FOUNTAIN of youth

I’ve always considered myself pretty low-maintenance, but a partial tally of the beauty products in my bathroom one recent morning has made me rethink that assumption.

I currently possess products that shine and soften my hair, and some that hold it in place. Others supposedly de-puff the bags under my eyes and keep me wrinkle-free. I don’t color my hair (and probably never will), but the white in my eyebrows bothers me; a quick application of brow mascara each morning takes care of that.

My skin is cleansed, scrubbed, softened, protected from the sun’s damaging rays and tinted to perfection by half a drawer full of stuff that advertisers, web sites and magazines have convinced me are necessary to lift my drooping eyelids and sagging self-esteem. But wait – there’s more! Mascara eyeliner, tinted moisturizer, maybe a little powder, and blush (which I do just typing this list) complete me from the neck up.

When on earth did I become so insecure about my looks that I sold out? I’ve bought lock, stock and hair gel into the myth that natural aging needs to be camouflaged. Our compulsion to stay young and look beautiful is fed by insecurity, cultural immersion, perfectionism and peer pressure. Intellectually, I know that no one is going to love me because I’ve slathered my pale legs with bronzer, yet like a lemming headed over the cliff, I scan Real Simple for the best brands. If I really wanted simple, I’d ditch the magazine and the bronzer and pocket the savings.

There’s nothing that cures the not-so-beautiful blues like checking out the web for those celebrity-without-make-up shots. OMG, they don’t look ANY better than I do! They’re actually women, not goddesses. Without airbrushing and stylists, they’re … human. Imagine that.

Monday, I gave up the face tint. I’m fully stocked with all kinds of stuff at the moment (thanks, Costco), but as I use it up I’m going try to break my addiction. Like any habit, it costs a bundle, and frankly, I have a lot more important things to spend my money on.

Maybe I’ll join a nicer gym. I really need to lose a few pounds.

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About Mindy

I am divorced, no kids, working full-time in corporate communications. There are never enough hours in my day, mostly because I insist on hygiene, food, exercise and clean dishes. Really, how do women with kids do it?!?
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