Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Makeup: From the Practical to the Theoretical

I was impressed by the comprehensiveness of a recent guest post on Betty Beguiles, detailing "Everything You'll Ever Need to Know About Makeup". She highlights good tips for beginners, but makeup veterans will likely pick up a few new tricks as well.

This reminded me of an article sent to me by a friend, entitled "Women, The Cosmos, and Cosmetics", in which the author shares his thoughts on makeup and more from his outsider's perspective.

We normally associate the word “cosmetic” with the superficial and the trivial, with mere appearances, but this would be to mistake the whole thing. For to understand the cosmetic, we need to look at its root word, cosmos. ... What the term meant to the Greeks was not “everything” but the harmonious composition of parts that produced a coherent and beautiful whole. ... This cosmic beauty then extends down through each microcosm, each little part of the whole which displays its own order and beauty, and then right down to the little cosmos of a woman’s face. The need a woman has to order the world through beauty begins with the need to order her face.

From this habit of ordering herself (a habit which extends to women across all times and cultures) women move out to order the family. They take what resources they have, what gifts their men bring, what talents their children display, in what circumstances they find themselves, and try to compose all of these elements into an orderly whole. The habit of making up one’s face is practice for the task of making up the world.

Some will object that cosmetics are cheating, but this is not so (except in the extreme cases of cosmetic surgery and the like), for cosmetics will not make a plain woman into a great beauty, but they will reveal and highlight the beauty that is the birthright of every woman. Others might object that this is about appearances only, but appearances are all we have in the world. The cathedral is nothing but appearances, and we may judge whether the architect has truly captured the reality of the Church; the painting of the saint is just a bit of cosmetics on canvas, and we must discern the reality it depicts in its appearance.

Read it all here.

6 comments:

{be merry} kate said...

I read that article too... it really has had me thinking since I read it!

*kate

Margaret Mary said...

It inspired me to purchase concealer from Clinique instead of Target. It really is a superior product.

Ruth said...

I highly recommend the American Beauty line available at Kohls- it's manufactured by Estee Lauder, but is more affordably priced.

Lucy said...

(Comment 3 was me, Lucy. My mom (Ruth) had just checked her email on my computer

Anonymous said...

I don't remember where I came across this, but it is on the topic of women coloring their hair.


"God saith, "Which of you can make a white hair black, or out of black a white?" And so they refute the Lord! "Behold!" say they, "instead of white or black, we make it yellow, - more winning in grace." And yet such a repent of having lived to old age do attempt to change it even from white to black! O temerity! The age which is the object of our wishes and prayers blushes {for itself!} a theft is effected! Youth, wherein we have sinned, is sighed after! The opportunity of sobriety is spoiled! Far from wisdom's daughter be folly so great! The more old age tries to conceal itself, the more will it be detected. Here is a veritable eternity, in the {perennial} youth of your head! Here we have an "incorruptability" to "put on," with a view to the new house of the Lord which the Divine Monarchy promises! Well do you speed toward the Lord; well do you hasten to be quite of this most iniquitous world, to whom it is unsightly to approach {your own} end!

Leslie said...

after we were married, my husband told me i didn't need to wear makeup and i thought great! i will save a whole lot of money not buying lancome cosmetics. a week passed by and my husband said,umm i guess you decided not to wear your makeup today...so much for natural beauty!i went to work once without it and all of the doctors thought i was sick. i do believe the higher end work better on me, unfortunately!i tell my girls makeup should enhance your looks, not be obvious that you are wearing it.