Confession of a Frivolous Beauty Dupe
"Now you bangs are cut. Your hair is curled. But still the world is cruel."
I suspect that it says a lot about me that the character in Grease who I most identified with as a kid was Frenchie and probably not good things.
There's so much noise in the ether. Magazines, radio, gossip, news, "news," movies, television, internet, ....
And one message that always seems to filter through is that life is better if you are beautiful. Also if you are rich. Also if you are thin. Also if you are successful. Also if you are famous. Also if you are young.
Who knows. It's probably true.
But back to beautiful. At various points in my life I look in the mirror after having had my heart stomped on and decide that what I need is to make the best of what I have and surrender to the discipline of beauty.
I don't read the women's magazines anymore which, admittedly, has made me a much happier person. While on tour I picked one up at C M S & J's house in Athens, GA and read it. It was only after I picked through the whole thing that I noticed that it was an issue from 2004. Nothing much has changed in the world of girl in the interim. According to Mademoiselle, I still need to buy new clothes, new shoes, and new shades of eyeshadow and lipstick. I still get a haircut, lose weight, exfolliate, and find ten easy ways to dress up daytime look for nighttime.
As Dolly Parton's character says in Steel Magnolias and many a beauty acolyte as well, "There's no such thing as natural beauty."
So in the times in my life when I decide that I need meditate on the discipline of beauty I turn to C who makes a serious study of this stuff.
And then I spend too much money on little bottles and jars of stuff that I never use and eventually throw away.
It has happened again. I spent a little too much time at Sephora and Aveda and Target and CVS and Haven and spent way too much money on stuff.
Hydrating serum - to hydrate
Vitamin C serum - to encourage the growth of collagen and help with sun damage.
A glycolic acid lotion - to exfolliate and reduce the size of my pores. It tingles.
A moisturizer for sensitive skin
An eye cream - Aveda has a really nice one.
A foamy cleanser - delightful
A deep conditioner - miraculous
A pricey sunscreen in a cute bottle - This purchase was a mistake. It makes me break out.
I will not bore you with the pricey price tags involved. I will just say that for the next few weeks I am going to flirt with botulism and pack a lunch to bring to work. This will not cover the costs of what I have purchased. It will merely serve to make me feel slightly less guilty about it.
Now I am trying to create a routine in which I smear all of this crap on my face a few times a day.
All of this brings to mind the beauty company Philosophy. They make a product called "Hope in a bottle." Which is pretty clever.
I understand that these products will not make me look younger, nor will they make me more beautiful, nor will they help me find love or success or happiness or enlightenment. I have essentially purchased hope in many different bottles with many different labels. I have sublimated a desire for one set of things through the purchase of things that would theoretically make me look like me with a clearer and shinier face.
But hey, it's keeps me off the streets and off the sauce. ;)
The most I hope for in this scenario is to use every product to the last drop. To do that and then take a break before my next go around.
The other thing that I hope for is time spent kindly looking at myself in the mirror. That would be nice.
Maybe Philosophy will come out with a product called "Bliss in a bottle." Maybe a bath oil or something. That would sell like hotcakes.
I can't help but wonder why the ether doesn't send out more messages like: "Say Please and Thank you." "Wash your hands." "Wear Sunscreen." "Cover you mouth when you cough and sneeze." "Smile." "Tell someone that you love them." "Take more walks." "Have more picnics." "Be clear about what you want and ask for it."
They are things that don't get much media play. They are the kind of things that we hear from our mothers and fathers. And cheesy as it sounds, doing these things will probably make your life better.