My grandma always is dressed up, ready to go somewhere fancy no matter where we are actually going. She wears wedges, a long skirt, and blouse to Wal-Mart no matter how hot it may be, either. With her perfect attire, she completes her look by accessories from my grandfather: ruby jewelry. When my grandfather proposed to my grandma, he did so with a large ruby ring with matching earrings and my grandma wears the jewelry every day since. No look would be complete without a curl in her hair paired with a lipstick and mascara combo.
She grew up in a time where a sloppy bun on top of a head and no makeup on a girls face meant she wasn’t presentable and ready for anyone to see her. While she understands the differences between my generation and her own, she still hasn’t shaken old habits of getting gussied up to go to simple places.
One time while I was visiting my grandma, I decided to get ready in the morning in my grandma’s bathroom next to her. She still had her foam curlers in as I entered her bathroom without a lick of makeup on, but she still looked gorgeous to me. Immediately my first step in my makeup routine is to put on concealer over my dark circles and get a little mascara on. Right when my grandma saw me doing this, she tisked and shook her head. Confused, I looked over to her asking what had upset her. She explained to me that in her time, dark circles were beautiful and even dare she say, ‘sexy’?
While I tried arguing that today dark circles were seen differently and not as beautiful but rather as tired, she opened her linen closet and rummaged around until she pulled out a small hand-held bag with a handle. The bag was black with old style roses decorated across, looking like an old couch cushion. She placed the old makeup kit on the counter and unzipped the gold zipper to show a rose pink satin inside.
Immediately my mouth that was rambling on had closed as I laid eyes on the treasure my grandma was showing me. There were still a few old makeup supplies in there, and she pulled each little milk glass jar container out one by one. Some of the containers were filled with foundation lotion, tissue cream, and liquefying cleansing cream. Two kinds of face powder also came out and were placed in hand-decorated and painted boxes. She explained that the whiter a face was, the more ideal. Such a sharp contrast to the bronzers and tanning solution sold in the U.S. today.
My grandma told the story behind the kit and began to finish up her hair, taking down each curl and as I finished my makeup with my new products. I listened to how she got the box for her birthday after reaching the age of wearing makeup to church. How womanly she felt for wearing makeup, and even remembered the kit coming handy on her first dates with my grandpa.
Even though the technology may change over time, makeup still brings people together and make them feel beautiful.