In Defense Of Waiting Until You’re A Mom To Wear Make-Up

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My mother is a beautiful woman and she never really wore any make-up. My sister responded to this by learning how to apply make-up skillfully as soon as she was allowed. I never developed the interest. I’m not saying I didn’t try, I just didn’t try very hard. Part of the problem was that I valued sleep way more than my girlfriends. And learning how to apply make-up takes a lot of time and consistency. And more time. But another problem was that I never really felt it improved my appearance.

One of my best friends is so gorgeous that she’s routinely mistaken for a Hollywood celebrity. I’m not exaggerating in any way. The effort she puts into her appearance pays off big time. The moment she walks out of the house, men get loopy and children get dreamy. She’s like a sexy princess at all hours of the day. But when we were living together, if I put on make-up, I didn’t really think it mattered much. I got roughly the same amount of attention either way (not at the mistaken-for-a-celebrity level, but enough to keep me happy). Sure, I’d put on some mascara. I might even curl my lashes. I bought some foundation – with the best of intentions – for my wedding a few years ago. I wasn’t totally abstaining.

But here I am in my late 30s and I’m not going to lie, something happened. I mean, I guess what happened is that I’ve been existing on three to six hours of sleep a night for years now. It takes a toll. My skin isn’t what it was.. My eyes were just surrounded by dark circles. It was time for an intervention.

So a few weeks ago, a friend and I headed to the mall where some really good-looking make-up artist lotioned my skin and applied layers upon layers of stuff – multiple moisturizers, a pre-foundation gloss, foundation, brighteners, blush, you name it. She taught me this trick where I drop a tiny bit of special ointment into a tray of packed eyeliner and then get the perfect amount on a flat brush. Then I lift up the eyelid and carefully line my eyes below the eyelashes. The effect is awesome.

You’re probably laughing right now since you learned how to do this when you were 11. But I didn’t. I’m learning it now, a few years away from 40.

But here’s the deal: I need it now! Sure, it’s kind of embarrassing to go through the make-up mistakes that most of you made as pre-teens, but it’s a small price to pay for the countless hours I saved in my teens, 20s and 30s by just going au natural. And the improvement — which is dramatic — is happening just when I need it. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.