Saturday, September 04, 2010

Mom's Makeup

Most little kids eventually get into Mom's makeup, right? Some are still at it years later.

I would have been killed, had I dared.

Not that I really wanted to. Mom was not much into makeup. She owned a couple of cheap lipsticks, some loose powder, a compact, a small jar of rouge, one eyebrow pencil and some mascara that I'm pretty sure dated back to the Second World War.

It was a solid cake, like an ink block, and water had to be added. You had to scrub the cake with the small brush provided until a suitable amount had mounded up on the bristles. Mom's had a pretty deep rut from the brush, and she only used it maybe twice a year, so I figured it had to be at least vintage; possibly antique.

Another thing that kept me out of that stuff? Mom used to spit on it to moisten it. Yup. There wasn't a germ alive that was a match for Mom's genes!

I went over to a friend's house one evening, and came home looking like a raccoon. My friend had a lot of makeup. I think I came home wearing all of it. Caught hell, too. It was all very well to dress up, but I was not allowed to go out in public like that.

I had to get Special Permission from Dad to wear lipstick and nylons to a school dance...and that continued until I was a Senior. It was always granted, but not right away. I had to start about ten days before the dance, begging, cajoling and campaigning to get that important permission. Without the chance to wear makeup and stockings, the school dance was just another sock hop.

Fashionable, when I was in high school, were very light pink and white shades of lipstick, blue and turquoise eye shadow, and tons of eyeliner and mascara. Geez. We all looked like zombies with yellow teeth...

Still, you could get a lipstick for a quarter, or tiny samples from the Avon lady. I never knew what anything else cost, because I couldn't afford it and wouldn't have known what to do with it.

It was hard to get through high school, looking like a twelve-year-old. Even harder when not allowed to wear any sort of makeup, or nylons, or high heels.

The circle completes itself. Now, it has to be a pretty formal occasion (or a play) for me to don any of those things!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the memories. Makeup was also rationed; it was mostly verboten. In my case, my mom found the clothes of crazy teenagers the most offensive. It was the introduction of hip-hugger bellbottom bluejeans (the first introduction, as far as I know, back in the very early 70's). We got ours at Academy Surplus, that was the cheapest place to shop. The way the 8th grade girls wore theirs was the cool way: they would sew the inseams together so that the jeans fit tightly around their thighs, then the bells fell like a waterfall below the knee. My mom refused, said it made a girl look "cheap" to wear such tight jeans. No, Mom, that's what made them look cool! My 7th grade heart lusted after bellbottom bluejeans that would make me look cool. So I wore my bluejeans a few times to school, then secretly hand-stitched the inseams to make the jeans fit tighter. I snuck my now "cool" bellbottom bluejeans to school and changed into them before classes began, then back to regular clothes before Mom picked me up at end of day. I don't remember when it ended or if my ruse was discovered. Maybe I realized I looked ridiculous. Maybe I just outgrew the pants. Maybe the fashion changed. Ha! But only for 30plus years, right? I wear hip-hugger bellbottoms again, and I don't have to get someone's permission to look ridiculous. And I still buy them the Goodwill. Because I'm a mom now, and I realize it's crazy to pay retail prices for a pair of jeans for a growing body, in this case mine!