Friend of mine just vowed that she would toss one beauty product a week until she had pared things down to a reasonable level. She realized things were out of hand when she found herself lugging a duffle-bag of goo and potions to her boyfriend’s house for the weekend. The impression I got was that she figured she could get it down to basic makeup in six or seven months.
I got rid of mine all at once, when the stars were aligned. It was a narrow window between adolescence and the workaday world, and there was an acceptable subset of my hippie tribe that went for the natural look. In this group, one was held only to the beauty standards of a haystack: cultivate an earthy kind of attractiveness and try to hold it together without slumping into the mud. I couldn’t really afford the products anyway and sensed an opportunity to divest when I went to college, where nobody had seen me made-up. I wasn’t really pulling it off, anyway. Even applying mascara is problematic when you weren’t born with enough scaffolding for it. There is a danger, of course, in going the inner-beauty route; everyone can tell you’re cheaping out. On the other hand, if you just don’t wear any makeup at all, you can wake up with the comfortable knowledge that that’s the worst you’re going to look all day.
I was at an age where everyone was pretty good-looking anyway, not that many of us realized it, until we saw the photos forty years later and went “huh. Damn.” No, we thought we could probably be improved on, and many of us succumbed to commercial pressures. I did too. There was a shampoo called “Protein 21” that promised to heal split ends. I had split ends. It fit with the haystack motif, but I didn’t like it. I thought if Protein 21 could heal my split ends, I could achieve my hippie dream of having hair so long I stepped on it. Protein 21 did not heal split ends. I never got my hair past the stage where you have to be careful wiping your butt. Really, looking back, that’s probably about four inches too long anyway. But one doesn’t think that way when one is young. One has one’s ideals, and inconvenience is not a consideraton. There’s another shampoo out today that also promises to glue split ends back together. I never tried it, but I know it doesn’t work.
None of that shit works. None of the things that are supposed to erase wrinkles, restore a youthful complexion, or mask flaws works. Andie MacDowell is somewhere north of fifty and she advertises some kind of anti-aging goo that (apparently) causes a fairy to make you go out of focus, like a permanent hovering photo-editor.
I know this shit doesn’t work because my contemporaries have bought all of it and they all look their
age, only with polished, greasy faces and dry, orangey hair. It should have worked on some of them if there was anything to it.
I’m real comfortable without makeup or hair products. Because I’m a terrible liar. I don’t like to present myself as something I won’t be able to maintain. Oh, sure, when you first meet someone you’d like to impress, you reveal yourself selectively. You don’t necessarily volunteer that when you were in fifth grade you fantasized getting graded on a sheet of collected boogers like an S&H Green Stamp book. Or that you’d have gotten an A. You might even make an effort to angle your chin in such a way that your neck doesn’t look like a stack of muffins. But at some point, if all goes well, you’ll start to have a genuinely good time and all will be exposed. You’ll snort and fart and whoever you’re trying to impress will either stick around or they won’t. It’s better that way.
It’s also cheaper. Because I present myself with just what God gave me and subsequently got all stretched out, I can afford really good beer. I believe beer keeps me youthful. If you drink enough beer, you can look immature as hell.
Happy 2014, Murr!
I have a small bag of makeup that I dig out for special occasions, such as weddings. I rarely use any of it, even then, which is why the eyebrow pencil has lasted me since the 1970s.
Wow Murr you look great with the bag!
Maybe you could get in the beauty bags-crara business… and if you had a men line, I would be really interest, I could use some improvements 🙂
Happy new year!
The Men's Bag Line is exactly the same, only with a unibrow. And happy new year to you, too, Susannah!
If you drink enough beer everything looks better. Happy New year Murr.
It's why all my friends are beautiful.
Once upon a time I also used eye makeup, but it always ended up under my eyes, making a very good raccoon imitation. It's better this way. Are you selling those paper bags? 🙂
Not to you, gorgeous!
giggle fit.. Reading your post started my day and 2014 off, just right~!
Don't stop there. More to come. It's going to be a good year.
People are lucky if I shave once a week. For this last week I have managed to shave almost daily, but the main reason is I don't want the airport security to think I am a terrorist. But at least I discovered Folger's Vanilla Biscotti coffee while not actuaLLy making it quite to the Gulf of Mexico.
