Absolute Beauty…

Masks are not limited to costume parties. We wear some form of a mask every day.

Someone asks you “how are you?” and your answer is “fine” even if you’re not fine. Mask.

You drive a “status” car that you can barely afford. Mask.

You wear certain clothing to create an image, whether that actually represents you or not. Mask.

I’m not the best at wearing my masks sometimes. When I don’t like a job, for instance, I’m actually quite awful at hiding my dislike for it. But one mask I’m a pro at wearing is my face mask – my make-up. (I know you’re all saying – WHAT? Transition from metaphorical masks to beauty tips?)

G recently came into the bathroom while I was getting ready and was incredulous at how much I put on my face daily. It never occurred to me that I wear a lot of products, and maybe I don’t and he’s just never dated a girl with a routine like mine before.

Starting with the last thing I do…

Step 4: Lips
Blistex for moisture + lip gloss (Sephora)

Step 3: Face & Cheeks
Bare Escentuals SPF 15 Matte Foundation + MAC blush

Step 2: Eyes
MAC concealer (for dark spots) + sealing powder
MAC eye shadows x3 – Embark (liner) + Jest (all-over eyelids) + Phloof (highlight the brows and corners of the eyes)
Lancome Hypnose WP Black mascara

Step 1: Moisture
Aveeno’s Fresh Essentials Nourishing Moisturizer with SPF30 + Kiehl’s Abyssine eye cream
Smashbox Photo Finish primer

All these products help to cover my face, to help me put on a daily mask of beauty. But I think real absolute beauty lies in being vulnerable. Stripping off the masks we wear and removing the buffers of protection we place around ourselves, is not exposing our weaknesses. Being vulnerable is being strong in the face of unknown outcomes. Letting our guard down allows others to fully see who we are, and is possibly one of the biggest challenges when you’re an embittered cynical adult.

So this is me without my daily mask:

Ten points if you noticed the cat in the corner first…

I could rip it apart – wrinkles, dark circles, acne-scarring – but instead I’ll just leave it here, bare and naked. And trust me when I say, there is nothing you can say about it that I haven’t before.

And next time you see me, I dare you to ask me how I am. But prepare yourself for a real answer.

(My blog titles are song titles. This is “Absolute Beauty” by Wendy McNeill, a great Edmonton singer-songwriter.)


2 Replies to “Absolute Beauty…”

  1. When I worked in fast food as a teenager, I would tell people how I really was when they asked “Hey, how’s it going?”

    I think I caught a LOT of people off guard.

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