Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Beauty Journal & A Letter To My Daughter

So today I took a binder and a bunch of page protectors and made a beauty journal. It's divided into categories like "hair, eyes, skin care, lips, foundation/concealer/powder, etc." Products I buy, I plan to review and assign a grade and record in this journal. That way I can remember later if I liked them, or should buy them again, or not. I can keep track of beauty tutorials, color palettes that work for me, and navigate through the crowded beauty-scape efficiently this way. I am one of those people who are burdened with a non-existent memory, so I'm particularly excited about this book. In addition to being convenient and cumulative, this beauty journal is intended to be passed to my daughter some day. She's got my skin tone and hair color already, at only one years old. I figure what works for me will work for her so long as I focus on technique with staying power and don't go crazy with trends.

And a trend-setter I am not. My goal and aim is to learn how to encapsulate a timeless beauty. I feel it on the inside, and feel brave enough again to present it on the outside. The funny thing about that is, when I was in high school I wore makeup and did my hair and played sports and was attractive. My mother once told me that I didn't have beauty in the classic sense, but that I was striking. People would notice me and think I was pretty.

At some point along the way the attention I garnered started to scare me. I was overwhelmed by the attention and opportunities it afforded me. Unsavory characters slithered into my life and I made some bad decisions. That was the start of my wall-building. If I could keep on so many extra pounds, or not be so attractive then those people wouldn't notice me. Nobody would. And I could ride this planet around the sun and do as I pleased.

I'm not sure what's woken me from this cloistered, fear-riddled lifestyle of complete avoidance of my own beautification. But I feel like the butterfly emerging from its cocoon, eager to fly.

So what about this letter to my daughter? At the beginning of the journal I want to keep a letter for her. I want to tell her that she's smart, and kind, special and beautiful. That glamour isn't about how you look but instead it's a certain kind of confidence. That beauty can be like blood in the water and the sharks will circle. But to have grace and to love herself enough to see them for what they are and drive them off. It was a cruel but necessary lesson for me, to learn that not everyone is as kind as I am. I want to explain why I started the journal and how I intend to use it and what I hope it can teach her.

If she learns the basics, then the world of beauty can be artistic and explorative for her. And not intimidating and completely foreign like it is to me.

Some people may look at this and say I'm teaching her vanity, or wasting her time. In the end I think of it as one more tool in her arsenal as she learns to duck, jump and weave over the endless hurdles life will surly throw her way.