It took me a long time to own my frumpiness. Like so many tomboys, I used my tomboyishness as a crutch, claiming we tomboys [read: closeted lezzies] were too busy building furniture and writing music and Fighting the Man to spend any valuable minute on Fancy Face-Painting.
And then I moved to LA. Overwhelmed by the heightened level of chicness and the weird, distinct lines drawn between frumpy, chic, and hipster, there was no room for the full on frumpiness I’d mastered so long ago.
So then I discovered feminism. I wanted to be In with the girls famous for leaving legs unshaved, boobs un-bra’d, and rolls un-spanxed.
But THEN I found out feminists come in all manner of femininity, and that make-up and dresses could very well be used as subtle weapons against The Man, too.
So when I took up a job at Comediva, and started to feel guilty about being the only frumptastic one of the bunch at all social functions, I decided to bite the bullet and kiss the napkin. And just a few months after that, I’m here to help other self-identified frumpy peeps take their first steps into Confusing Cosmetics:
1. No, you can’t replace mascara brushes with your arts & crafts pipe cleaners.
2. Turns out, they’re totally different. And mascara’s impossible to wash off. Which means that no-cost birthday picture frame you’d been meaning to make is officially nixed.
3. There are approximately a billion different shades of foundation, and you’re not supposed to match it to your face or hand. You have to use your neck, even if your neck is mysteriously way pastier than any other region on your body.
4. MASCARA IS A BITCH.
4a. I wouldn’t even invite mascara to my birthday party out of politeness: even if she were the new girl down the hall and didn’t have any friends.
4b. Liquid eyeliner is mascara’s only friend.
5. Blush, too, comes in about a billion different shades, and apparently not all are flattering for everyone. And some have glittery specks in them. So don’t touch your face, ever, after applying the glittery blush you accidentally bought. Glitter’s the herpes of cosmetics. It just spreads.
6. Putting eyeliner on your lower eyelid thing (waterline?) is a one way, gunky ticket to Pink Eyesville.
7. Don’t blink when anything is remotely near your eye.
But don’t tear up, either.
8. No, your finger isn’t a satisfactory replacement for that “smudge stick” you originally thought was a waste of money.
9. Are we supposed to match lip stuff to our outfits?
10. Hold off on trying eye shadow til after you somewhat mastered the eye liner thing.
11. It’s called “eye shadow,” not “iWhore.”
12. If all else fails, wear an obnoxious hat/high-collared top.
Or locate every shadowy spot in the room.
And now Frumptastic Ventures Into Make-Up 102: The Aftermath
1. When you’re on the road and a pedestrian stops you, approaches your window and asks you out, don’t panic. Even if you’re gay. Just laugh obnoxiously, weird them out, and drive on.
2. When you wear make-up, it’s only natural to assume you’re also the kind of girl who wears low-cut shirts [apparently]. So don’t be disheartened when a chick-digging peep [read: creep] glances downward and is openly disappointed by the sight of your Arby’s sauce-stained non-cleavage-showing t-shirt. Just remember your face looks that sexy.
3. Suddenly your parents will be super excited to see you, though they might ask awkward questions: Are you seeing someone?; …Did you get any help with that?; Are you straight now?
4. Your friends will probably tease you about it the first few times. But after a night out at the club when you managed to suddenly disappear to hook up with a random hottie, the teasing will probably desist.