Does anyone remember reading Cosmopolitan (Cosmo) magazine in the 1970s? Helen Gurley Brown’s creative inspiration for the single woman – the risqué diversion from Glamour and the now defunct Mademoiselle? Cosmo always ran a quiz. Maybe all the teen mags did. Maybe they still do. In any event, the purpose of the quiz was to give you, the reader, an insight into your personality. Pop psychology in 10 questions as to whether you were an innate extrovert, who embraced the idea of a party with 100 strangers, or a natural introvert, who could think of nothing more fun than a dinner for two by candlelight. Somehow, the choices given were always made to be mutually exclusive. You were this way, or that way, but never a combo of both. I loved taking those quizzes, and counting how many times I answered (a) or (b) or (c), and getting my nutshell diagnoses in a 100 word paragraph. Better yet, was picking the (a) or (b) or (c) based on my prediction of what the magazine had determined was my primary personality trait.
I don’t remember any of the quizzes today, but one question from one quiz has stuck in my mind over the past 40 years. And rather than it being a reflection of how I have changed, it is a reflection of how I have stayed exactly the same – at least with respect to this particular thing.
The question asked what make-up would I take with me to a desert island. I could choose between mascara, lipstick, or foundation. Hands down, I chose mascara, and today I would still choose mascara (albeit I love my red lipstick also). Without mascara on, I always feel just a little bit naked, except at the beach – I draw the line at wearing makeup on the beach.
I am very methodical about how I apply mascara. I always have 6 to 8 wands of black mascara with a different type, size and style of brush. I keep a set at home; a set at the gym. And a travel set, because I hate the idea of leaving home without my mascara. People look at my line up and say, “Huh? Why do you have so many mascaras?”
Well, there is a technical method to my madness. The old ones help build the eyelash so it doesn’t clump. The medium old ones help lengthen the eyelash, and the newest mascara gives it shine. (As soon as I discard an old mascara, I buy a new one.)
I have shown my mascara application process to all my guy friends, and they are so appreciative. In fact, I think money can be made on this process. I intend to ask one of my colleagues if my mascara system can be protected as a business method patent.