Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Skin shallow

I'm not a great believer in the cosmetics industry. This is not a sentiment shared by a majority of the ladies. Googling found me the small (not) fact that " Though slowing, year-on-year growth rates in the global cosmetics and toiletries industry have been positive to date. Last year the world market for cosmetics and toiletries (C&T) was valued at US$201 billion, up 4.8% from 2002 (in fixed exchange rate terms)." Even if you give Toilteries half that share that's still a lot of makeup by any standards!

In theory the youthful twenties are when your skin is recovering from the angst and teenage bouts of acne -- your skin is clear, pores almost invisible, complexion positively rosy, even & taut. A light moisturizer and gentle exfoliating are all the 20 something skin needs to look good.

My twenties were skin-heaven time; I never had pimples, zits, acne, blemishes or poor self-esteem due to a darker that pale colouring. More importantly I could never bring myself to part with my cash on the latest lipstick/ blush/ foundation etc...My make-up kit consisted of kajal and lip gloss for the odd day, eyeliner and the palest blush for an occasion special. I convinced myself that I liked the natural look and accepted that I was too damn lazy to make any effort whatsoever.

The truth is that I have always had an oblique standard for "beautiful" and I never got caught in the race in which many (most) women I knew, regardless of their looks, felt they were failing to meet model standards of perfection. I always wondered how perfectly lovely women found time to layer on the make-up and if they were ever at all disappointed when all the layers were washed off and their face was nothing but a wrinkled up prune (from all those constant chemicals) underneath. Sorry, I'm trying not to be judgemental (but somehow that's not how this reads!). It's just that to my minds eye sometimes the vulnerability of a clear (I don't mean blemish clear; I mean concience clear) face and the innocence of a natural smile on a young woman is a far more attractive proposition.

The 'wise' thirties are quite another story. I'm told that although acne will no longer be an "issue" the first signs of aging will appear. Beside the grey hair springing up all over the head (yes, there's that delight to look forward to!) there is discoloration and premature wrinkles to look forward to (eeks!). It's awful, simply awful.

Here's what happens in the 30's: "The skin under the eyes begins to thin and puffy dark circles become commonplace, the skin's natural process of exfoliation slows down and collagen and elastin fibers decrease."

The suggestion is that I consider boosting my skin care regimen and upgrading my makeup routine. Looking good in my thirties will take more time and effort than in my twenties and I should prepare to be both out of pocket and time where my looks are concerned. I can no longer afford to be judgemental of women who makeup as soon I shall have to take this with some seriousness.

Apparently time stops for no one and no amount of bl**dy expensive Olay Regenerist regime creams and serums is going to help.

I would like to think that inner beauty is everything and that how I look sans makeup is statement-making cool. Yet I can't escape from the fact that in my thirties my skin is taking on a paler shade of grey.

So I shall continue to dabble in makeup to maintain 'natural' as a look. When it all clashes violently and I look terribly grey or way too bright will someone please please give me a heads-up?


  1. Anonymous11:06 PM

    not to mention the hair...i have only 1/10 the hair left on my head...braided my hair yesterday and it is thinner than a rat's this rate i am hoping "bald" will be "in"...40in2006

  2. If it's any consolation, women are not the only sufferers. TIME had a recent cover story on the Asian metrosexual male and how much he spends on looking good.

    Retrosexual is such bliss. What's the female equivalent?


  3. :-( I am getting there...and I WILL need someone to wipe horrendous make-up off my face because I would be trying hard to disguise my aging skin. I know for a fact that my hubby won't do it - so I'll have to depend on a girl friend for that. I hope I start believing in "aging gracefully" soon.

    I love your blog and I think your blog would be on my "regulars" list.

  4. 40in2006: The only lesson I have learnt about my hair is that no amount of oil is going to help greying/ endless falling - so why waste my time! "Bald" may well be in soon!

    J.A.P: Aah, it's all those men pushing up the use of cosmetics then - I forgot about the new age vain man! I'm not sure there is a female equivalent of retrosexual (smooth word!) although in women's parlance its probably just called utterly lazy!

    Keya: besan and malai/ boiled nimbu/ honey....other home made remedies all meant to help the gracefully aging ladies! I have to think of the aging as graceful more from laziness than anything else...I have no patience for make-up or its removal!