Put your face on

I wouldn’t want to run
Into him looking like I feel.
Carrie Bradshaw

Let he or she or thee who has never put a brave face on cast the first lipstick.

Make up truly is a lovely thing. I mean, it s all there in the words isn’t? Make up, as in, making something up, like making happiness up. You can fake your rosy cheeks and eye lashes and pretend all is well, too. Us women really have this advantage over men. Poor souls, it’s all right there on their faces, their sleepless nights spent agonizing over things, their anxieties, their rough mornings, while us women can just take that Mac concealer and bask in our eight hour cream and no one will ever need to know we spent all night crying in our corner, quietly. Make up
is a shield against people’s questions, against their whispers (foundation’s big with battered women) against their plain speaking: hi, what’s wrong you look like shit?As I’m a woman of too many words, these questions can be dangerous with me and I tend to use make up as the social equivalent of cold cream: it smoothes things around without being sticky, so you don’t have to feel you wished you’d never ask.
Pretence and society go hand in hand, helped by the almighty cosmetic, for what would become of us if we started jumping at people’s throats right left and center screaming our last woes? Could you imagine the horrror? Oh hi, How are you? You look a bit peaky this morning? WAAAAHHH YEEEEESSSSSS I hate my liiiiiife (please insert tears, hair tearing, manic look and all round scary shocking behaviour as you see fit). No, clearly not the way to go.
And then there are the days when even pretence is superfluous, when lifting your hand to apply kohl is beyond you, when it s all right there, on your bare little face, when your hollow eyes and dark circles say it all. No more acting, the gloves are off. I ll always remember my sister’s reaction at the funeral of a loved one, she looked at me and said; you took your make up off? I had never put it on, what for? Death has this way about it, it renders everything else incongruously useless, you re kind of washed by the absoluteness of it, the definiteness of it. The equality of it. No make up needed for death, it sees underneath anyway. So i was spooked by the numbers of “you re pale be careful” that I got that day, it was kind of bitter sweet really, all these women panda eyed from the crying and the mascara, telling me i looked empty and pale.
Every day has a different reason for make up, whether it’s a mundane thing or a more serious issue, that’s why I tend to try not to judge women who wear too much of it. Maybe they’re protecting themselves. Maybe they just sodding well likeit, maybe it cheers them up in the morning, just to give themselves a really dramatic look as a really good kick off start of day.
After all, most of the times, don t I just wear it out of habit and because, wel,l fuck it, I love pretty colours.


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