“To be the butt of everyone’s ridicule could be a symbol of all that is truly beautiful and stylish…”
A. had the territory of curves, the acres of curls, the meadows of fresh grassy aroma all about her, and the domain of a bit sarcastic but still kind attitude towards life. There was no way I could forget that tremendous display of the whitest teeth on Earth and a lovely cascade of laughter. Of all the fine people on board of Eleanora, the cruise ship going to South Africa, A. swaggers in my memory as the finest.
On the board of that liner we shared the adjoining compartments and for some strange coincidence, the door between them was not bolted. The very first day of our voyage I tried it and slipped right into her room just at the time A. was getting ready to go out to have dinner. She laughed approvingly, saying that she was just thinking to try that door herself. We had dinner together that evening and all the consequent ones that followed.
The definition of beauty breaks under the test of each individual. Out of this word one forms numberless associations and correspondences. The countless varied impressions, experiences, concepts are formed by society. Out of these materials, every woman strives to take the best to be considered beautiful by society standards.
Makeup throughout history described a way of living that was balanced between moral and spiritual facets of life. Nowadays females play many diverse roles. The variety of opportunities for them creates a current trend of fearless and somewhat troubling look. Individuality and diversity are celebrated. We see distinctive faces, faces comfortable and suppressed, happy and lost.
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1) Pursuing Status and Popularity Throughout History
We invented a game to amuse ourselves during our meals and strolls, solving imagined mysteries and inventing detective stories with crimes and murders. A. had a peculiar mind, reading people and situations promptly and to the point, never being in the wrong. And I was the Hastings to my Poirot friend, always naïve and always in the foggiest to what was truly going on.
It amazed me how A. turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to all those demonstrations of society accepted beauty standards. A. always wanted to partake of the forbidden pleasure of being remarkably loud in her self-expression. She was inhaling the judgmental fragrance coming from other people, and I doubted if ever she was quite through with it. A. enjoyed it, not able to toss the desire to shock out of her heart. It is my opinion that people judged her boisterous manner because they envied her bravery.
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The history of makeup is charged with a constant change in society. Exquisite soft colors of the 1940s and post-war 1950s are rippling in our memory. Sweet ladies, such as Debbie Reunolds and Doris Day, recall in a flash years of longing for simple, natural, clean and conservative beauty.
Later in the 1960s and 70s, the splash of idealism and feminine protest required to see instantaneous, fleeting, and slightly boyish faces. Twiggy and Peggy Moffitt pretty nearly summed up the philosophy of that time. The views of masculine touch in a woman’s appearance grew habitual to everyone.
Falling early into the 1980s and 90s, and into loud and louder everything about the face. All that little sense of propriety in makeup was laughed out of that time by a hardened, bright, colorful specter. Doubting how to distinguish men and women one needed to accept eyeliner, big hair, and lipstick on both sexes.
In the 2000s, women started to feel the wide world. Technology and the internet started to make them dream of the heights they never thought possible for themselves before. Ladies escaped the clutches of seriousness and added a female touch to their business look. Who could be timid in the presence of glossy, glamorous and sexy in a smart way businesswoman? Healthy, organic air prevailed in the makeup industry.
Gliding neatly and softly into today, a beautiful woman is striving for a healthy look and a healthy life. The trend was started in 2000 and was culminating in now. The exterior is natural. It resumes the contours of normality. The interior is enhanced by workouts and good food. We do still see the hurls of the 2000s somewhat heavy looks, but more and more additional genuine light is brought into the lives and on faces.
Today we strive to believe that any troubling feeling is flitting. Sadness, fear, frustration like a storm, cannot last forever. As our experiences broaden and deepen we tend to see the beauty in absolutely everything and everyone. This inward knowledge creates freedom of expression. A woman looks within herself and in time finds the measure and the meaning of the inward and outward beauty.
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2) Chasing After Favored Status in Different Countries
There were many men and women on board our vessel. All dressed up and, so to say, made up. The company was diverse: European women were stunningly attractive, high hills on dainty long legs, red lips on oval faces, big lashes on colored sparkling eyes; Asian ladies had unusually white complexions, Western beauties were tanned and blushing with rouge on their cheeks.
A. was an accomplished woman with enough means to be able to buy all the makeup possible, and yet, she never bothered to wear any at all. She looked quite all right without it, as far as I could judge, with all those unruly locks, thick black eyebrows, and long shadowy eyelashes.
Being successful at investing her own money and advising others on how to deal with theirs, A. possessed the brains of a wise man. She could not care less for the opinion of others and loved to be in a company of strangers, people who didn’t know who she was, and thus, looking at her very often disapprovingly. She loved to trace the signs of transformation. It solaced her mind to see how people, almost against their will, were eventually attracted to her, admiring her truthful nature.
There might be some allowance for error in depicting the looks in different countries. To avoid it I will only try to point the way for the beauty qualities that are considered attractive in some distinguished places.
For the lovely ladies of the US suntanned skin, fuller lips and the longest eyelashes ever seen are a splendid example of attractiveness.
