Wake Up, Put on a Little Make-up!

“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy;” Yves Saint Laurent’s poetic quote along with Coco Chanel’s perfumed sentiments; “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.” Good sage advice for anyone trying to escape reality or delving into the performing arts. Stage presence is everything, and lighting, camera, say action! “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,” says Plato and that could mean anything times infinity. There’re countless moments, memories, and physical manifestations to prove beauty exists everywhere we look and as far as the all-seeing wandering eye, can see. Perception is the key to unlocking the once concealed door.

That’s how I see it. Makeup was an art form that the females in my family used to bond. Just like the adhesive used in hair spray. Yes, we would emulate what we considered beautiful, and we applied artfully to stand-out while fitting in regarding societies standards. The fanatical religious beliefs, frowned upon makeup, painting nails, tattoos, piercings, and what once, I perceived, individuality. Although, I was highly uneducated to the reasons for conformity and a particular deadly sin called vanity.

“During the Victorian era, makeup was considered “an abomination” by both the crown and the church, creating strong, widespread associations between makeup, vanity, femininity, and “the Devil’s work.” “The cosmetics industry makes billions of dollars annually.” “Fashion and Hollywood have set the standards for “beauty,” and most people agree with the decorative outcomes.” Makeup is art! Women of all ages wear makeup! To most, it is important to be fashionable and keep up with the trends. But is this practice right, or wrong? Could it even be a sin?

“In many religions, vanity, in its modern sense, is considered a form of self-idolatry in which one likens oneself to the greatness of God for the sake of one’s own image, and thereby becomes separated and perhaps in time divorced (terrible term) from the Divine grace of God.” “In Christian teachings, vanity is an example of pride, one of the seven deadly sins.” Well, that’s what concealer and scripture is for; cover-up the cracks and crows-feet.

If you are so vain, then you’ll probably think this story, song, or familiar tune, is about you. Why think, otherwise? I’ve often wondered why, there’s such an emphasis on make-up; like a billion-dollar world-wide industry obsession. Oh, don’t worry, I’m completely wrapped up into this natural foundational craze as well. I pine over every detail, blemish, and garnish every whim with precise steady thought; highlighted to my personal satisfaction. The magic with make-up is simply, “the world and everything in it, is your canvas”. Be creative, respectful, and conscientious of your art, at all times. Acknowledge who can benefit, and not harm or impact negatively anyone or anything. This is a fine line of combinations and there’s hundreds of thousands you can choose!

Pertaining to vanity, there’s a plethora of special fragrances and bouquets of wildflowers to pick from. The favorited across the globe seems to be Narcissus and they’re in bloom right now, every time this year. “Narcissus was an exceptionally handsome but cold and vain youth from ancient Greece.” “Narcissus loved no one but himself and believed that he was the only one worth loving.”

“Narcissus was cruel not just in the case of Echo.” “Echo, by trying to protect Zeus, endured Hera’s wrath, and Hera made her only able to speak the last words spoken to her.” “So, when Echo met Narcissus and fell in love with him, she was unable to tell him how she felt and was forced to watch him as he fell in love with himself.” “He shunned all the rest of the nymphs as he had done poor Echo.” “One day a maiden, who had in vain endeavored to attract him, uttered a prayer that he might some time or other feel what it was to love and meet no return of affection.” “The avenging goddess (I heard Hera) granted the wish.”

“There was a clear fountain, with water like silver, to which the shepherds never drove their flocks.” “Nor did the mountain goats resort to it, nor any of the beasts of the forest; neither was it defaced with fallen leaves or branches; but the grass grew fresh around it, and the rocks sheltered it from the sun.” Fatigued from the day, Narcissus stooped down to scoop up some fresh water and replenish his perfectness, when he came across his own image.

Immediately struck by his beauty, tried to embrace himself and kiss his image to no avail. Completely entranced by himself, he starved and was held completely captivated or under a spell, couldn’t leave his place next to the water. Eventually grown into the landscape and perpetually facing himself, I’m sure he’s found Paradiso. “Shortly after his death, a white, faintly scented flower grew on the spot, bearing his name as a symbol.” Make sure you plant a few in your garden and say hello to echo for me.