I have a new dark hair in the middle of my upper lip that I am considering evicting. Only considering, mind you.
When I was in high school we bought lipstick in tiny tubes that looked like miniature bullets. I began college in 1961 and became an instant hippie; grew my hair and dumped the lipstick. Except for the hair (long is too much trouble), I've never changed.
I remember those teeny tubes! You know, I don't think I tried lipstick even once in my life.
Yep, I ditched the makeup after high school, too. Think of all the extra money we saved for beer! And beer looks just as good as it ever did…
And tastes much, much better. We are blessed with it here.
A local-ish musician, full of mirth and girth, quips during performances that he has found a product that can remove wrinkles: Krispy Kreme donuts!
As an aside, I can be a donor for your eyebrow transplant, as long as you don't mind them looking like Santa Claus's.
Hair is going away all over my body. It's weird. Am I regressing?
I never heard the Krispy Kreme line but I've had the very same thought.
I never wore makeup, even in high school. All of that stuff makes my skin itchy and blotchy, my eyes tear up, and my lips suffocate. I knew of a girl in university who got up at an ungodly hour every day to put her face on; even her 24-hour boyfriend had never seen her without it. Seems like a huge double-standard and way too much stress 🙂
Plus, when you wear makeup and then suddenly don't, you look so crappy. If you start out crappy, no one notices.
I will probably toss the makeup the day I look in the mirror and I don't see my mother AND my grandmother. Even so, I love the days when I don't need to be seen in public.
Adjust the lighting. There was one particular time of morning that the sun slants in at just an angle that Grandma shows up. So I started getting up later.
I don't have much maintenance gear but I do rely on make-up to make me look alive and awake. It works … a little.
Have you tried just propping your eyelids apart with Q-Tips?
No makeup here. I gave it up when I realised just how painful ramming the mascara brush into my eyes on a daily basis was.
Shampoo and conditioner. Sun protection. Moisturiser when I remember (not often enough on the last two).
Love your images. As always.
I should do the sun protection, but god I hate that slimy stuff. I do it when I think of it.
Slimy? Try a cream instead of a lotion, it's only shiny for a minute or so after applying, then you can't see it. Your skin will thank you 15 years from now.
Got a brand name for me? I'll try it. And the heck with 15 years from now. Did you happen to catch my post about Efudex treatment from last year? Here it is. And then the second part is here.
Banana Boat. The front label on the squirt bottle reads Banana Boat Sport very high protection sunscreen SPF 30+ Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection Sweat Resistant 4 hour water resistant non-greasy lotion. Bottle is orange, pump top is blue.
It says lotion, but it's quite thick so I call it a cream. I'll go and read the Efudex story now.
Gosh that stuff looks nasty! Little volcanic eruptions all over your face! I'll have to google actinic keratosis. Are they the same as what doctors out here call age spots I wonder? Many people over the age of 60 have small brown or pink spots appearing, my daughter had a few on her chest at 30+, went to her doctor who just laughed at her saying they were age spots and if she went to visit anyone in an old age nursing home she'd see that everyone has them.
I'm back from google and I've seen images of actinic keratoses. I'm so glad now that I've been wearing sunscreen for the last 30 years and hats for the last 15. I do sometimes forget to sunscreen my chest where the tshirt makes a V, from now on I will NEVER forget.
Uh, I noticed a hand on the bag ladies booby!! LOL
I never liked wearing make-up but did as a youth as my mom had me doing modeling, tho I felt I was too skinny to be a model. I hated posing on vehicles and around pools and such, so my mom's dream fell by the wayside once I turned 18. Now, I have always had very thin eyebrows and used to draw hairs on to fill them in. Now I just wear bangs to hide the fact.
"Too skinny to be a model?" You trying to get shot, here?
There are days when I think if I could get my downturned mouth corners plumped up, life would be perfect. Makeup consists of some drawn-on brows (I, too, am compromised); a little eyeshadow, and eyeliner if I'm really feeling the need. That's it. No spackle, though Lord knows I could use it. My makeup kit is the size of a pack of cigs. As you say, what's the point? We all look our age, spackle or no.
Hey, remember the Girl With A Pearl Earring and, for heaven's sake, Mona Lisa? Not an eyebrow in sight. Let's bring that back and rock it.
