Woman to Women
Made-up to Order
Making yourself up with mom-knows-best advice
By: Gina Anderson
Why is it that Mom always seems to know best? Even years later, you can hear her mantras ringing in your ears:
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” she suggested when the guy who was known for flawless animal dissection in science class asked you to junior prom, and showed up with a green-carnation corsage.
“You play, you pay,” she stated matter-of-factly as she drove your harshly hungover hiney to work after you threw back five too many during your first summer home from college.
And “don’t try and be someone you’re not,” she has said time and again, and meant it.
These words from mom made a mass exodus from my mind as I walked into one of my favorite indulgences recently, Sephora, to shop for the stuff that actually helps you feel like someone else – makeup. After all, who needs sound advice when you have aisles of candy-colored eye shadows, overeager salespeople and the hope of finding a foundation looming in the Stila section to perfectly match your skin tone? Not me, and especially not when I met IT.
I’m not a believer in love at first sight, but I am in love at first brush. Maybe it was the highly researched and marketed packaging (made to attract the fancy of a female just my age), or maybe it was simply fate, but the Fiberwig mascara had me at hello.
Our relationship was safe, though, because Fiberwig lived up to my wildest fantasies. But I couldn’t shake the feeling – is this what it’s come to, a $22 mascara complete with a how-to DVD, to make me feel good about myself? What would my mom say?
She would probably say spending $22 on something you could get for $7 was a little over the top (a point well taken), but that I’d earned that money and am smart enough to make choices on how to spend it. Then she’d probably ask me where I got it, so she could buy it too.
We sometimes take on almost all-consuming careers, battle the fields of romantic relationships and spend the better part of our adult years raising kids – all the while trying to remain true to who we are. And while neither my mom nor I have anything against a gal putting on her face (I had to put concealer on just to write this … in my pajamas) she’d say, and once again mean it, that the woman makes the woman, not the makeup, and the only thing that makes you something you’re not is you. And no DVD or tube of mascara can teach you that.