Make Me Up

Maybe it’s the cold. Or the gray days. Or possibly the holiday cheer in the air. Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending more time by myself with the boys and less time with Micah. Or maybe it’s because I had a birthday recently and now I’m feeling old.* Whatever it is, something has got me wondering . . . why don’t I wear mascara? Or maybe eye-shadow? Would it kill me to put a little bit of lip gloss on every now and then? Maybe it would. I haven’t tried it in years.

Seriously, I have worn mascara only a handful of times since Micah and I got married, nearly 6 years ago. And I haven’t really felt the need to put any on until this week. Unfortunately, I tossed the tube of Mary Kay mascara I’ve been holding onto all these years when we moved a few months ago, and now it seems like an almost insurmountable task to get another tube.

Shall I tell you how long it’s been since I wore eyeshadow? I think it was my wedding day. But suddenly I’m examining ads with women’s faces and trying to figure out if that color would look good on me and if I should maybe attempt that look. Or maybe I should settle for getting my sister to teach me how to apply eyeshadow to start with.

And I’m quite certain I’ve never bought anything but lip balm since we’ve been married. Pathetic. Simply pathetic.

When I put it that way, it sounds like I snagged my man and then just let myself go, doesn’t it? Rest assured that I have Micah’s full support in going au naturale (well, except that I never gave up on foundation, of course). He was always a little skeptical of my wearing mascara. (“I don’t think you need it. You already look like you’re wearing it.”) But now I actually do feel like I’m letting myself go. Perhaps I’ve reached the point where I can play the tired/frazzled/hurried mom too convincingly and I should start trying to play the calm/cool/together mom and/or the lady of the house and/or the sexy wife. I’ve already decided that I’m done with the pixie cut because I feel like I blend in too well with the 3 males that I live with, so that’s a start. But I kind of want to jump start my leap into femininity rather than wait for it to slowly grow on me. At least I think I do.

I’m hesitant to go out and stock my makeup bag right away because 1. I’m worried that this is a whim. In another week or two I’ll be past it and not care in the least about wearing makeup. 2. I am kind of overwhelmed by the thought of trying to select the best colors of eyeshadow and lipstick for me and my everyday activities. I could spend an hour in the makeup aisle and get so discouraged that I’d just walk away and say it isn’t worth it.  And 3. I’m slightly afraid that I’m going to find out that I’m just not somebody who can wear makeup. I’ll put it on, look in the mirror, and think, “What am I playing at. I can’t pull this off,” and then I’ll wash it right off.

Advice? Encouragement? Discouragement? Reality checks?

*I don’t feel any older than I did before my birthday, just for the record

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7 Comments

  1. I feel like I’m 2 people. Probably 75% of the time, I don’t wear anything, and then the other 25%, I go all out. It IS a pretty drastic change.

    I’d stay go in steps and see where it feels right for you? Like, I LOVE Burt Bee’s tinted chapsticks. Wouldn’t be a bad place to start with it being cold and wintery anyway?

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    lizzie Reply:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll definitely look for Burt Bee’s when I go out next time.

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  2. AMEN to what Katy said. That’s what I do…
    Plus (I know this sounds silly) but, I made a new year’s resolution to wear some eye liner (a lady told me I had really small eyes). I’ve been doing that and, I think its’ just enough of a difference that I feel like I’ve done something to myself. Don’t wear a ton, if it’s not you. I found that I was just not wanting to spend time on myself. But, when I spend just 5 min. I feel like I look better. (combination lotion-SPF-skin tint, with tinted lip balm and eye liner- DONE!)

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    lizzie Reply:

    Don’t you love those unsolicited comments? I once had a guy ask if I didn’t wear makeup for religious reasons. I actually wasn’t wearing makeup because I was trying to get my skin to clear up using this stuff that make my foundation look clumpy and wrong.

    Thanks for the suggestion . . . I’ll know if I’m spending more than a few minutes, I’m doing it wrong. 🙂

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  3. Hi. I’m related to Ben and Christy and they sent me a link to your blog. I’ve been silently, selfishly blog-stocking you ever since.

    The best mascara in the world, in my opinion, is Covergirl lash blast fusion. It comes in a purple tube. Covergirl’s lash blast length is similar, but thinner if you want something really, really subtle (in a yellow tube).

