Updated: Apr 18
Day 109/366 days Toward Self-Mastery. Mood: contemplative
There is one womanly pleasure that I've always enjoyed, make-up. What is it about adding colour to our faces that feels so enticing?
Throughout the years I've simply adored that time in front of the mirror to experiment with the latest trend in eye colours and shadows or lippy colours.
Back in the day, which doesn't seem very long ago but well before there were YouTube tutorials, I'd search magazines for the makeup look I wanted to achieve and attempt to copy that.
Lighting has been the bane of my life existence. I have yet to find a bathroom or bedroom mirror that catches the light perfectly. Even with attempts at makeup lighting around my bathroom mirrors, I failed to succeed in producing light that showed the intensity and depth of the colour I was applying. Going out into the world with uncertainty about the final look was always a scary notion.
I guess there are many reasons that we apply makeup.
There's cosmetic makeup for birth marks and scars, theatre makeup that I absolutely love, makeup for fun, makeup to cover up and no doubt more. Have you ever asked yourself, why do you wear makeup?
Choose a conscious path forward with your makeup. If you love it, use it consciously, enjoying the experience of preparing your look. If you would rather not, choose the look of a freshly cared for complexion and leave the makeup.
Makeup is still a thing in my life, but way less than ever before. When I'm preparing to go out somewhere special I love to make up with a very subtle, close to natural, look.
Apart from lippy, makeup was never a thing in our family. It was one of those many rules that limited our self-expression and enjoyment of our youth. I never did get to the bottom of those rules but I'm guessing they had something to do with modesty.
One afternoon on arriving home from school I discovered my mother wearing the most lovely made-up face. Dazzling green eye shadow lined with kohl and lengthened lashes, the perfect rouge to complement her complexion and delicious deep red lips. She was trying to hide herself and I think couldn't really manage the attention but I secretly think she loved the look and was wearing it as long as she dared. A friend must have had a ladies makeup party, probably Avon at the time. She looked absolutely stunning but quickly washed it all off and that was that, I never saw her makeup to that extent again.
For some reason of which I am still ignorant, my sisters often teased me about my makeup. Some of them didn't indulge so I'm guessing that had differing views about why a woman would enjoying wearing makeup. It never worried me too much. I loved what I loved and my days of conforming to what others think of me were waning.
Notice how, and the motivation for using make-up. Everything, everything you do is an opportunity to reach into your authenticity and know yourself better. Self-mastery is about your relationship with yourself, knowing yourself deeply to discover your authenticity. It's about making conscious choices from that place of knowing.
Of late, I've noticed an admiration for older women who have lovely, glowing complexions, faces lined with wrinkles and smiles deepened with the grooves of laughter who look simply stunning without makeup. Then, when I see them again with makeup, I've noticed that it seems to dull their light. Hmmm.... Its simply something I've noticed of late. Perhaps my ideas about makeup are changing.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.