On Having Silver Hair

Not only is my hair turning gray it’s gotten dry. I’m treating myself to a haircut at a better hair salon in March.

Since I feel my current hairdresser screwed up my last haircut. It seems like my hair color has changed overnight.

My hair might turn totally gray within the next 2 years. Keeping my hair its natural color is my way of making a political statement.

Why would a woman be happy to have gray hair? This hair to me is the dawn of freedom from traditional feminine conformity.

From the rule that says you must remain thin attractive and young for the rest of your life or you’re toast in other people’s eyes.

I confess to staring in my bathroom mirror and eyeing the silver hair that is taking over my head. I’m grateful that my hair is turning silver not dishwater gray.

Dare I say I’m excited to be getting silver hair?

This heralds a new chapter in my life–I’m glad to be turning the pages away from history and writing new scenes.

This is why I’m happy to have silver hair.

When I get a haircut at the new hair salon I’ll post a photo of my shining head of hair.

p.s. – I’m too broke to get the upkeep of a dye job : )

No Makeup

No makeup has become a thing for me.

Under the mask I’ve stopped wearing foundation.

Not only that I and others don’t want to hear stories that elected leaders Makeup about what’s going on in society.

Nor do I at least want to be told what to think.

On the cusp of 56 I’ve come to realize that only I can decide what’s right for me.

What I’ve learned:

Love and freedom go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. Liking yourself without limits is the first step to becoming free.

This birthday year I gave myself permission to be an Artist.

I’m compelled to write in here again about the beauty of individuality.

Wearing No Makeup involves letting the real you show through. Even when you are wearing makeup.

Living an authentic life makes sense to me right now.

The world doesn’t need you and me to be copycats imitating what everyone else does and how they dress and live.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about the number-one self-help book I’ve ever read.

It’s a book of help for your Self when you live for likes and are afraid to take a stand.

Are you like me tired of the lies and misinformation being spread like wildfire?

No Makeup. It’s something to think about: telling the truth by being yourself.

New Year’s Eve Fortune Cookie

I cracked open this message inside a fortune cookie on New Year’s Eve:

2021 is here.

I firmly believe that change for the better can happen this year.

God didn’t create life on this glorious green earth for human beings to hate each other.

We cannot go back to the way things were in 2020.

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Open your eyes I would tell those who cannot see this beauty.

To quote a Nordstrom print advertisement:

An Open Mind is the Best Look.

Love, Lashes, and Lipstick

Alas this book is out of print and that’s sad. I would buy a used copy in good condition. Or you can try to check it out of the library.

Mally Roncal’s life story is inspirational.

Her a.m. and p.m. beauty ritual gave me a shot in the arm of confidence to try what she recommended.

Proof that inspiration can be found in a book or a bottle of foundation.

The pandemic has been going on for almost 9 months. The length of time to birth a baby an idea a plan a new You.

After reading Love, Lashes, and Lipstick I set off to set a new goal or two.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about one book that made all the difference to me in achieving my goals.

It can be debilitating sheltering indoors. The outbreak is rising in a second wave. More ammunition for taking joy in simple things.

Like washing your face at night. Moisturizing your face in the morning.

Being grateful for what you have instead of being envious of others who have what you don’t have.

Serve up an extra helping of gratitude to yourself this Thanksgiving.

The colonists plundered the nation from indigenous people. We should not be celebrating the myth that Thanksgiving was a harmonious lovefest between pilgrims and Native Americans.

Only I say why not reclaim the truth that we are all here because of a benevolent Creator who wanted us to be here?

The spirit of counting your blessings on Thanksgiving might just be the remedy for total despair while living through the pandemic.

I’m grateful for every ray of sunshine that comes into my life:

The sun through the mini-blinds and the sunny personality of Mally Roncal lighting up the pages of her memoir.

Inspirational Reading

I checked this memoir out of the library. It’s sadly out of print so I bought a copy listed as being in new condition for $17.

Though it can seem Mally Roncal has had a dream life I was impressed and inspired while reading this book.

Roncal is barely 5 feet 2. She rocks big hair platform boots and false eyelashes.

She recounts early in her makeup artist career when she was told to tone down her own makeup and ebullient mood.

Instead she realized that she had to be true to herself.

According to Roncal who I’ll quote because this book should be required reading:

“Own who you are. Forget the haters. Don’t let them dull your shine. What may not be right for them could be right for you.

Be you, and you win every time.”

I’ve started to follow Roncal’s a.m. and p.m. skincare routine.

She was the makeup artist for the women featured in the Isaac Mizrahi book How to Have Style. I bought this book years ago in great condition when it was out of print too.

Jealousy serves no purpose except to keep a person stuck. Mally Roncal’s success only motivates me to reach for the stars.

In the book she also features different makeup techniques you can replicate with your own products or use the Mally Beauty makeup for.

This is going to be my Christmas gift to myself. I recommend readers consider buying this buoyant book too.

A Merry Season to You!

The Path to Freedom

Like Alicia Keys I’ve been on an odyssey to cancel out the outside noise. To draw strength from within as well as drawing a line with eyeliner.

If you ask me the path to freedom starts when you get loud and proud about who you are and what you stand for.

As tempting as it might be to try to conform so that others will like you:

I think repressing your soul will only lead to illness.

