This is a little known problem among the +50 crowd. Or any woman approaching that age who needs reading glasses. My first hint of the problem happened a few years ago. I glanced in the rear view mirror on the way to the office and discovered that my lipstick looked like it was applied by a circus clown. So this post was born. How to apply makeup without injuring yourself. Forget bedroom eyes, the movie star look or even just looking halfway sane. I want to apply make up without blinding myself or throwing out my back.
The problem developed gradually and got worse over time until one day when I decided that my entire face paint ensemble looked like I hired a drunken sailor for the job. Then I started hearing echoes from the past. My mother was a commercial model in her younger days. She once told me that you need to check yourself out in a mirror outside in the daylight to make sure you didn’t look too freaky. The soft lighting in the bathroom where most of us apply makeup tells lies. Oh yea, this neon purple eye glitter looks fantastic while remaining subtle and age appropriate. Sure, riiiiight. Age appropriate for Madame Grizzelda the traveling gypsy fortune-teller, but not me.
So I gave up the whole thing for a while and fell out of practice. Yes, ladies, this can happen to you. It’s not like riding a bike. You can forget how. I had a lunch date with a former co-worker last week and decided to put on makeup. A seemingly benign attempt at looking like I had not just crawled out of a coffin or sensory deprivation tank.
Starting with a little foundation on a sponge squeegee thing to hide those pesky dark circles under the eyes. Easy enough except it wasn’t. My hand eye coordination is a bit rusty and I immediately stabbed myself in the eye with the sponge. Wow that hurt and now my cornea is covered with “lasts all day” foundation. It may fade from your skin after a few hours. But trust me, it will manage to last all day in your eye. I thought I would just blink it out. Nope. These modern-day foundation products are tough. They could hang in there when applied to the heat shield on the space shuttle during a reentry burn.
So after the failed attempt to blink it out, I put in eye drops and soldiered on. Next eyeshadow, bleh. Everything looks great in those glossy magazines with a dewy-eyed 16-year-old model. On my poor eyelids, not so much. Now I’m at the point of impersonating a raccoon with a bloodshot eye. Eyeliner next. Oh well I do like the asymmetrical look. One eye looked like Cleopatra on a bad day and the other eye, Amy Winehouse after a bender.
I have long eyelashes so I thought, well I’ll hide it all with lots of that mascara. However, you guessed it. The wand goes straight into my other eye as if it were attached to a guided missile. I did finally manage to get some on my eyelashes, threw up my hands and called the project done. Went to lunch with my girlfriend and had a fabulous time. Then came home and washed the whole mess off my face.
So know I have decided to stick to apply makeup and eyeshadow the old-fashioned way. A little on the ring finger and tap gently. Using a magnifying mirror helps a lot it seems. You may not like the added detail visible such as age spots and pores that are not as tiny and proper as they used to be. But hey, at least you won’t blind yourself in the process. And you won’t throw out your back twisting around and reaching across the bathroom counter to get a look in the mirror. That stupid mirror get farther away everyday.
I also keep a box of tissues in the car to correct anything grossly out of whack after checking out the results in the car mirror. Just the little things like applying a bit of blush on one cheek, getting distracted and forgetting the other half of my face. Check yourself with your glasses on for the final inspection before putting the key in the ignition. There is a fine line between excentric and downright loony and I still have my pride, you know!