We can thank my grandmother, Hollywood (Vivien Lee), World History, Elizabeth Taylor, Egypt, possibly a curse, my Greek mythology professor, and the most amazing Estee Lauder technician/representative ever to grace us with her scented, elegant, presence this Holiday afternoon, named regally Kathleen. Kathleen imparted her wisdom, art, techniques, along with colorful stories of whose who and who’s who’, with who’s not married to whom. Her perfect curled coif with feathered precision highlighted auburn bangs, framed a porcelain skinned beauty, who defied age. I’m not really sure she’s not immortal. Kathleen a friend to my grandmother and employee and artist of the famous department stores of past massive conglomerates, I like to think never really worked, but was a spirit that smelled like a real-life angel. I probably was her biggest challenge, but an A student that I was, eager to learn.

“Cosmetics are constituted mixtures of chemical compounds derived from either natural sources, or synthetically created ones.” “Cosmetics have various purposes.” “Those designed for personal care and skin care can be used to cleanse or protect the body or skin.” “Cosmetics designed to enhance one’s appearance (makeup) can be used to conceal blemishes, enhance one’s natural features (such as the eyebrows and eyelashes), add color to a person’s face and can be used to change the appearance of the face entirely to resemble a different person, creature or object.” “Cosmetics can also be designed to add fragrance to the body.”

“Egyptians famously lined their eyes with thick, extended lines.” “They used a mixture made from a combination of burnt almonds, ash, lead, ochre and copper, called “kohl”, to produce the legendary look that we now see in the hieroglyphics they left behind.” “Egyptian women also had their own form of eyeshadow, which was a crushed concoction of copper, lead and a vivid green mineral called malachite.” “The 1912 discovery of a bust depicting Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the pharaoh Akhenaten, famously relaunched the popularity of eyeliner in the U.S. after makeup had been unpopular for decades.” Did the curse emerge from the sands? “More than 3,000 years later, the historic lined eyes are seen everywhere.” “We raise our liquid eyeliner to you, Nefertiti.” We’ve been copying you ever since. Imitation is the highest form of flattery or maybe this is the curse aforementioned and meant to have stayed buried peacefully under the sands.

“Chinese royalty began to color their fingernails around the same time Egyptians were lining their eyes.” “The colors, usually silver and gold for the most high-ranking nobles, were used to distinguish social classes.” “Low-ranking nobles used red and black, while the poorest classes were forbidden from having any color on their nails.” “Then around 600 C.E., the Tang dynasty became one of China’s most notable eras for makeup.” “Women applied thick foundations of white powder to not only correct discoloration, but also to distinguish themselves from the working class’s sun-darkened skin.” “They darkened and shaped their eyebrows (sound familiar?), darkened their cheeks with red powder, and mastered the art of lipstick, using the substance “vermillion” to paint hearts on their mouths or colored their lips to a brilliant red.” “The final touch: a floral applique or a flower petal that was placed on the forehead.” Exquisite sacred beauty, I cannot help but admire. Can you enjoy a flower, without ever picking a petal?

Are you wearing your mask, has two meaning’s these days and a bunch of how-to videos on showing what products won’t wear off or smudge while wearing a mask? One pertaining to a “persona”, and the other referring to a pandemic. Back in the day, if I wanted to “get-out” of work, or didn’t have time, or thought I looked good naturally; I was sent home as sick. Seriously, all three times I utilized this strategy, it worked. Don’t wear any make-up and your boss will send you home sick, quick. They’re really nice about it too. Maybe I look that different without makeup, but thought I’d share this pro-tip if ever you need a good face scrub or just want to be fresh faced or need a well-earned day off. By the way, light application or the natural look is not a clean face! I laugh at the commercials, clearly showing otherwise.

“The oldest masks that have been discovered are 9,000 years old, being held by the Musée “Bible et Terre Sainte” (Paris), and the Israel Museum (Jerusalem).” “Most probably the practice of masking is much older, the earliest known anthropomorphic artwork is circa 30,000–40,000 years old.” Now that’s long-lasting wear!

