The Make-under


Wearing a mask has become second nature, almost because I still have to think about bringing one whenever I leave our apartment for the day. Like my mask, I now carry a clear bag of sanitation gear (disinfectant wipes, gloves, hand sanitizer, and a spare mask). While my sanitizing gear has increased, my makeup bag has shrunk. Gone are the two-three lipsticks, two eyeliners, pressed powder, and eyeshadow. Since I’m not attending any client events or spending evenings with clients for the foreseeable future, I don’t need the extra “evening” makeup. And, it got me thinking:  Could I get through the day with less make-up? Can I wear less makeup and still feel like me?

To know me is to know I love makeup. I have loved makeup my entire life. I love wearing it. I love how I feel when I wear makeup, even on a Saturday when we are just running errands or bumming around at home. I am a firm believer that when a person looks their best, they feel their best. Makeup is like the armor for my self-confidence. I can conquer the world when I am wearing red lipstick and a little eyeliner. My earliest experiences with makeup were of watching my Mama, Lola Sally, or Aunt Barbara put on makeup before they went out for the day. Once in a great while, I was allowed to wear a little lipstick. In general, makeup was reserved for “grownups.”  When I was finally permitted to wear makeup at the end of middle school, I never looked back. Wearing red lipstick was my entrance into womanhood.

Up until the last few years, my makeup routine was minimal; it consisted of powder, eyeliner, lip liner, and my signature red lip. If I was going somewhere fancy, I would add eyeshadow and blush. When BB cream, the multi-tasking wonder (concealing, mattifying, and sun-shielding)  arrived,  I added it to the mix. Then I added a nude lip liner and mascara. A five-minute face quickly turned into a fifteen minute face. But I couldn’t deny the swagger I had when I wore more makeup, especially when I paired it with a fabulous suit or sheath dress. 

Fast forward to the present…A few weeks ago. I started subtracting items just to see if I could do it. I started with blush, then the BB cream. I kept the moisturizer with sunblock. I tried going without lipstick, but I don’t look or feel my best without it.  For my eyes, I kept them made-up since they are the only things people really see. I limit my eye routine to eye gel (Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eyeroller is a lifesaver) powder, nude eyeshadow, and waterproof eyeliner. Other than my eye makeup and lipstick, my face is bare. I’ve come full-circle and have returned to a five-minute face routine. 

Given how hectic life has become with two children, juggling distance learning and work schedules, some parents might contend that a quicker routine would be a good thing. It is and it isn’t. On one hand, I appreciate that I can look great with fewer products and less time. At the same time, I appreciate that time for myself and morning self-care. Therein is the moral of my personal story: putting on makeup and wearing makeup is a form of self-care. These days, mamas, we all need a little self-care wherever we can get it. How do you get yours?

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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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