Monday, October 28, 2013

Not the Look I Was Going For

Not me.
Let me tell you about the last time I thought about my make-up habits. It was a few weeks after Boy#2 was born, and I was feeling just a touch unattractive, what with the spit-up on my shoulders and the shower that was three--four? five?--days ago. I went in for a quick trim of my bangs and my hairdresser, who also sells make-up, took one look at my haggard face and suggested I have my make-up done.

Why not? I thought.

Well, here's why not, I thought an hour later as I wrote out a check for $125. I walked out with a bag that contained a three-step nightly skin cleansing routine, some kind of spackling compound "to give you an even palette for your make-up," bronzer (which I still called "rouge" because even then I was 114 years old), and four different shades of eyeshadow depending on whether my eyes were going out in the morning, afternoon, or evening.

It was an extravagant purchase, considering that I was a stay-at-home mom who was pinching pennies until Lincoln yelped. But I felt GORGEOUS. Every time I accidentally looked in the mirror that day my eyes were drawn away from frizzy, unkempt hair and settled on some new and glorious aspect of my new and glorious face--the even skin tones, the sun-kissed cheekbones (cheekbones!), the smoky eyes. Oh, those smoky eyes. Mysterious, come-hither, somehow twice their original size.

So. That was 25 years ago.

Since then my make-up habits have simplified considerably and nowadays I can get my make-up on in 40 seconds flat. A dab of Olay, a little foundation and bronzer, a single color of eyeshadow, and ba-da-boom ba-da-bing, out the door. I even gave up mascara a few years ago when I realized it made my eyes bloodshot. And most of the time I look okay. Thanks to my mother's genes my skin is still good (well, at least fair) and a smile goes a long way toward presentableness.

But presentableness, I believe we can agree, is not enough for the Wedding of the Century. The Mother of the Groom needs to be STUNNING (since, clearly, she is the star of the show). So Sunday before church I tried to recreate the smoky eye. I laid down the foundation color, brushed a bit of color along the browline, painted a thin line against my lashes, slathered on some waterproof mascara. And then, sure that I had recreated the gorgeous, I put on my tri-focals and looked expectantly in the mirror to see this looking back at me:

Well, this with glasses.
I'm sorry, people who were at church with me yesterday. I tried to tone down the gorgeous before I came to early service, but when those labels said the eyeliner and mascara were waterproof, they were not kidding.

I believe I'll wait another 25 years before I try this again.


  1. Yeah, I have never managed to master the smoky eye, or indeed anything approaching same. Every time I try I either look like a raccoon or circus clown. Terrifying to small children everywhere. I paid someone a fair amount of money to do my makeup before I got married (10 million years ago) and it was worth every penny. I know my limitations.

  2. Your makeup routine has about 2 steps more than mine does.