Ah, the festive season. A time when most women look forward to getting dolled up with glamorous makeup and swanky little cocktail dresses. (I said swanky, not skanky. Don’t put words in my mouth.)
I, on the other hand, try to attend only events where I can wear jeans and swill beer in my usual bare-faced comfort.
Once upon a time, I wore makeup. And by “once upon a time”, I don’t mean, literally, “once”. I mean there was a time in my life, decades ago, when I actually wore it frequently. There are many good reasons why I stopped wearing it. Here’s one of them.
Blue eyeshadow was fashionable when I was in junior high school. I was a geeky kid. The eyeshadow package had instructions. What could possibly go wrong?
My younger sister was involved in a school Christmas concert. Mom had to be there early to help out, and Dad was to bring me along later, in time for the actual performance.
Feeling very grown-up, I decided to wear my new eyeshadow. The package contained two shades of vivid blue. I read the instructions carefully. They said something like, “Apply darker shade on eyelid and blend lighter shade up to brow bone”.
This confused me. I thought eyeshadow was supposed to go on the eyelids. My brow bone seemed a helluva long way up there.
I spent a short time puzzling over the exact definition of “brow bone”, but I didn’t think there was a hidden meaning. I seem to recall actually looking it up in the encyclopedia to make sure I’d gotten it right (I told you I was a geek). No alternate definitions for “brow bone”.
Little did I know that researching “brow bone” was the wrong approach. I should have researched the word “blend”. Or maybe looked in a fashion magazine to see how the real makeup artists did it, though that’s an iffy proposition at best.
Cheerfully oblivious to better judgement, I smeared blue eyeshadow all the way up to my eyebrows.
Dad made no comment, and off we went.
We arrived in the already dimmed auditorium and found seats. Just before the show began, my mother arrived to join us. I distinctly remember the look of horror on her face, but I can’t remember exactly what she said. The gist of her reaction was, “You let her go out looking like that?!?”
To which Dad replied with his usual honesty, “It all looks awful to me. I couldn’t tell the difference.”
I’d like to say I learned my lesson that night and always applied my makeup tastefully from then on. Sadly, however, photographic evidence suggests otherwise. I respectfully submit that I may have been the main reason behind blue eyeshadow’s subsequent decline in popularity. Don’t say I never did anything for you.
These days, I only wear makeup when I’m having pictures taken, which mercifully only happens once every few years. I wear the makeup for exactly long enough to have the picture taken, and then I immediately go home and scrub it all off.
Earth tones only. Never, ever blue eyeshadow.