“The North American Iroquois tribes used masks for healing which invoke the spirit of an old hunch-backed man (didn’t see that one coming did you?); see False Face Society).” Nothing seems more comforting and glamorous than an old hunchbacked spirit. “The Iroquois leadership responded to the commercialization of this tradition and released a statement against the sale of these sacred masks.” “They also called for the return of the masks from collectors and museums.” “Iroquois traditionalists object to labeling the masks as simply “artifacts” since they are not conceived as objects but the living representation of a spirit.” “In the Himalayas, masks functioned above all as mediators of supernatural forces.” You have to admit, that sounds pretty cool! Prepare for snow, it’s cold up there and a ski mask would help up the slopes.

Traditional Origin Story from Six Nations goes exactly from Wikipedia: “The Creator (Shonkwaia’tison in Cayuga, lit. ‘he has completed our bodies’), having just completed forming the earth and what was on it, was walking around admiring his handiwork when he noticed what appeared to be another man in the distance, walking toward him. They soon met, and Shonkwaia’tison asked the stranger where he had come from. The stranger replied, “I believe that I am the creator of this land, and I am walking around now admiring what I have done.” Surprised, Shonkwaia’tison said, “No, you are wrong.” “It was I who created this land.”

They bickered back and forth like this for a little while, until finally Shonkwaia’tison said, “Fine then, let us have a test to see who actually did create this land.” He pointed to a mountain in the distance. “See that mountain?” he said. “We will use our power to move it.” “The one who moves it the farthest must have the most power and must therefore also be the creator of this land.” The stranger agreed to this challenge and added his own rule: “We will turn our backs,” he said, “and when one’s turn is up, we will turn back around to see how far the mountain has moved. “Shonkwaia’tison agreed to this, and so they turned.”

“The stranger went first. When he was satisfied that he had moved the mountain, they turned back around. Shonkwaia’tison was surprised to see that the mountain had indeed moved, although only a little bit. “Now it’s my turn,” Shonkwaia’tison said, and they turned their backs on the mountain once more. There was a commotion and noise behind them, and, out of curiosity, the stranger turned back around before they had agreed to it.

Little did he know that Shonkwaia’tison had moved the mountain so close to the stranger’s back that when he turned to look, he struck his face on it. The force of the impact bent his nose and left one side of his face crooked. At this, the stranger conceded that Shonkwaia’tison was the more powerful of the two, and that he must also be the creator of the land and everything on it.”

“Shonkwaia’tison then had to decide what to do about the stranger. Because he had moved the mountain (if only a little bit), the stranger indeed was possessed of a certain degree of power, and Shonkwaia’tison thought that it would not do to let such a being remain on the earth; he was about to populate the earth with people, and to let this stranger coexist with them might not be a good thing. He told the stranger so and proposed that he would have to remove him from the land. The stranger pleaded with Shonkwaia’tison and said that, if he was allowed to stay, he would help the people who Shonkwaia’tison was about to make.”

“This is what I will do,” the stranger said. “I have the power to control the wind, and I can protect the people in this way. If ever a strong wind or storm threatens them, I will use my cane and block it from destroying their settlements, and I can lift it and send it over their settlements so that it does not blow through. In addition to this, I have the power to heal sickness. If ever the people are struck down with illness, they can call on me, and I will help them to get better. This is how they will do it. When they need aid of me in this way, they will create a mask whose face is in my image, and I will hand-pick the men who will create these masks. The very second that they lay the first strike in creating a mask, that fast will it have my power. When they use the mask, they will prepare a certain kind of corn mush and burn tobacco. The tobacco will form their words which I will hear, and I will come. They will refer to me as their grandfather, and I will help them as long as the earth remains.” Shonkwaia’tison agreed to this and allowed the stranger to stay on the earth.”

Oral histories state almost verbatim the same story, but regarding the happy trials a stipulation seems to have emerged; “Shöñgwaia’dihsum then employed Ethiso:da’ to protect his children from disease and sickness. But knowing the sight of Ethiso:da’ was not suitable for his children’s eyes, Shöñgwaia’dihsum banished him to live in caves and great wooded forests, only to leave when called upon to cure or interact through dreams.”

“Masks in various forms, sacred, practical, or playful, have played a crucial historical role in the development of understandings about “what it means to be human”, because they permit the imaginative experience of “what it is like” to be transformed into a different identity (or to affirm an existing social or spiritual identity).” “Not all cultures have known the use of masks, but most of them have.”

