The Comforting Looks: For A Lazy-But-Feeling-Pretty Day
There are days where us, women, would blame hormones for wanting to stay lazy at home and not leaving the bed. For the same Act of Unrealistic Hormones™ reason, we will, at the same time; need to be still feeling pretty somehow. We don't want the not-showering-and-looking-nasty lazy; we want smell-good-feel-smart-looking-hot sort of lazy - where we'd lay on the sofa, tune in a French music playlist and drink coffee (or wine, a bit later in the evening). I admit, such pleasure of wanting this superficiality is liberating - what can be any more fun than girls having their makeup done as they want, to try a look that they love experiencing, while at the same time having such power to say "I'm staying at home today"? Such a privilege. And such an urge, that I decided to hop on a taxi ride to braved the heavy rain, visiting my dearest friend who I know exactly will support my whole beauty conspiration. Her name is Luise Najib. And you will like this girl, as I always do.
I met Luise back in 2008 if my brain still remembers correctly. We went to different universities, but there's this one occasion where we joined a committee for World's AIDS Day concert and start hanging out together. She's one of the girl with the most genuine smile I ever met and the kind of girl I'd totally have a crush with. Plus she has a voice that would melt a cold heart (you may want to find her on iTunes or Youtube). Back then we were just two young girls partying together, but now she's married with a baby on the way. "This is crazy; I'm so happy." She told me about how she's been feeling lately. And I can see that, with her glowing eyes and skin, how pregnancy have brought her such joy.
Then we talked. She knew how I started to gain weight lately, how I've been so much in love. So we shared the mutual bliss; the result of eating well and feeling appreciated, the long walk to the beach on the weekend and a motorcycle ride to the nearest coffee shop. As two survivors from misfortunate series of broken heart events, we know that it's the right time to pull out something that I call "Comforting Looks." Keywords: Natural-looking meets Messy-Hair. The kind of look that you want on a lazy day, but added with an intention to embrace yourself. To make peace with the burden on your shoulders. A look that will support your already-calm heart.
"Red lipstick always works on a bad day. But more powerful on a good day," said Luise. And today is a good one for sure. So here, one easy look you can try without having to struggle with face contour-technique (confession: contouring is damn hard, for me).
T H E N A T U R A L R E D
Luise's tan skin and her thick hair is my definition of sexy. She rolled out from her bed earlier, start putting on her makeup joyfully. "I absolutely enjoy putting makeup on myself, not because I want to covering up my flaws, but simply because I find makeup as a form of art. I love every process of it, every second." And she's more of an avid beauty enthusiast compared to me, a practical user of cosmetics - with her medical school background, she has a strong drive for creating her own beauty brand through independent research and handmade production. "OUI", her natural-oil brand launched last year on Instagram and had been growing since. Her latest music single is cooking, and soon be served. I'm excited. She's making art in a world where swords are melody and armor comes from a symphony.
I leaned against the wall, my ears eased by the humming sounds from the speakers. My toenails are half-painted, half-naked. I like imperfections, when I'm not entirely self-conscious. Then the idea struck me. I looked at Luise.
"Lou. Can you draw freckles on my face?"
f a u x f r e c k l e s s
I always love the fact that makeup can change your appearance. Lift up your mood. Strike a confidence boost. And also, if we're not careful, becoming a not-so-healthy addiction. But throughout the whole process of playing with makeup, I think we learn. That everybody has a choice to pick the pole they want to draw themselves toward, whether it's a high-branded skincare investment or a homemade DIY cosmetics lesson. And it can always change, by time. My mom has natural freckles on her face, and she hates it, so it was removed by laser treatment years ago. I inhibited a thin layer of brown dots in the upper part of my cheekbones, spread sporadically but never actually seen by naked eyes. I used to complain about it. Now I asked my friend to give me more, because I like the fragility it creates on my face.
M E D I ( t a ) C A T I O N
What's the perfect kind of hair for times when you want to stay pretty at home, in a beautifully fragile way? We voted for the big, messy hair. Big enough to carry our overloaded insecurities, messy enough to keep up with our scattered dreams. And that's it - that's why you'd spend about an hour to put on the sparkly powder on your face, and tease you hair huge and fair. To look pretty, based on our mood that day. Even though "pretty" might sound contemporarily on-the-surface, but what a joy to gaze into the mirror and practice the mantra: "Hey, you're alright."
Maybe pretty doesn't always means pretty. It might translated as "feeling good", "hey that's kinda fun", or represent a "let me fill today with my buoyant mood". In the long run, yearning to feel pretty means something a lot more important for some women than the stereotypes what we attempt to judge. Makeup can be a meditation, and a - sort of - medication.
Luise checked on my finished look and asking me if I like the result. I obviously loved it - in fact, I've taken a bunch of selfies of the look, so that actually validates the degree of my satisfaction. "I give myself one to two hours every day to put on makeup. I told Satria (Luise's husband) not to sabotage my ritual, it's my "me" time. And the moment is entirely meditative. You focus, and you pay attention. You forget about the outside world and ultimately accentuate the every inch of your face, you get to know yourself better each time. Isn't that beautiful?"
"I totally need to try this meditation style." - myself, putting another bullet on my Becoming More Into Beauty Wishlist.
"You should. One thing that I understand earlier about makeup is that you have to feel beautiful first especially on the inside; to feel confident with your bare face as an act to accept your true worth. Then you can do whatever with your face. When you are okay with everything you are born with, it's so liberating. What makes me feel beautiful is when I know I've done something nice to people, or inspiring them." Luise gave me her warm, soothing glance. "But of course a nice touch of golden highlights over the cheekbones, and inner corner of the eyes can also lighten up my day."
We were taking tons of picture together already when Mr. Husband a.k.a Satria came into the room and stared at us two (we sat filthily on the floor, next to the half-opened fried chicken meal box and Chatime drinks). He said, "Cantik amat, pada mau ketemu siapa emang?" - ("So pretty, you guys are going to meet anyone?")
We giggled, me and Luise. I know the most guy, and most people, in general, will associate a proper beauty effort with a human-to-other-human relationship. The who-do-you-want-to-impress purpose, the doing-makeup-for-this-event intention. It happens sometimes, those reasons, only not every time. "Yeah," I laughed a little. "We're meeting with ourselves at this moment."
Really, sometimes we just want to look good for ourselves. Because that's okay.