Makeup used to be only something I put on in the morning to look presentable. I never spent more than ten minutes putting it on, and I never spent much thought on whether I needed to retouch during the day. I don’t even know anymore why I did it at all. My grandmother was a fashionplate in her day, and so is my mother. For me it was always a given that I’d wear makeup. The only question was when I could start.
But something happened to me lately. Something that shook me to the core. I am not the most secure, confident, self-possessed in the best of times. Best I can do is fake it. But when something hits you blindsided, you take a step back and see things from a different perspective. I realized I not only needed makeup for its own sake. It can also become an armor, something I put on to assert that I, too, am a woman: I am whole and complete; I am in the right, although I was wronged. It is also my preparation. In case of a confrontation, I look my best, and I take comfort from that. It has also become a welcome diversion. Because, in the best and worst of times, makeup is fun.