xoVain Open Thread: Where I'm From

If I were a comic-book superhero, this would be my origin story.
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Publish date:
April 18, 2014
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open thread

Right now, I'm writing to you from the cozy confines of my hometown. Warren, Ohio. Claim to fame: Dave Grohl was born here! We dedicated an alley to him! And some jerkface vandalized it. Oh, youth.

Speaking of, here's a special treat hanging in the hallway at my dad's place: My senior yearbook photo. So brooding, so serious. So...I don't even know what.

That dye job? From Hair Inspirations. That makeup? From Phar-Mor. That shirt? From the Gap. What do they all have in common? They no longer exist in my town. (That's right: the Gap. The community could no longer support it financially, so it closed up shop.) Gone, along with a lot of other places that were frequent teenage haunts.

The Dairy Queen is still around, though, so there's that.

This town is where I honed my beauty skills. Where I poured over Sassy, Seventeen, obscure fashion magazines like Taxi, and random music zines like B-Side that I got at Book Nook (also no longer there), scanning for photos that I could replicate, wishing I looked a little more like Justine Frischmann.

This is where I did my friends' makeup for dances and, eventually, weddings. Where I learned how to use stage makeup, like pancake and false eyelashes, for performances with the local ballet troupe. Where I was schooled in how to melt eyeliner with matches to get it extra smudgy and rocker-y.

Where I doused myself in Bonne Bell Skin Musk, Electric Youth, Joop!, Exclamation!, Liz Claiborne, and, because a friend swiped the tester from the local mall, Obsession.

Where my friends and I dyed our hair from brown, to orange, to blue-black, from marked-down boxes we got at Sally Beauty Supply one town over, hunched over the utility sink in the basement, wedged in between the washer and dryer, always wanting to be or look like someone else, at least until the roots started to show.

This is where I'm from.

Go on, friends. Tell us where you're from, where you're at, where you're going.

And also, talk about beauty (and your pressing beauty needs/questions) because that's what this all comes back to, anyway.