Thursday, June 22, 2006

What I'm Doing with My Summer Vacation

This is how bored I was yesterday:

I put on eyeshadow.

Yeah, that's right, and mascara too.

There was no particular reason, except that I had time to put it on and wouldn't see anyone who would notice this deviation from my standard routine.

I can't remember the last time I wore mascara--I think maybe I put some on for some occasion during the 2004-2005 school year but I can't be sure. I've never been someone who had to wear makeup every day, but I wore mascara, eyeliner and lipstick more days than not throughout my mid 20s. Some days I got pretty dolled up: along about 1987, after all, even guys wore makeup, and almost no one went for the natural look--what was the point? You could get teal mascara and lavender eyeliner, both of which look fabulous with a mullet. Fine freakish fun for everyone!

And then I got a job where I had to be up early each morning and didn't give a shit about impressing anyone, and I got out of the habit of coating my eyelashes with what is basically the same stuff used to pave streets. And I sorta discovered I liked not having to remove the crud every night before I went to bed. Lipstick was still fine, because it just wears off normally in the course of the day. But I couldn't be bothered with the other stuff.

Then I started a PhD program in English. PhD programs in the humanities are places were few people wear makeup. Plus it was the joyless 90s--was there a "look" to the 90s? I'm sure I couldn't identify one, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Anyway, there came a point when I realized that since I never wore eyeshadow, I should just throw it away--after all, every last fashion magazine insists you can give yourself a horrible infection if you use mascara that's more than six months old, because tight enclosed tubes are perfect breeding grounds for all kinds of icky bacteria: "Applying synthetic chemical concoctions to the most sensitive areas of your body is all fine and good, girls, until someone loses an eye!"

And for, oh, six or seven years, I didn't even own mascara.

And then two years ago I got a really good haircut and realized that looking pretty doesn't suck. And I went out and bought two tubes of mascara: fancy black waterproof something or other and that dependable cosmetic workhorse, Maybelline Great Lash in royal blue. (Yeah, so I still like blue mascara. It matches my eyes. So sue me.) I stroked the stuff onto my eyelashes about four times and forgot about it.

Until yesterday. I was trying to find the right shade of lipstick to match the red dress I was wearing, which necessitated pawing through all my makeup. And there was the poor, neglected tube of Aren't My Lashes Sexy. Realizing that I risk disfigurement by using old mascara, I still figured, What the hell.

And it looked fine. So I thought a little eyeliner wouldn't kill me, either. And then there seemed no reason not to use some eyeshadow, too.

I sorta like the idea of wearing makeup on special occasions, but I don't like how wearing makeup only occasionally announces that an occasion is special. Perhaps this is because people comment on makeup in ways they don't comment on clothes or hair. I really like getting way overdressed. And when I do, people might tell me I look nice, but they don't generally seem surprised, or seem like I don't know that I look better in some fabulous dress, stockings and nice heels than I do in mismatched sports socks and a housedress with juice stains down the front. When I walk into a party wearing party clothes, no one ever says, "Wow, you clean up well! You should wear expensive cocktail dresses and impossibly uncomfortable but still highly flattering shoes more often." But this does not hold true for makeup: Someone generally feels obligated to say, "Wow, don't you look glamorous! You know, you should wear makeup more often. Your eyes are much more dramatic with a little liner around them."

I mean, what am I supposed to say in response to that? Do these people think I'm too stupid to realize that there's a difference in the "before and after" moments of my own personal makeup application? Are they too tactful to say "You look ugly without makeup," or too tactless to care just how inappropriate it is to give unsolicited advice on personal grooming to adult women?

Frankengirl raises this issue with regards to weight, the way people just feel entitled to issue dictums on your appearance. The thing is, I hate unsolicited advice in generally, but I especially hate it when it comes to personal grooming. OK, there are some times when even I feel obligated to say something, like the time one of my friends strolled out of the bathroom in a bar with toilet paper dangling like a tail from the waistband of her jeans, walked up to the jukebox, presented her backside to the view of the entire bar, and started leisurely searching for songs she might enjoy. But actually I would tell a complete stranger if she had toilet paper hanging out of her pants, because however mortifying it is to be told that, it's better than finding it out all by yourself at the end of a long day.

Anyway. Makeup. Boredom. Yeah, highlighting my brow bone helped relieve the boredom yesterday, so I did it again today. And then, this afternoon, I did something I haven't done for 15 years: I bought a swimsuit. I rarely buy swimsuits because I rarely swim; I'm not good at it, I am mildly scared of water deep enough to cover my head, and the chlorine is bad for my hair. Still, even sitting in a jacuzzi (at which I am naturally adept and not the least bit frightened) will wear a swimsuit out after a decade and a half. But now I've got a stylin' new suit, so I just need to remember to pack it next time I'm heading out to a hotel with a hot tub and pool. I guess the same goes for my eye makeup, which I didn't even bring with me on my recent holiday and cruise.

16 Comments:

Blogger Reese said...

I love make-up. Jeez, I just spent 60 bucks on make-up at the drug store last night. But the problem is that, when you wear it every day, what do you do when you want to look special? Oh, right, more make-up!

6:39 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

But what are you wearing right now? I'm trying not to picture Diane Ladd in Wild At Heart. And I'm trying to be funny.

People at my workplace enjoy commenting on everyone else's weight, appearance and anything else that seems worthy. It's very annoying unless it's me doing it.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Bored Dominatrix said...

when you wear it every day, what do you do when you want to look special? Oh, right, more make-up!

This is the trap I'm trying to avoid, Reese.

The same goes for clothes, after all: what do you do to be special when you wear them every day?

But what are you wearing right now?

