Friday, May 18, 2012

Moms and Makeup

image courtesy of
Christy here, when I was little, I loved watching my mother apply makeup.

Soon, I started trying it for myself. I loved the colors, the brushes, the lipsticks. My mother washed her face with certain soaps. Over the years she's tried different brands of cosmetics and for a time was even a Mary Kay lady.  

I remember my grandmother sitting at her dresser applying cold cream to her face and hands at nighttime after she'd cleansed her face. She wore makeup, but it was much less than what my mother applied. It didn't take me long to catch on to the love of sitting at Granny's glass top dresser - it had a lace doily between the wood and the glass that made it look so fine and delicate. Granny used a mirror that had a silver handle, which was quite sharp at the end point, and on the back of the mirror's face was a pretty blue background with a floral design. She had all sorts of glass bottles that sat on top of a little tray that were just as fancy. Granny was born in 1918, so even her customs of putting on make up at her dresser, and then her nightly ritual of applying moisturizer and brushing her hair, was different from my mother.

Mama was born in 1955 - a surprise to Granny who found herself unable to get pregnant after her first daughter, Judy. Mama came along eleven years later.   But I've digressed, Mama always put her make up on in front of the sink and mirror in the bathroom.

Here I come, born in 1975, full of fire and stubbornness. I bit different from my kind and patient mother and grandmother. Speaking of makeup, I divide my application like this: The first portion is put on in front of the mirror in the bathroom, I'm standing in front of the sink. The only part I apply at home is foundation, eyebrow pencil(which I don't leave home without!) and face powder/blush.  While sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on the way to work 5 days a week, I apply my eyeshadow, mascara, and lipstick - but if my morning coffee isn't gone, I hold on the lipstick.

All three of us were similar in that we liked to look nice when we went to work, church, or to see family and friends. Part of looking nice was makeup. The way we went about our mornings was entirely different. Here, we can see the generational change. My grandmother lived in a much slower pace. She grew up during the Depression and lived during the major wars of the 20th century.  My mother grew up during a time when racial movements were happening, When people protested wars and wore low slung bell bottoms and short shorts. Peace, dude.

As for me, this is a time when there is never enough time. The house is usually a wreck and I've chosen to want to be a writer, while managing a full time job and trying to be my best to my husband and children. Not to mention my doctor has in formed me I need to lose weight. Not that I was surprised... But here's one more thing I need to think about. There is rarely rest. Barely time to thank our maker for all He has done. Worship for me is listening to Christian radio as much as possible and having talks with God throughout the day - usually saying: "Lord, please forgive me for that bad word I said" or, "Lord, please forgive me for thinking that way, or acting that way" or, "Lord, please help me be patient."  I also attend church on Sundays, sometimes Wednesday nights, and try to keep focused on the sermon... but my mind wanders with all the other things I know I need to do... : /

I'm sure my mother and grandmother had similar experiences, but I'm thinking it was a little less hurried.

Just like applying make up, we do the same things, but we have a different way of accomplishing the task. My ways are not the better ways - that's my disclaimer for this post.  Thanks for hanging out with me today and allowing me to share my memories of two of my most favorite women.


  1. Christy, I can relate so much to what you're saying. My mom and grandma were the same way about makeup and looking nice. And, of course, that transcended down to me and my girls. However, I'm much quicker in the process than my mother ever was.

    Nice post, Christy. Nostalgic. I like it.

  2. I loved the post, Christy! I'm sorry I didn't get by over the weekend to read it.

    My grandmother always wore the same face powder (Coty Airspun), and I remember the smell so well! I always loved being near her, knowing her familiar scent. She also wore really red (blue-red) lipstick.

    My mother never wore any makeup except for a very bright orange-red lipstick! Whenever she had a special occasion, she would try putting a little makeup on, but she never could do mascara by herself, so I would try to put it on her while she blinked like crazy. :)

    I started sneaking around wearing makeup in about 7th grade!! Bright blue eyeshadow and frosty pink lipgloss. LOL I wasn't officially allowed to wear it until later. And I've loved makeup ever since.

    Great post!