—rock an unassuming matte texture…I imagine that more glamorous mermaids are a bit shinier all over. Think skin like a silver-fin tuna’s.

Use shimmery blue and green shadows for aquappropriate highlight and contour.

When applying makeup in preparation to take to the sea, be sensible: Waterproof eyeliner and mascara are your best options for underwater eye makeup. Mermaids have no tears, according to noted nereid expert Hans Christian Andersen.

You’ll be marked out as an imposter immediately if your eye enhancements run.

I feel like mermaids probably don’t struggle with acne. (Or perhaps for them it’s something like scale parasites.) On land, why waste time concealing blemishes with skin-colored foundation? Glitter and rhinestones make for far superior cover-up.

Mermaids, improbably, are also famed for their long luxurious eyelashes and hair, so be sure to slap some on before diving to the deep. Pro-tip: Always apply lipstick after putting on your wig.

There! You look downright fishy, like a sea nymph willing to exchange her voice and centuries of pain-free daily existence for the chance to gain an immortal soul!

But something’s missing…

Oh, right. Water.


Let’s get practical for a moment, shall we? (Mermaids, excepting a certain infamous Little one, being imminently practical creatures.)

If you want to look particularly stunning at/in a large body of water, skip a full face of foundation and instead add a bit of concealer to any uneven tones on your face. Liquid shimmer such as the eye shadow pictured above sticks to wet skin better than powder product. Waterproof mascara is terrible stuff, incredibly difficult to remove: That’s the point. Blush and/or bronzer is always a flattering choice, as is tinted lip gloss.

Don’t worry about your eyebrows underwater.

It is possible, though difficult, to wear a wig in water — remember to hold onto it when you dive. Likewise, it’s not easy to swim gracefully with a length of waterlogged fabric wrapped around your legs, but necessary if you hope to disguise your double-stemmed condition from other denizens of the deep.

A Samsung Galaxy S7 Active phone is capable of snapping underwater photos, if you intend to eventually return to dry land with proof of your exploits. Think of all the heartache that could have been spared if Eric had snapped a quick selfie with Ariel rather than relying on vocal identification to confirm his missed connection!

Night has now fallen, and I’ve still yet to come up for air. I’ll see you for another mermaid makeup session next year!

…or maybe I’ll just stay this way ’til 2018.

Underwater photos by Justin Mitchell. Special thanks to my friend Jeff and his grandparents for the use of their beautiful salt water swimming pool.

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