In which the blind lead the blind, and the plain lend beauty advice.
“Beauty Advice.” It’s a ludicrous writing prompt, but I’m humored.
My disqualifications for writing this article include a near-empty makeup bag and hair that has never been dyed. I don’t own lipstick, I’m afraid of eyeliner, and my lashes are my own—sparse and short.* “Ah, but she must be a natural beauty,” you may wishfully think. Nope. My husband thinks I’m a babe, but that’s his mandate. I’m pretty average.
My qualifications? Confidence. Health. And a single tube of cheap mascara.
So, here goes. Beauty products and beauty principles: the entirety of my knowledge, sprinkled with mirth.
Best Beauty products—
1) Your face.** Don’t underestimate this; how one views oneself in the mirror says scads about how one views oneself globally. Pull ugly faces in the mirror to prevent vanity, and smile to promote confidence.
2) Facial hair remover. Somewhere in evolution of the modern woman, our great, great, great Viking grandmother won the hearts of men despite her beard and mustache. Most of us have inherited at least a few of Great-Grandmother Helga’s facial hair genes, so don’t fret when you find dark, thick, long, or otherwise unfeminine hair on your chinny chin chin. Dostoyevsky described mustached women in very sensuous terms, so you can hang your hat on that. But if you feel better without the upper lip hair, there are affordable household products for removing hair and a surprising lot of people use them. Threaders hurt like the dickens, but they do the job nicely. If you lack the fortitude to thread, I recommend a simple razor device, available at your local department store.
3) Lotion. I prefer Aveeno. It’s a splendid facial moisturizer, and it’s unscented so the men in your life can use it too.
4) Aloe gel—good for sunburns, great for hair. I can’t promise silky Pantene cascades, but aloe vera gel tames the flighties without cementing your hair follicles. No smells, no aerosol choked air, and no crusty day-after residue. My favorite hair product.
5) NON-waterproof mascara. A little color on the lashes definitely helps women look intentional (or at least more awake), but go for the traditional stuff; waterproof is a mess. “Waterproof” means that it won’t come off when you need it to. Caught in the rain? Skunk eye. Baptized? Skunk eye. Cried today? Skunk eye. It’s a serious problem. So stick with the cheap stuff and cry it off without qualms.
6) Lip balm. I realize that a sound argument could be made for lip stick (COLOR!) or lip gloss (SHENE!), but I can’t tout what I don’t use. Besides, Burt’s Bees is so perfectly minty. For a slightly thinner product at a significant thinner cost, try a generic brand of the bees-waxy stuff.
Susan Tanner, a beautiful warrior for Christ, taught me these truths as a teenager. They’ve guided me ever since:
“Happiness comes from accepting the bodies we have been given as divine gifts and enhancing our natural attributes, not from remaking our bodies after the image of the world. The Lord wants us to be made over… in His image.”
And, my personal favorite:
“You must do everything you can to make your appearance pleasing, but the minute you walk out the door, forget yourself and start concentrating on others.”
Beauty-promoting words if ever I’ve heard them.
Above all, I say don’t worry! God planted our eyes facing outward for a reason, so look outward and enjoy the view. Take life in through windows, not mirrors.
*Kudos to the beautiful souls who own makeup and know how to use it. You are lovely AND skilled. Some of us can only profess the former.
** Or rather, the mirror through which you view your face. A face isn’t exactly something that you pluck from a supermarket shelf.