Monday, May 30, 2016

A polish, quadrilateral

I was not a "make-up" person as a child. Or as an adolescent. Or as a young adult. I am not sure whether I found it terribly boring, or I considered myself too cool (the cool word for nerdy) to devote time to make-up. Also, it did not help that my parents were strongly against the very idea of make-up, and I never did want to disappoint them on any plane (my grades stand testimony to that). However, over the years, my views on make-up have changed. I have learnt to respect people who love themselves enough to spend time on and with themselves. And, looking good always makes one feel oodles better. Now, the years are all lost, and I have nothing to blame but my own laziness for not having loved myself enough. Though realization has hit me late rather than never, it hasn't really changed anything on the make-up side. I still don't own any make-upy products, though it ain't for lack of trying. 

Oh yes, I have attempted to walk into fancy shops in high end malls selling the latest in make-up, but always paused at the entrance, my feet growing colder by the millisecond. What will I ask for? Wouldn't I look dumb if I didn't know a foundation cream from a foundation lotion? Wouldn't I seem stupid if I didn't know what tone of face powder suited my skin? Would that good looking beautician over there look down upon me if I told her I don't know how to apply mascara? And, so, I would drop the idea, and quickly walk out of the mall, congratulating myself on saving money than spending it on make-up I don't understand.

While make-up has been, is, and will continue to be an elusive dream, I do have one vice (or virtue) that makes up for the lack of make-up. I love nail polish, always have. And, mind you, no disapproving glances from the parents have turned me off the allure of the polish. The only problem is, I don't get the damn thing. I mean, not get as in find or buy. I just don't have a very healthy relationship with it. The polish doesn't turn into an elegant show of beauty on my hands and feet. Ne'er has, and looks like ne'er will. 

Countless are the times when I, as a 12 year old put it on, smudged the whole thing on all my nails because I wanted to walk immediately to the bathroom and wash my hands and feet, and then removed it impatiently with the nail polish remover. Typically, by the third such cycle, I would be done for the day, only to resume a few weeks later. Strangely, it has never bothered me that after all that investment of time and polish, my nails would be colorless. 

Now, as a grown up, it is no better, though I have learnt the art of approximately fitting some color into the almost-quadrilateral surfaces my nails are, blowing hard and strong at each nail for a good 2 minutes after the application, and then resume my walk to the bathroom. Also, I have learnt why I apply nail polish, without bothering about the inelegance of the outcome. I like the idea of coloring my nails, and the time I am doing it keeps me happy. It doesn't seem to matter that the end result wouldn't be beautiful in the socially acceptable sense. 

How liberating to know that I have always loved myself in my own little way, applying quadrilateral polishes to my hands and feet, if not skin-tone foundation and sky-blue mascara to my face!

1 comment:

PPS said...

I identify with this. I used to wonder how girls could spend hours on wearing makeup... Today I realise it's a full time job in itself! & requires almost the same amount of skill that we perhaps put in our office jobs.
When I was getting married, I gathered courage and walked into a MAC store, & candidly told the salesgirl/ makeup artist that I knew zilch about makeup but that I wanted to buy a few products... Mercifully, she didn't judge!