I take inspiration from Alicia Keys and her passion to make a difference not just sing a song.

Unlike Keys freedom for me has come in wearing makeup after years of not wearing makeup.

Applying eyeshadow and eyeliner has been an instant thought-lift as well as face-lift

If this sounds frivolous think again: even a public library is hosting a workshop on beauty for its patrons.

I tip my True Religion striped cap to Alicia Keys for telling her story and revealing herself on the page.

Everyone is beautiful with or without makeup.

Expressing ourselves without fear is exactly the positive prescription needed.

Think for yourself. Dress for yourself. Dare to be yourself.

This is what I plan to do in the coming year.

Truth is Beauty

Wasn’t there a line in a poem that truth is beauty and beauty is truth?

I’m coming to the end of reading the Alicia Keys memoir More Myself.

Pages 210-211 are worth the cost of buying the book. Here Keys talks about going without makeup:

“I don’t want to cover up anymore…not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”

Tens of thousands of women posted photos to the hashtag #NoMakeup.

One person sniped to Keys that if she looked like Keys the woman could choose not to wear makeup too.

To this Keys said: “My deepest intention is that we all find a path to whatever freedom feels like for us–and that is unique to each person .”

If you ask me it is in living an authentic life that a person is truly free. Keys believes we crave the authentic in our narratives not just in our appearance.

The path to freedom is different for everyone.

My odyssey started ironically when I started to wear makeup after years of not wearing makeup.

I would like to talk in coming blog entries about individuality again.

About having the freedom to express yourself with or without lipstick.

Irrepressible

Again a fashion magazine has offered wit and wisdom from the mouth of a beauty. In the October InStyle Cynthia Erivo is featured.

She is co-leading a GoFundMe for DRK Beauty: “A digital community that supports free therapy for women of color.”

Erivo is quoted:

“I have never put limits on what I want to wear and what I want to look like.”

Cynthia Erivo is a soulful vocalist. The actor won a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy.

I’m impressed because though I used to like to sing I’m no vocalist. People are stunned at this. They think that because I have an expressive commanding speaking voice that I also have a beautiful singing voice.

Not so. I tried out for the Glee Club in high school. I had to sing “Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah” so the director could hear how I sounded. My voice came out twisted like “Ha ha ha ha ha.” Of course I wasn’t chosen.

Erivo’s creative chops are destined to become iconic.

She is an inspiration to me for commingling art and activism.

We should all take a tip from Cynthia Erivo:

Be your irrepressible self. Be you-tiful.

Colors of Compassion

I find myself obsessed with makeup as a distraction from what’s going on in America–and from what’s going on in my own life.

I don’t think it’s right that people claim the word trauma has been misused to refer to things that aren’t traumatic.

Only the person that’s the victim gets to decide the level of intensity of what they’ve experienced.

Ibram X. Kendi in a Twitter post stated that how Mr. Toupee interacted with LL Cool Joe at the debate could be traumatizing to viewers who have been victims of abuse or violence or other hardship.

I have gotten flak for talking about beauty and fashion in Left of the Dial. Critics railed against how I turned to a clothes rack to cope when I had an illness in my twenties.

Yet today as then I find myself running to open my closet doors to choose outfits when I’m outraged.

I spend an hour on the Sephora website viewing eye shadow palettes. Nothing catches my eye.

The point is that a person should believe in themselves when no one else does. And when self-esteem is hard to come by–either by looking in the mirror or because you don’t see yourself reflected in institutions of power–it’s time to give yourself love.

I say: do what’s healthy that makes you feel good. Stay away from energy vampires that suck the life out of you.

In the current climate you can’t read a social media feed or lift a fork at a table without people getting into a war of contempt with each other.

In fact this can be traumatizing. There’s a crisis of compassion going on.

This is why I believe in beauty: my mother takes off her mask and I see she’s been wearing lipstick under her face covering.

No one can see it yet she knows it’s there. It must cheer her up.

My Th(ink) eyeliner givers me the power to draw a line.

Think–I would tell anyone–think before you speak.

Sephora Showdown

A new Sephora opened in town.

It was worth it to wait on line outside the store for 35 minutes to gain entrance on the opening day.

The people-watching couldn’t be beat.

A microcosm of American women waited to get in. Ladies in hijabs. A teen in blue jeans texting while on line. A woman with a neon-pink headscarf.

I have altered a few details to protect confidentiality.

The point is women of all colors and creeds shop at Sephora. The desire to use makeup to brighten our faces and to feel good unites us.

Once inside I zoomed in on the $14 mascara I wanted to buy.

Waiting on line I heard the woman standing behind me complain:
“This line is taking too long. That woman at the register shouldn’t be taking all that time. Using those teenagers to get discounts.”

Lady shut up I wanted to say. You can afford to shop in Sephora so zip your lip.

Time’s up on acting entitled. It’s time to show privilege the door.

The cashiers were just doing their job. They’re not paid enough to have to put up with this noxious noise.

It took 10 minutes for me to get served. When I’m grateful to be alive and can walk down the street without getting shot at I’m not going to complain about anything.

My goal is to act bolder. I told a friend I wanted to act more assertive. To this he said: “You already are assertive.”

I encourage all women whether younger or older to make a statement. To not be afraid to speak out.

To stand for something as well as standing in line at Sephora.