Sunday, February 6

Just a Little Color

A while back a friend and I went window shopping on Saturday morning, a real treat for her because she was out and about without her two little ones for a couple of hours. We walked around the big department store and I asked if she was interested in looking at anything in particular. Turns out she was gravitating toward the cosmetic section, so there we went.

She got a free skin care and make-up "consultation" and the result was beautiful. She was an uncut diamond prior to the session and looked shiny and polished afterward. Just the lipstick alone brightened up her skin and eyes. She felt a little unsettled but, as she passed mirrors throughout the store, was beginning to appreciate how a little bit of color on her face brought out her beauty.
I wondered if she would continue using make-up at home. After all, who would encourage her to make the extra effort in her busy day? Her husband loved her as she was, as did her little ones. The answer is--she will notice and she will feel better if she creates a routine of taking care of her skin and using a little make-up.
Hmph--she's naturally beautiful, why use "fake" beauty products? Well, because they help us pay attention to ourselves and feel prettier. Yes, we are pretty enough without "painting" ourselves. Sure, that's true. But let me explain it this way.
When you have a beautiful wooden table in your kitchen or dining room, one that has gorgeous wood grain patterns or even a burl wood and you just love it. You leave it uncovered, without a tablecloth, so you can enjoy it every time you walk past. You don't even polish it to enhance the shine, it's striking "as is."
Let's say you also love the vibrant color of flowers or cut branches of flowering shrubs in your garden. The color makes your day brighter as you look out the window. It catches your eye and lifts your spirits. You'd like to bring some of that color into your home so you can enjoy it while you perform your daily routines.
If you cut some pretty flowers, put them in a vase and set them on your table, is that taking away from the beauty of the table you love? Is it "fake" to add something to the beauty of the table? Should the table always remain in its usual state, without adornment or enhancements?
To me, using lipstick and mascara and other "colors" for our faces is just like adding flowers to a room or placing a lovely piece of art in our daily lives; these things brighten up our day and give us pleasure. Every time we see ourselves in the mirror we see a little extra color and that makes us feel sparkly. Maybe our loved ones feel a little bit of the same, even if they never say so.
We feel better about ourselves and, when this happens, we get a little boost of cheerfulness which helps us give more happiness to others.

Disclaimer:  My mom used skin care products every day that I remember (first Dorothy Gray, then deMarkoff, finally Lancome), and I watched her elaborate regimen of applying make-up prior to her leaving the house from my early years until just last year.  Also, I was on "Make-Up Crew" for my high school's drama club for several years.  Yes, I was a diehard thespian.