Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's Father's Day...

When starting this project, I realized that part of my lack of knowledge regarding beauty had to do with upbringing. My mother isn't particularly girly and while she is always sporting lipstick (and rocks it!), I don't think I've ever seen her use anything other than light eyeliner and Clinique's skincare line (I have sweet childhood memories of seeing the bottle of yellow cream on the counter in the bathroom). I never received a primer on how to take care of my skin or how to apply makeup. My mother never pushed being effeminate on me, to which I appreciate fully as an adult. Thanks to her, I don't feel the societal obligation to wear makeup to run errands.

My father was quite the opposite in his approach. Women must be dainty, sweet and presentable. I vividly remember him braiding my hair as a child and always commenting on how a woman should look. Long hair was good; heavy eye makeup was not. The red lipstick that I became fond of (and still am) at 15 was a major point of contention. My father and I tend not to see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but there is no doubt he has influenced who I am. In honor of Father's Day, a short list of how my father has had a hand in my aesthetics:

1) Always have a pedicure. My father was quick to notice women who didn't paint their toenails. It was a deal breaker for him when dating. As a result, it is the most basic form of upkeep for me. No matter what, I always have a perfect pedicure. I shudder when I see women who dare reveal their naked nail bed in the light of day.

2) Sunscreen is not an option. While he doesn't have a skincare regimen, my dad is to this day fanatical about sunscreen. If my sister and I were going to be exposed to the sun for more than 15 minutes, you better believe he had us slathering it on. Like pedicures, it's second nature for me to use products with SPF.

3) Sunglasses are not an option. Being of fair skin and light eyes, I've really come to appreciate this as an adult. I can't drive without sunglasses at this point and feel that it is the most important thing I can do to protect the sensitive skin around my eyes from fine lines. I think my father was more concerned about squinting and glaucoma, though. Heh.

4) Less is more. Like pedicures, my father was rather critical of women who wore too much makeup (heavy eye makeup particularly). His favorite adjectives were "harsh" and "cheap". As a result, it wasn't until a couple months ago that I experimented with black eyeliner. Previously, it was always a soft purple, golden green or differing shades of brown. I was floored when I got compliments on the black because I thought it was too severe. I still tend to go minimal on eyeshadow, even when attempting to be dramatic.

I'm not the only beauty blogger with a tribute of sorts to my father. Check out Temptalia's sweet post.

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