A makeup artist needed a volunteer so she could show a group of women how to apply foundation, blush, lipstick, and other facial cosmetics before venturing out into the world.
Guess who was chosen?
It was 1977. I had never applied makeup. The process looked overwhelming, especially the liquid foundation that seemed to be more of a mask than an enhancer.
My daily regimen at the time was smoothing Vaseline on my face and lips to reduce dry skin problems.
The artist cleansed my skin before adding each layer of makeup. Everyone sitting in front of me was glued to their seat, watching the techniques and my transformation.
At the end the audience praised the artist and me, too, for agreeing to volunteer.
One thing was missing at the presentation – a mirror. I never saw the results, and I didn’t ask to see it. Audience members, all people I considered as friends, said I looked terrific. I took their word that my appearance went from plain to glamorous.
This event occurred many years ago, so I don’t recall the makeup location or how I got home. I do recall the foundation feeling tight on my face and wanting to scratch around my cheeks and eyes. It was uncomfortable, but I believed I looked better than ever.
When I arrived home, I went straight to the bathroom and looked in the mirror.
I was horrified.
All I could see was a face resembling a clown without the nose and hair.
I reached for my washcloth and soap and began scrubbing. The white-colored washcloth quickly changed to brown. It took numerous scrubbings to remove all of the cosmetics, especially the foundation. The lipstick was also an uncomplementary shade.
It was good to see the old me staring back in the mirror. I vowed never again to be a guinea pig, especially one without access to a mirror. Thinking back, I’m glad to not have seen the results on the spot. The disappointment would have been too much for me to show in person.
No one can do anything to you that you don’t allow to happen. For too many years, I let other people get and do what they wanted from and to me, and in one situation, it almost cost my life. Thankfully, those days are over.
People whom you do not allow to control you will call you names – selfish, stubborn, stuck up, conceited, not a team player, etc. You cannot claim that label if it’s not yours.
You don’t have to volunteer, be the test case, or any of that unless it’s what you want and it clearly benefits you.
In late 2015, I went to a cosmetic store for the very first time and allowed the salesperson to apply lipstick and liner. It was my choice, and it was fun.
Some colors were not for me while other shades were pretty. I walked out satisfied and looking great, and yes, there were mirrors everywhere for me to see my lips transformed from plain to glamorous.
It’s your life; it’s your call; and no one can apply a mask or label unless you allow it.