My Recent Eyelash Drama Has Me Re-Thinking My Cosmetics


I’m thinking about getting those semi-permanent false eyelashes. At first I thought they were the “old kind” that you glue on yourself, but now I see salons springing up all over the place where they professionally attach these things to your eyelids and they stay on for weeks, eventually falling out, lash by lash, into your white carpeting (where they look amazingly similar to bugs, but I digress).

On New Year’s Eve (not knowing about the salons yet), I decided to put on some fake eyelashes. To save time, I decided not to apply the glue to the lashes and then wait, and then pat them gently into place, but to apply the glue directly to my lash lines and then pat the eyelashes into place.

This worked great until I blinked, cementing my eyes shut for the next 10 minutes while I panicked and tried to pull the lashes off. Because I couldn’t wear my glasses while doing this, I pulled out quite a few of my real eyelashes and was still left with elusive blobs of glue in the corner of each eye. I emerged from the bathroom with lashless, swollen red eyes and glue blobs that looked like small growths.

Mark, who was impatiently shifting from foot to foot in the living room, took one look and yelled, “What happened to you?!”

“Nothing,” I answered. (“Nothing” is my stock reply for when it’s so bad, I really don’t want to talk about it.) But when I looked up and tried to bat my eyelashes at him, one eye got stuck closed. And the other eye opened really wide, trying to pull the first eye open.

Mark was visibly taken aback by this. And if I say “visibly,” that means anyone could see it because I barely could.

To his credit, Mark took me by the arm and led me to the car, both of us hoping it would clear up by the time we got to the party. It did not.

My point in telling you this is to say that “female enhancement products” have changed. While I had my head down over my homework, and then over my housework, and then over my column-writing and store-openings, and tiny baby grandchildren, the cosmetic industry kept whirring along, and now I am completely out of the loop. Today, there are creams that supposedly stop aging in its tracks, stop wrinkles from appearing, lighten your skin tone, brighten your complexion and make it look like you’ve spent a few weeks on the beaches of Barbados. You can make your eyebrows higher, your chin lower, your earlobes more appealing.

And it’s not just our faces, ladies! I knew about nose-sculpting and lip-puffenating, but we can also get our rear ends “enhanced” until we can no longer ride a bicycle. We can have our thighs re-shaped so we don’t resemble a single one of our ancestors. And we can have our stomachs whittled down to the size of a small banana, flattening our tummies while simultaneously affording no room for hot fudge sundaes or anything else that makes life worth living.

Of course, all these enhancements come at a cost and at a risk. Me? I prefer to sit in the back booth at the ice cream shop, head down over photos of my grandchildren, one eye glued shut and happy as a clam.

It’s just who I am.