No makeup here, either. For a brief period I tried but being blind in one eye hampers things- invariably I would stab myself with mascara or smear blue shadow out to my right earlobe. You're pretty cute as is and not much at all like a haystack.
Nicest compliment I've gotten all year.
Lipstick and eyebrow pencil for special occasions have served me for oh……50 years or so. I gave up other makeup when I was 22 because it was just too much trouble and I never took it up again due to the expense. I am content with myself. I look old, spotty, wrinkled and crepe-skinned, but with makeup, only the spots would go away – so why bother?
I figure ultimately the spots will run together and everything will look just fine.
Is Dave seven feet tall? Or is he standing on a coffee table?
Anyway…I make do without makeup too, I've been blessed with reasonably good genes, so I don't look too bad for 61 although I do have more chin and tummy than I'd like. I should probably eat less. I do own some makeup, a mascara, eyeliner pencil, eyebrow pencil a lipstick, I don't recall when I used any of them last, I should probably toss them. I find the best thing I use on a daily basis is moisturiser and sunscreen.
Dave is 6'5", and I am over a foot shorter. And, before anyone else has a chance to say it, I have a flat spot on my head he can rest his beer on.
my theory is that if you don't try to pull off makeup by 8th grade, you're not ever GOING to pull it off. the most I've been ever to manage is a bit of mascara. and I agree about the last four inches.
And I couldn't manage to sneak on makeup in eighth grade. Not in our house.
Chapstick does it for me, too. Never got into it and figure I have saved thousands of dollars. Spent it all on good fun but that's what I wanted to do with it. Love all the natural women who read you, Murr, I feel among kindred souls here.
You are, my dear, you are!
I paint for "occasions." Mostly I do the eyes, powder blush the apples of my cheeks, then eat off my lipstick in about ten minutes and look decidedly peculiar for the rest of the evening. Have considered having eyebrows tattooed on, but know that as soon as I go through with it, the NoEyebrows look will become de-riguer and I'll be screwed.
Which is the whole point…right?
I thought you were going to write about Andy Rooney eyebrows, which have indeed found my face as the years have gone by.Two friends have evidently plucked away the mess and now draw in their eyebrows; they look very neat. I've thought about it but have decided I don't have the talent or the time. A transplant is my only option, and I was hoping you knew of a cheap surgeon. Alas, you don't, so I'll just stay with what I've got.
If you really have Andy Rooney eyebrows, you might think about crocheting them in place. Just to neaten them up.
Careful, now, about going for that "immature" look.
I go for what's easiest.
I like the natural look. Eventually, that is what is left anyway. Is Dave's left hand where I think it is and is that why he is smiling?
Could be. Could be gas.
My wife uses makeup and looks damn good…makes me proud. I get a hair cut maybe three or four time a year when she insist – and I trim my beard on the same schedule. I never farted until I was forty (at least that is what I tell my wife) but now make up for it…Hell i'm old so I have a licence. Old covers a lot of shortcomings.
I am a rogue. I fart without a license.
Oh Murr, you don't need makeup; it would only mask your cuteness!
Plus makeup is the biggest scam of the last two centuries. There should be a laws against false advertising and against cruelty to animals. Wait … we have those laws! Why does the cosmetic industry get away with breaking these laws?
Plus, good beer is good.
As long as the cosmetic industry is torturing rabbits anyway, couldn't they pluck us some nice soft eyebrows?
Loving this one because it's all pretty right on. I also gave up makeup in my first term of college, and cut my hair short to get rid of damage from the perm my mother had insisted I maintain since 7th grade. Now I sometimes perk up with a bit od red lipstick
You look good in red lipstick. I look like I'm trying to pull off something and not succeeding.
I don't wear make-up but I could do with a large tub of idiocy-concealer.
Bring on the spackling-knife!
I used Protein 21 back in the day. And you are correct – it did not repair split ends. My eyebrows are clear. They are there, you just can't see them!
If only my chins were clear.
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My mother-in-law needs to cut back on her makeup layout, too. She applies it with an offset spatula at this point.
She also suffers from common affliction – they get used to perfume/cologne when they're young and their sense of smell is stronger, and as they get older, they apply more, until it smells like they think it used to.
At this point, I think she just pours it over her head.
Oh man. Big pet peeve here. Leaf blowers, number one–followed by Fragrance, deliberately applied.
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