Face Painting

I keep getting emails about various wedding day looks and I’m a bit terrified. Of course I want to look good at the reception, but I don’t need to paint my face to look like Elvira or a Cirque du Soleil performer.

The images of bright purple and blue eyeshadow and red blushes on my computer screen gave me a sudden flashback to my years as a baton twirler.

When I was roughly 8, my mom enrolled my sister and me in baton twirling classes at the city park. Those years of my childhood have forever scarred me with a fear of hairspray, blue eyeshadow and batons.

The night before competitions, my mom would tightly roll my hair into foam curlers (I don’t remember why because our hair was tied back for all of the group routines).

When I staggered out of my bedroom in a sleepless daze the next morning, my mom would sit me down, rip the curlers out of my hair and douse my head with enough hairspray to kill an army of cockroaches. When I regained consciousness from the toxic fumes (that have no doubt predisposed me to several forms of cancer) my mother would start painting my face like a clown. Bright blue eyeshadow went from my eyelids to my eyebrows and stuck out as far as my cheek bones. Circles of blush the size of planets were painted onto the sides of my face in a shade of red as dark as the lipstick I had to reapply every few minutes. I looked like a prostitute in training (PIT).

I endured the torture for three or four years until my mother no doubt realized how unsuccessful I was at baton twirling and lost interest.

I shook the memory from my mind and turned away from the images on the computer. I couldn’t go back to that. I wouldn’t.

At that moment I decided I was going to stick with my usual makeup routine of nothing. I might be convinced to wear a little mascara and light eyeliner, but that’s about it.

And if it doesn’t turn out so good I can just have the photographer airbrush the pictures. No one will know the difference.

About JadedBride

Amy Kraft is a print and radio journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, The Week, Psychology Today, and Distillations, a podcast out of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is currently working on a book of humor essays. View all posts by JadedBride

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