Color Between the Lines

April 1, 2012 | By More

“No one has purple eye lids. Well, I guess if you had a black-eye, your eyelids could be purple ”

This is the conversation I was having with myself as I put on my makeup. I don’t actually talk out loud – well most of the time I don’t talk out loud – I just think about things. And I have just spent the entire 10 -15 minutes I have been putting on makeup thinking about – you guessed it – makeup.

It just seemed weird to me that, at 48-years-of-age, I was putting the color purple on my eyelids. Three different colors of purple to be exact.

I kept thinking to myself, “This is not natural. No one has purple eye lids.” I would say it was a deeply self-reflective experience, but actually I just kept thinking, “I am coloring my face!”

It seemed absurd – men don’t color their faces. Now, do not jump to any conclusions. I am not giving up makeup. I know, there a few of you who have seen me lately out in public with no makeup on, but that is due to laziness, not maturity or self-confidence. I do, however, want to take a few moments and contemplate further how peculiar it is to “color” our faces.

Am I the only one who thinks of these things? Does anyone else out there give this kind of stuff any thought? I mean really, let’s think about this.

We see women with green eyelids. We see women with black all around the rim of their eyes. We see women with hot pink lips. None of this is natural! And yet, we don’t blink an eye. As a matter of fact we often think, “That looks awesome.”

How did we get this way? Oh, yes I know there are anthropological studies and psychological studies that could answer some of these questions, but do I really want an answer.

No! This is strictly a skin-deep inquisition. (Yes, pun intended.) It is just amusing to think of how bizarre it is that we like to apply all these pretty colors to our face.

Getting new makeup is often like getting that new box of crayons when we were little girls. Hey, if you think about it, coloring with makeup gives a whole new meaning to “staying within the lines.”

And if your makeup drawer is anything like mine, it also looks like we don’t want to throw away any of our broken crayons. Time to ask yourself,“How old is this eye shadow?” Yes, you should throw it out.

My first memory of makeup involves my Great Aunt Lola Clevenger’s pot of rouge. I was probably four years old when I was allowed to play with applying this tricky pigment to my face.

I was stylish enough, even at that age, to know I was not doing a good job with my application. I looked like a clown and I didn’t like it. I wanted my makeup to look good, so Auntie took the time to show me how to apply it lightly and correctly. I have been in love with makeup ever since.

And considering that I came of age in the late 1970’s and early 80’s I would say I hit the makeup boom – big hair and big makeup were the thing.

When I was in high school I wouldn’t walk out to the mailbox without my makeup applied to the hilt. Now, that was due to a lack of maturity and self-confidence.

I can remember a specific incident that occurred during my senior year of high school. Any anthropologist or psychologist could have included this in their studies of human reactions to face painting.

I had been working as a volunteer at a Special Olympics event. We were going to be working the track and field events all day in the hot Florida sun, so I had not applied anymakeup,justsuntanlotion.Imetanother volunteer that day named Rob. We hit it off and he asked me out for that very night.

When he showed up at my house, I was in full regalia: big hair and makeup. I walked into the living room where he was visiting with my parents and he audibly gasped. He then said, “Wow, you are gorgeous.”

It was like he had never seen me before, as if, someone had set him up on a blind date. See, that is the magic of makeup and big hair done right.It may not be the natural but,the men of our species can be beguiled by it.

Now ladies, we all know that at 48 years of age I am not wearing makeup to beguile my man or any man for that matter. I am wearing it to make sure the rest of you women don’t think I am “letting myself go.” And besides that, I have always liked “coloring,” and this way, I can keep right on trying to stay within the lines.

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Category: Every Day Life

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