Makeup During A Personal Apocalypse

I'm making a big change in my life, but the inspiring strength of my female relatives--and a little mascara--is helping me through it.
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Publish date:
May 24, 2013
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Benefit, changes, mascaras, family, military, wabi-sabi

I’m proud to be related to some tough women.

My paternal grandmother brought her three sisters out of depression-era starvation-style poverty in the coal-mining hills of West Virginia at the age of 16 to later become a successful real estate mogul up north in Ohio.

My mother was adopted from Puerto Rico, survived a series of insanely abusive foster homes and worked 3 jobs when I was growing up to make sure I had all the things she didn’t.

And both of my lovely lady-cousins paid for college and started their careers through Army enlistment.

I’m not in the military for hippie-ish political reasons (my cousins are both Republicans--no shade, just not my thing) and I haven’t managed to pull others out of the trenches of crushing poverty (yet!), but I like to think I’ve continued my bloodline of strong females in my own way, and looking pretty damn good a lot of the time while doing it.

For example, I’m driving all alone from Ohio to Los Angeles for a fancy new job in a car without air-conditioning this week and chucking my wardrobe of a whopping 27 lipsticks in solemn preparation.

I’m not even mad at it, because I hardly wear 95% of them on any kind of a regular basis. I’m going to take this opportunity to cut down my stash to the bare minimums to start over with a clean slate.

I think it might be because I’ve been reading up on wabi-sabi, which is a Japanese philosophy that roughly translates to “the poetry of poverty.” That is a gross oversimplification of the concept, but it gives you an idea of the gist of it if you’re not familiar.

Makeup isn’t very wabi-sabi, but I’m pretty sure if someone put a gun to my head and told me to pick ONE beauty product to last me through some crazy survival situation, it would be mascara. (Who is this crazy armed person and why are they being violent in such a surreal way? I have no idea, just roll with it, OK?)

I got a travel tube of Benefit They’re Real mascara from Sephora for my birthday, and I use it all the time since I keep it in my purse. I ADORE all the makeup, but honestly, this mascara is pretty much all there is to my beauty face more often than not lately.

The brush is pleasant, the formula isn’t chunky or overly crispy, and it adds a surprising amount of length, which is pretty much all I can reasonably ask from a tube of black goop.

In keeping with the theme of the article, I really wish I had some Bad Gal instead.

How about you? What one beauty product would you cling to during a crisis situation?