Waking up in the morning getting ready for a new day, I find myself prepping my MAC Cosmetics make-up kit needing to give my face a beating of a lifetime. I pull out twelve brushes that for certain areas for my face. I scheme through the 180 color eye shadow palettes and decide which one best fits my mood. If it’s an overcast outside and no sign of the sun, I reach for the gloomiest dark palette I have. When the sun is stretching its sun rays through my bedroom window, I find the brightest colors that would spark conversation with any introvert, because I am owning it. Before looking in the mirror, I see this beautiful woman who is one of a kind. I then cover her up in hundreds of dollars worth of cosmetics just to hide her from the world. This persona of another woman appears, and I now have to persuade everyone around me that I am completely satisfied with the fact that I just spent hours painting my face with makeup. I analyze what posses me to spend hours on perfecting my face when I should have the confidence. I ignore it and settle with what society defines as beauty and continue to lend towards the other side of beauty.
Growing up and looking at the magazines, seeing the beautiful models with a perfect air brushed face and a silhouette to die for, I was a part of what America had defined as beauty. Seeing my mother and sister constantly in the mirror trying to mimic them before they left the house. I was curious on where they received their self-assurance. At the early age of thirteen, I would sneak into my mother’s bathroom and open up her vanity drawer and be floored by all the cosmetics she would have just to gratify her inner guilt that she was not truly convinced about herself. I would then sit down in her old antique metal chair that seemed as though it was on its last leg and repeat the traditional make up pattern I would watch her do while she was getting ready for work. I began beating my face with this plum color powder and the huge brush. I grabbed her applicator and dug deep into the piecing blue eye shadow palette that she had and began to stroke the brush across my eyelids. I did not feel as though I was finish until I searched for her $20 lipstick from Avon. Rolling the lipstick up was a rush for me, I could see why she would get so excited when she stroked the lipstick across her lips. When I finished, I felt untouchable, a beauty that could not be explained, but in reality, I looked like Greta from the 1984 film “Gremlins 2.”
As a child, I was completely satisfied with the way I looked with pounds of colors on my face because that to me was the norm. If my mother is with the way she looked when she left the house, then so should I. There is a sense of confidence that fills the rooms when I have just painted my face with perfection. There is approval for myself when a stranger walks by and states how they love how perfectly arched my eyebrows are or how I was able to blend my eye shadow flawlessly with three different colors. That is when I knew it was all worth it. However, it is unsatisfying when my husband says that it looks like I am auditioning for a role as a clown because I got too heavy-handed and I was running out of time.
Being an adult and having common knowledge of the latest cosmetic brands and trends, you tend to find the brand that works for you. You become numb to the fact that you are not in sync with your natural beauty because your favorite brand is telling you otherwise. With the overload of advertisements, you assume that the mascara you bought two months ago is no longer accepted because a new commercial promoted your lashes to be voluminous for twelve hours longer then the eight-hour one you bought. Irritation sets in when the realization is noticeable that you need to start loving yourself from the beginning. The beginning is what your mother did not teach you. That make up is only temporary but the beauty that resides in you last forever. My mother for an example, tried her hardest to fool people by her looks when she was only fooling herself.
The truth is, it was not necessary to look like a china doll when you should be comfortable in your own skin. Make up is fine when you dress up for a custom party or you in a performance, even a wedding. When you spend hours and hundreds of dollars of money just to plaster your low self-esteem. Cosmetics are like putting a band-aid on an open wound, it will never heal. Woman need to first learn to love their natural state of being before the venture off in a world with palettes, foundations, powders and brushes. There are two sides of beauty, the one that you accept in your natural state, and the one that is forced by the masses. I have learned that the only person that needs to accept me is myself.