Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Not To Look Ridiculous

I'm reading "How Not To Look Old" by Charla Krupp. I was browsing in a bookstore, picked this up and couldn't put it down. So, I bought it. It's good for at least one month, and then it will be obsolete in terms of fashion. But some information in it was brand new to me, and seem relevant to the age bracket I'm in.

I'm growing out of my 30 something make up routine. I am in my mid-40's and need to make adjustments, not because I'm trying to look younger, but because I don't want to look ridiculous.

The compliments keep flowing about my new reddish brown hair. While at Target today, I ran into Tanya--a customer of mine from work who always looks wonderful every day I see her--and she remarked that I looked great. She never said that to me before, and I get the feeling she doesn't say it frivolously. So, good to know the hair is working for me. But that was a lucky break--I really didn't know what would happen and I really didn't know what to do if I had to correct a bad mistake. I need to quit doing things by trial and error. I need an expert like Charla Krupp. In the old days, I had friends and my sisters. My sisters and I are in different age brackets, so they don't know everything I need to know. And I don't know anyone in my age group in Michigan who are trading beauty pointers. We don't talk about it, which is a shame.

Krupp is a beauty editor and tests a lot of products from a lot of beauty manufacturers. She has the facts about what works for women my age and older and why, and what I really appreciate, is that the information she gives seems like it is from right now. Not last year or 6 months back, and she is honest enough to say that things will probably change in the future. I want to know what works so that I don't waste my money on the wrong things. My foundation is three years old. My eye shadow is five years old. I don't wear old mascara (been there, done that and scratched one cornea too many), because I don't like massive eye infections. And my favorite shade of lipstick (raisin) is getting low. I'm not looking to put out a ton of cash into updating these things, and I want to be choosy since the beauty budget is limited these days.

And so Krupp is saving me some big bucks. For instance, raisin is too dark a shade of lip color for me and since it is in the mauve category, it doesn't flatter as much anymore, according to Krupp. I tried it and saw what she meant--the dark color actually drained the color from my face and made me look tired. She recommends pink. I hate pink. I bought pink once--lipstick costs almost eight bucks--and I thought I looked like a clown. So I looked at pink lipstick for almost half an hour at Target today until my eyes crossed. I looked at my natural lip color in a mirror like Krupp suggested and tried to guess what matched. I figured something in a rose and in a gloss would work. Krupp also reassured her readers that places like Target takes back make up that was opened and tried and didn't work out, as long as there is a receipt and taken back soon after the purchase. So, I took the plunge and bought the cheapest (six bucks) in the shade I thought would work. And back at home, it did. It wasn't obnoxious, it was flattering and it was fresh looking. When raisin finishes up (I've been wearing this same lip color for ten years) I have a replacement that I feel good with.

Krupp also has recommendations and advice for three different kinds of women: high maintenance, medium and low (or cheap). I'm low maintenance all across the board for everything, but it amazes me what some women will spend, what is possible to spend. Even at the cheap end, it feels expensive to me. I don't agree with everything in Krupp's book, like trying to have white teeth (bleaching them wears away the enamel).

Yes, beauty is vain and charm is deceitful. I totally agree that it is way more important that I fear the Lord and align my life according to His assessment. But I live in a world and work in a field where appearance is important. Ruth and Esther stepped up when the occasion determined that they needed to look their best, but they knew that it wasn't their externals that made a difference, but God working through them and around them and in them. But meticulous grooming has its place. And also, not looking ridiculous.

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