Picture it, 1984: my grandmother and mother took me to a kiddie salon at Neshaminy Mall in Pennsylvania and cut my hair off. I mean off. They saw a little girl on television and she was so cute with this little bob hair cut. So they took me to go get it. I already had such a chubby little face so this was bad. I was young, about 4 so I had no idea what was going on or how it would shape my life over the next year. Kids literally asked me if I was a boy or girl. I was so confused, didn’t I look like a girl? Looking back now, I see why. I was upset at those old pictures I came across. I looked like I could pass for both. Fast forward nearly 40 years, and I have a passionate undying love for everything makeup to make me look like a girl so there was no confusion.

I love makeup beyond anything except my children and husband. There is something so special about opening a new make up palette and all the colors. Now my skin is pretty fair, with hazel eyes that change color, and a brunette with some grays. (Okay, a lot of grays). I feel like there are only a few amounts of colors that I can wear with my genetic combination. It never stops me from buying a new palette every Christmas or my birthday.

Over quarantine, I like many other women, did not wear make up. I felt so weird attending Zoom meetings in sweats and no make up at all. That was crazy for me. I mean crazy. At first I was like this is really not good, these people are all going to talk about me and say how ugly I am without make up and all those feelings from 1984 would come back. I sometimes would throw on some mascara and and blush to keep me from looking I was dead, but most days it was nothing.

A few months later my makeup just continued to sit. I didn’t do anything with it. I looked at it on my vanity and a part of me was wanting to put it on to try some new looks, but then I thought, I’m just wasting it because I have nowhere to go. I finally, finally started to shift in my appearance-no joke, I literally had yoga pants that I considered going out pants and some that were for laying on the couch. I started getting really comfortable.

The funny thing is, I started to not care about wearing any make up. Nobody treated me differently, thankfully no one screamed and ran away. I started to feel comfortable in my own skin. It really took quarantine to do this? Yes, I guess it did. Even as teenager, I never left the house without makeup. NEVER. I was dolled up to go to Wawa. (Wawa is a convenience store for those not in Jersey/Philly). I was always on top of my game.

Now when I look in the mirror I notice that my skin looks really good-it’s not filled with concealer, and foundation or eyeliner or mascara, I just look like…me. And I started to notice for the first time ever, that I wasn’t that bad. And I was ok with that.

The moral of the story, nothing you buy is going to better your outlook. Sometimes it takes a compliment or a smile from someone across the room or in my case, a quarantine. Being beautiful is how you see yourself- not how others see you. And that is beautiful in itself.

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