Let’s back up from Fashion Week and the Grammy’s and Beyonce in general and talk beauty for a sec. Not makeup. Beauty. At FW festivities over the weekend, I ran into ThisThatBeauty.com’s Miss Felicia, who looked totally stunning in mascara and a bold red lip, nada mas. I was serving up little more than skin and neutral bronze effects that day, too. So we took a selfie, mutually admired our low-key cuteness, and then bemoaned the new trend of international pop star-level lashes, wigs, and contouring…for day. By normal women. For no reason.
Listen, I love glamour. I’m not afraid of glamour (and that’s a direct Jerry Hall quote, darling). Twiggy lashes and Dynasty hair. A lip so epic it enters the room before you do. It’s my stock and trade! Drag, honey. Barbarella bodaciousness, Diana Rossian splendor. But I need it to be in its proper place…ie, a stage, a magazine cover, a runway, or a red carpet. New Year’s Eve, the prom. Unless you’re Beyonce Carter, Kelendria Rowland, or currently starring on RuPaul’s Drag Race/Real Housewives of My Ass, you should not have a visible contour line running down your nose at noon. I’d suggest skipping the lace-front, as well. These are exaggerated looks, performance looks…and sorry, it just looks weird when you’re wearing massive, ticky-tacky drugstore faux lashes while working your shift at the DMV.[The outrageous lashes-for-day thing has to stop —unless they’re extensions (love) or individuals (subtle, chic). That thick-as-fuck faux row is just depressing].
God knows I live for beauty…the ritual of application, the endorphins, the female-bonding, the mystery of transformation. The hoodoo, the armor. On some days, the low days, putting on your face may be the sole thing giving you the strength to face the world. But stage hair and makeup is a mask. Stop hiding! And what about men? Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to fuck a mannequin? How can he even find you underneath all that? Give a man a chance to be awed by your skin. Experience him running his fingers through your hair, burying his face in it. Let him see/feel you bare. Hell, let you see you bare.
I am not suggesting you pull a Kim K., where you suddenly think porn hair is corny ‘cause your queeny fashion boyfriend thinks its un-chic. I’m just saying, dial it down and see what happens. No lashes, maybe — just a major lip. Big hair, but temper it with sheer shadow and gloss.
#HG is super-into my makeup-less face, and up until recently, this terrified me. I’m the girl that sets her alarm at 5:30am to apply concealer before her man wakes up. My undereye circles are both hereditary and horrendous…but he doesn’t see them. He sees glowing skin he can touch (thank you, Philosophy Oxygen Gel Cream Moisturizer, above), that won’t rub off. He sees a naked, unadorned mouth, meant for kissing…and stuff. Listen, it still freaks me out a bit and if I ever leave the house bare-faced you’ll know I’ve lost my mind (I only play those no-makeup games indoors, be clear). But in seeing my unadorned face through someone else’s eyes…adoring eyes…well, I’ve kind of never felt prettier.
Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger’s late-60s lover/muse, once described showing up at Mick’s house right after they met. She found him having farewell sex with his ex, a full-on Swinging London dolly bird. Her wiglet was askew, bouffant deflated, lashes peeling off off, penciled-in lower lashes blurry…you know, from boning. And there was Marianne, with her loose hippie hair, freckles and wind-whipped cheeks. Two eras colliding – the Mad Men Sixties and the Bohemian Sixties – and suddenly the ex, who looked plucked-chicken exposed without her artifice, also looked as old fashioned as if she were wearing a corset. There was no competition. Please lawd, let that day come again soon.