I’m a lick of mascara girl. Ten seconds with the brush and my face is all ready for the day. 

I used to do the whole make-up thing: eye-liner, eye shadow, foundation, lipstick… Then I had babies. No longer any time for all that. I decided I liked the fresh faced look. I didn’t have much choice really.

Only having to flick the mascara brush a few times makes the morning routine very easy. I got to like simplicity. For years, I never thought about make-up. Then my eldest daughter announced she was getting married.

“I’ll be home a few days before the wedding,” said Felicity. “Can you make me a hair appointment for the big day? Oh yes! I’ll need a make-up session too.”

A make-up session? That got me thinking. As mother of the bride would I be expected to wear make-up? Wanting to look my best, and not embarrass my daughter by appearing dowdy, I set off to town with my other four daughters in tow, in search of the necessary supplies.

We headed to the nearest chemist and prowled up and down the make-up aisles. So much choice. What did I need? After much debate with my young feminine advisers (who were as clueless as me), I decided upon a complexion perfection starter kit which contained: undercover airbrush primer, natural mineral cover, mineral bronzer, and a natural finishing veil.

Wow! All that for just one face.

I added an eye-liner to my shopping basket and a lipstick and decided to forgo the eye shadow. I was all set.

A few days before the wedding, I decided I’d better have a trial make-up run. I was sadly out of practice. Would I be able to apply everything to the right place in the right manner?

I gathered my wedding clothes and my make-up supplies, shut my bedroom door firmly and got to work. I smoothed and brushed and outlined and when I’d finished… Wow! Was that really me looking back from the mirror? I looked sort of... elegant. I quickly pulled on my mother-of-the bride clothes before emerging from my room.

“Wow! Mum! You look wonderful!”

“You look like a queen!”

“You look so elegant!”

Everyone was amazed. The girls couldn’t stop smiling. My husband Andy was grinning too. I was a mother no longer. I was an elegant woman.

I remember a wonderful magical night when my own mother turned into the most beautiful elegant woman in the world. Dad must have been taking her out to a party. She was wearing an elaborate gown, and sparkling jewels and high heeled shoes. And her face… lipstick, mascara, foundation… the full works. I thought my mother looked like a fairy tale princess.

After Felicity’s wedding, I wondered if I should continue to look elegant. Perhaps I should take more care with my appearance. Maybe I could give away simplicity and develop a new more complicated get-ready-for-the-day routine. Would my daughters like it if they had an elegant mother full time? I thought about it but before I came to a decision…

My youngest daughter Gemma-Rose climbed onto my lap for a cuddle. She placed her soft cheek next to mine. Then she turned and gave me a huge long kiss. And I was glad I hadn’t any foundation or lipstick on, that might have rubbed away. Gemma-Rose hugged me tightly and said, “You are so beautiful, Mum!”

“But I don’t have any make-up on!” I protested.

“You don’t need make-up, Mum. You’re beautiful all on your own.”

I smiled. Mothers may not be elegant, but they are still beautiful.

I think I’ll continue being a lick of mascara girl.

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  1. I wear makeup according to what type of day I'm having, Sue. Sometimes, it gives me a boost and makes me feel smart and confident. At other times, like yesterday, I was busy with creative stuff and I didn't wear any. When we're swimming every day, hair and makeup go by the wayside but I still like to look nice to go out so I normally spend 5 or 10 minutes putting the effort in!

    I think of all the makeup I used to wear as a young girl and I wonder if we naturally use it less as we get older? I'd still want to look after myself as an old lady, but maybe, the look will be more natural.

    It's an interesting topic, Sue!

    God bless:-)

    1. Vicky,

      I think you are quite right when you say it's good to put some effort in to look nice, especially if we are going out. Maybe there's a difference between looking nice and looking elegant though. I'm a hair girl and a skirt girl. If my hair is freshly washed and blow dried and I am wearing a skirt, I feel good. Just a lick of mascara and I'm done!

      Lifestyle has got a lot to do with it too. It seems silly to bother with make up and hair if you're swimming during the day. I don't even bother with the lick of mascara when I'm running. I figure no one can see me in the bush!

