When the mask comes off

Our area has a high vaccination rate and a low infection rate so regulations are loosening up. If you are fully vaccinated, masks are optional.

When I faithfully wore a mask the past year, I quickly found that there was no point in wearing makeup. It all rubbed off on the inside of the mask. No one saw it so I stopped.

There was a freedom about it. It’s not that I didn’t bathe (I did!) but I never thought twice if I had to go to the grocery store (just about my only outing). Maybe I’d comb my hair and maybe not. After all the mask band screwed up a good “do” too.

As masks became optional, I had to wean off because it didn’t feel right. I felt naked. Then I felt exhilarated. No sweaty face. No stinking bad breath fed into my nostrils (it went in the air for others to enjoy!).

This past weekend I saw some friends. I thought it would be nice if I wore makeup. Not a lot. I never wear a lot. I have “dry eye” so I rarely do any eye makeup which would spruce up my faded eyelashes.

We moved four months ago. Things were put where they fit, not necessarily where they belong or even together. Some makeup was in one drawer and it took me a half hour to find the rest (not that there is a lot!). I never did find my favorite blush.

I sort of forgot the routine. After 40+ years of working and using makeup every day, I actually forgot my quick and easy routine. I applied things out of order. Didn’t match up the right products.

Then I came to my lipstick. Both tubes were dried out and hard. I tried rubbing a bit on anyway. It was hard as a rock. I wear a lip color that is slightly darker than my natural lip color so I don’t have a drawer full of choices. I never was big on reds or even the hot pinks that yell “woman of the night” except for high school when I was figuring out who I was. My lipstick was five years old and dead. In another year or two and with pressure it would turn into a precious stone.

I met up with my friends who didn’t notice. They didn’t even notice the new red zit on my cheek. My body must have thought I was going to a prom because that’s when it broke out the most!

New lipstick is on my list along with reorganizing the bathroom storage. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to my old work makeup routine. Hopefully I can pull it together so I can even out my skin tone and flash up my lips. Or I could go back to the mask but at this point, that would look odd.

Oh yes, I put a case of mouthwash on my shopping list too. And zit lotion.

63 thoughts on “When the mask comes off

  1. My “beauty routine” (laughs) now is so bare bones, especially since, just like you, I always wore make-up to work. In fact, I was so vain back in the day, I would not leave the house without make-up and my contact lenses in. I tried to give my eyes a rest one day a week and had these “Solar Shields” sunglasses that were wraparound glasses that covered my eyeglasses … hmm. I’d go out in the car, like to pick up a pizza, but nowhere inside where I had to take off those big sunglasses. I just bemoaned the fact that I have umpteen tubes of Blistex with the highest SPF number. I never failed to use it when out of the house walking, even though I walk in the morning. Plus I wear it in the house just to keep my lips from getting dry. Well, with a mask, I didn’t want that grease on the mask and making a stain. I counted the tubes, then figured they’ll last me for the next ten years, except wait … they have an expiration date! Guess they’re relegated to the house then.

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  2. Doth protest too much. Call me suspicious about the baths. 😉

    I still have to wear a mask at my part-time job, and the zits keep coming. It doesn’t matter if I wear the one-time/throwaway masks or the washable cloths ones, I am once again a teenager with acne. – Marty

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  3. Even though makeup did get smeared around in the “YEAR OF MASKS” I still wore makeup minus lipstick…..the eyes mattered more since they were OUT THERE. Now I’m back to the old normal and I’m comfortable. I used to say that without makeup I looked like I’d passed away some weeks ago – I have ZERO color in my face so makeup makes me look human. I’m happy to be HUMAN again!

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    • Makeup neutralizes any splotchiness for me although since I started using a tinted sunscreen, that works for everyday. I wish I could use eye makeup. The eyes matter when the mask covers everything else.


  4. I’m laughing at the lipstick needing replacement! That’s likely to be true for me, as well. I have really cut back on my own morning routines. I always wear a hat for sun protection, most of the time my glasses, and then a mask…nothing of my face shows! I’m not giving up on my mask any time soon. I think it’s become a security object! I enjoy hearing how your life is unfolding in a new home and with new routines, especially knowing you made all these changes in a time when nothing has been easy or certain. Are you still enjoying Starbucks?

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  5. The only makeup I wear on a regular basis is eyeliner and I stopped using that with a mask which doesn’t really make sense being that my eyes weren’t covered. 🙂 I need to get some mouthwash too.

