Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. So, in the spirit of growth and healing, I will admit that I want to be the pretty girl in the room. I need to be the pretty girl in the room and not just any room, but every room. I am afraid that my obsession with any product or tool that promises to erase all flaws and send me dewy-complexioned back to the age of 19 has reached critical mass. An intervention may be necessary.
My extreme desire to pickle and even enhance my appearance is evident if you look in my master bathroom. Every possible inch of storage space is occupied. The middle drawer of the double sink vanity is filled with makeup sponges, Q-Tips, and moisturizer creams. Whitening toothpaste, hair ties, facial scrubs, hand cream, two anti-aging lotions, under-eye cream, and more moisturizers sit on the vanity. Apparently, I am preparing for a Dust Bowl style drought to occur in my bathroom and on my face. Under the sink, three shoeboxes of various half-used makeup products lay in wait for their second shot at glory. If only I could figure out how to apply the stuff, I could transform into a Kardashian, before Kanye West forced Kim to look more natural, of course. Who needs natural? I want perfection!
To the left of the vanity is a separate cabinet. A set of hot rollers, two curling irons, a flat iron, a lighted magnifying mirror, and an 1800 volt hair dryer litter the top of the cabinet. (I either really need my own power grid, or Al Gore should explain global warming to me personally, as I am clearly playing fast and loose with my electric bill.) The first shelf of the cabinet is filled with talc, anti static fabric spray, body sprays, nail polish, nail polish removers, face masks, fabric fresheners, and more lotions and creams. Good, Lord, exactly how dry is my skin?
The second shelf contains a basket full of the makeup I actually wear on a daily basis along with makeup brushes, pencil sharpeners, tweezers, lash curlers, and tiny scissors, just in case I need to cut something tiny. I’m not sure what that tiny object might be, but I must have the tiny scissors in case of a tiny emergency.
Next to the basket of daily makeup and tools, is a basket of hair products: hair spray, root lifter, straightening spray, anti-frizz cream, styling mouse, styling gel, curl boosting mouse, and curl defining cream. I do not have curly hair. I have curly hopes and dreams. So, the curling products are completely useless, but I keep them.
Lastly, the bottom shelf is filled with every beauty-concious Doomsday Prepper’s dream: big, multi-compartment traveling cases, tiny lipstick cases, quilted bags, and stain proof, vinyl cosmetic bags, all waiting to be filled and thrown in a suitcase or tote bag in case I have to bug out.
Now, you may be forming some pretty accurate criticisms to send in my direction, but slow your roll for a minute. I recently learned that Allure magazine tests over 2,500 new beauty products each year in order to give out their coveted Allure Beauty Awards. This means that I am far from alone in vanity boat. I have many women, and probably some men, too, riding along with me in search of the skin, hair, and body of our youth.
So, after careful consideration regarding the contents of my master bathroom, I have come to the following conclusions:
- I put way too much pressure on my 37-year-old self to look 19
- I do not and will never again look 19, so I must find a way to accept this truth and be happy with the face, body and hair I have now
- A fool and her money are easily parted, especially if standing in front of the empty promises in a cosmetic counter or CVS beauty aisle
- Sephora and Ulta are the two most dangerous stores for me to enter with any method of payment available
- I seriously need to clean out my bathroom
- And, finally, I should seek fulfillment in more substantial areas of my life rather than focus on the size of my pores, daily additions of new fine lines, my inability to create the perfect smoky eye, and the fact that no matter what I put in my hair, three hours into my day it will part down the middle and fall flat, beckoning the other drowned rats of the world, “Follow me! I am your leader!”
Yes, indeed. I should focus on the more substantial areas of my life: family, career, being a good and decent person. I’ll get right on that, right after I tweeze my eyebrows…