“Throughout the world, masks are used for their expressive power as a feature of masked performance, both ritually and in various theatre traditions.” “The ritual and theatrical definitions of mask usage frequently overlap and merge but still provide a useful basis for categorization.” “The image of juxtaposed Comedy and Tragedy masks are widely used to represent the Performing Arts, and specifically drama.” Motley Crew knew something on this very subject in their glam rock days, and probably could share some professional makeup tips your way. The crew can kickstart any heart!

“Masks are a familiar and vivid element in many folk and traditional pageants, ceremonies, rituals, and festivals, and are often of an ancient origin.” “The mask is normally a part of a costume that adorns the whole body and embodies a tradition important to the religious and/or social life of the community as whole or a particular group within the community.” “Masks are used almost universally and maintain their power and mystery both for their wearers and their audience.” “The continued popularity of wearing masks at carnivals, and for children at parties and for festivals such as Halloween are good examples.”

“In the Greek bacchanalia and the Dionysus cult (Dionysus is the the god of the grape-harvest, winemaking, fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth.), which involved the use of masks, the ordinary controls on behavior were temporarily suspended, and people cavorted in merry revelry outside their ordinary rank or status.” “René Guénon (“was a French intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics having written on topics ranging from “sacred science”, and traditional studies to symbolism and initiation.)” claims that in the Roman saturnalia festivals (“Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival and holiday in honor of the god Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December.”), the ordinary roles were often inverted.” This is where things get weird and as “outsiders”, can be perceived as a little warped, strange, and a tad demented. Ah, but that’s one opinion, and we all have one.

“Sometimes a slave or a criminal was temporarily granted the insignia and status of royalty, only to be killed after the festival ended.” “The Carnival of Venice (“is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. The carnival ends on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), which is the day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. The festival is world-famous for its elaborate masks.”), in which all are equal behind their masks, dates back to 1268 AD.” “The use of carnivalesque masks in the Jewish Purim (“is a Jewish holiday which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, an Achaemenid Persian Empire official who was planning to kill all the Jews in the empire, as recounted in the Book of Esther.”) festivities probably originated in the late 15th century, although some Jewish authors claim it has always been part of Judaic tradition.”

“One beautiful soul is more precious than a hundred beautiful faces.”
This leads me back to my current question; why I am wearing make-up? How do I want to be perceived, and why should I care? I certainly do not want to be objectified, yet that clearly seems the end result. Is make-up mandatory? I used to think so. I love that make-up is art to me and I hope that I don’t judge another, by how they choose to wear their mask.

One thing is for certain the natural look would help save 50 to 100 million animals every year from testing. Good thing we don’t use lead anymore, not sure about arsenic or radium (radioactive).

  • Arsenic: Not more than 3 ppm
  • Lead: Not more than 20 ppm
  • Mercury: Not more than 1 ppm

Of course, make-up mishaps are far more entertaining to tell, and the famous looks along with the famous souls, more compelling examples to replicate and share. That’s another day of writing about divas, the divine, concealed truths, and highlighted arches. We’ll blush the rosy cheeks with stories of amplified individuals of otherworldly origins. I can embellish, like no other and I always choose a natural hue.

It’s safer to be yourself and know beauty does lie within. Makeup your minds, beautify your thoughts, and sculpt your personality. I promise there’s no shade that better compliments an already beautiful soul. All makeup is a visual aid for telling a story. Let’s make sure we don’t judge a book by its cover.

As today marks winter solstice, I’m off to explore. I hope I run into you during my travels, and we can share stories the old-fashioned way. Talking God and sipping tea! I still wear an ample amount of Chapstick, it’s winter albeit. Better chapped lips than a chapped hide.

girl looks at you through blue background

Thank you for reading and spending some time with me. Till we meet again! Goodbye and farewell my beauties! I thoroughly enjoy our excursions. More tales to come … Smooches!

Published by SiriusSea

Many moons ago and in a faraway land, I used to write about all things wonderous to the world and I am back to stir the seven seas of wonderment once more. As the storms pass through, I set my compass and my sights upon and beyond Sirius Sea! Welcome aboard!

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