Last week I talked about vanity.  As it’s still on my mind (which is probably some sort of vanity itself) I felt I needed to talk about it again.

I met up with my writing group yesterday, two women who were in my fiction class with me.  As you may recall, I was vexed by a comment calling one of my characters vain.  My friends totally disagreed with the comment, given it’s place in the book and what it was signifying, so I was glad that others shared my opinion.  But they enlightened me to something else.  We sometimes spend more time on ourselves as we get older.

I freely admit, it takes me longer to get ready now, than it did years ago.  To be fair, I’m not the sort of person who takes an inordinate amount of time- I’m pretty much a wash and wear sort of girl.  But now, I need an hour to get ready if I need to shower, 25 minutes if not.  My Husband doesn’t get this at all, FYI.  After 16 years of marriage he still thinks I can be ready in 5.  It takes me longer than that to put my moisturizer on.

See, that’s the thing.  Make up doesn’t take me a long time.  Hair doesn’t take me a long time.  It’s the other prep work- the moisture part.  As I’ve gotten older, my skin, my hair, my everything has gotten dryer.  I have separate lotions for every part of my body.  I start with an eye cream, then a face serum, then a moisturizer- and that’s just my face.  Heavier cream for my elbows and knees, cream with sunscreen for my hands, foot cream with vitamin E….I even put a few drops of oil in my hair….

This isn’t vanity.  This is just so my skin won’t crack and fall off.  This is now routine maintenance.  Without these creams and potions I would crinkle when I walk.  Seriously- it adds a whole new dimension to the term dust to dust….

But….

I admit I stare at my reflection a little harder now.  My eyelashes are a little more sparse (I think there is a gel you can put on them to make them more luxurious.  the fact that I know this scares me a little).  My skin is a little less taut.  My undereye bags can now be considered a distinct part of my face.  It is hard to look at myself and not see the younger version of me, because in my mind I am still that younger woman.  In my mind I am still the woman who was just attractive because there is an attractiveness in youth.  Alas, none of us realize that when we are young- we’re to busy trying to grow up.  We take for granted the tight skin, the lack of spots and other weird things that eventually creep up on us.

Does this additional self reflection make me vain?

I don’t think so.  Maybe it makes me a bit wistful, makes me think of the past.  Maybe it forces me to think about choices I’ve made, for better or worse.  Sometimes you have to take a long hard look in the mirror, to both remember who you were, to see who you are, and to consider who you will be.

53 thoughts on “You’re So Vain- Part 2

  1. I still agree that that’s not being vain. I remember when I was in my 20s, taking over an hour to get ready, and that’s not including the shower. It doesn’t take as long now, but I still keep up on my nails and pedicures, etc. Thanks to cosmetology school, lol. I wear make up before I go out of the house too, every time. That’s just me! It’s not being vain. If we have company, I wear make up. My husband wonders why too and still to this day asks me why after 17 years.

    Being vain is thinking you’re better than everyone else. Conceit is a complete turn off to me. I think it’s important to care about yourself and feel good about yourself which isn’t the same thing, IMHO. Just my opinion. ❤

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  2. 😂 “This is just so my skin won’t crack and fall off” 🤣🤣 Great sentence – Love it and yes I can totally sympathise and do all of the above! Vanity? Not vanity at all, it’s looking after yourself and as we get on a bit, well, let’s just say our skin in particular needs some more care than normal. The reason I stare at my reflection a little harder now is because my bloody eye sight is going as well as everything else 🤣 great post

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I love your outlook, actually makes me feel better about my regular routine- I was actually thinking about writing a story this morning on Medium about my morning routine! How funny is that?! Anyway, good post, great observations. We do need to take care of ourselves beyond our 50’s, even if we took care of ourselves in our twenties. It’s unfortunately just part of the aging process. I also concur with the other ladies who commented…bloody eyesight indeed!

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  4. Not vanity at all. I’d say it’s simple survival of the fittest: when our skin cracks & falls off, it hurts and leaves us open to infections that would kill us. Darwinism, love; survival of the fittest… We’re not vain, we’re just highly evolved to survive😊

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  5. Really,I’m 21 inside. On the outside I’m pushing 60. Do you ever pull you skin taut just to see your jaw line again? Its my thing. Cant afford surgery but if I could do one thing it would be tighten the jowls. Even that word:jowls makes me think of bull dogs!

