Walking outside in slippers to get the mail is one thing. Walking outside without makeup is another thing altogether. It’s one of those things I told myself I’d never do.
Like many girls, my love affair with makeup started early. I’d open my mom’s makeup drawer in the bathroom, sure to find that familiar pink and green Great Lash mascara container and the bottle of foundation. I’d just look at it. What in the heck was in the pink and green container, anyway? I couldn’t wait to find out.
Halloween was a real treat because I’d actually get to wear some of that fabulousness along with my princess costume, Raggedy Ann, whatever. And dance recitals. Bring on that late 80s/ early 90s gaudiness. Pink lipstick. Blush. Blue eye shadow all the way up to the brow. Oh my goodness…the thrill. Makeup was sultry, grownup. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be.
From the time I started really wearing makeup at 13, caked on Cover Girl liquid foundation and dark brown lipstick, I didn’t want to go a day without it. The beginning of my makeup career just happened to coincide with the start of my acne problem. Even though the cheap foundation settled unflatteringly into the crevices on my face, I came to rely on makeup to cover up my zits as much as possible.
Makeup was also still fun. My friends and I would walk to the nearest drug store, and pick up that perfect red brown shade of Jane lipstick and the matching eye shadow. Seriously though, since when was it a good idea to have your lipstick and eye shadow match?
In high school and college, makeup was an important part of bonding with friends as we got ready for a night out on the town. Music blasting. Ice clinking in drinks. We’d be heading out for some cosmic bowling, or driving past a crush’s house like creepers. So what if no one would see us? We felt pretty.
After college, in the career world, my makeup became more natural. It would kill my eight-year-old soul to hear it, but adults who want to look their best probably shouldn’t wear blue eye shadow up to the brow. Makeup was an important part of getting ready to tackle the world each day. Or at least feel like it. Or at least feel like I could get through the day.
On my wedding day, I rocked the perfect shade of lipstick – Victoria’s Secret Velvet Rope. I even remembered to reapply. Once.
My son followed a couple of years later. Even during pregnancy and feeling like crap, I managed to put on some foundation each day and a little blush and mascara. I continued this minimal routine even while dealing with a toddler and then a preschooler. Even while pregnant with my daughter, and working all the while.
Suddenly, I’m a mother of two. The baby doesn’t want to be put down, so I hold her in my arms or in a front carrier while I get my son ready for preschool. While I wrestle him to the bed to put on his shoes. While I holler, “eat your breakfast!”
Of course, she needs to eat, too, and nursing isn’t exactly fast food. All the while, he jumps around and screeches. Gives us both kisses. Wacks me with a plastic bat.
Needless to say, one morning I made a break for the front door with two kids barely in tow and without a lick of makeup. My still-damp hair thrown into a ponytail. Then it happened another morning. Then another. I’d become that mom. The one in sweatpants, but without the sweatpants.
No one seemed to notice or care. The world didn’t end. It was just plain old me looking back at me in the rearview mirror, and that was plenty good enough.
Motherhood has taken from me what youth couldn’t. What a busy college schedule couldn’t. What a full-time job couldn’t. My makeup.