The benefits of being low-maintenance
I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and thought, “I wonder if I need some statement eyebrows.”
I had never really put much thought into my eyebrows – they’re not especially bushy or particularly thin, and besides plucking a few stray hairs, I’ve mostly avoided messing with them. The one exception was when I got my eyebrows threaded before my wedding eight years ago – a supposedly pain-free process hat left me with an inflamed face the day before I was meant to walk down the aisle. I never let anyone touch them again.
But eyebrows are the thing these days, aren’t they? You’re not looking your best unless you look like you have a pair of caterpillars crawling over your eyes. My brows are boring. The only statement that they make is, “Our owner kind of forgot that we were here.”
I guess that fits with my overall approach to beauty. I’m so low-maintenance that I’m practically no-maintenance. The only thing I put on my face is moisturizer – I’ve ever owned foundation and or blush (unnecessary when you’re naturally pink-faced). I sometimes slap some (probably very old) mascara on my lashes and smear on lip gloss, and on very special occasions, I might add some inexpertly-drawn eyeliner. But that’s pretty much it. I don’t really know how to really do anything else. I can’t contour. I don’t know how to use an eyelash curler. I still don’t understand what you use primer for.
I treat my thick, wavy hair with the same level of care. Air dry it, scrunch in some curling gel, and mostly forget about it until the wind blows it in my face and I think, “Oh right, you’re still here.”
This isn’t some sort of feminist statement about not conforming to society’s standards of beauty. I just can’t be arsed. I don’t want to get up an hour earlier so I can reshape my face into something that it’s not, or try to force my hair to do something it doesn’t want to. There’s no point in spending hours smearing stuff onto my face that I’m just going to smudge 20 minutes later anyway.
When people look at me, they see me. Not some painted, enhanced version of me, but the real thing, chin hairs and all. (I try to keep on top of those bastards, but they just just keep popping out.) I have nothing against people to want to look like the best version of themselves, but I’m cool with this version. It’s pale, freckly and a bit untamed, and that’s fine.
I’m not opposed to looking good, but I AM opposed to putting in too much effort to get there. I think a lot of my fellow low-maintenance ladies probably feel the same way. Embracing – or at least accepting – our natural looks not only means that we can get ready to go out in about 15 minutes, but it means we learn to be mostly okay with what we see in the mirror. That’s worth more than a pair of bold eyebrows.