The other week, I had been getting over a randy case of stomach flu. I was worn out and tired to say the least from my many hours spent in our lovely downstairs master bathroom. I really like my bathroom, with it’s cheery yellow walls, bright windows and nickel-toned accents. There is an even a piece of art from one of my favorite artists that one can ponder upon from the throne. However, I really don’t think it warrants a whole day in there but my body thought otherwise. Strangely enough, on Monday, as I recouped, I felt better than I have in months. Odd, I thought. More on that later.
So being drained and tired, the next day I basically went through the motions. I went to work, did some shopping and all the things I normally seem to do. Since I was feeling better, I was a little more chipper, chatted a bit more with my co-workers/friends as I went through the hall. I was in and out of the bathroom, washing my hands without really paying attention to my reflection other than to make sure my pants were zipped as I knew I was struggling to get through the day. The last thing I want is to be is wandering the halls with my barn door wide open.
Later that night, I was going through my nightly routine where I brush my teeth, remove my makeup and slather on the face cream that’s supposed to keep me from looking like an old bat too soon when I realized there was no makeup to remove. I had completely forgotten to put it on that morning. No matter what, even the gym usually and even riding my bike for hours on end, I prescribe to what I call my Basic 3. Foundation powder, eyeliner (only the top lid when exercising) and waterproof black mascara (making sure I curl the top lashes for the ultimate ‘pop’). My eyes are my favorite attribute as I’ve gotten more compliments and comments on them, well other than my boobs when they sprouted in sixth grade, than any other part of my body. But here I was staring at my naked face. Not even a stitch of foundation to cover the broken blood vessels in my cheeks compliments of my German heritage which I had burned out seven years ago and they just reappear.
I had been reading a book by Jennifer Farr Davis title Becoming Odyssa which is an autobiography chronically her first thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT) when she was twenty-one. While I enjoyed the details of her mostly solo-hike, it was her musings about being out in a place with no mirrors for weeks at a time. That when she met people, she was stinky and dirty, with no makeup or even a shower most times. People had to like her based on her personality rather than her appearance. I thought about that for a few moments as I studied my face. I decided that I would do the same thing the next day, go naked. No makeup at all.
Well, not knowing I didn’t have makeup on was a lot different than being aware that I had none on. When I didn’t know that I had forgotten the war paint, I was oblivious so I behaved in the same way and people behaved their same way back. No one stopped and screamed in horror, “Oh my god, you have no eyeliner on today!” just before they turned and fled the building in disgust. However, on the day I knew I didn’t have makeup on, I walked around feeling like I left my pants at home. Self-conscious, uncomfortable and even though I know that no one else cared but me, I had to admit that makeup was a bit of a security blanket that makes me feel pretty.
Reflecting on the day in bed that night, I decided my idea to go an entire week without makeup was going to drive me batty so I decided to resume my normal makeup routine. I don’t NEED makeup and I don’t wear much makeup but I like makeup. To me, it is like accessorizing (which I do little of anyway) but my eyes do not have the same impact when I don’t wear makeup. It’s like art for my face. And it makes me feel a bit more confident. Pretty. It’s an enhancement not a way to hide from the world.
In closing, I believe I have a healthy relationship with makeup and so what if I wear pink sparkly lip gloss to the gym? It keeps my lips moisturized and soft so I’m not thinking about god damn it my lips are chapped while I’m trying to workout. Priorities right?