Falsies and Falling in Love

I never saw my mother or my step-mother leave the house without make-up. “That can’t be true,” you’re thinking.  It is.  “They must have gone to the pool or the beach or the hospital,” you argue.  They did.

Not only did my mother wear make up every day, my mother wore false eyelashes every day.  I thought it was normal until I was in high school, and then I thought it was embarrassing.  No one else’s mother wore false eyelashes.  No one else’s mother wore false eyelashes to parties, more or less every day.  I never mentioned to her that it embarrassed me.  I knew she would lower her phony giraffe-like lashes slowly and say, “I like them.”

Her lashes, unlike her personality, were skimpy and short. My lashes are long, but pale. I’d rather not consider how they relate to my personality, but I’ve never worn false eyelashes. Something, however, about that thick, black sweep as she opened and closed her lids must have imprinted on my brain. I do love mascara.

We were not allowed to wear make up at my Catholic grade school, so I did not begin experimenting with mascara until high school. I envied the girl whose locker was across from mine freshman year.  Her hair was so blond it was nearly white and she wore coats and coats of mascara that made her lashes thick and black and pointy.  I wanted to ask her what brand she used, but I did not have the nerve. It wouldn’t have mattered. I would not have had the courage to wear my mascara like that any more than I would have kissed a boy behind the door of my locker between classes as she did. Still, I envied her both of these things.

From the time I was thirteen years old I’ve searched for the perfect mascara. I’ve played the field.  I’ll develop a loyalty, but then a friend or beauty editor will tell me that this mascara – this one – will change my life.  It will make my lashes thicker, longer, lusher. This mascara is the answer. I switch without a backward glance.

This time it was true.  Diorshow is the one.  Each lash distinct and deliciously enhanced.  Two coats almost too much for daytime, though I do wear two coats in the daytime.  Three coats makes me feel like a movie star from a by-gone era of fur stoles and champagne coupes.  Three coats makes it look like I’m wearing false eyelashes.  And I like it.

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18 thoughts on “Falsies and Falling in Love

  1. Delightful post with lovely subliminal messages about confidence, beauty and not giving a hoot what other people think. I was born with long dark lashes–so long that when I wear glasses they brush the lenses and smudge them unless I slide the specs down on my nose a bit. I, too, was forbidden mascara while in school, then became a feminist and eschewed makeup entirely, until finally, when I turned 50 (ten years ago), I decided I liked mascara. Now I wear it most days, but love the freedom of feeling confident enough with the way I look that I can go out of the house without it.
    Thanks for the great blog.

  2. Catholic Convent school all the way through 12th grade I remember being so jealous of the girl who had rich thick lashes that looked like she was wearing mascara……..for the rest of us, not a single spot of make-up was allowed. Fun memories. Have a super week-end. Mary

  3. Cheryl – I envy those glass smudging lashes more than you will every know.

    S+C – I've tried a couple of times. I never seem to allow myself enough time and abandon them on my dresser.

    Anon. – I did notice that there are several. If you follow the link, you'll see the one I use. I'm usually a fan of waterproof mascara (and liner – I love liner, too) but I don't seem to need it with this brand and would rather save the wear and tear on my lashes of the waterproof remover. I've had no flaking or smudging. Though big tears do result in a very dramatic movie-like mess.

  4. Oh yes the days of Catholic school. I remember being called into the principles office( a nun of course) and being told to immediately take off the ID bracelet (going steady)and give it to her.

    We had to build our own confidence and believe in ourselves, You have most certainly done this Patricia!

    The Arts by Karena
    Painting Central Park!

  5. Have you ever considered having your lashes died professionally with vegetable dye? Since you lashes are long but pale this may give you a nice result. This does not take the place of mascara but you may need less mascara also you would have dark lashes all the time.

  6. Luff this post. Luff my false eyelashes. At dinner recently someone told me they didn't like them, but it will not stop me! x

  7. Oh how I love your writing—-every word—the subject matters not.. but this post is so timely. My granddaughters enjoy wearing eye makeup, including false eyelashes and the smokiest browns in eye shadow. Always on the lookout for the unusual, and unexpected gift, Diorshow might be fun for both girls.

    Please keep writing. Please keep posting. Perhaps, a post about people who presume it's ok to tell someone they don't like a lady's false eyelashes. ;-). People never cease to amaze me with their rudeness. Thank goodness Faux Fuchsia is good-natured.

  8. You have huge credibility with me. Your NYC recommendations – Petrossian Cafe in particular – have been some of my favorite! I've never seen a reason to spend more than $5 on drugstore mascara, but I"m going to give this a try. 🙂

  9. Your suggestions have never let me down, so I just applied the Dior mascara-it is perfection! Worth the price and came in such wonderful packaging, free shipping and samples. Thanks again!

  10. Mrs. B., do you curl first? Really need an answer to whether this mascara action will be enough to make my curving-inward lashes act normal.

  11. I have an eyelashes very black and large but I allways thought I dont need mascara. I was wrong, even for eyelashes like mine, the mascara make a difference.

  12. Dear, I stumbled onto your blog this morning and have been delightedly "catching up".
    Happy belated Birthday!
    I was filled with the flood of a precious memory of my mother, who never left home without attending to her appearance–unlike her poor sad daughter.
    Waking up in her hospital room with her after her mastectomy, she cried "Honey, please give me my train case". Yes, she always traveled with a small suitcase with her intimate items.
    Then the application of makeup–foundation, blush, mascara, lips–as her surgeon would soon be there on morning rounds…
    I have sadly lost her, but am in thanks this morning for this lovely recollection of how much I loved everything about her.

  13. I keep meaning to ask, Patricia, what color mascara do you order in the Dior line? My coloring is very similar and I don’t know if I should go with the brown or black. I was devoted to L’Oreal Last Out in the combination Black/Brown, which is perfect for blondes. After 20+ years, they’ve stopped making it! I face the myriad of options and it’s daunting. I’m ready to order.

    1. Well, I’ve been using black. I’ve always worn black mascara and a (blonde) friend did just mention that she prefers a dark brown. Perhaps it’s time to shift.

      1. I’m going to go wild and try both. Maybe brown for daylight and black for night. You’ve saved me from endless failed purchases tossed in the drawer. Thanks!

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