Monday, January 11, 2010

Make-up Therapist

I've known the power of make-up to transform your mood for a very long time. It happened to me for the first time when I was sixteen and going to a winter formal. I didn't have the first clue how to apply make-up. My mom, bless her heart, was totally useless in this area since she came of age as a hippie in the sixties in a culture that thought make-up was an evil corporate scam designed to hide a woman's true beauty. So my first introduction to make-up came from the woman at the Clinique counter. She dabbed on foundation to smooth my complexion, colored my eyes to highlight them and put a small amount of natural looking lipstick on. The change was amazing. Not only did I look beautiful, but I felt really beautiful. Probably for the first time in my life.

As I've gotten older, I've gotten much more comfortable seeing my face and feeling smoking hot in a variety of different ways: no make-up, just a touch to add some color, full face of make-up when I'm going out on the town. Which is how it should be for everyone all the time. We should be comfortable wearing whatever makes us feel confident. So for the teen-age girls, drag queens, and Tammi Faye Baker types who pile on the make-up, I say go for it. If it makes you feel better, more power to you! For the no-makeup, natural is best, Winona Ryder types who dab on a little lip gloss and mascara, that works for me too! The most important thing is for a woman to feel comfortable in her own skin. Yeah, that sounds super Oprah of me. The funny thing is that as I've gotten older, I've gotten less cynical about Oprah too. I'm not at the point where I'm tivoing her show  but her message of female empowerment is nice.

I learned firsthand the other day how make-up artists can also be therapists. I was working on-set and my boss gave me an extra whose make-up needed to be done. A beautiful woman who happened to have one eyelid that was more droopy than the other one. We had a bit of extra time, so I decided to work on a little corrective make-up. After spending 10 minutes on her eyes, I finally got them to look relatively even. The extra was so grateful. She mentioned how most make-up artists ignore her problem eye and just let her go on set as is. I could tell that she was uncomfortable with her eyes and really felt much more confident when I had corrected the difference. It was such a great feeling, if only for a moment, to have that type of impact on someone. I really made her feel better that day.

My mom, when she found out that I wanted to leave the corporate world and become an esthetician, asked if I wanted to be a doctor, nurse or a therapist instead. I think that was a pretty common reaction. Most people think that if you want to help others, you should be in the healthcare profession. Maybe part of my goal of being an esthetician is about spreading the idea that beauty is health. Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. We could get into a debate about standards of beauty, but that's not what I'm talking about. I love when women who aren't your typical American Barbie doll walk around like they are hot shit. That should be everyone's goal in life, to love themselves on the inside and out so much that they walk around like they own the place. And then, who know, they might own the place someday soon.

1 comment:

  1. Crap, girl. This post is such a mature perspective! Our little Ilana is growing up.