Monday, May 7, 2001
I'll tell you what. My skin doesn't feel very luminous. It just doesn't feel luminous at all. After a year and a half of nighttime feedings, after getting chicken pox last fall, after redefining "beauty ritual" to mean cleanser twice a day, I do not feel that "luminous" is an appropriate modifier for this covering on my flesh. Haggard, perhaps. Perhaps fatigued, if one is feeling kind.
And here's Glamour magazine, chock full of ads and articles telling me my skin needs to glow. Not shine, no, no that's last year. Not sparkle -- year before last. And we're certainly not looking for a smooth, matte finish. That was so long ago the necessary products had to be applied with tree bark and fish scales. Now it's got to glow, and the magazine pages are lit up with women who appear to have swallowed fluorescent candles. No one can argue that they are, in a word, luminous.
The last time I revamped my makeup bag was in early 1999. I was in LA, and Susannah was making me take off my glasses a lot, and she pointed out a few things I needed to change. So I went to Barney's and bought a little diagonal brush, and a black MAC shadow to use as liner, and a little thingy of Bobbi Brown gloss, some other stuff. And the pathetic thing, the thing that is just laden, just dripping with utter pathos, is that I still think of these items as new. Sort of exciting. Dangerous.
In a month, I'm going to be 29. A year after that, I'll be thirty. And on top of that, I'm a mother. That is to say, I'm approaching the age and situation in life where I can no longer pull of pigtails in public. Suddenly, my husband is at a loss for gift ideas, because I know longer really care what the new MAC lipstick colors are this season, and as for my hair -- well, I've been using his hairbrush for the last year or so, and didn't even seem to notice.
But strangely, we adapt. The other day, I flounced out of the bathroom and leaned over the sofa, thrusting my face into his, and said, "Do you notice anything different about me?" Now in the old days, this question would have caused him to break out in a cold sweat. Hair? New lipstick? Manicure? Dress? What? But this time, he studied me for a second, and said, "Wow, you plucked your eyebrows! They look great -- so sleek and refined." Okay, it was said with a little bit of smugness, and his subsequent joyful fist-pumping at having gotten the answer made me dissolve into a puddle of hysterical giggles, but it was correct. I had in fact plucked my eyebrows. They were in fact sleek and refined.
"Honey," I said, "Is my skin luminous?" And he said that it was. So luminous in fact that he felt the need for corrective retinal surgery. So luminous we could surely expect a decrease in our electric bill. We no longer needed to worry about giving that ivy in the bathroom better access to sunlight. Okay, okay, he's learned his lines well. But who am I to complain? I may not be promenading around the clubs in pink babydoll dresses anymore, but thanks to my loyal husband, I still feel like I glow, just a little.
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