musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman


I am musing upon make-up this morning.

In my teens, I wore entirely too much. I was self conscious of my zits, and wore green eye shadow, purple eyeliner and blue mascara around my brown eyes. I wore a dark plum blush to define hollowness in my chipmunk cheeks. I wore fuscia and purple frosty lipsticks that I had a bad habit of chewing off. Except when I was at the beach. Then I wore baby oil (not on my face) and sprayed something I dubbed Ocean Potion in my hair – a combination of lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide and salty polluted water of Long Island Sound. I wore entirely too much Dippity Do and  mousse. Everyone did, it was the early eighties. Having said that, I never rocked the giant hair of the eighties.

In my twenties, I rebelliously eschewed make-up and hair products, unless it was a special occasion, or the rare occasion I just felt like it. I wore oversized clothes on my 98lb frame and refused to believe anyone wanted to look at me.  Post-college, when I was working at a big wig law firm for a few years, I wore suits and just enough required make-up everyday (mascara, a little foundation dotted on a random zit, Clinique’s black honey lip gloss or a wine lipstick by Chanel – early 90s, folks, even indies like Lisa Loeb wore wine lipstick), but my hair was basically down to my waist and always pulled back into a ponytail or a big barrette. My skin felt healthier, and looked healthier than when I was younger. Then I got pregnant with Mr. Cynic and chopped off all that hair.

In my thirties, I became more comfortable with my face, started to lose the chipmunk cheeks, and didn’t really care one way or the other if I wore any makeup. I was generally leaning toward naturalness in all things, and that included the rare use of make-up as a mom of two young boys. Lip balm was the order of the day.

In my forties, my eyes look beadier, my eyelashes are even more invisible. I am naturally greyer than a 60 year old, and recently returned to dying and highlighting the hair. I look tired because I am. My skin is beginning to show the signs of all that early sun exposure, and I still get zits on par with my teen sons. I wear make-up more daily now, and feel a little more self-conscious when I leave the house without some on. But I still prefer to go without if I’m not going anywhere.

Mr. Cynic thinks I worry too much what other people think. I know that isn’t really the case. I just want to feel more presentable, illustrating my internal pep rather than my flagging energy.

Sigh, now I understand why my mother never left the house without “her face on.”


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4 thoughts on “vanity

  1. the best line is “i look tired because i am” … yes! someone (mean) said to me the other day … oh, you look tired … i replied, i am …. and she looked at me like i had two heads AND looked tired…

  2. e, i am right there with you. lol.

  3. I think your a very beautiful woman.

  4. thank you, john! *blushes*

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