How to look like you don’t care, in almost no time at all

lipstickA makeup tutorial popped up in my Facebook feed the other day that I couldn’t help but watch. I was GUARANTEED to be BLOWN AWAY by what this woman did with red lipstick.

I had gobs of stuff to do that afternoon, which is why I was on Facebook in the first place.

You know. Multitasking.

The video by Deepica Mutyala showed me how to cover dark circles under my eyes with red lipstick. Assuming I have dark circles under my eyes. And that I actually wear makeup.

I had so much to do. I kept watching. Mesmerized.

I don’t have dark circles, but I do have a rather obvious scar on one side of my nose due to my teenage desire to be a bronze goddess. The scar is about the size of a quarter, and depending upon the weather or my mood it can be any shade from pale pink to magenta. I’ve tried camouflaging it with face powder and a little concealer, which makes it look like a big scar someone tried to cover up with face powder and concealer.

And then I rub my face, or change clothes or something and smear everything up anyway.

Most days I just content myself with the thought that my scar gives me kind of a badass look, like a female Indiana Jones with a laptop instead of a whip. If I’m wearing anything to try to cover the thing up, I’m almost certain to have someone point out I’ve got a little something-something on my nose. I know they’re going to feel bad when I tell them it’s scar rather than a smudge.

Because I’m so sensitive and caring about whether people feel bad, I usually take on a Barbara Streisand accent while offering an explanation:

“It’s a SCAAH. You know, because I got THE CAN-SAAH,” I say. Anyone worth continuing a conversation with will certainly find this as funny as I do.

Really, it’s so much less awkward for everyone if I just skip the makeup.

photo (64)There was a time when I took way more care with my appearance. Back in the day my morning toilette took no fewer than ninety minutes. My 80s hair took most of my attention. I had a rather elaborate do; with evenly spaced sausage roll curls and poofy bangs. The amount of product I used rivaled the quantity of fuel it took to launch the space shuttle, and still my coiffure would hold its shape only about twenty minutes.

My cosmetic regimen took somewhat less time, but there were sponges and brushes and bottles and tubes in a rainbow of color spread out across the bathroom counter every morning.

I chose my ensemble with care, socks to match my sweater, jeans just out of the dryer, chunky earrings, bangles, Swatch with the band changed out to complement my frame of mind.

In college I dialed back on the routine a bit when I realized the ROI of time spent primping was likely to be significantly impacted by either (a) a long walk to class in wind, rain, snow, or some combination thereof, or (b) somebody dumping a glass of beer on my head at a party. I had rambunctious friends.

I condensed my prep time into sixty minutes.

Fast forward about a decade, and I was plop in the throes of young motherhood. Where sleep came in thirty-second chunks and showers were a luxury.

I perfected the art of getting presentable in sixteen minutes.

Granted, this required a significant reduction in standards. I shaved only when necessary, changed to a low-fuss hairstyle, and the only makeup I wore was whatever I had time to apply at the stoplights between home and wherever I was headed first thing in the morning.

A swipe or two of mascara, was all, really.

Today, I work from home, and I don’t always have to leave the house. Sometimes I can wear slippers and sit in my comfy chair and work away. Those are my happy, yoga pants days.

I am clearly not Deepica’s target audience. Her five-minute tutorial is about seven times as long as I spend prepping to avoid mortally embarrassing my kids at the school drop-off.

This weekend, I have a rare opportunity for some quality girl time, to which I’ve been looking forward for weeks. The dress code for the next couple of days has been classified as “mountain casual” which means: as gussied up as we feel like getting, keeping in mind the snow banks we’ll have to climb over to get to the bar. The good news is: none of these gals has a rep for pouring beer on anyone.

Whatever it is, “mountain casual” is likely a step or two up from yoga pants, but still not a huge fuss. Whatever. A weekend with just the girls will surely include ample time for primping, and anyone barging into the bathroom is more likely to want to jostle for mirror time than need my help finding clean laundry or their school notebook. While I’m packing, I might root around in my dusty old makeup drawer to see if I still have a “face” to put on.

I might even locate a tube or two of red lipstick.


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  1. Although you\’re still beautiful, I have to say, what a cutie you were in the 80\’s!
    So… red lipstick erases dark circles? That woman must be a wizard, cause I am certain red lipstick around my eyes would be the base for my zombie costume makeup.
    I hope you have a wonderful time on your girls\’ retreat!

  2. I can\’t stand to read/watch a beauty tip that claims to take less than 5 minutes. Well, that is 5 minutes I don\’t have. One time at the dermatologist office, they tried to sell me something that I\’d have to tack on to my nightly routine. I gave them a big hell no. Yesterday I did my 5 second hairstyle (pretty much clipped it up). So I hear ya on all accounts.

  3. I\’m going to try that, actually!

    Your talk about the 80s reminded me of a conversation I had with my 22 year old step-daughter, who was lamenting her 5th grade haircut. I told her that in late elementary and middle school, it was the 80s for me. We did unspeakable things to our bangs, and sprayed enough aquanet to put a hole in the ozone layer. So, she\’s got nothing on a bad haircut.