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  6. This week, my office became mask-free, if you’re fully vaccinated. It’s been great to see smiles again. I missed that. Unfortunately, after wearing a small amount of mascara (all natural) for the first time in over a year, my MGB and blepharitis has ignited. My eyelids look like swollen red bubbles, and they feel like they’re on fire. 😦

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  7. I went to the bank today, and no mask was required, though I had one with me. For now, I will keep a mask with me because every place has different rules. As for makeup…I will have to wear some when out in public. Didn’t wear any at the bank because I walked, and it was hot and humid, so it would have all been sweated off before I got there.

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  8. We went to a Mix and Mingle two weeks ago. I put my eyebrows on, concealer under my eyes, a little blush, gave my lips a swipe of cherry ChapStick and called it done! I can’t believe how my skin is so much happier without bareMinerals powder foundation… my dry eyes are happier too without all that powder flying around on a brush. I also switched face moisturizer and that made the most difference. The dry eye issue is a pain!

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  9. I think I’ve only worn makeup for Zoom meetings and must admit I haven’t missed it. I must also admit I ran to the store a few times (well, maybe more than a few) with a mask and a hat figuring no one knew who I was so why put makeup on or dress up. Guess that will come to a halt. 🙂 Makeup is a good thing when it accentuates your beauty, but let’s face it, when you reach a certain age, you need a light hand and at the most it is smoothing things out. 🙂

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  10. I don’t mess much with make up. Maybe a bit of brush on blush if I haven’t been in the sun for awhile . . . which is no longer the case here in the Sunshine State.

    I do brush my hair.
    Every day. 😀

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  11. We still wear masks when out where other people gather, and probably will for a while. The directives in our state are suppose to change in a few days so we will see. I wish I trusted my fellow humans more, but I don’t. I’m hit or miss with makeup… mostly miss. I do need something to “wake up” my eyes, though, I’m kinda turning all beige.

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  12. i go through fits and starts in makeup. Somedays I do it all, including eye makeup (usually only for a zoom call). Most days, if I remember to put on tinted sunscreen and tame my eyebrows…that’s more than enough grooming. I do love to wear lipstick and did so even though nobody knew it, under my mask. I knew it, and that was enough. It cheered me up.
    Glad to read things are coming back to normal. We should be there (mask optional), by September.


    Liked by 1 person

    • When I was younger (much younger) I did the fits and starts, trying this or that. Over the years I have learned what works for me and my skin and stick to it. I tried a new liquid lipstick about two years ago and hated it. I stick to my normal products mostly but I do a lot of dabbling with skin care. Keeping it hydrated and protecting from the sun goes a long way when you aren’t into makeup.

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  13. We are still wearing masks here at least for a couple of weeks so I have not had to think about make up. I think I will have to think about facial expressions. If you have a mask you can hide what you are thinking.

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  14. I don’t do makeup unless there is an event or wedding. I love having one less expense, but I’m okay with those who feel it’s necessary for their industry or just like making themselves look better. I’m sad that our society is so focused on women being attractive, though–so many of us define our self-worth by our weight and our looks.

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  15. That’s actually pretty awesome that it helped you see that you don’t need a lot of makeup. In my 20’s I felt like I *needed* it and felt so ugly if I went out without it.

    I stopped using a lot of makeup when I realized my husband can’t tell the difference if I am or if I am not wearing it. I tested him, and it was actually pretty funny 😆 Now I just wear a little for myself.

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  16. I can’t actually remember the last time I wore makeup, probably well over 10 years ago. I was never one for it though, even when I working, though would add a bit of shadow and mascara plus a touch of lippy if I was going out in the evening, which wasn’t very often.

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  17. I’m with you about no eye make-up because of dry eye. I tossed all that stuff years ago. I like to wear a light lip balm in rose, but this past year there’s been no point to it. Now that I’m maskless I got one out the other day but had to use a knife to cut off the top 1/16th inch of it to get to something soft enough to use. Ever frugal am I!

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    • First I only had about 1/4 inch left. I don’t know why I didn’t replace last year. There was no soft part anymore. I’ve had them dry out before but not like this! I wore Burt’s Bee for a long time but the color doesn’t last. It feels good though. The makeup that would be best for me is eye makeup and I won’t do it. Gritty eyes afterward for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I still wear a mask when out shopping. And with dark sunglasses, I feel pretty much invisible. And it suits me just fine. I have stopped wearing a mask while walk the dogs and feel pretty naked. It’s too bad about your lipstick being a casualty of the panDAMNic. I usually lose them before they get a chance to fossilize. Enjoy the new freedom.

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