“The only way I’d be caught without makeup is if my radio fell in the bathtub while I was taking a bath and electrocuted me and I was in between makeup at home. I hope my husband would slap a little lipstick on me before he took me to the morgue.” ~Dolly Parton
Dolly’s quote sounds laughingly vain and I can so relate. Back in the day I used to wear foundation, eye shadow, liquid eyeliner, eyeliner pencil, mascara, eyebrow color, blush, lip liner and lip color. Today, depending on the season, I wear considerably less makeup and feel liberated in being able to nix what I now consider non-essentials.
Just like American Express’ “Never leave home without it” was my makeup and I wouldn’t dream of going outside without my “face”. My reasoning for such a staunch approach was I felt to do otherwise would be a great disservice to humanity. In other words I didn’t want to scare people.
Some may think me overly dramatic and it could be but there were a couple of times where I would risk death as opposed to being seen barefaced. The one incident, a few years ago, happened when my ex-husband and I were in the “non-speaking terms” zone. So later in the day when I thought I was having a heart attack I had 3 problems to contend with:
- I had to be sure it was a heart attack because I didn’t want to payout the $100 emergency room visit co-pay
- I needed to make myself presentable which included a shower, makeup and appropriate emergency room attire
- Since I wasn’t talking with my ex I would need to drive myself to the hospital
If you think I did the responsible thing by pushing my pride aside and asking my husband to take me immediately to the hospital you would be mistaken. I did the exact opposite by choosing the “wait and see” approach; took a shower, put on my makeup, did my hair, and got dressed. All these things I did while hoping the pain would subside, it didn’t.
Then with car keys in hand I tried to sneak out of the house so I wouldn’t have to talk with hubby since, in my mind, we were still on non-speaking terms. The problem with this plan was I had to pass him to get to the door so when he asked me where I was going and I told him “to the ER” and kept on rolling. He says “Steph, you can’t even see to drive.” My response was “watch me.” Okay, okay it’s sounds childish and I’m getting a vivid picture of me standing there sticking out my tongue at him but I was not going to admit he was right. End result was he did take me to the ER <sigh> such a nice guy.
Long story short I’m telling you this so that you can understand the depths to which I would go to avoid being seen in public without makeup. By merit of me writing this you know by now that the outcome of this particular story was good.
Being comfortable in my skin
Today, I feel completely at ease walking my dog, going to the store, the gym and all sorts of places without my makeup and if it bothers anyone oh well that’s their issue not mine. Once I started taking myself a little less seriously I began to change my attitude towards a number of things in my life including makeup. I actually enjoy wearing it now that it doesn’t feel like such a ritualistic process that I require to be accepted by others.
I can’t tell you how good it feels to do so much more with less. Earlier in this post I said that there was a time I used 9 different makeup products and this was after my daily skincare regimen. Most days (when I wear makeup) I wear at most 5 products consisting of foundation, eyebrow color, eyeliner pencil, mascara, and lip color. Out of these five items I would consider my essentials to be the eyebrow color and eyeliner pencil.
Even with vision loss I’m acutely aware of my problem areas and outline below how I address them:
- I’ve always had thinning eyebrows so I use eyebrow pencil to lightly fill them in
- Since I have small eyes the eyeliner pencil creates the illusion of making them appear bigger than they are
- My complexion has the tendency to be a little uneven and with advancing age I have some age spots that concealer and foundation fix
You know yourself better than anyone else and even if you are completely without sight, you can determine the best methods of using makeup. It may take some trial and error but with plenty of patience it can be done.
Over the next couple of weeks I will discuss makeup application for the vision impaired and share techniques that have worked for me. In the meantime be sure to check out Vision Aware Makeup Application After Vision Loss for very useful information on this topic.
“I think women should wear whatever makeup they want for themselves. Makeup should be fun.” ~Emma Stone