Kiss And Make Up

When I turned 39, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish by the time I was 40. Signs Of True Adulthood. Number one on that list was to acquire and learn to apply makeup – somehow I missed that step as a 16-year-old.

I did manage to get some makeup (thanks to MyFriendJen and FameThrowa), and I even learned mostly how to apply it (again thanks to MyFriendJen, although eyeliner is still a huge mystery to me). I tried wearing it daily for a few weeks but then I gave it up, because a) I felt like a huge poser, like what am I, a Real Housewife Of Ottawa-Gatineau?, and b) makeup combined with my Mom Uniform of jeans, t-shirt, and ponytail, made me feel like I had earlier today been stood up at the altar. It just didn’t fit the lifestyle.

This past week I had occasion to be at the grocery store on a weekend, something that doesn’t usually happen anymore as I prefer to shop kidless on weekday mornings (child-free grocery shopping = NIRVANA). I had a good look around at the unusually large crowd and saw so many moms there, moms with toddlers in the carts and bigger kids hanging off the sides. They were moms in jeans and t-shirts and ponytails, my people, my kin.

Looking at them made me feel kind of sad, because I could see the smart, interesting, beautiful people they were, but they just looked so tired. And I knew they were seeing exactly the same thing when they looked at me and my three hooligans running wild up and down the aisles. There were awesome people in there, but wearing a Mom Mask that shut out all other interpretations. Some days you just don’t have the energy or the time to do anything for yourself.

I wanted to issue a Call To Arms right then and there, to moms everywhere. You’re gorgeous! Own that Mom Uniform! Do the Superstore Strut! Smile and nod knowingly to other moms, sensing the shared fabulousness! Let the twinkle in your eye be your bling! We’re all Real Housewives on the inside!

So all this is a rather dramatic way to say that I have reclaimed my interest in adding a little cover-up and mascara and lip gloss to my daily routine (thus doubling the number of steps involved, so that’s a pretty major commitment). I deserve to put my best face forward. It’ll probably last three weeks. But the inner fabulousness lives on!

(I’d totally watch The Real Housewives of Ottawa-Gatineau. Wouldn’t you?)

29 thoughts on “Kiss And Make Up

  1. There is a wide range of make up. That is to say that there is make up that you put on that makes you look fabulous BUT looks like you’re not wearing any make up at all. Maybe this is something you can explore (or Jen or I could help you explore).

    Take, for example, mascara.

    Chatty Mom gives me samples she gets for free when she buys her department store products. The one I’m using right now, no matter how minimally I apply it, makes me look like I’m all glammed up. It’s dark, it’s thick, it’s heavy. Sure, it looks great, but it’s not a natural look.

    Whereas my beloved CoverGirl LashBlast Length (not Fusion or Volume – an important distinction), is so “barely there” and is so long wearing, you’d never know I was wearing mascara, but at the same time, it looks great. Next time you need mascara (and you should replace yours every 6 months, even if it’s not empty yet), try this product! Go with Brown or Dark Brown; black is not for you.

    Given your eye shape, I’d skip the eyeliner. Eye shadow would be a better option. For longwearing ease that looks natural, try a cream eye shadow you swipe on with your finger. If you like, I can look for one that might work for you. I use MAC Paint.

    Gloss is an easy one. Pretty much anything you like will do, but I’d go for a gloss or a frost lipstick for you considering your mouth shape. My favourite is L’Oreal’s Infalliable Never Fail Lip Gloss. It’s RIDICULOUS in how it plumps and stays on forever yet is so comfortable. WTF?

    I don’t tend to wear blush, but I actually think it would be a good choice. Again, and easy way to get a blush is with a cream blush instead of a powder.

    Hope that helps, and feel free to ask for help any time!

    1. I got the mascara and it’s nice, I do like the brown. However, I didn’t realize until after I bought it that it is not waterproof. I have very watery eyes so now I’m constantly paranoid about the raccoon effect – plus I rub my eyes a lot and I find non-waterproof wipes off too easily. I’ll give it a good try but I’m thinking a waterproof brand would be better for me – any recommendations?

      As for gloss, I like the one you gave me a lot. No idea what brand it is, but it’s a good colour for me.

  2. I really, really love this post. Own it! Love, love, love. I wear makeup every day. I just always have since…I don’t know. Since I was 12? This is like my real haircolour – I don’t remember what it was, it’s been so long. Anyhoo, one day my son was up all night barfing and I was so tired and I went to drop my other son off at school. I wasn’t wearing makeup and my hair was in a greasy bun, and I had five – FIVE – people ask if I was okay. They thought I was sick because I didn’t have makeup on. That was depressing.

    1. EXACTLY. I am on what, day 4 of makeup wearing, and already when I show my face downstairs in the morning with no makeup, the kids are all, Mom, are you OKAY???? As if I am near death. Needless to say I am feeling my age around here lately.