    If you get a lip gloss that’s tinted, but just about the same color as your own lips, it will give your natural color a little boost without making you look fake.

    I can’t see from your picture what color your eyes are, but a medium brown with a hint of pink, or, if your eyes happen to be blue, a granite grey are pretty good starter colors for eye shadow for most people.

    The truth is, that even if the makeup looks really good on you, you will probably feel like it looks funny the first handful of times because you just aren’t used to seeing yourself that way. I spent years wearing only stud earrings even though I really wanted to wear big, dangly ones because I was convinced that I couldn’t get away with the bigger stuff. When I finally decided to go for it, it was surprising how quickly other people started saying, “Those earrings look so good on you! I wish I could wear big earrings, but I just can’t get away with it.” You can pull off whatever look you want to if you just act like you can.

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    lizzie Reply:

    Thanks for reading! And thanks so much for the specific recommendations. I have brown eyes, so browns and pinks are probably the way to go, I assume? And you are right . . . there is something to be said for just having the confidence to go for it until you own it, like the dangling earrings.

    And I totally understand about the mom brain slip. It’s kind of like in college during finals week. You are so tired, but you are expected to do the best work of the semester during that time. One semester I made the mistake of spelling “dumber” as “dummer” on a final. Yep. It was pretty special. 🙂

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  4. Argh! I just came to the terrible realization that I wrote “blog-stocking.” I promise that I really know the word is “stalk.” Blame it on mommy brain.

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  5. This makes me think of the Full House episode where D.J. and Kimmy leave the house and then put their make-up on all 80’s-like to be like the older high school girls. Then they get caught and Aunt Becky teaches D.J. how to put on her make-up. She teaches her that the best way to wear make-up is to make it look like you aren’t wearing any at all. 🙂 Ha!

    Anyways, I think you have dark enough eyelashes to get away without wearing any mascara. I usually stick to browns and natural colors, as far as eye shadow is concerned, and rarely (read never) wear lip stick of any kind. And only tinted lip gloss to church. 🙂 I do like wearing a blush/bronzer because I feel like it gives my cheeks a little bit of color or definition or something like that. Plus I just feel like I look nicer when I wear it and I think that’s the most important thing, really. So, like the other ladies said, start small. good luck!

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    lizzie Reply:

    I vaguely remember that episode. I assume wearing makeup so that it doesn’t look like you are wearing any is much more difficult than just wearing makeup. 🙂

    Feeling like I look nicer is exactly what I’m going for. So I hope it works out.

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  6. I always say, if you want to wear it (regardless of what it is, makeup, clothes, etc), just make the decision to do it, then do it, and own it. Once you decide to do it, the it becomes what you do. You make the decisions. But if you try it and YOU don’t like it, then forget it. Just decide one way or the other (or make your decision day by day, you can change your mind when you want to) then own that decision. Its what I do. Hope that helps….and makes sense, I reread what I wrote, and I am not sure if I understand….

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    lizzie Reply:

    Oh Shiloh. Will you teach me how to own it? How do I know if I’m owning it or being owned by it? Every now and then I think that I just need to be bold and confident and pretend that I have no idea if what I’m wearing breaks all the rules of fashion or whatever, but then I retreat back into my comfort zone and continue to be the same old me.

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  7. i’m just reading this (somehow i missed it back when you wrote it?) from the link in a more recent post–anyway, i can’t believe you really never wear makeup. you don’t look frumpy, take that from someone who has never seen you in real life and has no reason to lie about it! 🙂 i am a pretty low-maintenance makeup wearer myself, but i put on mascara and even eyeliner (in less than a minute) every day. even when i’m just at home. i think if i suddenly stopped i would have a serious self-esteem crash.

    this comment is totally pointless, except to say you look like you’re wearing very tasteful makeup anyway, so go you! and like shiloh said, if you want to do it, just do it. i, too, have a disbelief in the phrase “i can’t pull that off.” if you want to, you can.

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    lizzie Reply:

    Thanks, Melissa. I think if we ever meet and you see the havoc the teenage years wreaked on my complexion, you might see what I mean. 🙂

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