It’s simple: cup or run your hands in water, mix with gentle soap (optional), splash or dab with or without the use of a wash cloth. If you have “older” skin, pay attention to more fragile areas around the eyes.
Follow this up with a few touches of moisturizer of your choice or, if you prefer, use makeup remover for the eyes, the cheeks, the lips as appropriate.
For some, use buckets of makeup remover.
Run and hide, as needed.
And what country is this? What century is this? What profession are women in? Something that does not require assuming a horizontal position?
Making Up in the Millennium
Some adhere to the theory that hemlines reflect our faith in the economy, and possibly societal stability. Others (yes – that would be me) believe there is an unplumbed link between shoe heights (monster shoes) and cultural zeitgeist.
But makeup – or making it up as we go – is showing on our faces. And not in a good way.
We’re making up to hide our age – or our youth. We’re making up to mask our worry and at times, unwittingly, our joy. We’re abrading, injecting, plumping, filling – and that’s not counting the cutting and stitching – all before we pluck up the brush, the sponge, the assorted tools – in order to paint, to sprinkle, to curl, or glue.
In particular, I’m thinking of the makeup as seen in media. Naturally – or unnaturally – my mental visuals go straight to Reality television.
Real Housewives (My Assets)
We all know there’s little “real” when it comes to the Real Housewives. But those of us who do not have theatrical (or sex industry) jobs need not indulge our face painting tendencies to the extent that we see in the media.
Then again, this is only my opinion. As is the (obvious?) reality that how to wash your face is easier when you don’t hide it in the first place.
Certainly, not to the extreme and unnatural max that we see in the New Jersey, Beverly Hills, and Orange County Housewives – and most of the time, I exempt New Jersey’s Caroline from that mix. In fact, I love when we see any of these women closer to “au naturel.” They’re so much more real, and it’s so much more of a pleasure to enjoy them when we can actually see them.
Last evening? I couldn’t help but catch a glimpse of Gretchen Rossi of the OC, as I was puttering about the kitchen and Bravo was humming in the background. The fake lashes? The thick foundation? The layers and layers of gloss on lips? The sparkly blue shadow?
My Face, My Self?
Anyone who knows me realizes that I care how I look. I love being a woman – and in particular, a woman who appreciates men. That said, I’m willing to step outside my home on the disheveled side. I definitely exercise in old clothes as seems suitable. I prefer a bit of makeup when I go out, for any purpose, and more in the evening for a special occasion. And I do run errands without a speck of makeup on at times, which I consider the epitome of “normal” – if anything such as “normal” exists.
My beauty regimen (cough, choke, sputter)?
I wash my face by splashing water on it, drying with a towel, and then using a little hypoallergenic (supermarket) moisturizer. Two minutes, max.
I spend another two minutes (that’s it) indulging in a touch of Dior on the eyes, and clear or slightly rosy gloss (Dior) on the lips. And yes, there is that dab of Chanel between my breasts and at the pulse points, adding fifteen seconds.
Dating and Mating, Don’t Keep Him Waiting!
When going out on a date (for example) I take twenty minutes and vamp it up slightly – the cheeks, the eyes. Occasionally, I paint my fingernails. (Vixen.)
I use makeup for the purpose of enhancement rather than to conceal or pretend: concealing who I am to the point of being unrecognizable; pretending I’m 20-something when I’ve passed the half century mark. I find nothing quite so aging as too much makeup, whether you’re 30 or 50.
I indulge in my painting pleasures because I feel better when I do – more feminine, more flirtatious, more confident. I know that if I’m looking good – my good – I’m better prepared for whatever may come.
Besides, you never know who you haven’t met yet – a potential client, a new friend, the next love of your life, or a weary spirit in need of your most genuine smile.
Support for the (Beauty) Revolution?
Ready for a revolution? A minor beauty revolution? I know I am.
Body image issues? We’ve had those for decades, and they remain a pressing concern.
Are there more important things to worry about? Of course – like poverty, the economy, health care, our perturbing political agendas.
But what about how the women of this country face themselves – literally?
What about how we feel about our faces – beautiful in our natural imperfections, and equally so as we age? Is that a pipe dream? An impossibility? Aren’t we influenced profoundly by how we look or how we think we look? Aren’t those beliefs integral to the vigor and confidence we bring to each day?
Shouldn’t we encourage each other to be ourselves and feel good about ourselves, without the need to hide who we are in pursuit of some distorted definition of (youthful, homogeneous) beauty? And no, I’m not saying I don’t miss my dewier skin of a few years back, but I’m grateful to be aging, grateful to be here and healthy, and I wish that more of us were willing to dispense not only with the nips and tucks, but the makeup excesses that don’t hide our stresses.
Wash Your Face (Your Way)
Love your makeup? Have at it! I love mine, too.
But maybe when you wash your face at night, you’ll think about what is being removed, and what exactly you attach to it.
Self-confidence? Identity? Familiarity? Fear?
Are there revelations in your mirror?
We all use what we have – our humor and our smarts, our compassion and our capabilities, our beauty, our charm, and “simple” good manners. We use it or lose it; we use it to our advantage – to get a better deal on a price, to negotiate that sexy loaner, to catch the eye of someone who intrigues us.
But I’d like us to consider not only greater acceptance of our bodies as they are, but our faces as they are – becoming. They are our fullest reflection of what we think and how we feel. So perhaps we might lighten up so we may brighten up, and in so doing show up – for real.
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