National Don’t Do Your Hair or Makeup Day

Last week, when I was helping my daughter move into her college apartment, I packed a small brown shopping bag with my cosmetics, a change of clothes, hair tools, and some jewelry. Since our hotel was not in a convenient location, I tried to plan ahead in case we decided to go out to dinner that evening.

Exhausted from the long day spent unpacking, my husband and I bailed on the dinner plan and headed back to our hotel. On the way to the car, we took out the last of the boxes, the garbage, and my belongings.

Unbeknownst to me, I must’ve thrown out my just-in-case brown paper bag in the dumpster with the rest of the trash.

The following day, when we arrived back home, my stuff was nowhere to be found. Makeup bag—gone. Hairbrush––gone. Flat iron––gone. Favorite shorts and tank top––gone. Favorite earrings and bracelets––gone.

I know this is not a major tragedy. Other than costing me a bundle of cash to replace everything, this was a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of life. But when you live in a remote mountain town, you don’t have the luxury of walking into a department store or a beauty supply store. Instead, you need to order most of these items online.

To add to my annoyance, the small town where I reside can only be accessed by two major roads. Since one of the roads had been closed from mudslide damage, goods ordered online were taking much longer to arrive.

Until I received my replacement items, I had to embrace wearing no makeup and maintaining my unkempt hair for what felt like days on end.

Again, I know how pathetic I sound. But ladies, if you’re anything like me, and you feel better going out in public with a coat of paint on your face—even just a little foundation and mascara and a stylish hairdo, then you can relate to my unfortunate state of affairs.

As someone who always tries to understand the big picture or the greater lesson as to why certain things happen, I, of course, had to dig deep and try to analyze the situation.

Was this about being careless? Maybe, but given the circumstances, it was a dumb mistake and I’m usually responsible when it comes to my belongings.

Maybe the lesson was about learning to get comfortable with being me––as I am—in my natural state.

Last night, I had to go out to my son’s high school football dinner: sans makeup, sans great hair. I wore a cute top and jeans and threw on a wide brim hat to cover my wild, messy locks and added a shiny coat of old lip gloss I found in a drawer.

And guess what? It was fine. I had fun and socialized with other parents and didn’t think about my appearance.

Tonight, I’m going to a friend’s house for cocktails. Most likely, I’ll be sporting the same look as the night before. Most of the women in attendance will probably have their hair and makeup done to perfection. Not me. I’ll be au naturel.

I don’t consider myself vain, and I’m not one of those women who wears layers of makeup and always looks my best when I leave the house. It was only in the past few years that I started using the bare minimum on a day-to-day basis: foundation, bronzer, mascara, eye liner, and a touch of eye shadow––and that’s it.

Living without my cosmetics and hair tools has forced me to let go of the pressure I, and many other women, experience––the need to look our best to feel better about ourselves. We’ve become slaves to society’s image of beauty, fashion, perfect hair, the right makeup, and a good figure.

My ridiculous dilemma has got me thinking.

Do you notice that there appears to be countless made-up celebratory days: National Pet Day, National Brother and Sister Day, National Daughter Day, National Donut Day, National Hot Dog Day, and the list goes on?

I would like to propose a new one: National Don’t Do Your Hair or Makeup Day. One day a year, women can love themselves just as they are—and show the world that their beauty, their light, their inner spark shines from the inside out.

Truth be told, when I read over this blog post, I’m reminded once more of how privileged I am, that at least I have the wherewithal to purchase these things, and that I can’t believe this is something I’ve been fretting over when so many people in our world are suffering through much more pressing and dire matters.

Maybe the real lesson of losing my belongings doesn’t have anything to do with trying to love my natural appearance, but instead, it has given me the opportunity to reflect on the more important values we need to emphasize in society. Do we regard the people in our lives with high esteem? Are we grateful for what we have? Do we have strong, healthy connections with others? Are we compassionate toward our neighbors and strangers alike? Do we respect our bodies?

This insignificant situation has helped me see the big picture and appreciate the immense blessings in my life. In the end, the hair and makeup doesn’t mean as much as who we are as human beings, how we treat others, how we feel about ourselves, and the lasting impression we leave on the people in our orbit.

About Lori Gurtman
Lori Gurtman is an author living in Aspen, Colorado.


2 Responses to “National Don’t Do Your Hair or Makeup Day”

  1. Ingrid Wolfe says:

    I agree, we all need time to appreciate ourselves. Count me in for the national don’t do your hair or make up day!! Love this!

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