I don't know how it started. But I have a confession.
Like all pathological, mentally-ill, O.C.D. people, I guess I will blame it on my mom.
(You can see me (the little girl in the picture), soaking up every technique there was back-in-the-day of glamour gals.)
My gotta-bare-my-soul secret is that I absolutely cannot go anywhere or do anything until I have put on make-up for the day.
I know, I know.....pretty sick.....but I tell you I will get withdrawal and anxiety symptoms (like a drunk gets the shakes without a morning belt) if I don't do it.
Oh...I have tried.
I have even made it to the local store (once or twice).
But I did it with gritted teeth and a hoodie (with the hood strings pulled so tight that I could have been mistaken for a condom) so no one would recognize me.
But, wouldn't you know (for negative reinforcement...wouldn't Paavlov be proud?), I ran into someone who knew me and stopped me: "to chat". I am sure she thought I had a personality disorder. I provided absolutely no eye contact and only uttered occasional grunts in response to her inquiries (and then hoofed it back to my car faster than Super Woman catching a high altitude jet stream).
And, not only THAT, (this is how sick I really AM), I even took makeup with me on......
(are you ready?).............
There I was, huddled in a tent corner, sitting on my sleeping bag, balancing my magnifying mirror on my squatted lap, poking myself in the eye (because of the dim light) whilst applying mascara.
It's THAT bad.
The morning routine has become even longer (now that I am past 50).
First is the cleanser, then the moisturizer. (They could lube Air Force One with the amount I am using on my neck these days just to stave off the wrinkles and hanging skin).
And....what ABOUT those moisturizers now?
They aren't what they used to be. They now have collagen, alpha-hydro-whatever, bee's butt wax, you name it....all at over $30 a pop for a miniscule ounce or two of this miracle cream!
And, of course...being a makeup junkie, you can't believe you are using the best, most-effective one on the market (because oh-my-Gosh-did-you-see-the-ad-in-O-Magazine-for-the-new-one)? So, you have two or three in your drawer. But, I digress...
Next is the concealer.
Now, that is a hoot.
Concealer you say?
Who am I trying to kid?
There isn't a magic potion on this planet that will cover those creviced, dark purple valleys glistening under my eyes (only to be magnified by my shiny cheekbones).
Maybe if I spackled it on with a trowel and waited for it to dry (maybe a day or two?) and then sanded it?
There is a technique to the application of this "little wonder", too. One must "pat it on lightly" with the pads of your fingers and pray to God you don't poke your eye out because you aren't wearing your bifocals.
Next, the foundation.
Swirly, creamy liquid tan paint that you must blend lightly everywhere. Now that, I must admit----- does help.
All those red blotches and pillow wrinkles and little I-thought-I-was-through-with-zits-in-my-teens-so-where-the-HELL-did-these-come-from?-pimples miraculously get camouflaged by this little wonder.
I had a Mary Kay demonstration once where the lady said "one must remember that our faces are like a canvas...and every good artist must first "wash" the canvas with color before drawing on a masterpiece." Boy, that lady should have won the Employee of the Year Award, because I bought it like a sinner looking for a new religion.
Next, you say?
Oh yeah, there's about 12 more steps.
Blush is next. Again..an art form to apply. The theory a few years ago was that one was supposed to smile and brush it on under your cheekbones for the most natural look. (Once they figured out that this technique looked a little like the starving kids in Africa, they changed it to recommending applying it to the apples of your cheeks) (spreading it of course upwards, into one's temples).
Then......the eye makeup. To line, or not-to-line...THAT is the question. With a brush or not a brush? Eye shadow or no eye shadow? Light or dark? Smokey or shimmery? Oh...the choices are endless. And, I have the extra bathroom drawers to prove it!
I have been cursed with non-existent eyelashes. I figured my mom must have snuck a few glasses of wine during the first trimester of being pregnant with me-- or something, because honestly, I have more hair on my upper lip then on my eyes (Oh, wait a minute, the hair on my lip is more related to blessed menopause. Oops, I forgot!)
But wait, ladies....I have found the MIRACLE mascara. I honestly do NOT own stock in L'Oreal, but if I met their C.E.O. somewhere I would kiss them squarely on the lips (man or woman, I don't give a crap) for inventing the lash extending mascara that just came out. I now have lashes that I can actually see. Forget that I have to put on two different layers with the preciseness of a brain surgeon...(damn it!)....I now have LASHES!
Lipstick is another dilemma. Now that I have these wonderful spidery lip lines on my top lip...whenever I put on lipstick, it wicks up the crevices faster than a desert flood.
But, not to fear...just "pat on" that miracle concealer on your top lip before applying the lipstick and... voila!...no bleeding lipstick up to your nose!
Eyebrows are another notorious legacy my mother left me.
My mom had (as a teenager) literally shaved off her eyebrows. (She thought the Betty Grable's glamour models had skinny eyebrows, so why not her?)
So, she always had these God-awful drawn-in-with-eyebrow-pencil fake eyebrows.
She had over 20 different eyebrow pencils in her bathroom when she passed away.
She knew it....and was also obsessed with any facial hair she possessed. (So much so...that right before she passed away, she made me and my sister-in-law PROMISE that the moment she died we were to remove any facial hair and re-pencil her eyebrows before the funeral home came to get her).
(We did it within 10 minutes of her death...both crying and laughing).
But, back to the morning makeup drill.....
Why do I do it? Like I said...I am mentally-ill. And because those few times that I have not done so, inevitably, EVERY TIME....someone turns to me and says: "Are you feeling Okay? You look so pale. Your coloring isn't good, have you been sick?"
My husband included.
So, with years (and years!) of practice, I have perfected all of the steps above into about 10 minutes flat.
I have to do my hair.................................................................