Thursday, December 06, 2007


One of my co-workers is forever telling me that I'd look great with make-up. I don't tend to wear it. I don't feel confident that I know how to apply it, for one thing -- I was never interested in learning that as a teen. When my sister (six and 1/2 years my junior) asked our mother when she could start wearing the stuff, Mom was momentarily flummoxed. This was a situation that hadn't come up before. She ended up choosing the age of fourteen, after consulting a teenager who worked in our restaurant about when her parents had allowed it.

"Fourteen?!?" Ditter wailed (she was thirteen and a half at the time), "I'll bet Vee didn't have to wait until she was fourteen!"

"Hey, Ditter? When's the last time you saw Vee in make-up? Outside of Halloween or high school musical productions, that is."

That's the thing. The only way I know how to apply make-up is the way they taught us to use it for the stage. I don't really need to look normal from a distance of 40 feet. I'd rather look normal up close. I always feel like a little kid who's been playing at her mother's dressing table any time I so much as wear lipstick.

Also, it just seems to be so much work. When I have worn it, sufficiently (I hope) toned down that I don't look like I've just come offstage, I find that when I get home it's all worn off. Lipstick almost immediately vanishes. Eyeshadow I think gets blinked off onto my glasses. Blusher? Where does that go? I must touch my face a lot.

I list these reasons every time this particular co-worker tells me I should wear make-up more often. She jokingly threatened to tie me down and apply some herself. I told her I hoped she had a tranquilizer gun handy, 'cause she might have a bit of a fight on her hands.

Today I came by her desk as I was distributing mail. She looked up at me, grinned, pointed at her mouth and then gave me a thumbs-up.

"Nice lip gloss, Vee."

"It's chapstick, Deena."

"Oh. Still. Looks good."

Sigh. Every little bit helps, I guess.


Amy B. said...

Ah, count your blessings! There are no frightening pictures of YOU wearing too-bright blue eye shadow and too-pink '80s blush.

I cleaned out my bathroom closet a few months back, and I threw away a small fortune in dry-rotted and congealed cosmetics. Most of them purchased before or slightly after I got married. It was then I stopped wearing make-up on a daily basis because DH doesn't like it. He never liked kissing my cheek and getting two lipsful of powder. Even now, with my occasional, nominal efforts, he grouses when I wear it.

I laugh at myself when I think of how I wore foundation long before I needed foundation. Nowadays I could use it, but I've forgotten how. Once in a while some occasion comes up where I'd like to appear not so corpse-like, and I stare and stare at the horribly-overpriced products in the cosmetics aisle until I am cross-eyed, at which point I'll either walk away in frustration or just pick something, anything for all the time I stood there pondering. Then it takes up residence in my closet.

So while I have a small collection of powders and potions still lurking in my closet for those somebody-check-her-pulse days, I carry three things in my purse: clear lip gloss, brown mascara (the kind that comes off with soap and water and can't be worn on rainy days), and concealer for that always-red spot between my eyebrows.

If I am feeling particularly ambitious, I'll bring along an eye shadow in a lipstick-type tube so it can survive the rigors of purse living instead of crumbling apart and scattering itself all over my stuff.

For what its worth, there's a pencil-thin lip balm whose name suddenly escapes me (naturally). The tube is white with black and colored lettering (colors vary with flavor). I used to get a minty one. It has a slightly higher sheen than your standard Chapstick.

Ooooh. Burts Bees tinted lip balms have WAY more color than I thought. Save your money.

Amy B. said...

It took me half a day, but the lip balm I like is called SoftLips.

And what I meant on the Burts Bees stuff is: Save your money and spend it on something else. They're almost like lipstick.

--V said...

I like Burt's Bees stuff. They put peppermint oil in their lip balm. Makes my lips all tingly

Amy B. said...

Is that what it is? It almost felt like menthol. I like the balm, but the colors are much more vibrant than the little caps lead you to believe.