You’ve heard the saying “less is more?” It applies to many things including wasabe, Barbara Streisand, men’s cologne, government and it definitely applies to makeup. I rarely wear make-up, but when I do, I don’t wear much. That’s not to suggest I’m one of those don’t-hate-me-because-I’m-beautiful specimens who doesn’t need makeup and women universally hate. It’s just that my philosophy regarding makeup falls into the category of less is more.
I haven’t always gone sans makeup. In fact, I only stopped wearing it about ten years ago. When I was in my early 40’s it occurred to me that the reason I’d started wearing makeup in the first place, as a teenager, was to look older. Hellloooo? It’s true. Young women wear makeup to look mature and sophisticated so why do (ahem) mature women ascribe to the belief that makeup will somehow suddenly make them look younger? It doesn’t make sense. So I stopped wearing it…BAM… just like that.
I know not all mature women wear makeup to look younger. Many wear makeup to accentuate their best features and enhance natural beauty. Blah. Blah. Blah. I’m going to let you in on a secret. After a certain age, makeup makes you look worse. Period. No matter how much you spend on it and what you do with it, you look worse. Much worse. Even the best (most expensive) makeup, properly applied with one of those fancy-schmancy triangle-shaped sponges, settles into your aging skin’s fine lines and creases, which makes you look even more wrinkly than you actually are. You not only look older, you look worse. It’s rather frightening, especially when you’ve gotten used to how you look sans makeup.
So here’s my problem. I don’t like wearing makeup, but I’m about to become a competitive rhythm dancer (68 days till my first competition) so I need to get used to wearing it. A lot of it. And when I say a lot of it I mean four times the amount of makeup any sane and rational person perceives as way, way, way too much for a hooker. Apparently, more is more on the dance floor.
A few weeks ago, I wore what I considered to be in the category of more is more makeup to the studio for dance practice. I didn’t say anything at first. My coach didn’t even notice. I hardly recognized myself when I passed the mirrors, yet no one in the studio noticed. I’m not kidding. Finally, half way through the session, I broke the silence.
“Newell, I can’t believe you didn’t notice I’m wearing makeup.”
“You are? Oh, yeah. You are.”
“Whaddya think? Is this enough for competition?”
“Not even close.”
Back to the drawing board.
Yesterday, I had a consultation with a professional makeup person. I’m telling you, I’ve seen artists slap less paint on canvas than that makeup consultant put on my face. She started with two primers. Yes. Two. Primers. A special one to prep my eyelids and one to prep the rest of my face. She let that dry for a few minutes and then she applied three additional (different) colors of eyeshadow, eyeliner, concealer, foundation, setting powder, blush, bronzer, lips gloss, false eyelashes AND mascara. Phew. The whole process took an hour an a half. I swear my head was a pound heavier and I looked worse. Much worse.
I went directly to the studio for dance practice. I didn’t say anything, but this time my coach noticed immediately.
“WOW! That’s an upgrade!” He exclaimed. (Remember, Newell is 23.)
“Seriously, Newell?! SERIOUSLY? You did not just say this is an UPGRADE,” pointing at my face.
My coach thought it was an “upgrade,” but I felt like this.
Apparently, more is more on the dance floor.
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