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Modern makeup’s magic

January 21, 2016
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

Last week, I made a major investment.

No, I didn't buy a new car or pay up-front for a Carnival Cruise. Instead, I finally took the plunge and bought a new lipstick and powder.

I won't say the price of these items has soared in recent years, but I suspect the workers at the Cover Girl factory will see a bit extra in their checks this month due to my input.

I'm not a slave to makeup like many in the younger set, but as a Senior Diva I still have an image to maintain. So, since the level of my favorite lipstick had sunk below the top of that little tube and the powder was only a little strip caked around the edge of the compact, I knew the time had come to dip into my savings.

In my years as a young working mother, I limited my use of makeup to a dash of lipstick and a swipe of powder. Since my life was lived outside of the spotlight, that seemed to be sufficient.

But one day, when daughter Sherri was in her glowing twenties and I was approaching my sagging fifties, the two of us decided to get the free "cosmetic makeovers" being offered at one of the area's upscale department stores.

The "cosmetic technician" took Sherri first. While "oohing" and "ahhing" over her young, unwrinkled skin and youthful good looks, the lady did her magic. Afterwards, Sherri looked (at least to me) like a visiting movie star.

But then, the "technician" turned her attention to me. I'd swear I heard her groan under her breath as she surveyed her arsenal of make-up options.

She started by applying this, dabbing on that, stroking on something else. The process took over twice as long as Sherri's make over. But, eventually, the lady turned me to the mirror so I could see the outcome of her expertise.

There, staring back at me was a woman I didn't recognize. The eyes were enhanced with a smokey-blue eye shadow. The lashes were long and dark.

The rosy glow of the face was softly understated. And the cherry red lips seemed fuller than mine. In other words, this face was attractive, but not at all familiar.

As expected by the store, I was inspired to purchase several of the cosmetics that had transformed me into this other woman. I'm not sure I ever used any of these elegant items because I didn't have a clue how to apply them.

But that session did encourage me to be more aware of the use of cosmetics on a regular basis.

While thinking back on that make-up makeover recently, I began wondering just how addicted American women are to their cosmetics.

I was surprised to learn that cosmetic sales in the U.S. are the largest in the world at almost $55 billion annually. And women in this country spend, on average, $144 a year on makeup.

The information I came across also reported that the time spent by women in getting ready in the morning varies with the day of the week. On Mondays, the preparation time averages over an hour. And, by contrast, on Friday only 19 minutes.

At this stage in my life, the 19-minute time frame is much closer to what I allot to the task of preparing myself to face the world.

Unfortunately, I never again came across the attractive lady I saw in the mirror of that upscale department store.

Instead, each morning, when I look in my bathroom mirror, there is the face I took with me that day... only older and more wrinkled.

I'm beginning to think it's time to forget the makeup and just install a new mirror!



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