I do not generally wear makeup. I’m not opposed to it, morally– I think other women who wear makeup look beautiful, and I don’t equate wearing makeup with pleasing a man or trying to fool the world into thinking I actually have eyelashes made of spiders. (That’s how mascara is supposed to work, right?) What I do have a moral problem with is waking up any earlier than is absolutely necessary, which is why I barely make it out the door wearing a bra, let alone a full face of makeup.

But something– probably the hideous specter of middle age that loomed over me after I turned 37— caused me to stand dumbfounded in front of a makeup display at Target over the weekend. At first I was just trying to take it all in– this whole process involves multiple sponges? What is bronzer?– and then, almost as if I had been overtaken by the spirit of the teenage girl I should have been back when I was playing trombone and creating collages of pictures of Mark Harmon, I started indiscriminately grabbing at whatever face paint I could find, tossing it into my cart before I even had a chance to think about what I was doing.

It wasn’t until I got home that I was able to survey my bounty:

  1. One eye shadow brush
  2. One palette of seemingly identical colored eye shadows
  3. Something called a smudger
  4. One black eyeliner pencil with sharpener
  5. One lipstick the exact shade of my already existing lips

So for the past two days, I have shown up to work wearing very heavy (for me) eye makeup and what must just look to everyone else like super greasy lips, and I have to say, I am both pleased and sort of depressed by the compliments I’ve been getting. Everyone is loving the eye makeup, which of course makes me immediately start worrying that my non-made-up eyes are hideous and terrifying. But on the other hand, I do feel prettier.

Maybe some other day I’ll be possessed with the urge to learn contouring or, you know, basic blush application that does not leave me looking like I have scarlet fever. But for now, I’m thinking it wouldn’t be so bad to introduce my new eye makeup routine into the rotation a couple of days a week. It makes me feel fancy, and it gives me a little extra boost of confidence. And it only takes four minutes, so that’s really the major selling point here.

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