      I know some beautiful old ladies. I don't know if they wear much make-up. Maybe it's all got to do with their clothes and their inner beauty shining out!

  2. It has just occurred to me, I have a wedding to attend and need makeup!! Where to begin??! it has been so long.

    1. Erin,

      I don't know how long ago you last bought make-up, but I found that it has all changed: all those primers and mineral powders and finishing veils... I just bought a small kit with everything in it. Lipsticks have improved! Mine stayed on for hours after I applied the protecting layer.

      Have fun experimenting and enjoy the wedding. Don't forget to post some photos of you looking gorgeous!

  3. Aww, cute! I'm a smudged eyeliner girl myself.

    1. Kellie,

      I like smudged eye liner, just not good at applying it! Thanks for your comment!

  4. Sue-

    So great to know I am not the only one who likes the "fresh face" look! I just don't have time for make-up everyday. On VERY rare special occasions, I do sometimes use a little but I'm with you- clean hair and a pretty skirt are enough to make me feel good most days.

    So sweet that Gemma-Rose tells you how pretty you are. And what a cutie SHE is!

    God Bless, Kari

    1. Kari,

      You don't need make-up! I only use mascara because my eyelashes are so pale. It's become a habit to brush on a little each morning.

      Very rare occasions? I thought my make-up kit would come in handy for other special events but it's gathering dust under the bed! I guess I just haven't been invited anywhere exciting in a long time.

      If we're feeling low all we have to do is hug a young child. They are so uncomplicated and loving, and they accept us just as we are. I am sure you know what I mean!

  5. Hear hear, Sue. I'm all for simplicity, too and beauty on the inside. I think all my make-up expired.

    1. Anabelle,

      I'm glad to hear you are a fellow fresh faced beauty! When I looked through my old make-up box before Felicity's wedding, I found the lipstick I wore at my own wedding! A 28 year old lipstick. I bet that was truly out of date!

  6. What a wonderful story, Sue! A beautiful one at that, self discovery is an amazing thing. Knowing you can look beautiful and elegant is wonderful, and turning heads is very gratifying, but being beautiful as who you are (a lick of mascara or not) is where true elegance comes from. As they say, from the mouth of babes - “You don’t need make-up, Mum. You’re beautiful all on your own.” - that is where the magic lies! Thank you for sharing your story, it was fun to read and very heartwarming. :)

  7. Much like my other comments, the first seems to have fled to Never-Never-Land. So take two!
    What a wonderful and heartwarming story, Sue! Looking beautiful and turning heads is a great feeling, but knowing you are beautiful is something far more special. As they say, from the mouths of babes - “You don’t need make-up, Mum. You’re beautiful all on your own.” - there can be nothing more gratifying than unconditional love and acceptance for who you are. Both self acceptance, and acceptance from those we care for. Thank you for sharing your fun and genuinely lovely story with us! :)

    1. Nina,

      I am so sorry you had trouble commenting. It must have been frustrating! Both of your comments arrived as you can see. The same thing happened last time you commented but I only published one because they were practically identical. It was very kind of you to take the trouble to start all over again. I have turned off the moderating function so you can see immediately if a comment published. I hope that helps!

      "Self discovery is an amazing thing". Yes! As you've probably gathered by now, I write mostly personal experience stories. I explore feelings and experiences and yes, I do learn so much about myself in the process. I think we can rush through our days and miss a lot. But when we take the time to write, we work through so much. And this time, I guess I did come to the conclusion that I have "unconditional love and acceptance for who" I am!

      Thank you for reading my story and for your kind words!

  8. I have deep thoughts...but no time! I'll be back!!! :)

  9. Sue, I attended a wedding yesterday and wore make up for the first time in ages, it felt strange. I too am a simple mascara girl.

    The Papa and our girls have been blessed with thick black lashes and the Papa likes to point out that poor Mama has to wear muck cause "she hasn't got lovely lashes like we have" and they all giggle together. Monkeys!

    1. Lisa,

      I can so relate to your situation! Andy has thick dark eyelashes and all our children have inherited them, except for Gemma-Rose. I think she's going to be a lick of mascara girl like her mother!

      Weddings are such beautiful and joyful occasions. I hope you had a wonderful day feeling elegant!


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