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.

Such beauty.

When I saw this picture, I couldn’t help but feel at ease. This Christmas season has felt like no other Christmastime before it. There are still the classic shows on television, but some of the magic was missing. I was scrolling through Pinterest and came across this stunner. I felt something when I saw this. Maybe it was just the beauty of it. Maybe it was the calming effect of it for me. Maybe it reminded me to slow down and look at the details a bit-notice the colors of things more accurately and put a feeling with what I was looking at. There was definitely a connection here. How have you been feeling this year? Is it hard to put into words? As parents we are still buying presents, baking, and moving the elf, but is it harder or easier to get into the spirit? I would love to thank BlueGrayGal for the sharing her beautiful tree with the world…my soul really needed this.