Lately I have been missing my Grandma. The other night I had this flash of my childhood and the two of us sleeping in her twin beds. Some summers I would make a solo visit to her house and on the evening of my arrival she would promptly kick my Grandpa to the spare room and I would take up his spot in the twin bed right next to hers. She barely slept at all and I tried to stay awake talking (thinking if she doesn’t need sleep, I don’t need sleep), but I always drifted off to the sound of her voice. She was my best friend. I would cry my eyes out when it was time to leave at the end of our visits. She would always say good-bye to me the same way: crying, squeezing hard (and I mean hard; after all she was Italian) and kissing me, with big noisy kisses, on my cheeks. Oh and most of the time she would slip me a few dollars telling me to stop and get something to eat on the way home. She was something else and 21 years was not nearly enough time for all of our adventures.
One of my favorite parts of our friendship was when I got to do her makeup. We would sit on the edge of the bed right next to her huge dresser (where I had carefully laid out her cosmetic tub) and I would apply a full face of makeup. If we were preparing for an average occasion, say a birthday dinner out at some Italian restaurant, we might do a bit of liquid foundation, heavy rouge and some tasteful lipstick. If it was a more auspicious occasion, say Christmas Eve, we would spend much longer planning and thinking about our options and certainly there would have been nail polish and eye shadow in the mix. After makeup we would move on to picking out jewelry and so on…
These days I take the time to apply makeup daily. I like the specialness of it. Thank goodness for best friends because up until recently I really had no idea how to apply any of it (Wait, did my Grandma really let me do her makeup for years?). I am fully committed to Chanel because somehow it makes the application of makeup feel old fashioned and special (Wouldn’t it be fun to apply it in groups even?), I love the simple, classy black and gold packaging and it’s French!
On my daily application list: blush, the use of an eye-lash-curler, mascara and lip balm. I only added the mascara recently because the man at the Chanel counter at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue said that it was time for me to “take things to the next level.” Between you and me, I am not quite sure what “the next level” is but I bought the mascara and have used it every day since.
Like my Grandma, I too have a few special side items of which I put on with less regularity: eye liner, eye shadow and lip gloss. Unlike my Grandma, and most of the women in my family for that matter, I save the nail polish strictly for my toes.
p.s. I can’t believe I just wrote a piece on makeup! … simple pleasures these days, I suppose.