Monday, June 25, 2007

Even a Barn Looks Better With A Little Paint...


Someone asked me the question again, and this time it was not a Mary Kay saleswoman.

"Do you ever wear make-up?"

Well, no, um... rarely, I mean... sometimes on certain occasions...why do you care?

May I refer you to the picture at the top of this post. That was my 8th grade self, who discovered eyeshadow, blush, mascara, eyeliner and wet-n-wild lipstick all at the same time. Does this help explain? Or just frighten you? Allow me to explain myself.

I never had make-up lessons.

My good friend Jenny was lucky enough to have her initiation into the make-up world at Girl's Camp around the same time I was experimenting with my .99 cent finds from the end-cap at Thrifty's. Nothing seemed to work for me. I tried different combinations, new color schemes, read all the trashy teen magazines for tips on "How To Get Your Crush To Notice You", but still, nothing worked. At this point I settled for the boring eyeliner-mascara combo which served me well enough throughout junior high and most of high school. Then came the magical envelope in the mail that held potential for an overnight status upgrade: my invitation to compete for the title of "Miss T.E.E.N. Los Angeles".

Surely someone would teach me to apply make-up for such a grand occasion!

I filled out all the paperwork. I got sponsors. I borrowed the perfect dress. I practiced my talent like nobody's business. I performed all tasks that were asked of me - service projects, interviews, anything! And when the day for the pageant arrived, I showed up at the right place, at the right time, dress in hand, make-up bag chock full of all sorts of .99 cent treasures! Only to discover that I was my make-up person. I almost cried.

Miss Redondo Beach's mom was her make-up person. She saw what I was doing to myself, grimaced, then came to my rescue. Here was her finished masterpiece:
(you love the hair, I know. It was like a lion's mane. "Bigger is better" was the idea.)

I had confidence! I had talent! I had make-up! But there is stage make-up, and there is regular make-up, and one of them makes you look like a clown when you are not on stage. You figure it out.

Sigh. Mascara and eye liner.

At the age of 19 I moved to Utah, where a whole new world awaited me. This was my first experience with roommates, and they were make-up experts! One roommate, Samantha (Sam, where are you?), was a lipstick aficionado. She firmly believed that there was never a reason to be without lipstick, and she was determined to convert me to her philosophy. She tried various shades on me and professed them all to be fabulous. I decided to be bold one day and actually wear some out of the apartment. On my way to campus, a friend of the male species stopped me and asked, "What did you do to your lip?"

That was the end of that.

One day soon after the lipstick incident I rushed home to meet this really hot guy that I was going dancing with (The Ivy Tower used to be so cool!). He was already there, waiting for me, and I promised to hurry and apply some make-up and change into dance-club clothing. Do you know what he said?

"Why do you even wear make-up? You look great without it."

And I thought, "I could marry this guy."

So I did.

One last story, and then you can go. (If you're still reading at this point, you might as well keep going. It can't get any worse, right?) My friend Trish is an amazing photographer. At some point, she decided to give it a try as a side-job, but she did not have a portfolio to show potential clients. Guess what happened? I got to wear my sister-in-law's wedding dress and be her model. Another sister-in-law, Christy, did my hair and make-up. So, here I am again, with a painted-on face.

And here's the idea behind this blog post...unless you are going to bribe me with ├ęclairs or peach Clearly Canadian, you can come check out my made-up self here. So, yes, I have worn make-up, and no, I really don't much anymore. I think most other people look all fine and good and even glamorous with their make-up on, but my face is just fine without.




Unless Jenny wants to give me make-up lessons.





p.s. Don't call me if you sell Mary Kay.

9 comments:

Rebecca said...

Well, now that you've gotten that off your chest....what about earrings? ;)
You look glamorous with or without paint, Gerb. We're all jealous.
~Rebecca

Mom not Mum said...

I've stumbled on your blog - couldn't tell you how I got here - just wandering around. LOL I don't wear make-up either. Moisturizer, mascara - that's it and I'm done. I have a lipstick in my purse - but it rarely gets worn. I can recall some of the same experiences you had and so have decided it is just best to be me.

Cami said...

So did you win the Miss Teen title or what?

PS. I love the "lion's mane."

Gerb said...

Cami,
I was Miss TEEN Torrance, but only a runner-up for Miss TEEN L.A.

They didn't know what they were missing!

Cami said...

I know. If they only knew what they were missing...maybe you could have been Miss TEEN California, and then Miss Teen USA!

By the way, do you have any idea what your admirer Rodrigo said? :)

Gerb said...

Rodrigo, the elusive commenter from a foreign land, was simply a spam-commenter who wanted free advertising to his blog. Which is why I have word verification turned on now!

Julie said...

You look awesome without makeup. Lucky girl. I wish I could do that.... (sigh). Unfortunately, I have the skin of a teenager but with wrinkles to go with the zits.

Cami said...

So, what was your talent? Did you play the accordian?

Gerb said...

Rebecca-
Earrings are great, but I don't wear them because I don't want them ripped out of my lobes by my sweet baby Claire.

Mom not Mum-
Welcome! And, fellow au-natural friend, party on.

Julie-
I'm thinking you are always looking gorgeous when I see you. You've got me fooled on the teenage skin!

Cami-
Not the accordion. At the time I was concerned with what people thought of me (we all know that's out the window now!)so I sand a song called "Heroes" and simultaneously performed it in ASL. I rocked, if I must say so.