I can't pin down an exact moment when I decided I had to start wearing makeup again. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking I looked worn. Tired. Older than my (at the time) 29 years. I knew it was time.
I pulled out the eyeliner, the eye shadow, the brushes. I am a makeup-wearing mom again, and I won't look back. But this has nothing to do with looking pretty.
I know, I just said I looked old and tired. But I'm one of those women who will never really be happy with her looks, and a little makeup isn't going to change that.
This decision goes much deeper. Because when I really evaluated myself in the mirror, I realized it wasn't the lack of makeup on my face that made me look tired, made me look old.
It was the time I was spending on everyone in my life but me. Carefully brushing out my daughter's hair before school in the morning only to walk out of the house in the same hoodie I'd pulled on when I climbed out of bed. Rolling a lint brush over the back of my husband's coat to remove the dog hair before we went somewhere only to pull on the same parka with the rip in the pocket that I've worn for years.
I was neglecting myself. Maybe not in the basics -- I still showered and brushed my teeth folks (!) -- but by failing to give myself a little pampering.
That's what makeup is to me. It's my me time.
It's five whole minutes in front of the mirror that is all about me. It's a time when I'm not multi-tasking (have you tried yelling an answer to your child while putting on liquid liner? It's not pretty). It's a time when I'm leaving other people in my house up to their own devices, putting the onus for taking care of themselves on them.
It's not long -- I've never known much about makeup, so I do only what I've cobbled together from an old Mary Kay party and the time my friend Sunny convinced me to sit down in Sephora to have my eyes done. But in the spirit of truly doing something for me, frugal old me has even abandoned drugstore cosmetics in favor of the sorts of pretty things I've always craved: Smashbox eye shadows and Stila eyeliner.
At the end of it, I may not look much different. It's just a little bit around the eyes. But I feel different. I feel like a woman who cares about herself, who has done something just for her. That's what makeup is for me.
Do you take the time to put on makeup? What does it do for you?
Image by Jeanne Sager