Friday, May 27

Make-up and Monikers

So, I’ve started wearing makeup again after a long hiatus. Make-up had been part of my daily routine off and on throughout my life, but when my hubby told me “Why do you put that stuff on your face? You’re beautiful without it”… Well, I was perfectly happy to reallocate those ten minutes toward sleep.

That was several years ago.
Not me. But you get the idea :-)

Recently, I’ve been trying to reconfigure myself, for lack of a better term. I’m trying to eat better, exercise, style my hair instead of just pulling it back with a clip a-la high school, etc. So adding makeup back in to my make-me-the-best-me-I-can-be program seemed like the adulting thing to do. I’ll confess, it’s taken some getting used to. I cover my face with foundation to even out my ruddy complexion and hide the little varicose veins on my cheeks, only to have an even-toned stranger staring back at me in the mirror. I apply eye liner and mascara, and suddenly there is a sultry-eyed vixen with lashes a mile long. Then I swab some colored gloss on my lips, and look out Jennifer Aniston, there’s a new gal on every man’s list! (Can I get three snaps in z-formation, please?)

However, that new gal isn’t me. Well, she is me, but I don’t feel like her. Not yet anyway.

I’m going to have to wear my new face for a while before it feels natural. Before I’m accustomed to the new and improved me. And I was surprised the new me has been met with a bit of resistance by my family. Hubby didn’t notice the new look at all, until he caught me washing my face one night and wondered what I was doing. When I explained, he asked me why I was doing it. When I explained, he looked askance and muttered something about okay if that’s what I want as long as he can still kiss me without having to taste a bunch of icky make-up. *eye roll* Don’t you worry, Romeo.

Then my children looked at me and asked (with no little amount of alarm) why was I wearing makeup. When I explained, they didn’t seem convinced and said beauty comes from inside. Though I was thrilled to hear my own words to them repeated (thus proving that they actually listen to me sometimes), I tried to point out that women of a certain age can benefit from the beauty-enhancing properties of makeup. They still didn’t seem convinced, and the next morning exclaimed, “You’re still wearing makeup?!”

Still? No, this is a new application of makeup for the day.

*huff* You’re pretty without makeup, Mommy. (Bless their hearts.)

Again, not me. But all Romance Writers are this
glamorous and gorgeous, aren't we?
I’m writing this because I see some parallels between my attempts to redefine my looks and what some might experience when defining (or re-defining) themselves as romance writers.

While my family has been nothing but supportive on the romance-writing front (case in point: kiddo told teacher “My mom isn’t one of those ordinary moms. She’s an author!”), the concept of being a romance author still took some getting used to, much like my new face. The mantle of “romance writer” can feel awkward at first. Even among my very supportive and welcoming fellow romance writers, it took a while before I felt comfortable with the term. Before I was confident that the term “romance writer” didn’t need to be followed with disclaimer words such as “hack,” “wanna-be,” or “poser.”

When I finally decided it was time to go public with co-workers about my writing proclivities, being a “romance writer” was again nerve-wracking and awkward. And I don’t blame this entirely on the “romance” aspect of my writing, even though we romance authors can experience our fair share of condemnation from misinformed observers. No, my nerves were a result of the inherent vulnerability which comes from letting everyone in on a very personal, meaningful aspect of my life, and hoping they don’t condemn or mock my art, my heart. The “coming out” turned out better than I had feared, and I am now more comfortable wearing that moniker… so much so that I barely pause before I claim to a stranger “I’m a romance author.”

So, like wearing a new hairstyle or new clothes—or makeup—wearing the title “romance author” isn’t always an instant fit. But that does not mean you should shrug it off and walk away. Keep trying, and it will soon fit you like a worn pair of shoes (or mile-long eyelashes)!


  1. I love make-up! And I think you wear many titles, including writer very well.

  2. What a great post, Ava. I agree with Jill--you wear all the titles really well, and now I'm anxious to see you. You should have put a selfie glamour shot up here!

    1. I would have included a glamor shot, but I wrote this in sweats and no-makeup, so Liz Taylor will have to suffice as a surrogate! :-)

  3. Fun post, Ava! I made my first trek into Ulta last week for some new eye liner/shadow/crayon things and some mineral/powder foundation. First time I'd been in a make-up store and I walked around most of the time with my jaw on the ground. lol

    1. Ugh! I know it's sooo overwhelming, isn't it! Even shopping for mascara at the grocery store... there are like a zillion choices!

  4. Okay, so why didn't get a shot of you in this post? Although I truly think your adorable and gorgeous with or without make-up, you got us all charged up for a glamour shot. ;-) Yes, you wear all your titles well! Good for you, sweets!

  5. East Coast HottieMay 27, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Beautifully written Beautiful Woman. Wearing makeup is really good for your skin. Protection from the elements and prevents wrinkles. Use a good moisturizer under and you are set for life. But, I must say you have always had wonderful skin. Just like you!