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  6. Plus there’s a comfort that comes with the moisturizing. If you forget or don’t have time to deal with one part you’ll notice this throughout the day, distracting you.

    I never had skin issues other than acne in youth but I have painful eczema spots niw that bother me less if I go thru a similar routine like you. Is that vanity? I don’t believe so, either.

    Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Welcome to our 50s. There is a mourning phase, because there are a of changes in our 50s, eye sight, skin, hair, aches pains, etc. THEN one day we wake up and we realize there is a really beautiful cute NEW self emerging! A mature wise one… and then we find a new style of glasses, sporty way of dressing, etc. that is our “mature youthful self.”

    AND if we are lucky, someone tells us we look 10 years younger than we are. That’s not vain, it’s due to focusing on the positive, being and feeling SPARKLY inside, which shows on the outside!

    When I see an older woman who I can tell is confident with her gray hair and looks very fun and youthful, I always compliment her, because that is the goal. Feeling good about ourselves. It comes down to attitude and not comparing ourselves to others. We all age differently.

    2018 – Embrace your NEW self! 🙂

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  8. Heck — it takes more time to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom these days, too! I also have a counter full of various lotions, creams, serums, and potions — all designed to protect me from the elements. Make-up is a two minute process . . . everything else is the “long pole” as my husband would say. Two years ago, desperate to cut out some of this primping time, I stopped coloring my hair. Most freeing thing I’ve ever done . . . and now, I’m completely silver (I prefer silver to gray — it sounds sparklier) but there is no way to cut down on all the other stuff. You are not alone.

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  9. My looks changed the most in my 40’s and I didn’t like it one bit. My 50’s and 60’s were good. I think I was aging gracefully and looked pretty good. I will be 70 this year and have seen big changes in the past year. But doing my best to be my best old self possible. Vanity? Yeah, it’s where all the creams and lotions are kept.

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  10. Something changed in me with menopause and now I actually spend alot less time on make up and hair than I used to. I’ve accepted that my youthful beauty is gone and no amount of work will allow me to compete with the young and beautiful so I don’t try. I’ve grown my hair long so I can tie it up and pared my make up right back, that’s if I even wear it anymore. I have to admit I find my face repulsive now close up so the less time I have to stare at it the better! I haven’t given up on my body though – far from it. I’m prepared to put alot more work into it than I ever was when younger. The spectre of hip replacements is always dancing about in the shadows to keep me on track!

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  11. An excellent explanation of my life. I was never a beauty to begin with, and as the years go by its harder and harder to try and do what I can with what I have. I figure my kids are stuck with me, as are my friends. My husband must love something other than my beauty because we’ve been together 36 years. And I think the “me” in makeup is the same person “without” makeup. At least I hope so!

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    1. Oh god….what don’t I use? Presently in morning I’m using roc multi correction 5 in 1 eye cream, no 7 protect and perfect advanced serum, and aveeno absolutely ageless leave on day mask lotion. At night garnier ultra lift eye cream, okay pro x nightly micro peel and L’Oréal age perfect night.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I began calling my make-up routine “the recovery process” in my 40s. There is something to be gained by putting on make-up regularly, because if you don’t, you have no idea what you’re doing when you want to put it on. I have been wanting to go to a make-up consultant for years to learn how to make up this face as opposed to the one I had in my 20s and 30s. Maybe this is the year I’ll finally get around to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I definitely take longer to get ready now than I did when I was younger. I don’t think it’s vanity, I think I care more about how I look and feel so I take care in how I appear which is something in my 20s and early 30s I certainly didn’t bother to do. I only started wearing make up a few months ago (other than special occasions) my husband joked I’ve spent more on make up in the past six months than I have since we’ve known each other (almost 11yrs) which is probably true!

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  14. Wow! Can I say AMEN? I will be turning 55 in March and I’m just trying to get through menopause and keep my sanity not to mention dealing with a thyroid disease. I just want one good day when my hair, body, mind are in sync! LOL😂

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