Right now I'm wearing a fresh pedicure and a simple white dress mercifully free of stains, and that's it, Dale.

I've never seen Wild at Heart, so I don't know if the comparison is apt. I like to be comfortable and that can lend itself to frumpiness, which I'm trying to avoid these days. I like black a lot--another influence of the 1980s. Once in end-of-semester comments, a student complained that I "dressed like a witch." Personally I would characterize my "I had fun getting dressed today" style as, say, a cross between Juliet Binoche in Chocolat (click on the link for a review of the clothes) and Cate Blanchett in Lord of the Rings, with a touch of the collective costume and makeup design of Lawrence of Arabia thrown in: I like diaphanous skirts, spiky heels and big hair, but these days I just can't convince myself to wear as much eyeliner as Peter O'Toole and Omar Shariff do in LoA.

Oh, and I have an outfit I call my Joan of Arc outfit, because it looks sort of like chain mail with a tunic over it. It's hard to describe, but if you saw it, you'd get it.

People at my workplace enjoy commenting on everyone else's weight, appearance and anything else that seems worthy. It's very annoying unless it's me doing it.

I don't mind comments like, "Did you lose weight? You like FABULOUS!" I do mind comments like "Did you lose weight? You should keep it up--you look much better svelte and slender than dumpy and plump." Go ahead and tell me I look fabulous today--just don't remind me that I sometimes don't, and don't treat me like I'm too stupid to recognize myself what confronts me in a decent, full-length, well-lit mirror.

11:05 PM  
Blogger spike said...

You are right: no one can hear this enough. You look FABULOUS, BD!

Can you post a photo of the bathing costume? Or at least a description? I used to enjoy swimming but here near the North Sea, one needs a wet suit or to be crazy or Scottish.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Bored Dominatrix said...

Can you post a photo of the bathing costume? Or at least a description?

there is NO WAY on god's green earth I would EVER post a photo of myself in a bathing suit ANYWHERE, but especially not on the web.

Sheesh.

You want a description? It's a safe little two-piece thing with a black skirt and a striped halter top.

Surely there are hot tubs in the north of England? Or a pool at your university?

10:52 AM  
Blogger C.L. Hanson said...

Is it cliche to say you've described exactly my situation?

LOL, in my younger days I've gone through mascara-and-lipgloss phases and foundation-for-photos phases. But in my heart I prefer to have my face pleasantly clean even if it means I will never be that gorgeous glamour girl...

1:26 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

Such a great post, great comments too. Where else could I find out about your feelings about makeup, style of dress, Chocolat and then hit the next arrow on your real blog to find out about Bone Eating Snot Flowers?

As for Diane Ladd in Wild At Heart, she has a bit of a freakout and she's applying lipstick in one scene and in the next scene she looks like this.

I'm pretty sure I was being my charming self when I suggested it.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Bored Dominatrix said...

in my heart I prefer to have my face pleasantly clean even if it means I will never be that gorgeous glamour girl...

Yeah. I really do like having a clean face.

I'm pretty sure I was being my charming self when I suggested it.

You are uniformly charming, Dale, so I'm sure that's true.

And I just somehow love that bone eating snot flower thing.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Saviour Onassis said...

I am like you these days, BD, in that makeup is used to mark special occasions. I am, however, quite fond of the instruments of beautification. For example, I rarely leave the house without first using an eyelash curler to intensify the windows to my soul. That's just between us, okay?

1:38 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

I hope you blink slowly so as not to blind everyone from the glare of your soul Saviour.

6:29 PM  
Blogger frankengirl said...

Hey, Holly! Very cool post.

There is a catch-22 with makeup. If you wear it frequently, people get used to it being "you" and thus, without it, you suddenly don't look like this "you."

Or if, as you do, wear it infrequently, some can make SUCH a fuss over it, as if it's the Ugly Duckling turned into the Swan in the Fairy Tale... which is not really a compliment, is it, since makeup is really just a costume...

8:11 AM  
Blogger Bored Dominatrix said...

Hey Frankengirl!

some can make SUCH a fuss over it, as if it's the Ugly Duckling turned into the Swan in the Fairy Tale... which is not really a compliment, is it, since makeup is really just a costume...

Yes. That's a very succinct statement of what I was getting at.

8:34 AM  
Blogger mellowlee said...

I haven't felt the need to wear makeup for the past year because I've been unemployed. My last job as a receptionist in a day spa required me to wear makeup, dress up , etc.

I used to be such a girly girl. I loved makeup and hair products. I had drawers full of products.

The only cosmetic I like to wear lately is this funky mascara my ex boss gave me. It coats your lashes in little tubes.

When you are ready to take it off, you splash your face with water, and gently apply pressure and the little suckers slid right off.

You are left with a handful of what looks like wet spider legs. Fun stuff ....I would wear it just for the fun of removing it ;)
http://kissmemascara.com/

ps I wear black most of the time....even in the summer. It's my fashion equivalent of stuffing my hair into a ponytail.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Bored Dominatrix said...

I am pretty damn intrigued by this "kiss me mascara" you mention, mellowlee. I checked out the website and ordered both mascara and eyeliner. I'm really excited to get it!

5:34 PM  
Blogger mellowlee said...

Oh YAY! *claps hands* Let me know what you think of it ok? Ohhhh I haven't tried the eyeliner. Gonna go check it out right now :)

10:00 AM  
Blogger StillWater said...

Wow, thats interesting that a woman consumes over 4 to 9 lbs of lipstick in her lifetime! Here is the link that I found that shows all of the research:

http://www.lipink.com/lipstick_wax_s/6510.htm&Click=33586

8:16 PM  

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