  3. I don’t wear makeup very often. I like the way I look without any on. When I do wear it, I invariably forget I have it on and rub my eyes. Raccoon is not a good look for me. 🙂

  4. being an ex-punk rock girl, all i ever knew was black eyeliner and red lipstick, and not so delicately put on. the past few years i have been having a lot of fun being a girl and love playing with makeup. i don’t like a lot, but i do love what a little, when applied properly, can do for me. NARS orgasm poweder blush is a must have for everyone by the way. i’m always trying out new mascaras, i will have to try fame throwa’s suggestion.


    1. I’ve never heard of NARS but that’s hardly a surprise. I will look for it but I must say, any blush that has “orgasm” in its name is going make me blush without even applying the makeup. Maybe I just need to take a photo of some in the store, look at it every morning, and voila!, blush. 🙂

  5. I don’t wear much makeup, but I have a Burt’s Bees tinted lip thing that I almost never leave the house without wearing – it makes me feel that tiny bit more put together. I think I do look quite a bit better with mascara, but I rub my eyes a lot too, so I only wear it for special occasions. I usually need a spot or two of cover-up because hello oily skin that makes me not wrinkly but gives me zits at forty-one. NOT the kind of looking younger I’m going for.

    1. Me too, re: zits. The other day I was working on my new avatar and you had the option, when picking a skin tone, to pick one that had zits on it. And Gal Smiley was watching me, and she got all excited, like, “Mom! You can pick one with the red spots just like you have!!”

      AWESOME. Totally not humiliating at all.

  6. You don’t even want to know what I was wearing today. Okay, I’ll tell you. Grey yoga pants with an equally grey t-shirt. That was totally shapeless. We ended up at a play group where everyone looked great, except for me. Must try harder.

    1. Current outfit: jeans and a t-shirt. SHOCKER, I know. The makeup is one thing, but the wardrobe is going to take some MAJOR reprogramming. Not happening until the kids are at least in high school, I wager – I’m going to need them to take me shopping!

  7. I need to leave my yoga pants at home. And dust off the mascara. Maybe some jewellery? I keep telling myself things will look up when school starts 😉

  8. Krista R

    Try Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (my faves are Fig and Papaya) – a bit of shimmer and a bit of colour and best of all, non-toxic and
    non-whore-ish looking. 🙂 I don’t leave the house without it.

  9. Moms and women everywhere: WE MATTER! Get out the gloss and start the superstore strut!
    Have you ever watched “TLC’s What Not To Wear”? Love that show. Stacey and Clinton are so appalled when confronted with sweatpants.

    1. I love that show, too – it inspires me. We watched an episode during the day for the first time ever this past weekend. Now the kids want to know why I don’t go on that show. “You should go on, Mommy! Your clothes could be better!”

      Don’t think I needed *that* kind of inspirational!

  10. This post is very timely for me! I’ve been back to work after maternity leave for 4 weeks now and not ONE day have I worn make up. I can’t, in fact, because there is none here 🙂 I swiped all of it into the garbage can last year as it had been sitting there for too long. I never did wear much – a little concealer and powder, some eye shadow and gloss. That’s it! My contacts prevent me from wearing eye liner and mascara, and that’s probably a good thing!

    I survived my two maternity leaves in yoga pants, tank tops, and a ponytail. No make up, not one time. I always wondered how those Moms at the mall were looking so good.

    I’m going to be 40 next year so I’ve been extra attentive lately to lines and circles under the eyes 🙂 Perhaps its time to invest in a little new make up !!

  11. I don’t leave the house without concealer, blush and mascara… Well, maybe for a run I do. However, yesterday (literally) I decided that I’m going back to full daily make-up. Lynn, we’re doing that parallel life thing again.

  12. nadinethornhill

    Strangely, I’ve become more regimented in my application of makeup since I’ve become a parent. When I first took the streets (and the stores) with my baby, I was hyper-aware of being perceived as a Mom above all else. I’ve never been comfortable with the thought that others define me only in relation to someone else…even when that someone else is my beloved child. Daily make-up has become one of the ways I reminded myself that I’m me first and Mummy (wife, daughter, aunt, etc) second.

    I have a post on my obsession with all things Housewives in the blog-pipe as we speak!

    1. I think I’m just now coming around to this way of thinking. When you’re out and about with a baby, everyone’s attention is always on the kid. I never minded that – it’s where my attention was, too – but just now I am beginning to notice that people are back to looking at me, too. Time to spruce up!

  13. I wear a bit of makeup every day, not because I want to look glam while I walk the dog in the morning but if my face is naked it makes me look super tired. And I don’t want to look tired (even if I am)! Also, I am addicted to lipgloss. There are several stashed in every purse I own.

  14. I didn’t get on the makeup bandwagon until I was 35. Now it’s tinted moisturizer, a little under-eye cover-up, eyeliner and a touch of purple eyeshadow. It takes five minutes, but it’s worth it.

    As one of your commenters said, “Fight the frump.”

    A little bit blitzes the exhaustion away.

    This reminds me of what mom always told me about sweatpants, “Don’t wear them too much or you’ll fill them in.”

  15. What a great post Lynn! I have never worn much makeup and if I did I definately didn’t wear it well. This is not a good thing since I have the stereotypical tired, red-eyed white woman look. I need a make-over!

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