lady maintenance, i don’t get you

my mother wasn’t the type to teach me to how to do my makeup, talk to me about skin creams or advise me on other aspects of beauty and grooming.  this is amazing because when i was younger those things then mattered so little to me, it allowed me a freedom from worrying about superficial things at a young age. but it also left me a little in the dark.

as i got older most of what i learned about these topics was picked up through reading seventeen or cosmopolitan. and as a young adult, and into a good chunk of my twenties, what i read didn’t interest me all that much. what i think of as “lady maintenance” (eyebrow shaping, makeup application, skin care regimes, spray tans, hair extensions, manicures and pedicures, waxing, etc.) seemed so tedious with the ultimate result of perfection unattainable anyway. completely overwhelmed, i quit before i started. i’ve always been pretty bare bones with all of that, picking up a few tricks as the years passed. i can now keep my nails painted, my eyebrows in line most of the time, and put on my makeup well enough to not look like i’ve just come from the beach.  i’ve got the basics of grooming down, but beyond that, it all gets a little fuzzy.

when we were in greece i went to put lipstick on (something i have only been wearing for the past two years) and the heat of the day had caused it to soften. so it slid all over my lips, and then outside the lines onto my face, as if it had a mind of it’s own.  and in that moment i was so critical of myself, wondering what the hell is wrong with me, why as a woman in my 30’s don’t i know what to do with warm lipstick or how to put it on without looking like a tipsy hag?  i feel inadequate when it comes to these kinds of things. i don’t own a single bottle of perfume, there are only five items in my makeup bag, most days i forget to put on face cream.  does this seem as crazy to you as i imagine you would think it is?  

maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past decade in southern california where to so many, appearance is everything.  it’s made me self conscious- i feel like everyone else knows what they’re doing, has a skin care routine, an appointment to get waxed every three weeks and a medicine cabinet full of potions that i would have no idea what to do with.  and i’m just skating by with the two tricks i’ve got up my sleeve hoping no one notices.  so tell me the truth, DO you have a medicine cabinet full of potions and are you equipped to handle slightly melted lipstick?  or do you feel the same way i do, completely overwhelmed by lady maintenance and like at any second you could be exposed as that kid in the class that likes to eat glue?  it’s a constant state of fake it till you make it, with the understanding that i’ll never “make it”.

i love hearing from you all when i do these kinds of posts, it reminds me that so many people feel the same way, that we all struggle privately but are so far from alone.  i appreciate your comments so much, they really do mean the world to me.  i know there are a million other things you could do with your day besides reading my blog and taking the time to write something kind, then battling a captcha robot to leave a message for me.  and i hope that you read what others have written and it inspires you the way it does me.  *insert spice girls GIRL POWER quote here*  but seriously, thank you so, so much.

*image from la perla