Color Me Beautiful

A history to my delving into color to awaken the beauty within and without.

Growing up female, no matter what anyone may say, there’s always been a pressure on how we look. I consider myself lucky as I’ve never had issues with my weight and also had good friends where I felt I fit in. I, seriously, did not really give much thought or effort to my looks…until Jr High, which is typical of course. Fitting in with one’s peers goes a long ways in how we feel about ourselves. I felt “comfortable in my own skin”.

I was usually the youngest in my crowd plus even appeared younger than my age, which I hated back then. I secretly wanted to look older and wiser. I didn’t know how good I had it! “Youth is definitely wasted on the young!”

After around age 65, all that changed abruptly. I started noticing little signs of aging. At first, I actually welcomed it and watched with curiosity as those things about myself were changing.

Eventually, my age “caught up with me” though and it felt like I had grown old overnight! I couldn’t believe the deep wrinkles on my face and neck when I looked in the magnifying mirror to put on my make-up. I attribute this to the fact that I took my youthful appearance for granted and never used products to guard against wrinkles plus spent a lot of unprotected time in the sun. My curiosity turned to dismay as I realized there was no going back. Even the broken lines around my cleavage were disgusting to see. Age spots, which at first intrigued me, became more profuse. One thing that did not change much was my hair color. In contrast, I envied women with grey or white hair. I think it’s a beautiful shade, as long as there’s no yellow in it. I especially love the long, grey hair I see in some women. I’ve recently colored mine to have grey streaks even.

Stylish Grey Hairdos

Artistry runs in my family and the artist in me knows how to paint the pallet on my face to appear more appealing. I have owned a custom Wall Art Business, taught art in elementary school and did some summer art camps in my town. My older sister owned an art gallery in Hawaii. A son graduated with a major in art. We attribute the artiness from a great grandfather from Scotland who passed this down through his lineage.

I remember the exact first time I ever wore make-up at the beach at the young age of 10 or 11 on a trip with my mother and sister. I got into her thick, pancake foundation and couldn’t believe the transformation! I was hooked from that moment although I didn’t start wearing make-up in earnest until a few years later. I went through all the make-up crazes such as the “Twiggy Look” with extreme painted on eyelashes and the almost white lipstick touted first by French actress, Bridgette Bardot. Make-Up artistry became my thing!

Much later, as I started caring for my elderly mother, one thing I made sure of was that she had good hygiene. I helped her to stay clean, with hair fixed and applied make-up to her face on a daily basis. She had always been very conscious of her maintenance but as she advance to Mid-Stage Alzheimer’s she, of course, had no concern for these things. I hoped if I ever got like that, someone would do those things for me.

The thing I noticed most dramatically when I started putting on my mother’s make up was when I added blush to her cheekbones. It totally brightened up her whole countenance! As anything ages, what does it do? It fades! We fade as we age. I remembered what a miraculous change came over my mother when I added a little bright color to her face and started doing that to myself as well as I noticed I was fading. Back in my earlier days, my eyes were what got all the attention but now I turn to the happy shades of pink for my cheeks and it brightens me up!

A real wake up for me was the time I went to my hairdresser for a color, planning on my same ol same ol and as I sat in the chair as she gathered up her tools, I just thought how dull (faded) I looked and instantaneously suggested she highlight my hair in bright shades of red and blonde. I felt so drab looking at my reflection in the mirror. I needed a real transformation and decided to go all-out red for a big change. It was perfect! My hairdresser liked it so much she asked if she could photograph it for her portfolio. I felt so energized with the change!

Another way to utilize color to perk us up is pretty finger and toe nails. It’s amazing how good it feels to look down and see a new polish on our toes! Especially in the summer months when we’re wearing open toed sandals and can show off those cute piggies. Of course, our hands (and fingernails) are constantly on display and a clean set of nails says a lot about first impressions.

Below are some pics of my toes, after being done, and my 90-year-old mother’s toes. She was as happy as a lark, seeing those brightly painted toes. We forget about a new paint job then see it in the tub as we’re bathing and get a little rush of happiness. It’s little things like this that can perk us up.

As a finishing note, I will add a favorite quote I came across a few years ago and believe with all my heart.

“As we age, our beauty falls from our face to our heart.”

I hope I will always remember this and know this is what true beauty really is. It is the light that shines from the inside out. The way we treat our fellow travelers on this sojorn and the wisdom we pass down to those younger ones and, hopefully, help them find the true, natural beauty within themselves along the way.

Author: Mary Catherine

• Published writer that used to contribute a monthly article on any given subject to my local newspaper. I am no longer doing this and miss it. • Owned my own custom paint store, "Wild Woods". I called it "wall art" that consisted of murals, glazing, faux painting and also painting vinyl garage doors to look like wood or metal; usually copper. • Have had an interesting past 14 years living off the grid in a remote area in Southern Utah near the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in a progressive community that held many informative events with guest speakers, including a number of published authors, and hands-on exercises in various self-sufficient living. No longer living there. • I have another blog about grandparenting. This is a subject near and dear to my heart nowadays. *As part of "the sandwich generation", I was caught between helping my adults kids (usually with their kids) as well as caring for an elderly parent, my mother, who was suffering from dementia. I want to do some writing on the aspect of full time care givers to people with Alzheimer's as well. I feel I have learned a lot about this. ~ What a Juggling Act! Somewhere with all those balls up in the air, my own dreams had been put on hold for too long and now, after losing my mother just recently, and my grandkids in school, I hope to rekindle them. My husband and I are super busy doing major remodeling jobs on a house we purchased two years ago as well as extensive yard work. The house and yard projects, which include the restoration of an old cottage built in the 1800's that sits on the far, back corner of our three-fourths acre lot we own are keeping us both really busy. Amidst the ongoing projects, I try to squeeze in a moment here and there to work on my blogs. Creativity has always been an essential part of who I am and when I stop doing things like this, I feel like a robot mechanically moving around, just getting the necessities done. Art, Music, Writing, Gardening, Home Interior Decorating, Water Activities like swimming and kayaking are the things I crave and try to find time to do. We have to "make it a good day"!

4 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s