Monday, November 4, 2013

My Face is My Own

She beckoned me close, and I proffered my cheek for what I believed to be a sentimental air-kiss. Instead, that crooked finger turned into an accusatory jab. 

"Your eye shadow is too much," she said.
I blinked. 

"People have commented on it," she continued, sotto voce

At this point I lapsed into my "good girl" act, merely smiling and emitting unantagonizing "Mmm!"s.

"I'm serious," she harangued. "You look so much better with less." 

"Mmm!" I hummed.

It is quite interesting that it did not occur to me to point out that the wobbly line drawn atop her lashes distorted the naturally lovely shape of her eyes—liquid eyeliner is difficult to get right, and unlike other styles it cannot be flubbed or fudged. It must always be perfect. But it would never occur to me that I should voice my observations out loud

"How dare she?" Ma hissed, having been standing behind me. "My child, living under my roof—does she think that I have no say in your appearance?" 

Ma blesses my Face as it is—she has only drawn the line, currently, at red lipcolor. Most of what I know about the Face from her, and being a good girl, I defer to her fashionable judgement in most things. Often there is a smug comfort in obeying thy parents. 

There was a plethora of three-day yontifs this year, and I decided to apply my lipstick in a manner that would survive for two days, not into the third, since by day three my lips would be painfully dry and flaking. Ergo, I pranced to shul with my eye makeup still going strong, but my lips were quite bare. 

"You look so much better without lipstick!" a woman enthused. 

"Mmm!" I thrummed, bored. 

"Really," she said, scooting into a closer chair, "People have commented," her voice dropped conspiratorially. "You could buy a clear lip gloss instead!" she suggested excitedly, warming to her theme. "You know, the ones that come in a roll-on?" 

I repressed the urge to laugh. (1) She was going to tell me something about makeup that I don't already know? If I wanted to wear lip gloss, lady, I would. I am well aware they are available for sale. (2) Her husband has been hounding me why I stopped wearing brighter lip colors on Shabbos. I smiled cheerfully at him instead. He appreciates me.

She turned to Ma, reproach in her eyes. Ma faux-sighed and faux-apologized, "She likes lipstick." 

My current Shabbos option is the tamest of shades, Maybelline Superstay 14-Hour Lipstick in Perpetual Peony. It is, like, the lightest color available. I have gotten a myriad compliments for its suitability, outweighing the few criticisms. "People" have asked how I achieve the look. 

Perhaps some are disconcerted when I dabble in vibrant palettes; but who am I offending now with the most innocuous of hues?
Out for a much-needed walk later that day, another stopped me. "You look so much better with natural lips!" she began. "People have commented," she murmured. 

"Mmm!" I was starting to get annoyed. 

(1) I find it highly unlikely that these supposed "people" don't have anything better to talk about besides my makeup. (2) I feel no need to comport with others as to any of their actual fashion and makeup flubs.

Oh Zeidy, you said it right. Deh mole mis gein. The mouth has to move.  


Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity - if your husband would tell you that he likes you better with less makeup, would you listen?

Yarmi Boy said...

I agree with the previous anonymous question... and although I prefer a woman as natural as possible I accept her face is her own, on the other hand there are parts of the body that are usually covered... would you consider more input from your husband on how you groomed the covered areas?

Princess Lea said...

Anon: I have thought about it, if such a thing should come to pass . . . I love makeup. Really love it. So I would say, "Sure, and you can give up football."

YB: My covered areas are not available for discussion with an anonymous stranger. I believe that would be "untzniusdik," no? Ew.

wellspring said...

Where do you find these people? As a single girl I went around with dark purple shadow, with dark aqua shadow, even with gothic black – and never did a person say a thing. I wore berry colored lipstick – and never got a comment. Did I mention my eyeliner? Which was mostly not applied in the best of taste? And Israelis are supposed to be much more direct and impolite.
As for the husband's question, mine likes makeup in bright color. However, it's nice that he thinks I am pretty enough without it, since a working mother doesn't always have a time to apply her makeup perfectly, and I would rather go without than look like a garish clown.
(Also, as I once heard somebody comment, men who say they like the natural look actually mean they prefer gorgeous women with naturally perfect complexions, perfectly shaped lips and eyes and interesting eye color. Those of us who are not naturally stunning should pay no attention to such opinions)

Yarmi Boy said...

Hi Princess, I was not meaning to be untznius, just stating the point that your face is yours (albeit that the tznius parts are more for sharing, I have a sense that too many frum women are using lazer treatments with permanent effects on the tznius parts, IMHO all your beauty is given by G-d for sharing with your partner)..

and wellspring, if you feel like your natural beauty is insufficient then you may want to look a bit deeper, inside of yourself and others. I don't think dolling up makes anyone look more beautiful than the natural look you were given by G-d. I'm comfortable enough with myself to know that a great match has nothing to do with perfect shaped anythings :)

Yarmi Boy said...

and btw princess, I'm not a sport fan :P

Princess Lea said...

wellspring: Hah! I love you already! You're right about men claiming to "love" a natural look; sure, if I looked like Angelina Jolie.

And YB, you are missing the point. A love of makeup does not stem from feelings of inadequacy. For years I was adamantly against makeup, but I couldn't stop buying cosmetics. Then I realized there isn't much point if I don't put it on.

I can't stand it when people confuse a love of makeup with a lack of depth.

Yarmi Boy said...

Hey Princess, Angelina Jolie does not have perfect lips and she wears heaps of m/u.. you are missing the point, I think make up is great for going out, it's like wearing a sheitel - save the natural for in bed. Good make up skills are essential for good mothering too, kids love moms that can make their Purim dress-up best... just do not assume that it's going to help you get the better guy, you don't want that guy...
Good Shabbos

Princess Lea said...

If you don't lighten up, YB, you're going to get wrinkles.

Did I say anything about trying to ensnare a guy with my feminine whiles? I just like makeup. Sheesh.

And I try to keep this blog free of "adult content."

FrumGeek said...

Wow, YB. Don't you think you're being a wee bit innapropriate!?