The bulk of Brazilian woman strives for a natural, effortless look with the most significant accent on a bold matte lip that commanded over light and harmony of naturally colored skin and eyes.
The colors that count in Canada are beige nudes and deep reds. Here the secret of attraction is in brows. Bold or barely there, they present a perfect addition to the color choice for the lip.
In the UK and France women are willing to be natural, more real. The forces of makeup are now equally with contouring and highlighting that looks less artificial and more enhanced.
Anyone can trace here that the secret inner wish of every woman from every country is to display the treasures of their personalities. Smoky in India, dramatic in the Middle East, intense in Mexico – eyes tell a volume about female vitality. Red and beige, loud and dense, expressive and accentuated lips feel and tell, whisper and shout about a sensuous force of every woman’s nature.
What a glamorous masquerade is this makeup business. It entices women to sail forever in the abundance of color with sense and feeling and mind to be her selves and yet different, to imitate and be unique, to be seen and most important – remembered. The secret inner will that controls this industry is a fateful desire to make the time still and our nature silent, to preserve the beauty and to fool the life.
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3) Makeup as a Tool for Gaining Lofty Titles and Increasing Self-Importance
A. sensibly tasted the sweets of living without deceitful colors on her cheeks and looked somehow visibly more honest than others. She considered makeup an instrument of woman’s destruction. I was not of the same opinion; we argued with zeal and friendly passion. I spent quite a number of years selling makeup and I loved to play with colors, although I got tired of it long ago and at the time wore nothing but for a bit of mascara and a liquid liner on my eyes and a trace of lipstick on my lips.
A. had sense, and energy, and spirits, and character – she needed not any additional color to the abundance her personality presented already. A.’s universal good-will and contented temper attracted people not from the first glance, that was for sure, but from the first conversation. With her, every day flew away at a very unusual rate. Forming all those playful schemes in a perfect Agatha Christie’s fashion we made a lot of friends in-betweens.
The makeup industry is equally charged with the odors of camouflage and deception. It pulsates with buoyancy and desire. It is an art so wonderful and with such power of creating rather than enhancing, that to recognize an infinite nature that is hidden under it is almost impossible – a person becomes a new made-up incarnation of herself.
After the makeup is washed off, women feel insecure, as if an essential part of their character is missing. This sensation is close to the feeling of loneliness. It creeps over dear ladies with false statements that exquisite beauties cannot be discovered when makeup is not present.
Even such sensations as business success and accentuated beauty became undividable nowadays. Piling foundation on concealers perceived as professional and may very much likely to help a person to be more successful.
4) Media Troubling Representation and the Need for Importance
A. took delight in putting me wise on how things were and why she despised wearing makeup. You see, in her early days she had quite a taste of misery when working in an investment firm her vanity was not once pushed, or rather dashed down by her male senior manager in front of other female colleagues due to her ‘lack of femininity’. For some reason, he thought it would make A. more successful with clients if she had furnished her bag with necessaries of some beauty enhancing tools.
Eventually, A. called a council in her thoughts whether she needed to take the advice or toss it overboard – and did the latter, leaving the office and opening her own business. It was vain to sit still and wish to be yourself in the surrounding where you were pressed to be someone else. She encouraged herself to go beyond what she would have been able to have done upon staying in her firm.
A. was contented with the discovery that women loved to confide in her with their thoughts, and… with their money. The husbands, they thought, were in the safe, dealing with a woman with no makeup. It just happens so that men will not be nice to you if you are not good looking, and women will not be nice – if you are.
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We lose imagination when an instinctive desire to follow the creed promoted by media is overpowering the other senses and emotions. It compels women to look for the pictures of accepted standards and try their best to be counted as “similar” and “like” the person on the cover.
If for some reason a lady cannot find her resemblance vividly displayed she feels left out, forgotten, not accepted, not beautiful. Seeking the favor of others, women strive to obtain the same shades for the eyes and lips. But the reality is that whatever approval is supposed to come her way will move her farther from her unique nature.
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Pursuing the status of prettiness and loveliness, the natural flow of beautiful energy of independent mind and soul is often stopped. This chasing is alarming, regardless of the outcome. If you gain approval, you will become a slave to outside messages of praise. Do not let someone else’s opinion direct your life. Only when you adjust the obtruded belief to a heart-felt individual one, your understanding of attractiveness changes.
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A. always had something to talk about that no one else had monopolized. She created a sense of power and incongruity. Being kind of shut out from the region of the beautiful, A. had a freer mind. She had not a smooth story to tell about herself, and who did? She played a game of life into her own hands with the help of her brains, not her looks. Her road to success might have been easier the other way around, but she would have been a different person then.
Makeup, as a tiny fragment of our life, is not as significant anymore. It still has a thousand hues that are blended in various substances. And women play with it, experiment, hide and sick themselves in the process.
Beauty takes shape of joys and sorrows. It has the poignancy of heart-satisfying inner emotions. A strive to achieve a way of life that guarantees integrity, joy, peace, and balance is depicted on modern faces.