By Fiona Tapp
Today is “No Makeup Day.” Makeup, what’s makeup? Almost every day is No Makeup Day for me.
When I was nine, a teacher’s assistant gifted me a pale pink shimmery lipstick for Christmas and I took to wearing it every day. It was sheer and after a glug of my favorite Sunny D, it was all but gone. Yet it drove my Dad crazy, after enduring it all week, he announced just before Christmas that I was too young for lipstick and could not wear it at all in the new year. I was distraught.
My next foray into the land of the painted faces wasn’t until I turned 14 and decided that black eyeliner, applied only to the inner rim of the bottom eye, was the look of the season. I routinely poked myself in the eye and turned the iris a watery shade of black on application, but this did not deter me.
As I grew older, my friends and I seemed to embrace a similar look, modeling ourselves after Gwen Stefani and Bjork. We sported mini buns meticulously tied all over the top of our heads, bold lips outlined in a darker shade, shimmery silver and white eyeshadow, and the signature bindi which we would purchase from the Indian market stall and apply carefully to the center of our foreheads with eyelash glue.
The only hiccup in my teenage love affair with cosmetics occurred just before high school graduation. I was a vegetarian and militant animal rights activist and discovered with horror that my favorite product contained “bovine amniotic fluid.” (!) It was too much to bear, and I threw it out and gave away a caboodle full of products. Another off-putting incident involved my best friend and I gluing ourselves to each other by the fingertips while trying to apply acrylic nails; we had to wait for my dad to drive to the drugstore and buy non-acetone nail polish remover to unbind us.
These experiences left me with a preference for the natural look, except for a brief stint as an amateur burlesque dancer. Copious amounts of makeup were required, including one routine’s finale when we were doused with glitter from above – and believe me, glitter gets everywhere.
When I had a baby, my already minimal makeup routine took a bit of a nosedive. As any new mother will tell you, surviving is paramount during those first few crazy months, and makeup – even brushing your hair – becomes a bit of an unnecessary luxury. As my child has grown into a rambunctious toddler, getting ready in the morning has become even more of a farce. He often tries to “help” me get ready. This usually includes rummaging through my scarce cosmetic bag and using the contents to decorate the bathroom shelves and floor, combing the backs of my legs as I try to floss, and generally getting in the way and being annoying. My morning grooming includes: brushing my teeth and hair, hurriedly rubbing in moisturizer and maybe applying a slick of lipstick, if there’s time.
On rare date nights, I get out all my long forgotten make up brushes and any makeup I have been given as Christmas presents and set to work. When I am finished, I usually realize in my excitement I have gone a little overboard and the false eyelashes and glitter eyeliner are a bit too much for me to pull off. I find myself taking a baby wipe, cleaning it all off, and starting again.
But I suppose that’s the point, after all, makeup’s not permanent. Have fun with it, try out a new style, a new color, even a crazy look, and then just wash it all away.
Fiona is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. The views and opinions expressed in Contributing Writer articles reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the site.
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