Monday, July 6, 2015

Skin Deep

February 2015 | The yellow tinge in this photo is because of the lighting, not because of the make up.
On a whim, I decided to have my make-up done professionally for Valentine's day this year. It was eye-opening in two ways.

1. I always thought I was pretty good at doing my own make-up, but I had room for improvement. (I now pay more attention to my eye brows.)
2. My eyes really 'popped' with the techniques a professional used.

The only reason I did this was because my daughter Emily was studying to be an esthetician and one of her fellow students needed a canvas to work on. The make-up artist did a fantastic job, but I have to tell you, my face felt like plastic (because she was using materials supplied by the school, which were cheap), and the colours were a little 'off' because the lighting in the school and because an interfering instructor imposed her favourite frosty lip gloss on me.

For contrast, here is what I look like at this very moment (July 5, 2015) with no artificial improvement other than a good night's sleep and a strong cup of coffee.

July 5, 2015
Not bad, I think, but not glam either. If I were a celeb, the tabloids would probably post this picture as an example of "Wynn Anne has let herself go!"

But I've decided that both looks are fine with me. I rarely wear make up nowadays, except a dash of lipstick, but I do like to polish my look a little for special occasions or just for fun.

I was also struck by the big difference a dash of lipstick made to my mother.

Top: when I visited her after her heart attack
Bottom: with my sister a couple of weeks ago
It's so clear she's feeling much better, both health-wise and emotionally. It takes energy to put on a pretty dress and dig around to find your favourite lipstick. It showed, and I was happy to see it.

I'm following this whole train of thought today because I watched this video. (You should, too.)

After watching it, you might say that the barbed comments are a reflection of the liberty people take with online anonymity. But it is more than that: those written comments are merely the manifestation of unspoken thoughts by passersby. We are judged, and the pain is real.

As Em (from My Pale Skin) says, make up can be a powerful tool for feeling confident. Yes, it is a mask, but sometimes we really need that protection from the judgmental eyes around us.

Youtube 'vlogger' SweetK adds that cosmetics are just another accessory and can be fun. In this video she uses her beautiful (both before and after make up), adorable, and healthy mother as a canvas.

I agree: the creams, powders, inks, and synthetic lashes make this woman look like a cover-model. She also appears to have fun doing it. (And I may try false eyelashes again after watching this video.)

Every time I eschew make up, I thank my lucky stars that neither my self-esteem nor my livelihood depend on my physical beauty. The people in my life care more about how I treat myself -- and them -- than how I look. Isn't that grand?

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