Men get up in the morning, go to the bathroom, shave (if we’re lucky), comb their hair (if we’re lucky), put jeans and shirt on over the underwear they slept in, or clean ones (if we’re lucky), and wallah — they’re ready to go.
Women, while their husbands are sitting at the breakfast table reading the morning paper, go to the bathroom, brush their teeth, shower, blow-dry and fluff-out or straighten their hair, then start beautifying their faces with layers of makeup. We cleanse with astringent, apply cream/lotion; base makeup; cover-up stick on bags under eyes, little red blemishes, and old-age spots; and brush on a thin layer of powder and blush.
Now it’s time to start decorating the eyes. If I didn’t do this, you would not know I had any. I apply a little color on the lid; darker color above; thin layer of eye-liner; then two layers of mascara. Oh, and don’t forget the eyebrow fill-in.
Finally, I can decide what to put on for the day — over clean underwear. And, certain outfits call for certain accessories. Sometimes things don’t work out so well and I have to switch up on everything. By this time, husband Jerry is standing impatiently waiting for me to finish so we can walk out the door — slightly late.
Throughout my high school days, I used soap and water on my face, threw on some clothes, and left the house quite comforted that I had done all that was necessary to be presentable. You know, kind of like the men do. Being blessed with a clear complexion throughout puberty, making-up wasn’t something I had to do. But, I have to admit, my occasional zit was quite outstanding.
Other than lipstick, it wasn’t until after I got married that I gradually started applying makeup. First it was base, then a little powder, which called for a little cheek color. I have always strived for the natural beauty vs. made-up look, but then I noticed how other women looked pretty cool with their blue or green eye shadow — why not?
This, of course, cried for a very thin line of eye-liner, which screamed for a coat or two of mascara. From that time on, I have spent many hours attempting to overcome my “plain Jane” image. To the generation before us, only “women of the night” or television celebrities wore all that “stuff.”
Fast forward 57 years to the present. Age has taken its toll. Trust me, the anti-aging creams are a waste of money, and I am finding it takes more time to cover up the old-age spots and bags under my eyes. I go through cover-up sticks faster than I go through a latte at the coffee shop.
One day while, again, sitting in front of my makeup mirror, I couldn’t help but think of the many hours and dollars I have spent in an attempt to look like J Lo. So far, it hasn’t worked — but I’m watching very closely for her age spots to show up.
So I’m thinking … Why do you put yourself through this? You’re an old woman, why don’t you just give it up, quit with the making up, and save a lot of time and money?
Hey, I caught Jerry while not wearing makeup, so I’m pretty confident I could keep him without. But, in taking a poll on “makeup vs. no makeup,” I couldn’t leave out the most important opinion of all.
“Jerry, what would you think about my giving up makeup and going plain? It would save a lot of time and money.”
I really thought mentioning the monetary savings would assure a positive reply.
“No!” was his adamant answer.
Well — he is the one who lives with the “before” and is willing to pay for the “after.” And I have to admit, there is a certain something in me (I think they call it vanity) that stops me from plunging back into my pre-marriage, pre-old-age, no cover-up method.
So I’m still in front of the mirror applying my glowing complexion, and I have just rejoined the water-exercise class in an attempt to get the body back in shape.
Move over, J Lo, here I come!
Don’t forget to F-R-O-G.
Note to readers: Earlene Campbell lives by the FROG motto — Fully Rely On God. She lives in Princeton and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.