Beauty 1001: Satin Finish or The Real Me?


I’ve just scrubbed my face with a mini loofah and slathered copious layers of lotion on my skin.  I feel dried out, despite the forty ounces of cream I’ve applied at $100 a pop.  I mean dry; as in my skin feels like it’s been lying dormant in a crypt since the beginning of the pharaoh age.  I look in the mirror and I see bloodshot eyes with slate colored circles underneath, little webs of red lacy blood veins cover the apples of my cheeks, and tiny new wrinkles have been etched around my eyes with a mini chisel by efficient little Age Elves while I slept.

And of course, I need to leave the house, like ten minutes ago.  I need to take my pup for a walk.  “Toot Sweets”, as I affectionately call him, has been cooped up all day, and earlier, when I bent over to clean the bathroom floor, he actually tried to shove his squeaky toy… (never mind, different post.) The question is, do I really want to waste a half hour of my precious time putting on make-up for a 45 minute walk in a park where I will carry a lavender scented purple poop bag and likely see no one, unless I don’t wear makeup?

Looking back on my history of face painting I realize that there have been many cases where I’ve applied the stuff at completely ridiculous times.  Case in point, I’ve pelted across Lake Erie at 60 mph on a tube with Mac cosmetics on. Yes, it’s like the Rolls Royce of makeup, but even with its epoxy-like attributes I still ended up looking like one of those blurred black and grey photographs where the subject was moving in fast motion.  I’ve even worn make-up while water skiing.  To my defense Red Bull had flown in hot professional wake boarders from Australia, so what’s a girl to do?

Ahhh…  Then there are all of those times we come to in every budding relationship; the first sleepover.  Utter horror!  I can’t wash my makeup off before bed, this relationship is just getting started.  I don’t want to send the poor guy sprinting to his car.  I excuse myself to go “get ready” for bed which, sans cute boy, includes a ten minute flossing, fifteen minutes examining my pores, twenty minutes of face washing and applying twelve layers of lotion which include retinol, Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J… you get the picture, and all the rest of the essential nutrients I’ve read about in magazine advertisements from day to day.  But with said boy waiting, instead of removing my make-up, I try to wipe off any excess and touch it up; praying that it stays put.

Alas.  Invariably I wake the next morning and my black kohl eyeliner has mapped its way down my face into the creases of my lips making me look like a morbid clown, while my lip gloss has decided to venture over to my right eardrum to check things out in there.  My brown-black mascara, so painstakingly applied the night before, has flecked off and filled each individual large pore on my nose like a pothole after a hard rain. I pray that New Boy doesn’t wake before I have a chance to rectify my face.

You know, I understand that “beauty is only skin deep”, as the saying goes, it’s just that I’ve always wanted that top layer of skin to be sporting a fine sheen of Satin Finish NW20, thank you very much.  That is, until recently as I’ve begun to venture out of the house without makeup.  I’m going to the store for a roast beast and some rolls.  Do I really need to pull out the tools and work for half an hour for this ten minute venture?  I don’t think so. Time is precious baby.

Whether you believe in coincidence or serendipity, Oprah featured women going makeup-less on her show the other day.  Gorgeous super-stars with not a stitch of cover up.  Apparently the internet was all abuzz when an actress from “Desperate Housewives”, Teri Hatcher, posted photographs of herself without makeup, wrinkles and all.  I felt utterly liberated.  If I am truly to love myself as I am, why do I need to constantly worry about looking like I’m going out for an evening on the town with Johnny Depp?  Don’t get me wrong, I actually consider the art of applying makeup to be a creative endeavor, especially after dating a makeup artist for a few years.  Pulling out my brushes and a labyrinth of colorful eye shadows can be fun and feels as if I’m painting, shading, and coaxing out my inner beauty and artistic expression.

But damn if I’m not utterly thrilled to put my pup on his leash and go to the park with the glow of my blotchy skin glaring for all to see.  It’s me.  And chances are, after my first few sleepovers with New Boy, he’s gonna see me eventually, I can’t continue to clog my pores until the end of time.

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