Pretty is as pretty does (whatever that means)

I don’t usually wear makeup. Not that I think I’m Alicia-Keyes-beautiful enough to pull it off or anything. Typically, I just don’t feel like it. This hasn’t always been the case. Most of you know I sell Avon, because I’ve tried to sell it to you, via my creatively named website, regansellsavon.com. Before that, I was an independent sales rep starting in 2005 for Avon’s “trend” brand, mark., which started out having its own reps, before the brand was folded back into the mothership. When that happened, I stuck with the company, and I’ve been selling Avon, more or less successfully, ever since.

As someone who has sold a beauty brand for quite a while, I’ve worn and bought plenty of it myself in the past. There was a time when I bought every new lipgloss from mark.’s monthly “magalog,” and wore them pretty much constantly, along with a face full of other products. You’d never see me without mascara, or at a bare minimum, eyeliner.

These days, and for about the past year, I go bare-faced almost daily. Moisturizer with sunscreen is all I can talk myself into wearing. I carry a tinted lip balm in my purse, and every few days, I remember to use it.

Why the change, especially now, when I’m 37, and most people would say I’m at the age when I probably “need” it more than ever? I don’t really have a good answer. Laziness is high on the list. I don’t have time for it. Then there’s the fact that, at 37, I feel like I have fewer people I have to impress. My husband likes the way I look, and no one else really cares, so I don’t either.

Every now and then, I’ll put on eyeliner and mascara, because I still own plenty of makeup (although my mascara is pretty old by now, so that’s probably too disgusting for me to be admitting). When I do, you’d better believe people notice. “You look great!” they’ll exclaim. “You look so pretty today!” The implications, of course are twofold: that I don’t typically look “pretty,” and that I’ve done something special today, possibly for their benefit, that they feel is worth acknowledging.

I don’t really mind the comments, but I do notice them. Does it really matter if I’m pretty? I’m plenty of other things that I find much more compelling about myself. I’m pretty damn smart, if I do say so myself, and I’m friendly, and I’m kind. To reduce me to “pretty” is… well, useless at best. It’s a commentary on society’s priorities at worst.

So I’m bare-faced again today, because I feel like it. You can be, too, for all it matters to the value you contribute to the planet. I still think you’re beautiful.

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