Monday, September 20, 2010

Beauty School Drop-out - Jenny Gardiner

I long ago recognized that I am the ultimate beauty school dropout. And I’ve made peace with this. I do what little I must to get by, and don’t lose too much sleep over it. Although lost sleep could be at the root of my beauty faux pas…

I’ve long recognized that we all come to the table with our pluses and minuses. Back when our oldest child was ready for elementary school, it was the trend to hold back children so they had the advantage of that extra year of physical and mental maturation. At the time we thought it crazy that we actually had to contemplate holding our kindergarten-ready child back a year because everyone else was. Fact was, our son was ready for it. So despite his shortcomings—he was small for his age, he was young for his age—we decided that he needed the challenge of school and would be far too bored without it. Unfortunately, this meant that his peers would be driving well before him. And that they would most likely have the physical advantage over him in sports.

But I realized when my babysitter’s mom told me that her daughter was so upset because she was “too tall” for her age that we are what we are. When I was her age I thought I was too average. Others think they’re too short. No one is ever quite satisfied with the status quo. So you do what you can with what you’ve got, and hope for the best (and throw in the occasional beauty products as a talisman against too much fugliness).

Anyhow, while I was not so lucky in the fat ass department, I was more lucky in the complexion department. Which meant I’ve been fortunate to avoid “necessity make-up” over the years: make-up has often been optional for me, for better or worse. In fact, it wasn’t until my first book came out and I started having to show up in public places on a regular basis that I realized I had to do something about this. I was downright stunned to see what magic that Mac cosmetics associate (the one with about ten piercings in her face and bright pink eye shadow on her lids) worked on my face. I wasn’t used to anything on me, yet all of a sudden she’d presented me with a daily 20-minute face-presentation regimen. Damn. It was so simple back when all I had to do was wash my face in the morning.

I went through a month or two when I stuck to it. I had to, between the signings, the TV appearances, the speaking engagements. I just realized I looked pretty pathetic without it—-like the before picture. Which is I guess the whole point of those before and after pictures. I was the damned poster child for the before picture. I just hadn’t known it.
Over the summer, I got used to my slovenly routine. Less to do with the book. Kids were home, thus less running around. Pool days here and there. Make up? Hell no! Got to be where my biggest beauty aid was a good night’s sleep. Not that I ever actually get a good night’s sleep. Case in point, recently, at the ungodly hour of 3:30 a.m. our crazy dingo dog who’s deathly afraid of thunderstorms awoke to one seriously ominous storm. She actually hurdled the 4-foot tall gate in the mudroom (switching on the light in the process) in her haste to flee her loneliness and seek out her human counterparts. Meantime, the Labrador? My son says she’s like the prisoner who takes advantage of the power outage to launch a food fight. Yes, while the crazy one was freaking out over weather, the food-driven one was ravaging the trash can, littering my house with very messy garbage. Needless to say, I didn’t get back to sleep last night.

I'm convinced I can ditch the mascara if only, if only I could get some more sleep. Just a little here, a little there. Avoiding make-up as much as possible. Maybe throw in yoga for peace of mind. And happiness, because nothing makes you look as good as a burden-free face with a warming smile.

So what’s your beauty secret?


Ally said...

You are SO fortunate. I have not had any natural color in my cheeks since I was 2 or 3 and I have to wear make-up every time I go out or people will comment that I 'look tired' or ask me if I'm feeling well. (There is nothing like people telling you they think you look ill!)

Jenny Gardiner said...

You are really right. The fat ass, well, that sucks. But it is helpful to not have to deal with make-up. For that I am grateful!

Beth Hoffman said...

Jenny, you always, always make me laugh!

My beauty secret? Well, I was blessed with good skin genes, and I smile a lot! Who was it that said a smile is your best accessory?

Jenny Gardiner said...

and you do have a great smile! I agree with you a smile makes up for a lot of shortfalls. Thanks for stopping by!

Estella said...

At my age, I don't worry about beauty secrets.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Jenny,

I too was blessed with good skin
genes, it has just been in the
last year that I began to exhibit
a few upper lip wrinkles.(My dear
nephew had just before then shared
with his Mom that though I'm the
eldest,I look like the youngest!)
I've recently begun using Boots'
No.7 Intense Beauty Serum and it
seems to keep the Wrinkle Witch
at bay! (Folks seem to think I'm in my early 60s when in reality
I turned 74 this summer!)

Pat Cochran

practimom said...

My beauty secret!! Don't go anywhere! Just kidding :)~! I walk around as a is a lot of trouble to put my war paint on everyday. sometimes i sleep too long...but i do try not to frighten everyone by at least wearing a hat and shades...

gigi said...

Moisturize, moisturize.
I have been using Oil of Olay since I was 17. I am 46 now. I have added the Micro sculpting creme to my regime. I don't wear much makeup I usually stick to a bit of mascara and lipstick.

cheryl c said...

My husband teases me that I have to put on makeup to go to the mailbox. (That's almost true!)

Mary Kirkland said...

My mom started buying me Olay when I was 16 years old, I still use it today and I am 40 years old now. I clean my face every night and make sure to take the make-up off.