I have never worn much make-up. It is not, I assure you, because I am a natural beauty. It has been because I was completely unmotivated, or, as I like to categorize it, low maintenance.
But those habits developed when my face was firm and my cheeks were always pink. I actually had such high coloring I never really needed lipstick. My favorite story is when a camp counselor pulled me aside and chastised me for wearing lipstick. I scathingly pointed out that I wasn’t. My lips were just chapped.
Then, one day you look in the mirror and, gee, things have changed. I realized with a jolt that my complexion had all the color and texture of a piece of Swiss cheese. The bags under my eyes were my best feature, oh my stars, I looked exactly like my mother … after no sleep and a sweaty morning in the garden.
Fine, I thought. I’ll just start using a bit more makeup. As I critiqued my efforts with eyeliner, concealer, highlighter and mascara, I found all this scarcely made a dent. Contrary to my mother’s mantra and my teen-aged training at John Robert Powers school of beauty (where we crossed our legs at the ankle and “made down” rather than making up), I needed to crank it up more than a notch.
I was game, but when I tried to change my makeup habits, I realized the canvas was considerably looser on its frame. I also bought the newest, super, extra, double length mascara, but the effect is lacking when you only have about half-a-dozen eyelashes to put it on.
I know. I should head down to my closest department store and have some young thing give me a makeover and sell me $300 worth of facial products. I am stalling because I fear she will throw up her hands and quit midway.
So for now it is makeup by trial and error. I spend so much more time spackling my face these days, I’m beginning to feel like Nicki Minaj or one of the Gabor sisters. The effect is not the same, just the time spent.
Perhaps I should consider a full-face tattoo, but I dislike needles and I really dislike pain. Still.
Jean Gillette is a freelance writer working on the perfect smoky eye, but will settle for not horrible. Contact her at email@example.com.