Makeup & Beauty

Lighten Up

You know how they say that wearing less makeup, choosing fewer accessories, and generally streamlining everything from your wardrobe to your hairstyle makes you look younger?

In my experience, it’s true.

I’m usually on autopilot when it comes to applying makeup: I have my routine, and I have the products that I use, and I don’t even have to think about it. But every so often it’s a good idea to put the autopilot on pause and reevaluate what you’re doing, to see if it’s really working for you…meaning the right-now you

When I was in college, I wore dark eyeliner both on my top eyelids and on the inner rims of the lower lids, and my boyfriend hated it. I ignored him completely, of course, and went right on applying my makeup exactly how I wanted to. It wasn’t until I was pregnant and I found myself wanting to look more “fresh” than “glamorous” that the lower-lid liner went into my drawer, never again to re-emerge once I discovered that while it might have looked edgy and dramatic when I was younger, all it was doing for me now was aging me.

At the I.N.C. event on Saturday I showed up wearing nothing more than a touch of shadow and some mascara (the same thing I’m wearing here), and three separate people commented on how rested I looked.

I never look rested.

So when three separate people say that I do, I listen.

Also: when you’re used to wearing what’s really quite a lot of makeup, it can feel strangely uncomfortable to lighten up. It’s silly, of course, but it’s true: I like to hide, just a little. Behind liner that evens out my asymmetrical eyes, behind a lipstick that makes it look like I’m pulled-together even when I’m feeling anything but, behind a pair of sunglasses that hides the puffiness, the lines, the fact that I’m so tired so much of the time.

But this is what I’ve been doing for the past few days. It feels simultaneously good and not-good, and I think that’s fine. I have a picture in my head of the woman I want to be in twenty years, and she’s not a Real Housewife; she’s just real. Maybe even a little calm and wise; that would be nice.

I don’t know; I guess I just want to look like myself at the moment, whatever it is that that means. I feel like it might be okay. And that might have something to do with realizing that as I get older less is possibly more, but it also might not even be about makeup at all. Maybe it’s just about wanting, for whatever reason, to put fewer things between my skin and the world.

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