The first was the small town in Wyoming where I grew up—not known for its high fashion. If I wore a dress to high school, my friends asked if I was going to a funeral. The way to really dress up in Wyoming was to wear your good jeans. So I wore a little makeup during my teenage years but not much. I do remember sneaking eyeliner to middle school (sorry, Mom).
Then I went to college in the heart of Texas, at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and there was a new world where handbag matched shoes matched purse matched lipstick. I felt like Meg, of Little Women, spending a whole fortnight out of place in the luxurious home of Annie Moffat. It was the era of big Texas hair, so I bought rollers, which I didn’t know how to use, and made myself a frizzy messy. I didn’t even carry a purse, which my boyfriend pointed out as odd. I owned no lipstick.
So I began the pursuit of makeup, and this carried well into my getting-older years and was encouraged by my attendance at home makeup parties. I learned I must have a different moisturizer for my eyelids than for the rest of my face. I needed this bottle and this bottle and this bottle to prepare my skin before bed. (That will be $150, please.) And I needed the moisturizer to go on before the lipstick. Isn’t this lipstick color nice for summer? And this color for winter? And this color for when I’m skiing? (There is no lipstick color for when one is reading a book, I’ll point out.)
One day I shook myself awake and admitted that my checkbook balance did not match my Mary Kay wish list total.
So I asked myself a question. What if I wore minimal makeup? What if I bought only a very few items and came to grips with the fact that this face was going to look forty when I was forty and fifty when I was fifty and sixty when I was sixty?
So when the mascara got old, I threw it away and didn’t buy anymore. (Now I do this ridiculous trick where I blow dry my mascara curler for a few seconds to get it hot before curling my lashes. Vain but thrifty!) I stopped wearing eye shadow, and I save the little sample chapsticks from the dentist for my only lip cover.
Here’s a picture of me with thrifty, minimal makeup. Hideous?
I spend $35 a year on makeup—well, maybe not quite that much. I seem to be perfectly content. My husband still thinks I’m beautiful. I’m going on a trip to Texas very soon, so we’ll see if I’m ostracized there. I doubt it.
Amish women live plain, including not spending money on makeup, and I always think they are beautiful women to be admired. A plain, no-makeup face is maybe overlooked when there is a heart full of Christ’s love.