Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The makeover

Even before last Saturday, I had been thinking about makeup.  I had been planning a post about an observation I had, but I hadn't finished it.  Now, in light of my recent experience, I have a slightly different point of view.

Let me start by describing the makeover and the reactions surrounding it; then, I can tell you about what I think. Bear with me as I ramble.  There is a point here, but I'd like to set the scene and let you peak into my world.

Heather and I (and Aiden, who was dragged kicking and screaming into the local Ulta) walked in to buy lipstick.  After I stopped dyeing my hair red, all of my lipsticks except one (which is too dark for me to wear during the spring and summer months, especially during the day), looked orange.  I had conceded Heather's point that more expensive lipstick would last longer and cover better, but it's hard to pick the perfect color when you're alone with an almost 5 year old boy.  Having her a round to help me pick, especially since she is a fair blue person, like me, was a big help.  I wasn't prepared for a makeover.

Normally, Ulta doesn't offer full make up at the counter, but Heather convinced one of them that I needed an intervention. I guess confessing to other women that you pretty much never wear makeup is a no-no.  In the end, I was primered, painted, bronzed, blushed, smoked, laquered, lipsticked and glossed by a women wearing orange (not coral or peach but honest-to-God orange) lipstick.  I must admit, she did pick out a lovely everyday lipstick for me and the mascara is pretty awesome, but the end of this adventure speaks for itself.  We dropped by the garage where my husband is helping out a friend on weekends to let him assess the makeover.  He leaned over, midway through mounting a tire, and looked at my face closely. "Something happened to your face." Yep, all the make up and my husband think I look like I've been sandblasted.  Heather and I laughed ourselves silly over this.  It's so typical of my husband, but it also reveals  a truth of my life.

All of this makes me think that for some people, makeup is exactly like a fairy glamour.  It presents a pretty picture to the world. It conceals some things, reveals others and alters our perceptions, but it isn't real.  For me, wearing full makeup is something I usually do to hide.  Often when I do it, it serves the purpose of making me more like the people around me.  My everyday life doesn't require the mask, but at times, it is a useful tool. For women who wear their makeup to feel better about themselves, or because it's required by their job, makeup is something else, but to me, it's conceals rather than reveals my nature.


  1. Ohhh boy. Sounds like you had a big adventure! Lesson one at makeup counters: go for a person whose style you like already. They'll usually do everyone's makeup in that style, unless they're following a 'look book' formula put out by their company (like Shiseido, or Estee Lauder). Otherwise... potential disaster, aka "Ooh, gurl, what happened to yo' face?"

    I'd agree that makeup is basically a mask. Some people are lucky to be born "matching" who they are in their heads, and don't need it. I was not. :P Most days I don't wear more than lipgloss (a real oil and wax one, not a synthetic), but for more important occasions, it's foundation, eyeshadow, lipgloss. And for some ritual work, makeup is a lovely thing to have. If you want temporary sutras or somesuch on your skin for that specific working, eyeliner~ Comes in all colours, so go for it!

    1. Thanks for the makeup counter advice, Bebe.

      I am intrigued by the idea of make up for ritual. I shall have to ponder this.

  2. Ah, make up. Mary Kay to L'Oreal.

    I stopped wearing it years ago. Why? I realized that I had bought into the corporate mythos that women HAD to present themselves as younger and more attractive to bolster their self worth and self esteem. I realized that I didn't have any need to slather my skin--the largest organ in the human system--with potentially carcinogenic or toxic chemicals. I also had no desire to contribute to corporate entities that made a profit off a skewed perception of beauty and self-esteem.

    I make a simple cleanser with food grade organic ingredients. My skin looks better than that of my siblings that still use cosmetics.

    Ritual use is a new one to me. It's the choice of the practitioner.


Please feel free to comment, share or ask questions, but please, keep comments in good taste and respectful.